CFDb Interviews Michael Joiner ~ Actor/Director/Comedian
= > Tell us how you got involved in acting and please tell us about your first role.
In 1988,I was living in Hollywood and working as Bruce Willis’ full time photo double for the TV show “Moonlighting”. I asked Bruce for some advice on acting and he highly suggested I do lots of theater. So, I moved back home to Valparaiso, Indiana (Near Chicago) and started doing just tons of theater. For over three years there wasn’t a time that I wasn’t either performing or rehearsing for a play. Incidentally, that is also where I started performing stand-up Comedy, which has paid most of my bills going on twenty years now.
In the early 90’s I was doing stand-up full time. I met my wife in Kansas City, MO. Doing a show at her church. Two kids (and one on the way) later (in 2001) we relocated back to LA so I could more seriously pursue my acting career. I studied for several years under some of Hollywood’s most notable acting teachers and soon after was auditioning and landing Film, TV and commercial roles. In 2009, after moving back home to Kansas City because of the bad economy, I got offered the lead role in “The Grace Card”…God is not limited by geography or circumstances. Put him first and he will get you to your destiny.
= > Has being a comedian made it easier to be an actor/director? Were you always a comedian?
It has, because it teaches you to think on your feet, which is an excellent ability to have as an actor and/or director. I have been fortunate enough to have worked with directors in pretty much all of my films who allow me room to improvise if/when the inspiration strikes me. As for the question “Have I always been a Comedian?” I was always the “class clown” which made me lots of friends of everyone but my teachers LOL! But I had not even thought of doing stand-up until I committed my life to the Lord in 1988. Gods word says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
= > Which has been your favorite directing job thus far?
Your first is always your favorite. For me it was a crazy little comedy/horror short that I also wrote and co starred in entitled “Thanks for the ride”. We shot in in one grueling week of all nighters when I lived in LA.
= > Tell us about your most recent role in “Ashes in Eden”.
Man, what a script. What a cast and crew! I love those peeps. Shane Hagedorn (Producer/writer/director/actor) contacted me on Facebook since he knew I was already going to be filming another movie up there around the same time. I didn’t really know Shane, so I had my initial “suspicions” and “doubts” seeing that I get a lot of Facebook messages from aspiring filmmakers and writers, most of which, to be honest, have no business calling themselves a filmmaker or a writer LOL!…but I had a feeling about Shane so I check out his stuff. Needless to say I was extremely impressed. The honesty, the grittiness, the rawness of his writing and films hooked me. I called him immediately and said, “Let’s make this happen”. After a week of working with a cast and crew that was truly as talented and wonderful as ANY I had ever worked with in LA, We were already talking about the next project. I am truly blessed to have met Shane and look forward to a long, prosperous relationship.
= > Have you had some unique experiences while acting or directing that really showed God’s handiwork?
Every single time I work. It’s really amazing to see what God does. I don’t think there’s a project I haven’t worked on or am projected to work on that doesn’t have some element of the miraculous. For instance, “The Grace Card” called me after I was just about ready to quit this crazy idea of acting. We had lost our home in LA and had to move back to Kansas City, MO. After finally beginning to accept the idea that my 1st love creatively, acting, may once and for all be over, I began to sense in my spirit God telling me to trust him, and just be ready. So I continued to stay sharp with my acting chops, and work as a comedian, and pray. That’s when the producer/director of “The Grace Card” contacted me and told me he wanted me for this role after watching my acting reel on my web page. The rest is history.
= > Can you share with us about any of the projects you are currently working on or planning to work on in the future?
Well, I just finished four projects back to back from October to November of 2012, including Ashes of Eden. One of them, “The Identical” stars Ray Liotta and Seth Green and was written by my good friend Howie Klausner, who also wrote “The Grace Card” and “Space Cowboys”. I also just wrapped “Rumors of Wars” a futuristic thriller that also starred Eric Roberts, Jason Burkey (October Baby) and Kelsey Sanders (The Genesis Code).
= > How can people learn more about you and your work?
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