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Conversations Magazine Feb./March 2017

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Actor Bruno Gunn: Connecting with His Passion & His Fans Through Acting

by Cyrus Webb

At the suggestion of a friend Bruno Gunn decided to take an acting class, and almost 2 decades later he has never looked back.

He's appeared on acclaimed television shows over the years like Sons of Anarchy and Westworld as well as movies like Hunger Games and this year's talked-about film Officer Downe. Life has been good to him, but it has not come without hard work, dedication, sacrifices and faith. I connected with him via social media and invited him to chat with me about his journey. He graciously accepted, and the conversation that followed was nothing short of inspiring.

"It's an exciting time," Gunn told me, referring to his career and the projects he's been able to do. "I'm blessed and fortunate to be a part of it. "

I was curious how he had been able to balance the work he's done and the success that has come his way. "So many times you get caught up in it," he told me. "You want to be present for all of it. Some times things are up, some times things are down. You [can] forget to take the time to look back and see how far you've come and what you've accomplished." Realizing the importance of it, though, he added: "It's always great to reflect on where you've been and the work you've done. It gives you the confidence in your gut you know this is what you're supposed to do."

If individuals are looking at the entertainment industry and life in front of the cameras as a get rich quick opportunity, Gunn says that is not what you're going to get. "You don't become an actor because it's a good financial decision," he says. "You become an actor because you are passionate about the work. You love the work. I always let that motivation push me. I'm not going to quit."

Gunn is convinced that the perspective he has is what helps him to stay grounded. "You can't get caught up in what's happening," he says. "You just have to focus on the work. I've got faith and confidence in the work. I've turned it over to something bigger than me. I'm a storyteller. Telling stories is what we do."

Part of the fun he told is is being able to slip into the skin of various characters across his career and see the way others respond. "Fans have embraced me," he says. "How wonderful it is to have such a group rooting for you." A large part of that group comes from social media. "I'm a big fan of social media," he told me, which again is how we initially connected. "It's an amazing tool to connect with people across the world in real time. That's some power. I've made some great friends via social media. "

Part of the connection that Bruno Gunn believes his fans feel is his desire to get to know each character that he portrays. "Every character has pain," he told me. Even in the greatest moment there's still pain. I'm always striving to find what is my character's pain. I let that be the moral compass as to where he [the character] goes."

Knowing that he is giving his best is one thing, but realizing that others are inspired by him takes Gunn's appreciation to another level. "You're doing more than collecting a paycheck. You're moving people's lives. You're helping them find some direction or giving them hope. We all need hope. Hope is what keeps us going. If someone can gather a little hope from something I did that's a beautiful thing. "

Stay connected with Bruno at the links below:
www.facebook.com/brunogunn
www.twitter.com/brunogunn
www.instagram.com/brunogunn

*   Photo credit: Byron Ashley Bryson

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