The movement I’d start would be a movement to help address bullying, to learn to deal with it, because there are always gonna be the bully types out there. I’m a second degree BlackBelt in American Tang Soo Do and more importantly than me learning how to defend myself, it taught me how to avoid those situations in the first place. That’s what my movement would be about, it would help kids that have problems with bullying learn how to avoid those situations and defend themselves if needed. Diffusing the situation is key, and an understanding of the human nature of the bully can be powerful. I’ve always had this desire to be vigilant, and there’ve been a few times I’ve helped my friends when they had problems with bullies. It’s an awesome feeling to help the underdog overcome. I feel like an anti-bully movement could really be impactful and make a positive difference for many.
I had the pleasure of interviewing actor Lofton Shaw. Lofton is a veteran of both AwesomenessTV and DreamWorksTV. He has appeared in the TV series’ Game Shakers, Henry Danger and Marvel’s Inhumans, and the short film called Scamps & Goons.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
There’s no better feeling in the world than making others smile and it seems I have a knack for it. The stage and I sorta, well, love each other. Being on camera gives me the chance to have the greatest affect on making people feel things. So what better career could there be for me to have than acting? Ever since I was a little kid people would tell my parents that they should get me into the entertainment business — I guess just because of my personality type. Ya know, class clown but still right for the serious drama club roles. My mom and dad definitely did NOT want me to be an actor; they thought it would get to my head, and not in a good way. They didn’t think I’d be able to handle it, but that was my dream for as long as I can remember and I think they knew I’d never stop trying to find my way in. Eventually, one of my mom’s best friends convinced my mom to take just one meeting with someone she’d heard about and had a connection to. That meeting was the first time I met my amazing manager, Karla. Ever since I signed with her my life has completely changed and now I can say I’ve been a working actor for over 3 incredible years. So take that mom and dad! 🙂 (actually, they’re super supportive of it now) J
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
Well it’s interesting to me because I’ll never forget it. A not so funny mistake I made… forgetting to turn my phone off in an audition. I was mid scene and it started ringing LOUD in my pocket. I immediately went to shut it off but the casting director stopped me. She said, “Answer it Lofton, on speaker.” … I did… it was my friend calling me asking loudly if I could go hang out. The casting director replied for me informing my friend I was in an audition. And then she allowed me to continue my scene, but I struggled to regroup. Crazy embarrassing moment and I learned a valuable lesson from it. Never go into an audition without my phone on airplane mode!! How lucky am I, that casting director and I still joke about it. Very glad she hasn’t held it against me… well at least I think she still loves me. 😉
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
The most recent project I can now talk about is a Lifetime movie called Hidden Intentions that aired just last month! It was the first murder mystery drama I’d filmed and was so cool to work on. What chill people, everybody cast and crew. Come to think of it, I’m sure they’re out there, but I have never worked with any jerks!! I have no awful experiences to share, thankfully.
