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Life & Work with Chris Gaunt

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chris Gaunt.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I began acting, producing,directing and writing full-time following a successful business career. I decided to proactively depart the business world four years ago in order to focus exclusively on acting, producing,directing and writing. And, it has been NON-STOP the past 48 months! I have crisscrossed the U.S. and have worked in a number of  feature films, short films, commercials, and even a music video. My primary focus has been acting but, because of my business experience, I have been asked to produce a number of features and short films.. I also have many feature length screenplays in various stages of development. I decided right away to go ALL IN with the mindset of “refusing to be out-worked or out-hustled”. And, to do my best to get just a bit better with each opportunity.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’m not sure entering the entertainment world is ever a “smooth road”. My attitude was (and still is) to manage this career as if I am the CEO of my own company (because that’s exactly what I am). Each day I think “If I were the CEO how would I BEST spend my time today in order to maximize the results.” For me, it was realizing right away that this is a BUSINESS. The most significant struggle along the way has been the “not hearing anything”. What I mean by that is in most situations if you are pitching something or selling something you hear a YES or a NO. In this business, most of the time, you do not hear a NO if you did not get a role but instead you hear NOTHING. I have always felt that I could learn so much when it’s a no… for example, you can then ask “okay, you said no can you tell me why and, what I could have done better to best meet your needs?” During the audition process you prepare, give it your best shot (self-tape or live audition) and then it becomes the waiting game. Of course, you hear back IF you secure the role, and (most often) you hear nothing if you did not secure the role. It’s tough to learn if/how you could have done better if you’re not given feedback. So, I quickly learned to prepare, do your absolute BEST then leave it behind and prepare for the next opportunity. It’s a BUSINESS so, it’s not personal.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I act, produce, direct and write full-time after proactively departing the business world three years ago. I am most proud of my ability (in a relatively short amount of time) to be cast in (and often produce) a number of feature films, short films, and commercials. The majority of this work has come from my strong work ethic and hustle. Hard work, hustle, and enthusiasm can make all the difference. I haven’t met too many in my life that can keep up with my drive and work ethic and I believe that is what sets me apart from the masses. My major focus is to improve with EACH acting performance and, produce and direct projects that interest me. When I’m not doing that, I’m working on a number of full-length screenplays.

Risk-taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Departing a successful business career in order to pursue acting, producing, directing and writing full-time is a HUGE risk. I viewed that decision as a “calculated risk” and knew I was ready and well prepared to make the move. My motto is “Do What You Think You Can’t”. Take some risk and put yourself in uncomfortable situations, regardless of the outcome, so you can GROW. Then have a plan, get well prepared and work the plan like there is no tomorrow.

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