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Meet Manuel Kapule’ Ravida

Today we’d like to introduce you to Manuel Kapule’ Ravida.

Hi Manuel Kapule’, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
You see… it’s all for her it’s always been for HER. As a child, my mother took me to see sci-fi, action and horror films at the movies, it was our 2-hour bi-monthly escape from an unhealthy abusive marriage to my father and stepfathers and an abusive childhood. For 2 hours, we escaped and lived in films like The Rambo films, Predator and Fright Night 2 and I was the happiest during these times with candy, popcorn and all the soda I could drink. Watching my mother and how enamored she was with the silver screen, I got it into my head that the only way I would ever really truly make her proud was for her to see me on that big screen. To see me die dramatically and horribly or the 1st kill in a horror film especially, my mother loved those and adored directors like Craven, Carpenter, Hooper, De Palma, Scott, Cameron. You get the picture. I also knew that if I wanted anything materialistic, I would have to buy it myself and so where does an 11 years old find income? By impressing customers at the local video store, Lahaina 88cent Video, finding and suggesting just the movies they wanted from all the knowledge gained by my walking film encyclopedia mother and gaining the attention of the owners who then hired me after school as long as I showed proof of good grades and paid me with an unlimited amount of video rentals which broadened my film knowledge and horizons vastly until they could pay me under the table with cash and then on payroll at 16.

At 18, I moved to Los Angeles from Maui a small rock in the pacific ocean. I had 3,000.00 in my pocket and a dream in my heart. Starting as an extra with no connections to the industry. It took me six years of driven hard work to finally become eligible to join the union SAG and then land my very 1st principle and speaking role in the groundbreaking series In The Moment in which I played Mike for 2 Seasons. I was part of the 1st web series with union contract that paid the actors. The ads for the show were up everywhere in LA. For a time, you couldn’t drive two blocks without seeing my face on a bus shelter or billboard. While working on ITM, I noticed some of the actors used the fact that they could reshoot their scenes and do another take as a crutch. I saw the effect it had on production and how it caused us to reach overtime and go overbudget. I wanted to be an actor that got it on the 1st/2nd take and I knew that not really having the experience of doing stage that that’s what it would it take to perfect myself. So I moved to New York and was lucky to be cast in The questioning of Jon Rykener and Runaways. I then felt I had the experience I needed.

Unfortunately, cost of living and rent was too high in NYC for me to afford. I was evicted but because I lived in such a large building, they overlooked my unit and I was able to squat for almost 30 days. Until one day, I wanted a doughnut and went to the store in the lobby and bumped right into the building manager. That day the locks were put on and at that point, I became homeless for the 1st time in my life. During one of the coldest winters in NYC. I used what money I had left and put all my belongings in a storage unit and paid for my gym membership for three months. I knew I had to find a job where I made enough so I could afford to save and find a place to live. So I slept on the A train to far rockaway and back each night and in the morning, I’d go to my storage, take out clothes to wear to interviews or open calls, go to the gym and shower and change then apply in person to jobs I’d find on Craigslist then each night sleep on the train, I repeated this for three months until I found a job and did it one more month while I saved enough to find a place to live. Sometimes I didn’t eat for 2 or 3 days, when I did it was food local restaurants were throwing out or freshly thrown out food on the top of dumpsters. I was frostbitten so bad one night I had to be hospitalized and there were many nights where I just wanted to lay down in the snow and let it take me. But then I would hear the voice of my late mother pushing me onward and many times, it warmed me from the inside and gave me strength.

I slowly worked my way to Philadelphia where I received an offer from a director Terracino via Facebook. He said he knew I’ve had it rough and had been watching my journey and if I could make it to LA, he would like to offer me work on his 2nd film.

I jumped at the opportunity and sold everything to get back to LA.

I have a double credit on the film, apart as an actor and also was very lucky and grateful to be given and learn the position of covid tech and assisted the covid compliance officer on set. A personal triumph for me because the production had zero cases of covid while shooting and once again, I was part of history being a part of the very 1st microbudget feature film to film under a SAG contract during covid, only four other films filmed during this time. I then was offered a principle role on a docuseries titled Who is Daniel James.

Here’s where my story takes a turn into the twilight zone. Traci Lords is one of the actresses attached to Waking Up Dead and Maria Conchita Alonso in Who is Daniel James. My late mother adored these two actresses and took me to see their films in the cinemas. Blade, Crybaby, Predator 2, Running Man. So I just can’t help but feel like she’s smiling down at me and guiding me from above.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Homelessness for four months during winter in New York were some days and nights were negative 2 to 5 degrees. Starvation and no food to eat sometimes for 2-3 days. Frostbite, Illness no help and trying to find a job during it all. Robbed at knifepoint and robbed while asleep on the train. Finding a job without an address or cell phone.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Actor/Writer/Covid Tech Part of the principle cast of In The Moment the 1st SAG contracted web series to pay its actors.

Double credit as Actor as Gorgeous guy in parking lot and covid tech on Waking up Dead the 1st micro budget feature film to film during covid and have a 100% success rate of zero cases of the virus while filming.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
Rachel Haymer my Angel with a Ukulele Louise Maccaroni twisted sister.

Gary Terracino for taking a chance on an actor that hasn’t worked in ten years.

Julia Nickson for always giving the best advice.

Shari Shanahi for undying friendship and daily motivation.

The Kilcher family for providing homes for artists chasing their dreams.

My guardian angels Darlene Naomi Fauhiva, Wahinekapu Yoshino, Bobby Gilmore and my Choco.

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Image Credits

Thomas Celan Jesse Garcia

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