How did you become an actor?
When I was a kid I grew up watching movies like The Wizard Of Oz and Laurel & Hardy. I fell in love with what the people on the screen were doing. It gave me a feeling of escape to a place where you could do anything, and be anyone you wanted to be.
My mom started taking notice and signed me up for different acting classes around the state of Colorado and this “fun thing” became a passion that I wanted to pursue further. So, I jumped into doing musical theatre because of how much I loved singing and it was so expressive and extra which was so much fun for me. But after a trip to Nationals in Nebraska my Junior year of high school and not getting any callback from any Musical Theatre auditions but a few for acting, I realized there might be something there that I didn’t see. So I looked deeper into this career path of doing strict acting and film which has been one of the best choices I’ve made.
What were you like during your childhood?
I was very extroverted and outgoing growing up (I still am today!). I always enjoyed recess, where I could go and play games with my friends like Scooby-Doo or Batman. Games where I got to play as somebody else were always my favorite pastime. I had a very happy childhood for the most part. A good deal of it was spent acting and dressing up in random costumes and playing with my friends. I was lucky enough to have friends who would just play make-believe. Even in High School sometimes my friends and I would be bored and just pretend we were in movies or in movies we made up. It was honestly great!
What makes you unique?
I think a few things make me unique. Definitely the fact that I can hit Julie Andrews high notes in The Hills Are Alive from the Sound Of Music. I always sang soprano growing up cause I love the highness of people’s voices, and I didn’t want to lose it. So when I had a voice teacher we worked to keep that, and I’m glad. Not many guys can say “I sing soprano”. At least, not any I’ve met!
Also, when I was ten I started teaching myself how to sew after watching Coraline, and now I think I’m pretty good at it. It’s a fun past time when I’m not performing. It’s a lot calmer.
What are some obstacles you’ve had to overcome?
I was bullied in school for being on an IEP (Individual Education Program) for learning differences (Dyslexia, and ADHD). I would get treated like I was stupid by some students and teachers because I wasn’t in the “normal, advanced classes.” But I honestly met some of the best people in the classes I was in that weren’t "normal" and was blessed with some of the best teachers. I never understood why we degrade people for being smart or less smart than ourselves. I always knew it didn’t matter though because I wasn’t going into some weird math job or science thing. I knew I was going to be an actor and writer. And that’s what I am. If I could give any advice to kids who are in a “special” class. Never give up, believe that you CAN do it, and fight hard for yourself! You will come out stronger than any of the “normal” kids if you believe in yourself and follow your heart. The way I overcame a lot of my problems was I reminded myself that one-day high school wouldn’t matter anymore and real-life would start. I always say, “If you can survive high school, you can survive anything.” It’s a bumpy ride, but once you hit the last bump you are set for anything else in life. That’s honestly been the biggest truth. I’m glad I took that bumpy road cause I’ve made so many mistakes, but also so many achievements that I’ve gotten to a point where I don’t have regrets. If something happens, it happens, you’re upset for a few minutes and then the past is in the past.
What are you working on at the moment?
I just finished a film called Grandma Gregg & Olga in Quarantine which I plan to release this September on my YouTube Channel The Gregory Dean Show (Which is where I post my content!). I’m also writing a sitcom with some friends that I hope to premiere in 2021 if all is well in the world. So keeping my fingers crossed! I’m also working on a short silent film which I’ve written and directed. I’m excited to see how that turns out. I am also considering making a Halloween Podcast type radio show, because I’m obsessed with old 1930’s type radio scary stories.
What is the best acting note you have received?
I’ve received so many over the years. But one that was recently just told to me is “Be yourself, and nobody but yourself, because there’s only one you.” This really stuck with me, especially being a young actor because I think we get into our head that we need to be “The best.”. We have to learn to take a step back and realize we are all at different places in our lives and training. And once you’re able to do that, I feel you’re able to grow much faster. That really helped me love who I am as an actor too. I honestly am so glad I had that teacher because she was so amazing. Bless her heart.
How are you keeping busy during this quarantine period?
I did some filming during the beginning of Quarantine, and once I finished that I took this time as a self-reflection period too focus on me. I did some sewing, some writing and some drawing. I love drawing, it’s very therapeutic! I also discovered Golden Girls with my mom, and so we would sit down every night and watch that. I feel like I’ve had a good breather from the world, and now I’m ready to jump back in more positive, and excited than ever!
Who is your favorite actor?
My favorite actress is Helena Bonham Carter. She’s been an inspiration to me since I was a kid! From her style of acting to her style in fashion. She’s been an icon to me, and I love how she’s not afraid to be herself, but a little funky, and is so kind-hearted, and just seems like a genuine good person. I’m also always fascinated by how she’s able to transform from being a wicked witch to a royal princess. I really look up to her in that sense of how she’s so versed in what she does, and how the switch is just incredible. That just gives me fuel to aspire what I want to be and makes that drive stronger.
Who is your favorite director?
Tim Burton has always been a favorite of mine due to the meaning behind his work. Making “different” a new normal, and making "creepy" look beautiful, and the people who feel like outcasts, not feel like outcasts because there are people who relate to you. And showing how sometimes the “Normal” and “Different” are allowed to blend. I’ve always
had mad respect for his films, and his work. I’ve always loved the oddness within each of his movies.
Is there someone you would like to thank for helping you get to where you are?
There’s a lot of people in my life who have helped me get to where I am today. Starting with my amazing Mom and Dad who brought me to America from a Russian Orphanage and who never said “No.” but instead said, “Follow whatever dream you want, will be right behind you supporting you.” I would then thank my Grandma for introducing me into my favorite comedians Laurel & Hardy and made me realize how much I loved what I was watching, and realized what I wanted to do with my life. She’s also been one of my greatest supporters! My first director and mentor Anthony, who’s always been a kind, yet tough mentor who taught me that the industry is fun, but hard work and you have to be serious. But serious can still be fun. And of course, the rest of my family who’ve been just as supportive as my parents, and who always been there, marching right behind me. Also, my amazing friends in Colorado who’ve grown up with me and seen this passion of mine, and supported and or played a part next to me. I’m so lucky to know each and every one of them. And finally, my LA friends whom I’ve met on this amazing journey, and look forward to continuing this amazing journey with.