“This is huge for me and happening very fast. I’m not telling the production company its my first gig.”
That could be the entire article. We are proud that our very own Tony Francis is launching his television career and giving credit to Improv as he does it. “My time with the Sick Puppies is the ONLY reason I am doing this and I am here at this point.” Tony also credits his background with Voice overs as a major factor in making the jump.
“If I had to go all the way back the thing that really kicked it off for me was the incredible support I got from Reddit. I was looking for more voice over work and practice and a good friend of mine, Doug told me I should voice comments on Reddit.com as a way of practicing. It was a great idea so I created an account called I_Voice_Comments and I started voicing long comments people had written and posting a link to the audio file. Days later I was flooded with messages from users telling me how much they loved my voice and how happy I made them. Those messages gave me the confidence to take my first step into acting and accept what I really wanted in life, which is to act on stage and on screen. Oh and I still voice comments for people when I have time. I love it.”
Tony has only been acting since 2012. You wouldn’t know it if you saw him on our stage but it’s true. “Acting classes led me to improv classes which led me to the Sick Puppies. The cast is largely made up of local working actors who have impressive acting resumes. The first person who helped me out was you, Casey! You saw something in me and you gave me the support to grow in improv. I owe you. No seriously I think I owe you money. Tamara Jones was a big part of getting me started with the acting side of things. She showed me how to create my resume, where to get head shots, and where to go to find a real agent. Then there is Fawad. I was nervous about going to the audition. He said it was important I go and do it. I am really glad I listened to him.”
Tony was selected to play the best friend in a promo spot for Univision’s new channel Fusion. One of the funniest moments when talking with him about the audition was when he said “It just felt like another improv show. Only a much smaller audience and one guy was really obvious about filming it. I was given some direction and it felt great. Normally I am given no direction! I make it all up! They gave me words to say and even told me how to say them! It was wonderful!”
I asked him how his friends and family took the news. “It’s weird. I tell my friends and family about this and they just nod like they know this is what I am supposed to do and I’m just like, ‘Well you could have told me!’ No one is surprised. I’m an over animated character who likes to make people laugh and I’m going into comedy; How could you have seen this coming?!”
There you have it. His first audition and his first part. I’m not sure if I’ve met anyone that has booked their first audition. You’re at 100% efficiency Tony. Keep it up. Glad to see rejection is not in your future.