Featured Artist Series: Alex Ray Barth

Screen Shot 2017-11-15 at 4.34.10 PMIn the wise words of Theodore Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” In a competitive industry made ever smaller by social media and the very technological advances that make wide-reaching services such as Cast It Talent so useful, feelings of inadequacy can become overwhelming. There will always be actors younger, thinner, better trained and better connected than you are. The trick is to somehow gain the mental discipline to focus on what you have to offer, and sell that to the world.


Alex Ray Barth is a perfect example. He doesn’t hail from Hollywood royalty. He didn’t spend years training in conservatory. He didn’t have that breakthrough moment as a child when he saw Dustin Hofmann in a movie and just knew he too was destined for the silver screen. But Alex is out here, slugging away with the rest of us, and he’s racking up the successes.


Alex, who now resides in McDonough, GA, grew up in a military family. His roots are about as far from what one typically imagines creative soil to be as possible. Currently, he spends his days as a network analyst with the Defense Contract Management Agency. Says Barth, “I’ve been working in IT for about 15 years and have just about done it all, system admin, network admin, web design, and technical support.”


Aside from the odd high school drama class, Barth received no formal acting training, but that did not dampen his desire to learn. “Since I was young, I’ve had a strong desire and passion to entertain the folks around me with jokes, impressions, and odd characters inspired by everything I’ve watched in the past. My strongest inspiration to entertain came from Steve Martin and Jim Carrey. I’ve been a fan of their work and roles in comedy and would, eventually, like to go down a similar path as they have.” He cites himself as a visual learner, analyzing these and other icons and honing his skills through observation.


But Barth is a man of action as well. When he moved to Georgia, the film industry had an undeniable hold on the state’s identity. At a friend’s suggestion, Barth aimed straight for the heart, trying to get involved in The Walking Dead, and eventually making connections at various casting companies. His tough-guy exterior and specific type helped him snag a smattering of roles, beginning with The Vampire Diaries.


His dogged pursuit of his goals eventually brought Cast It Talent to his attention. Originally noting a friend’s Facebook post regarding the site, Barth continued to follow the service due to what he terms its “interesting posts” regarding show business and its devotees.


When asked about his trials as an artist thus far, Barth never loses sight of his positive outlook: “I don’t view anything I’ve gone through as a struggle – they’re just learning experiences,” he insists. Such personal discipline is old hat to Alex. Reflecting on the effect his military background has had on his career, he says, “I joined the Marine Corps in October 2003 and was given a great boost in discipline. That alone has helped me deal with long days on set, and the ability to properly and accurately be directed to help productions complete the image they’re working to achieve. I’m also more prepared to assist other talent with direction and accurately conveying the emotion needed to bring the scene to life.”


Eventually, he found himself on the set of Thank You For Your Service, playing the role of a veteran seeking medical assistance. The film explores the lives of veterans dealing with PTSD. Ronna Kress Casting used Cast It Talent throughout the casting process. Barth was so impressed with his experience, that he later reached out to Cast It regarding his time on the project.


“…I remember the casting call being for a large group of veterans. I, having 9 years of service to the US Marine Corps, submitted and was accepted,” Alex explains.“The scene was full, and I mean full of actual veterans from every decade and conflict/war.” Alex recalls noting that the five service’s flags on set were out of order, and bringing it to the attention of the PAs. “The crew was incredibly accepting to the advice of us veterans and made the correct changes…the whole experience felt true to life and I can’t wait to see the end product.”


Energized by his successes, Alex applied his focus and discipline to the future. Already lined up are a short and a feature length film. Not content to rest on his laurels, Alex is currently seeking representation to augment his chances of getting cast.


When asked how he would choose counsel other aspiring actors, Barth, unsurprisingly, cleaves to the basics. “My advice isn’t anything new or ground breaking,” he qualifies, “but I always tell newer folks to listen to and obey the director, AD, and PAs. Have a good set of photos, both professional and ‘selfie’ showcasing your physique and face. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get a callback – there’s always a chance they’ll keep you in mind for the future. Keep your reel updated with new projects you’ve completed, and don’t lie about your experience.”

Keep it simple. Do the work. Respect the craft. Alex Ray Barth knows who he is and what he brings to the table. He used his history to inform and enhance his career. So when the competition feels insurmountable, step back. Keep your head down. Remember what makes you an asset, and keep fighting. If it wasn’t hard it wouldn’t be worth it.


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Rachel Rachel Frawley is an actor living in Atlanta. She holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from Michigan State University (with cognates in Music and Professional Writing) and is an Apprentice Company graduate from the Atlanta Shakespeare Co. She also works as an education artist for local theatres, which have included the Shakespeare Tavern and Aurora Theatre. For more information, visit her website at www.rachelfrawley.com

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