ED- We are interviewing actor Comedian Erik Passoja for the readers of The Eerie Digest. Erik, The Eerie Digest and its readers really like to know about the various fields of the Entertainment Industry, and you truly wear many hats. Tell us about your acting career.
EP- It all really started in second grade, when I played the title role in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” The previous year, I played a rock or a tree in another play…I can’t remember which…but it didn’t ignite my passion for acting the same way.
I was actually quite frustrated at having been cast as Charlie Brown, because nobody likes Charlie Brown. I wanted Snoopy, but Joshua Martinson was just plain going to be Snoopy. This was my first glimpse of favoritism in the acting world, so my world-weary cynicism started at about six or seven years old.
Since then, I’m lucky to have worked a lot. I have done CSI, CSI: Miami, Without a Trace, played Charles Manson in an ABC movie about the Beach Boys, and done a bunch of fun, creepy roles in films.
I’ve studied a whole bunch of places, from Yale to the Actors Studio, and I’d say my roots are in the Method. But I absolutely adore Shakespeare and have nothing but awe for British actors like Judi Dench and Ian McKellen.
ED- We also know that you are now on the show ‘Resolve’ with Russ Cootey. Tell us about your role there.
EP- It’s a lot of fun. I play John, an obsessive-compulsive, patently homophobic man who needs serious therapy. John constantly has a baby wipe in his hand, which keeps everything clean and serves to touch any surface that needs touching, like doorknobs or chair backs. This might seem creepy, but I think that at the end of the day, John is a good person who wants what everyone else wants: a happy life, free from anyone who views life differently, with germ-free silverware.
ED- What about some of the other eerie parts that you have played?
EP- I always say that the key word in “typecasting” is “casting”, and as an actor, I love to work. I’d say Charles Manson would be the eeriest role I have ever played, but I have also played somebody who can only reach orgasm while watching somebody being tortured to death. He would be even creepier…check out “Prey4Me” when you have a chance. It’s a pretty fun film, if you like the horror genre.
Now, I don’t know why I get these roles…maybe because as an artist, I’m in touch with my dark side…but personally, I’m a vegan who does yoga and meditates every day.
ED- Acting is not your only forte. We understand that you are also a Comedian. Tell us something about some of your work in this field.
EP- I have been doing standup for about fifteen years. Started in New York City as an improvisational comedian and sort of segued into standup at an open mike one drunken evening.
Standup is a wonderful release. I can take it anywhere, do my material at any time. All I need is a microphone and an audience. And to have a roomful of people laughing with me…about ideas I have gestated…that’s one of the best feelings there is.
ED- Where have you performed and where can our readers find you next?
EP- As a standup, I have performed at all the major clubs in NY and LA. Since I live in LA now, you can occasionally catch me at the Improv or the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, CA. Otherwise, stay tuned…two other comics and I shot a standup comedy concert film in Sedona, AZ called “Spiritually Incorrect Comedy” just over a year ago. Hopefully that one will come out soon.
Things have really shifted for me. I started writing material about quantum theory, science, yoga, Whole Foods, being a vegan, the Bible, etc. and was surprised to find that mainstream audiences are actually connecting with it. And I’m not just talking theatres…comedy clubs, even Irish bars full of marines and college students…I think we’re entering a new age of consciousness, and people are starting to get in touch with themselves.
ED- Talk about diversity! We also understand that you are a writer too, and presently have a screenplay in the works. Can you tell us something about your project?
EP- In 1989, I lived in a karate school in Japan, and the culture has had a huge influence on my life. In the film I’m writing now, a down-and-out man takes a job working for a Japanese mobster and wakes up one morning with his memory erased and the Yakuza hunting him.
ED- You are definitely a man of many talents. Where do you see yourself in these careers in the next few years?
EP- Working in film. That’s my path, that’s my passion, and I love every second on a set.
ED-Are there any other projects in your future?
ES- I’m shooting this week on a film called “La La Land”. Think of it as a gay “Boogie Nights”. I’m not even kidding. I play an agent. A friend wrote it, and it’s hysterical. Also, check out http://www.somekindofsign.com. It’s another project I’m working on, and I think people are either going to find it really funny or start a Christian jihad.
Oh, and my wife and I are also working on a baby boy. Well, I did the work already. Now it’s my wife’s turn. She’s about ready to pop, and all I need to do is get the delivery room music on my iPod.
ED- Erik, we want to thank you for your interview with us and wish you all the best in the future. You have definitely given our readers a new road to travel along, and we hope that you will keep us in mind for any future endeavors that you would like to tell us about.
EP- New roads for your readers? I think all I did was brag. Yes, I would definitely love to chat with you again, as soon as I’m done bottle-feeding and wiping.