Raymond Morris has booked a supporting role in the Comedy TV Pilot “Breaking Hollywood” Come to know more about his journey and how being Filipino never stopped him from entering Hollywood.
San Diego, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/19/2013 -- Raymond Morris is a comedian of ethnic origin. As we all are aware ethnic roles in Hollywood are less and that of Filipino origin do not exist at all. However Morris has struggled for a long time and finally hit the door that opened for him. He speaks about his choice of his career in high school, his difficulty in landing parts due to this ethnic origin and how he successfully came to get a supporting role in a feature film despite his ethnicity. Below are some excerpts of his thoughts that he wanted to share about his life as an ethnically oriented actor.
When was the last time when a character representing the Filipino community set the stage on fire in any of the Hollywood productions be it movies or Television? The answer would be never. The path to becoming a working ethnic actor is tougher than usual. To some the path to becoming a working actor with the ethnicity of being Filipino may seem near impossible. But that idea has never stopped actor Raymond Morris from pursuing and realizing his calling from the first time he stepped onto the stage at Mt. Carmel High School in Drama class.
Remembering those days, he says, “I remember it was my Senior year and I took Drama because I thought it would be an easy class to get an A in and goof off! It turned out that decision set the path my life has been on ever since.”
Raymond born to a Filipino mother and a Caucasian father in the national City area of San Diego California has worked on television with known actors such as James Brolin, Catherine Morris (no relation), Jamie Pressly and Tamera Mowry (of Tia and Tamera). Along with his Television credits he has also appeared in a few Independent films, and a Car commercial. This year he booked a hilarious Guest Star Spot in the Comedy TV Pilot “Breaking Hollywood”.
Despite his handful of TV, Film and Commercial credits, none of the roles that he has played called for someone of “Filipino Ethnicity”. Morris reflects, “It is really very rare to see a casting breakdown calling for Filipino Talent. I have gone out for characters to play Mexican, Indian, Native American, Italian, Caucasian and Cuban. But I don’t think I have ever gone out for a role that specifically called for the character to be Filipino!”
Morris’ road was smooth and rough at times. There were agents who rejected him because they wanted to market him as Latino talent but he doesn’t speak Spanish. Then there were industry professionals who said he doesn’t look Asian enough to even consider playing his ethnicity, and also had Casting Directors look at him confusingly in auditions and ask him “What are you again?” (pertaining to his Nationality) . Sometimes thrown in as the “Ethnically Ambiguous” wildcard choice in auditions, often auditioning again a room full of African American talent or a room full of Eastern Indian talent sometimes both.
He speaks about his experiences while auditioning for ethnic parts, “You know how they say when you walk into an audition room to read for a role you are in a room with a bunch of people who look just like you? Well when I walk into an audition room I am a lot of times the only one who looks like me!”
Raymond refers to the somewhat new and trendy Casting term of “Ethnically Ambiguous” which basically means “of mixed race”. Then there is the Casting term “Any Ethnicity” which basically means the role is open to anyone of any ethnic nationality.
“Casting calls like these can sometimes be a double edged sword” explains Morris. “In one sense it’s great because it gets you in the room. I am definitely the definition of someone who appears to be ‘Ethnically Ambiguous’, yet on the other hand you often walk in wondering if you are specific enough for what they are looking for, since the term ‘Ambiguous’ means open to interpretation aka non specific. You just have to go in there and give it all you got and hope they choose you”
Certainly Raymond acknowledges more doors have been open to him since the Casting world has caught on to the Ethnically Ambiguous trend of mixed raced people on TV and in Film. When asked about this, he replied, “I am grateful that now I can at least be labeled as something!” Morris exclaims.
When Morris started pursuing his career as an actor he was 19. Now in his early thirties and with a family to support, Raymond finds himself more focused than ever to fully realize his career and its path.
“My passion has and always will be Comedy.” Morris states. “I believe it is my ‘in’ into this industry. When you are funny, it doesn’t matter what color you are, or how old you are or how many Guest Star credits you’ve accumulated. No one can argue with funny. And being raised Filipino, I am grateful to start to becoming known as the Ethnically Ambiguous funny guy. Filipino’s love to laugh and I know I get a lot of my sense of humor from my Filipino side. It is an endearing quality that Filipinos have and I feel fortunate to have inherited it myself. And I know that quality, that very ‘Filipino Quality’ is something that has inspired me to pursue my passion of making people laugh.”
Morris states. “I believe my Comedic ability will propel me beyond any ethnic stereotypes, Casting Call roadblocks and industry politics. I truly believe Comedy conquers all and in the end all that matter is that you entertain the world no matter what color race or creed you are. And at the end of the day that is all that I intend to do.”
Raymond Morris recently found out he has booked a Supporting role in a Comedic Feature film to be shooting next month along with the pilot he Guest Starred in titled “Breaking Hollywood”.
“Acting is my passion and what I Love to do. Passion and Love will always win out over roadblocks and obstacles that stand in your way. Every morning I wake up I am grateful to wake up and know that I am an actor. I never really looked at my nationality as something that would hold me back from creating a career for myself. In fact at the end of the day I truly believe it is what will set me apart from the rest and let me entertain the world just like I intend to do!”Raymond Morris.
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