I had the pleasure to interview Arlen Escarpeta. After making his television debut in 2000, Escarpeta has found success in roles in some of television’s most popular shows including “House MD,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “ER,” and more. On television this past year, Arlen was seen in the science-fiction drama “Extant,” produced by Steven Spielberg, as well as NBC’s “Grimm.”Arlen is currently recurring on the SyFy series “The Magicians” playing the role of ‘Prince Ess.’ Prior to his role on “The Magicians,” he starred in the Lifetime original film “Whitney” playing the role of the infamous Bobby Brown. In 2010, Escarpeta hit the big screen with his role in “Brotherhood,” which debuted at the 2010 South by Southwest Film Festival. Escarpeta first earned critical acclaim for his breakout role in the IFC drama “American Gun,” which made its premiere at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival and starred Oscar winners Forest Whitaker and Marcia Gay Harden and Golden Globe winner Donald Sutherland. Since then, he has performed in “We Are Marshall,” “Into the Storm,” “Final Destination 5,” and Michael Bay’s “Friday the 13th.”
What is your “backstory”?
I was Born in Belize, Central America. I became an actor because performing gave me a confidence that I had never felt before. I’m the only boy & I have 4 sisters.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your acting/directing/performing career?
I used the fact that I got residuals from working on “The Shield” as a loophole to join Sony’s football & basketball league which were only technically for employees….lol!!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I have 2 amazing shows that I’m working on right now!! Sony’s “THE OATH” executive produced by 50 cent (available for FREE on the “CRACKLE” app) is a gritty cop drama that takes you deep inside the world of cop gangs & how the operate for both good & bad. I play an undercover FBI agent that infiltrates the most notorious cop gang of all The Ravens. The second show is “ONE DAY SHE’ll DARKEN” directed by & produced by Patty Jenkins(WONDER WOMAN), it also stars Chris Pine. It’s a 6 part mini series for TNT based on the real life of Fauna Hodel. The story takes place in the mid 1960’s in Los Angeles and follows Fauna as she tries to unravel the mystery that is her lineage. I Play Xander, Fauna’s cousin who is trying to find himself as a young black man in a world of civil rights versus racism.
Who are some of the most famous people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
Angela Bassett, Chris Pine, Forest Whitaker. It was amazing to work with each of these powerhouses!! My goal has always been to build a bridge with anyone that I work with & or meet.
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
The people that put their own well being & way of life on the line for others. It’s the most selfless thing you can do, to sacrifice so that others may have.
What advice would you give to someone considering a career in Hollywood?
Have a strong sense of self & a foundation rooted in truth. The industry is known for tainting & or testing ones moral compass. Protect your truth at all times.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Absolutely, I’m probably one of the most optimistic people that you will ever meet. If you come in contact with me, you will always leave with an uplifted & positive spirit. The human experience & interaction is the best way to spread love & touch someone else’s life.
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. Trust yourself, because no one can do you better than you.
2. You can’t control everything, knowing this gives you a piece of mind that goes a long way.
3. Have fun & enjoy yourself, it can’t always be about work.
4. There are an infinite amount of ways to success & growth in the business, what works for someone may not work for you & vice versa.
5. Don’t be deterred, your struggles are also your blessings.
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. 🙂
OPRAH, WILL SMITH, STEVEN SPIELBERG, GUIELLRMO DEL TORO. They are all so giving in regards to sharing their knowledge & opening up doors for others. I would love to pick their brain & share some of my ideas & goals for myself & the entertainment world .
Originally published at medium.com