New York-based triple-threat Michael Cortina gives us a look into his life as an Actor/Model/Writer. He offers words of wisdom for aspiring actors and shares his take on modern style.
How did you get into acting and writing?
I got into acting when I was 5 years old. My mom heard of a casting call for a commercial and she took me to my first casting; I got the job and soon after she got me signed with a commercial agency. That was the first realization I had that I could get paid to play.
Regarding writing, I started when I moved to Thailand at the age of 22. What started as a personal journal became more of a compilation of stories based on my experience living in Asia for 2 years and the impact that the social/cultural changes had on me at the time.
Tell us about your style of writing.
Well, that depends what I'm writing about. If it is for a script, the narrative usually unfolds based on the character beliefs, creating a conflict based on the innate nature of persuasion that we as humans are exposed to on a daily basis. "This is what I believe, and this is what I think you should believe too." From there the scenario usually unfolds.
What does the world of an actor look like today? Any advice for aspiring actors?
Thanks to all these new streaming platforms and the access to high quality equipment, the world of acting is filled with much more opportunities than before. There's no doubt about that. As for advice, well, I'm still looking for advice myself...but I would say it wouldn't hurt to start putting together your own projects, short films, small plays, or stories you want to be part of that can be created by you, or a group of people that you're intimate with in this world of acting. With all the cameras and access to information that we have nowadays it's not as complicated as it was before. Taking ownership of your work in this way will open great opportunities for learning and also connecting with like-minded people. Going that little extra step could also work as motivation in this career where luck plays such a big factor. I personally don't want to wait on another person to get me casted to start working, all we need is a camera and story to be told.
Any exciting project for this year we should know about?
Well I recently finished writing a short called "First Day of Summer," planning on shooting it in the next month, hopefully have it ready by the end of fall.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
My biggest inspiration is the person that gave me life, my mother. She inspires me to become the better version of myself every single day.
What does Ben Sherman mean to you?
Having Ben Sherman clothing means having that timeless piece that will transcend trends and be with you for a long time, and that my friend, is peace of mind.
What is your favorite piece of Ben Sherman Clothing and why?
The Corduroy jacket. I love that it has that vintage look with a modern fit, especially in the waist and sleeves. It makes it look good with any mix of styles, from bell bottom pants to black skinny jeans. It's a piece that plays well with every other component of the outfit.
How would you describe your style, what are key pieces you can’t live without?
Nowadays my style choice is '70s all the way! To create a good balance between the modern and the vintage is always a fun challenge when picking out my outfits. As for the pieces I can't live without, I would say my black leather converse chucks and my snake silver ring.