Saturday, July 25, 2020

Chris Connell: Fulfilling 'The Promise' of His Gifts

by Cyrus Webb

A mutual friend introduced me to Chris Connell this year, and I can honestly say it was a powerful connection. Chris Connell is the kind of guy you want around: he's driven, focused and passionate about his work. Whether we're talking about in front of the camera as a model or actor or now with his production company helping to bring stories to life, you will be hard-pressed to find someone who is willing to give his all to what he does. 

We had a great chat on Conversations LIVE the radio show first, but with us discussing the issue of Faith in this issue of the magazine I knew he would be a great addition here, too. Enjoy the conversation. 

Chris, first of all congratulations on the amazing career you have been able to have. What has it been like for you to reflect on all you have achieved in the entertainment industry?
It’s been exceptionally rewarding when people give acknowledgment to my achievements. Truthfully, I always have my eyes set on new heights, often overlooking these accolades, rarely giving attention to the past. I’m grateful, however, to everyone who continues to support me!

Have you always known that acting or performing was something you wanted to do?
Yes, absolutely; Well, I should say since high school. I’ve been asked for a long time what inspired me. My response: “I have no idea.” I’ve always appreciated strong communication and the opportunity to share the human condition, even under imaginary circumstances. Movies just seemed like the right fit.

This issue of Conversations Magazine is all about acting on faith when it comes to pursuing your goals. What gave you the courage to go for what you wanted in your career.
I could argue that my mother instilled a belief in me that anything I wanted to achieve was possible. Simply put, I will not accept anything less than the very best of myself. When I set a goal, I hit it. When you want something bad enough, you will walk through walls for it. I guess that says that I really want to live different, and I’m confident enough to reach for it. 

I’ve noticed from following you on social media that you’ve been able to engage a lot with your followers. What has it been like for you to pick up new fans from project to project?
It’s been such a blessing. I’m confident in who I am and don’t base my worth over how many likes I get, but just like anyone, It’s nice to know you’re appreciated.

Outside of being a creative yourself and acting on stage, television and film you also have your own production company. How did you get the courage to take that step to bring stories to life through your own platform?
The career of an actor is a challenging one. You’re often at the mercy of other industry professionals when it comes to bringing you on to their opportunity. I chose to give myself the power to create my own opportunities and with a little time and experience Chris Connell Productions was born.

I found out about you, Chris, through a mutual friend . That says a lot about the relationships you have formed in your career. How important has that been for you to have people in your corner who believe in you and your abilities?
It’s critical, and to be honest, I didn’t place enough value in it early in my career. I assumed talent was enough. When you connect with like-minded people who share a similar purpose, you now have a reach positioning you for exponential growth. Social media give us a unique opportunity to make those connections and those who are wise will take advantage of this platform.

The Promise is one of the projects you’re able to promote this year. Tell our readers about it and what it’s like to have your production company bring it to life. 
It’s been truly special to watch this vision develop into a reality, this only possible by the talent and dedication of the team I’m working with. “The Promise” follows an American WWII fighter pilot who’s shot down over the South Pacific. Fighting for his life, he forges an unlikely friendship to help him uphold a promise he made to the love of his life. Making this has been purely incredible, and I appreciate the way it’s challenged me as a filmmaker.

This year has brought challenges to us all, but the entertainment industry has been hit especially hard. How have you been able to use this time to stay active and productive?
I’ve actually leveraged the opportunity. With so many other projects on hold, my team was available more than ever, and I know we all welcomed the chance to build something we’re proud of. I made the decision to never take my foot off the gas, and work within these unique circumstances.

Any advice for anyone that is interested in pursuing a career in the arts, either in front of or behind the camera?
I can respond in so many ways to this question.  If you seek this professionally, you MUST give everything to it. There’s nothing casual about this. For something so engaging, so exhilarating, it’s going to be competitive. Those who rise to its demands will give all of themselves for it and unless you feel the same it’s going to be a tough road. If it’s in you, follow the calling and be bold in your actions.

Thanks for the time, Chris. Glad we had a chance to connect. How can our audience stay connected with you and what’s to come?
Instagram: chriswconnell
Facebook: chriswconnell

Chris Connell photo:  Dylan Patrick
The Promise post: Chris Connell Productions 

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