We had the good fortune of connecting with Kyle Gardner and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kyle, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk taking is more of a feeling to me. But when I think about risk, I ask myself what do I stand to win and what do I stand to lose. The rewards of taking a risk keeps me intrigued. But when I think about what I stand loose, inevitably doubt and fear creeps in the equation. In the past, I would’ve let fear of failure determine my decisions in life and my career.

So in 2014, at twenty years old I took a risk for the first time in my life. I wanted to purse a career in film and moved to Rome, Italy for college. I studied at The American University Of Rome, for four years and received a Bachelors in Film & Digital Media. I graduated in 2017. I was also taking acting classes in Florence, Italy. When I made the choice to move, I did not know the language, I did not not have any family there nor fully understood the culture. So the decision to leave my comfort zone, along with all the doubts, fears of everything that could go wrong scared me to death. But looking back at this pivotal decision in my life is was the craziest thing I’ve ever done. But this put me on a path of no longer running from my fears but towards them. It’s the only way to see what you’re truly made of. This has been a driving force for me as an actor and as an independent artist. Especially when I’m audtioning for roles in movies, TV shows and commercials. In order to grow as a person, artists or whatever your goals may be, getting out of that comfort zone, and taking a risk is imperative.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As an indepent artist my image is my brand. I’m most excited about a new Netflix show I booked and we shot back in October. I had a lot of fun working with the talented comedian Mohammad “Mo” Amer.

I’m still getting use to the term “professional”. I’ve always viewed myself as a student and I believe I will always be one. You never stop learning and I’m constantly working on my craft and pushing myself as an actor. But what changed for me in terms of the success I’ve had, has been my discipline and commitment. It’s very cliché, but my mindset is what had to change. It wasn’t easy I had to be more disciplined and had to hold myself accountable on the days I didn’t feel motivated. So I started writing my daily goals and long term goals on a white board in my room, as a reminder of why I’m grinding. By doing this, I made my daily actions align with my end goals.

The most important lesson I learned is that to master any craft it takes time. Just because things don’t happen on the timeline you set. Doesn’t mean you’re a failure or it’s never going to happen. It only means work harder so you can catch the next opportunity in stride.

What I would love for the world to take from my story, would be to follow your passion in life. Money can’t be your only incentive to do something. I believe waking up every day to do what you love whatever your passion may be. It will never feel like a job.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
A little Itinerary to fill up the week would start with all the tourist attractions. The stockyards in Fort-Worth to experience the famous cattle drive with traditional cowboys would be the first stop. I’m a big fan of history so I would take them to the West End in Dallas. Also being in the creative field, we would have to visit Dallas Art District and all museums.

I’m a big fan in supporting mom and pop’s restaurants. So my favorite soul food spots would be, Sweet Georgia Brown in Dallas and Madea’s Down Home Cooking in Fort-Worth. And in Arlington would have to be TJ’s Wings and Catfish!

As for the night life, it would depend on everyones vibe. So West 7th in Fort-Worth for bar hopping. I love to dance so going to clubs/bars would be in Uptown and Deep Ellum in Dallas.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My parents Lori Gardner and Kenneth Gardner! My two older brothers Kenny and Kris Gardner. Kenny is also an actor and model and Kris is a comedian and actor. They all have been extremely supportive of my acting career and the reason why I could go overseas and embark on this creative artistic career.

Tony Villani was my first acting coach at The American University of Rome. He introduced me to the theater and numerrous acting techniques. And open my eyes to acting. His passion for acting and telling stories was a major influence on my career.

Jennifer Norton was my second coach whom I still study with today. She’s resides in Florence, Italy and she is also my mentor! She laid down the foundation for me. Someone who believed in me and has helped me own my craft and develop a process based on Sanford Meisner’s acting technique. She also took it a step further and not only teach me about acting but how this business works and creating a brand and how to market yourself and balance work and life. She has pushed me to be the actor and person I am today!

Theresa Bell has been my coach since I returned back to Dallas. At T-Bell Studios she helped me with stage presents and expanding my range as an actor. Along with the discipline it takes to deliver strong performances every week, on a consistent basis.

Lewis Smith my acting coach in L.A. who has helped me adapt to online auditions, self-taping and live call backs via zoom. He has helped tremendously with on camera technique and how to be a working actor and what it takes to be professional in the business.

Instagram: kg_acts or krg.productions

Linkedin: Kyle Gardner

Facebook: Kyle Gardner

Youtube: KRG Productions

Image Credits
Chris Jon Anthony Chiang Kyle Gardner

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