My first impression of Mr. Spearman would be prolific. A thinker. Wise. I first discovered Doug Spearman as a teenager viewing him on the hit LOGO television show Noah’s Arc. His character Chance was everything I wanted to be- smart, successful, in love, and was probably everything I was- black, gay, and beating the odds. When I moved to Los Angeles I saw a opportunity to be an extra in Doug's film From Zero to I Love you. I told myself moving here I wouldn't do anymore extra work. But I just had to meet the guy who inspired me so much. On set I was prepared to be ignored like most extras are. However Doug sat down at the table I was sitting at and started a conversation with me. He was very kind and attentive. Normally people are so exhausted directing a film the kindness goes out of the window; yet he was genuine. He gave me great direction and feedback and he's agreed to answer a few burning questions for us.
R|A: Mr. Spearman how old were you when you first discovered your love for acting? And what was your first production?
D|S: I was 7. And the first thing I was in was a Christmas play at Ridgecrest Elementary School. I wanted to be a toy soldier, but Karl Artist got the role. I got something like third Shepard from the left.
R|A: What struggles would you say you faced in Hollywood being a black gay actor/producer?
D|S: Most of the time, especially in the 90's when I would go up for gay parts I wasn't gay enough. Casting directors didn't believe me cause I'm not what they pictured or sounded like what they wanted. I lost a few gay parts to straight actors.
R|A: If you could go back and give your younger self any advice or life lessons what would they be?
D|S: Relax. It's going to happen. Chill out, keep working, enjoy it, and stop doing drugs. You're wasting time being miserable.
R|A: What is a big misconception people & fans have about you?
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D|S: That I'm as straight--laced and uptight as some of the characters I play. Determined, strong minded, passionate, yes. Stuffy, nagging, scolding, no.
R|A: I’m still new in town, and friends are always saying I need to network. I wonder what are some things you just don’t do at industry parties? And can being overly confident be a downfall? Is there a level of humility one should have?
D|S: Humility is very important. Listen more than you speak and seek to have an authentic communication and experience with people. 99% of this business is based on working with your friends. Your real long-term friends.
R|A: What acting technique did you or do you study- Meisner, Adler, Stanislavsky?
D|S: I started with a classic education. Acting wasn't just what teacher you studied with it was about reading every play written, about learning dance, poetry, another language a lot of history and sociology because characters are people that are living in a particular place and time. It all happens in a context. More history, philosophy, psychology. Stanislavsky, Adler's books are awesome. But so is Michael Caine's book. My teachers for the last twenty plus years have been Milton Katselas, Gloria Gifford, Jeffrey Tambor, and Richard Lawson.
R|A: Growing up who were your acting influences?
D|S: Maggie Smith, Gene Wilder, Cary Grant, Bette Davis, Sidney Poitier, Vivian Leigh, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Anthony Hopkins, Fred Astaire.
R|A: Okay sir, last question: What are you working on and where can we find you on social media?
D|S: I'm working on a film that I wrote and I'm directing called From Zero To I Love You that actually stars Darryl Stephens. Here's a clip. http://youtu.be/81IstsESfPs. And I'm on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.