From an infamous mafia hit man going head to head with Tony Soprano, to a corrupt mayor with a good heart, and a union lobbyist who duels with Kevin Spacey, Al Sapienza has brought to life some of the most memorable characters in film and television today. With a career spanning over thirty years, Sapienza has
made a name for himself in the entertainment business for not only his undeniable talent to create
unforgettable characters, but also his commitment to hard work and dedication with each project he is
Al Sapienza is a true artist who has the rare ability to explore a boundless range of characters through acting dancing and singing, on both the stage and the screen. Read along and find out what is the
driving force behind his creative genius.
RAINE: Why do you love acting?
SAPIENZA: I love acting because I get to play cops and robbers, or cowboys and Indians just like I did when I was little and I get paid for it. Everyone is nice to you on the set even if they hate you. They pretend to like you while you’re shooting. They feed you all day. You get to play all different kind of people with very different professions than your own. You get to kill people and not go to jail. You get to kiss and be married to a lot of beautiful women in different shoots. You get checks 20 years after you did a job for that same
job. You get to constantly express yourself. What’s there not to love about being a working actor? It beats delivering mail!
RAINE: Funny career story?
SAPIENZA: In my first Broadway show I was 21 and I was in rehearsal. I hooked up with and spent the weekend with the Directors daughter and we had a wild fun weekend. When I went back to work on Monday I was fired. I was rehired a week later. I guess he didn’t like me spending a weekend with his daughter. I’m
friends with both of them to this day! I’ll never tell you who!
RAINE: Biggest challenge to overcome?
SAPIENZA: Never getting the A leading roles in movies or series. Always being the other guy! I still think those roles will come. I am an internal optimist. But then again I still believe world peace is possible.
RAINE: If you could do it all over again what would be the one thing that you would change in your career?
SAPIENZA: I would have gotten really serious about the craft at 14 years old instead of 29. In my twenties I just thought it was all a giant party. I didn’t really start digging deep into the psyche of the characters I played until later in life.
RAINE: Where do you see yourself in five years?
SAPIENZA: Wherever this wonderful ride I’m taking will take me. As an actor you never know what project will pop up every other month and where it will take you. I just love that.
RAINE: Tell us three things on your bucket list?
SAPIENZA: Making love to Angelina Jolie, Flying in outer space, Learning to fly a Helicopter
RAINE: What has been the most helpful advice that someone has given you that has contributed to your success?
SAPIENZA: When I first came to LA. The wonderful actor Paul Gleason told me not to worry about my career. Just work on the work really hard and they will find you because they always need GOOD actors. He was right. Great consistent work is the best thing you can have going for you.
RAINE: What words of wisdom can you share with other creative entrepreneurs?
SAPIENZA: You want to be creative. Look at your friends in medical school. The friends who are doing residency shifts 18 hours a day 6 days a week. Look at your friends who just graduated law school. How many hours a week do they work at their new firms. You have to work harder and LONGER hours per week. Writing, learning, studying, reading plays and screenplay, filming student films anything to put in creative hours per week and you have to assign those hours every day to yourself. Sit in a chair and write for 9 hours a day! Or rehearse scenes for class. Just put in the hours every week. No shortcuts. No laziness. Do that and you will have a career within 10 years. I guarantee it! The difference between an
amateur actor and a pro is this. An amateur does shitty work, gets discouraged and quits. A pro does shitty work and keeps going for however long it takes to get it right!
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