The Actor short film review

★★★★

Directed by: Skip Shea, Mike Messier

Written by: Mike Messier

Starring: David Graziano, Diana Porter, Christine Perla

Film Review by: Jason Knight

Poster for The Actor

A middle-aged actor tells his story about the struggles he had to go through in order to be with the woman he loves.


A man (Graziano) enters a small, empty theatre and stands on the stage. He proceeds to speak to an imaginary audience about his life as an actor and his love life. As he carries on, he then appears to be talking to his coach (Porter). The two of them sit on chairs on the stage, while he tells her how he met his wife, lost her and reunited with her again. She listens with interest and concern and asks him questions.


This moving drama appears to intertwine the lines that separate fiction from reality. At first, the man seems to have gone to the theatre in order to do a rehearsal by himself. All of a sudden his coach appears in front of him. They also seem to have an audience, consisting of Christine (Perla), the woman he talks about throughout and the man himself. What is real and what is not could be up to the viewer to decide. Is he alone in the theatre throughout the film and is only imagining that he is interacting with his coach and Christine or did the conversation with his coach actually take place before or after? This storytelling technique creates an interesting experience.


Graziano delivers a superb performance as a well-meaning person, who has had a lot of regrets and has struggled to come to terms with them. Porter is convincing as the calm and sympathetic acting coach.


The film was shot in black-and-white and the cinematography looks amazing. The entire narrative takes place inside the theatre hall and involves three people. There is music only towards the end of the film, which consists of a sentimental, tender piano piece by Steven Lanning-Cafaro.


This short has an intruiging plot, with a compelling protagonist. It deserves significant recognition and Graziano's performance is a very strong aspect.

#JasonKnight