Whenever you’re not working, acting classes can be a good way to keep your skills sharp. The best part about this is there are many classes to pick from depending on what you want to improve upon. Voice acting is different from improv which is different from sketch writing, so dial in on what work you specifically want to do. There’s always more you can learn no matter what you think you know.
As part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Tucker Albrizzi, who has been busy establishing himself as an up-and-coming comedic presence, both in television and on the big screen.
Born in Florida (unfortunately) , and a character all on his own, Tucker began acting at the age of seven and quickly booked several roles. Although he later admitted that he only started acting because it was “better than school,” his natural comedic timing and ability to make people laugh turned into a true passion for comedy.
Tucker currently stars in Netflix’s comedy series, Mr. Iglesias. Part Three of the sitcom is set to premiere on December 8. He has played recurring roles on myriad television series including Enlisted, Good Luck Charlie and Big Time Rush. He has also guest-starred on many popular shows including The Big Bang Theory, Trial & Error, Mike & Molly and The Office and in Hulu’s Dimension 404. Tucker was a series regular on NBC’s comedy, AP Bio and on the third season of Awesomeness TV’s Foursome.
The young actor has appeared in feature films as well, alternating on-screen appearances with voice-over roles. His recent credits include Paramount’s Monster Trucks, a starring role in the Oscar-nominated Chris Butler/Sam Fell directed ParaNorman, as well as Paul Feig’s Bridesmaid’s and Robert Vince’s Spooky Buddies and Treasure Buddies. He also played the lead role in the independent movie, Bully, released in 2017.
When he is not acting, Tucker harnesses his unique passion for tea by traveling and learning about the culture, science and cultivation of tea. Tucker took this passion to the next level by visiting China and studied there to become a certified tea sommelier. He also has a strong interest in anything technology, which started when he built his first computer at 12 years old.
Tucker is based in Vancouver and can usually be found in front of his computer, visiting Vancouver’s many coffee shops or antagonizing Canadian Geese.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Sure! I grew up in a suburb in Tampa, Florida with my parents and 3 siblings. For the most part, my life in Florida was mostly boring. Since I was a child, most of my time was filled with either doing school or playing with other kids on our street. In 2006 my brother was diagnosed with leukemia, and he had the idea to sell the space on his bald head as an advertisement and put the proceeds towards his treatment. In 2008 we came to Los Angeles because an independent film company wanted to do a documentary on his story which eventually led to my family settling here permanently.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I actually got into acting as a way to get out of doing school. I remember watching the tv with my mom and thinking that all the actors were doing was pretending, so why not try it out and escape school in the process. My family was very supportive and I started doing whatever work I could get in Florida. When my family came to Los Angeles in 2008 I did some auditions in the short time we were visiting to see if anything stuck, and lucky enough for me it did. Over time the reasoning of doing acting instead of school faded and it turned into something I respect and have been doing for most of my life.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your entertainment career?
It’s hard to pinpoint something specific since there have been so many cool and interesting moments throughout the years. One of my favorite moments that has stuck with me is going to Portland to see Laika Studios when I was working on Paranorman. Seeing all of the departments that went into the production of a stop motion feature film was fascinating, especially the customizability and intricacies of the models they use. Their models had skeletons that were so detailed you could pose individual knuckles, and each had a plethora of interchangeable mouthpieces for dialog. I even got to animate some frames that they used in the movie, which was pretty rad.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I first started out, my mom and I were meeting with a talent agent and they said they wanted me to get headshots. I thought they meant they wanted me to get medical shots, IN my head. I covered my head with my T-shirt and wouldn’t come out. Needless to say, that agency decided not to sign me.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Who do you think that might help people?
Since Covid has shut down most of the industry my current projects are sleeping past noon, not changing my clothes for a week and looking at dogs from my window and thinking about what I would name them.
Most young people your age don’t have to balance work and school. Can you tell us how you managed to balance your schoolwork, auditions, and time on set?
I was very fortunate enough to be able to go to a performing arts school when I moved to California. This was useful because performing art schools are more understanding if you have to be excused to go to audition or work for a few weeks. In the beginning, it was a bit challenging trying to do both school and work and acting but like with most things it’s just something you get used to over time.
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?
Since I started acting at such a young age I would have to say my parents were the biggest influence on my career. Without them, I wouldn’t even have been able to start acting, so I do owe it all to them. Shout out to my mom for driving me to auditions for years while sitting in LA traffic, she’s the real MVP.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s jump to the main part of our interview. What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
Okay so 5 things that I wish I knew when I first got started, let’s get into it:
- Believe in yourself, but don’t take yourself too seriously. In order to be able to grow, you have to learn to laugh at yourself when you make a mistake. Know your worth and the skills you bring to the table but have a good time doing it and enjoy the ride.
- If you are working on a show where you have to wear a mic, remember to mute it if you’re gonna pass gas. I remember talking to the sound guys on an old project and that topic came up, and it turns out they saved some of their favorite ones, which they often listened to for fun. The last thing you want to be remembered for on set isn’t a fart.
- Representation is extremely important. Having an agent can be a real game-changer for the level of work you can acquire. Luckily there are levels to agents giving people at every end of the work spectrum a chance at representation.
- Whenever you’re not working, acting classes can be a good way to keep your skills sharp. The best part about this is there are many classes to pick from depending on what you want to improve upon. Voice acting is different from improv which is different from sketch writing, so dial in on what work you specifically want to do. There’s always more you can learn no matter what you think you know.
- Don’t be critical of yourself, the industry is all based on look. Some people are right for some roles and some are not, and just because you don’t get a part doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. Don’t change who you are to fit a role because at some point there will be the right role for who you are.
You are a person of enormous influence. How do you think you can use social media as a platform to be a positive influence to your fans, and for society at large?
Initially I didn’t like taking photos of myself, this was something I had to overcome as a media presence is quite mandatory as an actor. Nowadays I use my social media as more of a chill, sneak peek into my life. I totally understand how social media is a good way for celebrities to influence stuff, but I’d rather post pics of a cool looking pigeon I saw that day.
If you had the ability to choose to work on any TV show or film, or work alongside any co-star, or with any director, what or who would that be, and why? You never know who might see this article, especially if we tag them. 🙂
There are so many people in this industry who are absolute legends so it’s hard to narrow it down. Now I’m not sure if I’d be right for any of his films but I absolutely love Ari Aster’s work. He’s been the only filmmaker who can make me feel absolutely vulnerable and constantly anxious and I think that’s cool AF.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
My handles are just my name @tuckeralbrizzi come say hi:D
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.