The most fun and interesting project I had the privilege to work on still remains fresh in my mind, Marvel’s Inhumans. It ran for one sweet season last year on ABC. We filmed in Hawaii for three months and it was the time of my life. Made so many great friends and amazing memories. It was MARVELous!! LOL
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
It’s really difficult to say there is just one person who was THE single most interesting person I’ve met on this journey. Seriously, I do know I’m insanely lucky to have had the opportunities to meet quite a few interesting personalities over these past few years. But I’d be happy to share an interesting encounter I recently had with Christian Bale. I saw him at a charity event and didn’t realize who he was at first but knew he looked familiar. I was staring at him for a few minutes until it hit me…”Holy &#*%!! That’s Batman!!” Eventually I found the courage to go up to him but I did it in the most awkward way. He was watching the performance at the event and I decided to go stand right next to him like I was just chill, watching the performance too, then I started mimicking his every move. When he went to sip his drink I took a sip of mine, when he scratched his nose I did it too, and I kept it going for a bit. J He looked over at me and I said “Ur the Batman.” He started laughing… and that was the ice-breaker. I have no clue what made me do that, something just took over. For sure it was one of the most unique interactions or intro’s I’ve had with a very interesting actor so far.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Stay focused and don’t let other people’s opinions drag you down. Set your goals and stop at nothing in your pursuit. Be creative with it… try to think outside the box and take time in the morning to go over in your head how you want your day to go. People like to turn things into a competition in this business but it’s not. The only person your competing against is yourself, so focus on making yourself a little bit better each day and eventually you’ll see results. Achieving your goals is a process, it’s definitely not an overnight thing. There are plenty disappointments but you cannot give them too much energy; ya gotta keep your head up and press on. I figure all the rejection I’ve had is gonna make the successes that much sweeter.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
The movement I’d start would be a movement to help address bullying, to learn to deal with it, because there are always gonna be the bully types out there. I’m a second degree BlackBelt in American Tang Soo Do and more importantly than me learning how to defend myself, it taught me how to avoid those situations in the first place. That’s what my movement would be about, it would help kids that have problems with bullying learn how to avoid those situations and defend themselves if needed. Diffusing the situation is key, and an understanding of the human nature of the bully can be powerful. I’ve always had this desire to be vigilant, and there’ve been a few times I’ve helped my friends when they had problems with bullies. It’s an awesome feeling to help the underdog overcome. I feel like an anti-bully movement could really be impactful and make a positive difference for many. However, recently I’ve come across a different type of organization… having nothing to do with bullying. Right now I cannot yet say anything about it, as my involvement is not yet confirmed. Crossing my fingers though, because it may be the most moving cause I could ever be associated with to give back. Promise to keep you posted.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1 Be off book!! Always have your lines memorized before going into an audition, you look very unprofessional if you don’t. Being off book is the first step to developing the character you’re portraying.
2 Always turn your phone off before going into an audition. I already told you my story. LOL
3 If you ever get the chance to help someone, take it. Seriously, helping others is more rewarding than I can say. Besides, it’s just like that in life, people talk in this biz and I’m sure in every biz, and everything you say and do will eventually get around.
4 Kindness is everything, being the best actor isn’t even close to the most important part of acting. Being a good person, the person everyone wants to have around is. The more people like you, the better your career will be, so be that person people genuinely enjoy.
5 Stay humble, don’t let your bookings go to your head, karma is very real in this world, especially in this business. The second you begin to get cocky is when everything will be stripped away from you.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“God fights on the side with the best artillery.” -Napoleon Bonaparte
This quote has impacted my life because it has taught me to not sit around and wait for things to happen. You have to make your own opportunities and maximize what’s put in front of you. Every audition, every person…. it’s up to you to decide how they will affect your life, and how you will affect theirs. People struggle to understand this quote because they think it means either God must not exist, or God plays favorites. That’s not what it means at all; to me it means God will show up for you when you’re in action fighting the good fight. So put the most effort in toward a good and worthy fight, work hard to be successful and there’s no way around it, you will be.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My amazing manager Karla Huff, she has been there with me since the beginning and has believed in me the whole time. Most of this business has been smooth sailing but there have been some rough patches. Sometimes even so rough that my whole team was close to falling apart, but she kept us together. Other than my own mom, who loves me like no other, my manager is the only other person who has believed in me through everything and supported me no matter. It’s been like having a second mom who loves and gets me. I’m forever grateful to her.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂
Zac Efron has been the actor I most aspire to be like. I see many similarities between us in the way he speaks, acts, his humor — and once in awhile people tell me I resemble him. I love it when that happens! How I’d love the chance to be able to sit down and talk with him, pick his brain and learn all I could about how he attained his goals, what his future plans are, and his beliefs on success and its responsibilities.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
All of my social media is @LoftonShaw I’m most active on Instagram 🙂
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!
Originally published at medium.com