Actor provides advice to upcoming actors

Actor Michael O’Neill answers questions at a Q&A March 3. The Q&A is a part of the George Lindsey Film Festival. 

“If you have a good entrance and good exit, (the audience) forgets the rest in between.”

Actor Michael O’Neill grabbed the audience’s attention when he entered the George S. Lindsey Theatre March 3.

O’Neill answered questions in a Q&A as part of the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival.

The actor has been acting for nearly 30 years. He has played characters in “The West Wing,” “The Unit,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Green Zone,” “Seabiscuit” and more.

UNA alumnus Austin Parsons said O’Neill’s responses were beneficial to him as a performer.

“I want to better myself as a professional,” Parsons said. “Hearing advice from another professional helped me gain another perspective on how the career works.”

O’Neill said actors in the audience should apply the skills they learn in their trade to all aspects of their lives.

“If the universe does not respond, take your skills and apply them somewhere else,” he said.

O’Neill said people should also remember that acting is “playing.”

“Whatever stops you from playing, get rid of it,” he said.

O’Neill said he drew inspiration from actor Bruno Ganz for his humanity and vulnerability.

“I watched him and said to myself, ‘I want to do that someday,’” O’Neill said.

While Ganz inspired O’Neill, O’Neill inspired some of the audience members.

“Tonight was great,” Parsons said. “I know what to expect now. I wish I had more time to ask O’Neill more questions.”

The George Lindsey UNA Film Festival continues March 4 beginning at 10 a.m. in the Communications Building.