Hey Rico, So excited to be chatting with you!
What’s up TMI?!? Excited and honored to talk to you.
Where did your love of acting come from?
It was in Chicago where my love for the arts began. As a little boy, my 3rd-grade class went on a field trip to a touring performance of The Wiz. I just remember sitting there, mesmerized and amazed at the performances and thinking to myself, “I wanna do that someday……perform.” I also remember growing up in a time where there wasn’t a whole lot of representation of people of color in television, more specifically African Americans. But many of the ones that I did see and admire made me want to do what they did even more. I wanted to be a part of what I knew sometime in the future would be a huge change in the way Hollywood was run and the roles that were cast and reflect how society really is as a whole. All of this stuck in the back of my young mind and would not surface until years later when my mom, myself and then, two siblings moved to Berkeley, California. That’s when the bug bit again and that’s when I started performing in several plays and Independent films throughout the SF Bay Area. I also majored in Theatre Arts at San Francisco State University. Now, to do what I wanted to do in film and television meant eventually making the move to Los Angeles. I have been living and working in Los Angeles for over 15 years and have been blessed to have had many television, film, voice over and theatre credits to my name.
Do you have any rituals before filming a show?
Yes. Especially the night before I start filming. I consider every night before filming a “school night”. I go full on zen and beauty treatment. I throw on a face mask to get my skin all fresh and ready for the makeup and hot lights and the long day in general. I usually have classical or Brazilian music on to put me in that calm, relaxed and focused mood. I meditate to help with the focus. From there, I’m drinking tea, going over my lines and basically getting in the zone. Oh and I go to bed early and make sure I get that vitally important 8 hours of sleep.
What goals have you set out for yourself in your career?
Series Regular on a show. To be a continuous working actor. To be on Star Trek. To be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To keep creating my own material and get my writing projects produced.
Overall, how has this whole acting career experience been for you so far?
It’s been very fulfilling. I’ve been blessed to have had some wonderful success in all genres of the industry from film, tv and voice over in both comedy, drama, horror and sci fi as well as commercials, hosting, co-hosting and presenting. And in some cases, it’s been successful in ways I never imagined it would be. The entertainment industry isn’t without its challenges though. The road toward success isn’t without its bumps in the road. If I am feeling down or discouraged, I have friends to talk to. That part is important for everyone. Having a support system helps in life and any situation and especially in the entertainment industry where you might have “one of those days.” But I always do my best to keep it positive and moving forward in the right direction. And I always make sure I have fun in everything I do.
What’s your favorite part about being an actor?
Being on set and that experience as a whole. Shooting on location because sometimes you get to travel to cool locations for filming. Playing different characters in every production as well. That never gets old or boring. Creating a character from scratch or if a character is already established like in a play for instance, adding my own flavor, thoughts and interpretation of already said established character.
What is one movie that has greatly influenced your life?
Hard to name just one so: Do The Right Thing, That’s Hollywood, Cooley High
What has been your favorite acting role to date?
Playing Marco on “Young & Hungry” on Freeform
What would be your dream acting role?
NERD ALERT!!! To star in a sci fi franchise like Star Trek on TV, The Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Universe.
Do you have any projects in the works you can tell us about?
I’ll be appearing in the tv series, S.W.A.T. as well as the feature, “On Smoother Dirt: Ernie Banks” as Buck O’Neil of the Kansas City Monarchs. I’m also the co-host of a new YouTube web series, “The Lightning Hour”.
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)
Two come to mind.
Both, to me, speak on life, career and all civil rights.
“Daring to reach, to climb, to crawl, to scratch, to get back up when you’ve been knocked down, to push forward, ever forward… It means sacrificing everything, if necessary, to carve out a place for your own existence.” – Malcolm X
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
Mango skin. I love eating mangos with the skin.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in acting? What advice should they ignore?
My best advice is to study the craft. Respect the craft. Always ask questions. Take chances, prepare to be vulnerable and remember, no rules in this business are set in stone. As far as advice to ignore, I would say to ignore statistics when it comes to success in the film / tv industry. Don’t let that affect you toward going for it. If you want it, go get it regardless of what people may say or what you may read. Also, watch out for people who may not have your best career interest at heart. That will be up to individual interpretation. All that said, whatever you do, HAVE FUN!!!! There are so many great versions of the acting industry to pursue from tv, film, theatre and voice over. And they are all fun and really cool. Enjoy and all the best to you on your amazing adventure.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?
Many things. Depending on the level of it all. I work out so I may go for a run to get fresh air, Vitamin D and clear my head. I might hike or go to the beach. The beach is very therapeutic. If I need to talk to someone, I always have people I can call to get things off my mind. That’s important to have. Big or small, it’s always good to know you have someone there in your corner. I’ll also listen to music, watch tv or a movie to veg out as well.
What social media platform do you use most? Where can people find out what projects you have going on?
I use Instagram a lot. There, I’m at @iamricoanderson. I’m also on Twitter and Facebook under the same handle. My website also carries my current and past work as well. www.RicoAnderson.com
Do you have any other talents other than acting?
I write, draw, “sing”, boogie board. I host, like to cook….or as I call it, “play mad scientist in the kitchen.” I can cook a mean pot of chili. Just sayin’.
Any last things you’d like to tell your supporters?
Never miss an opportunity to think outside of your box. Seize the opportunity to learn about other people, cultures, beliefs, history and science. History and science is currently happening before our eyes in 2020 and along with exercising caution and taking care of ourselves and each other as well as being active toward injustice and making your voice heard, hopefully you are using this major opportunity to really learn about what is happening in our world and why. Whatever you may believe, whatever you may think you know, always be open to educating yourself beyond your own personal thoughts and feelings.
Lastly, thank you for all your support over the years. Please follow me on Instagram @iamricoanderson if you haven’t already and I’m really excited for you to experience my future work. Lot’s of great projects coming up.
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview!
Thank you so much for the opportunity.