Don Scribner is an actor, writer and musician. He has just finished shooting The Guide for 21summit Productions, and kindly sat down with me for ten minutes to chat about his career.
What is it about films that attracted you to the industry?
First time I was in front of an audience (8th. grade) I knew I’d eventually be doing this.
What sort of education do you have? How did you get into acting?
MS + 30. Former teacher & youngest principal in Wisconsin at one time. I knew I would get into acting and realized every step of life was preparing me. Nothing like experiential background from every student I worked with to every beer that I drank. It is every actor’s unique path.
What was your first ever paid gig?
An educational film called Dropouts. I played a school counselor opposite Dana Ashbrook from Twin Peaks.
You have acted in a wide range of genres from drama to science fiction. How do you choose your projects?
Several people I personally know could simply ask me and I would say yes because I have such respect for them. Other times it is simply a pay day and being fortunate to be trusted to do the character justice.
Have you ever turned down a project because you didn’t like the character?
I’ve turned down a couple of movie offers because of weak scripts and even weaker pay.
You have just finished filming ‘The Guide’ for 21summit Productions. What has been your biggest challenge so far and how did you solve it?
My challenge was the extensive physical demand…more so, by far, than any other film I’ve done. It was grueling yet tremendously rewarding. My experiential background of being in the Wisconsin woods for years helped me through, but more so was the trust I had in the stunt coordinator Lee Libby. He is the guide my character was patterned after and Lee constantly said, “You can do this.” I spent most of my time with him as I became The Guide.
Has your acting influenced your musical career in any way?
Absolutely. My trust in self. And having several songs in films after producers had heard my music in my one person show, Two Rooms In The Valley.
Which film are you most proud of?
Hopefully it is The Guide. Before that it was The Bible and Gun Club, a wonderfully off-beat film that didn’t find distribution. But, being proud of a film the public has seen would have to be The Cooler.
Can you tell us a bit about any other upcoming projects?
My next film is Appleton, a drama. I’ll be going back to my home state of Wisconsin in February to shoot a lead. I am excited.
Do you have any advice for budding actors?
Learn a foreign language, an instrument, write for yourself, develop a circle of trusted friends who do the same and work together. If you want to be an actor…don’t. If you must…you will.
Anything else you want to add?
Even a surgeon doesn’t always like his work.
To find out more about Don’s work, follow these links: