GET TO KNOW CLAYTON VIA SHOUTOUT LA FEATURE
When you're an artist in LA, it's seemingly a rite of passage to be featured in the publication of either Shoutout LA, Voyage LA, or both. Today (8.15.2022) I am happy to share that I am featured in the former. I hope you'll take a moment to give it a read and if so motivated, reach out and let me know if you learned something new about me, or would like to learn more, or even discuss the possibility of collaborating with one another in the future!
SCROLL DOWN - TO READ THE ARTICLE (WITH ADDITIONAL LINKS) Meet Clayton Stocker Myers | Actor & Screenwriter August 15, 2022 We had the good fortune of connecting with Clayton Stocker Myers and we’ve shared our conversation below. Hi Clayton Stocker, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally? My first memories of harnessing my creativity into any form or creative field is from when I was a kid coloring in sketches my Brother would draw and eventually drawing my own sketches. As time would go on, I’d find myself participating in school plays, community theatre, taking acting classes as electives from middle school through high school. The whole time doing this, enjoying myself, but not remotely considering the possibility that it might be what I’d want to pursue as a career. It wouldn’t be until witnessing my fellow high school theatre classmates perform in the Fall musical I had no desire to be a part of at the time. I of course had to help build the set and attend a performance for class credit, the whole time thinking how ugly the set looked and how unfortunate it would be to watch my friends bomb on the stage on opening night. Yet, upon sitting down to cringe my way through this performance, I found myself engaged, immersed and invested in the characters and story. Once the curtain came down and the lights went up, I was frozen as I processed what I had just experienced. The conclusion I came to was that I wish I had contributed more and from that point on, I began my pursuit to do just that. My contributions have been primarily as an actor / improv performer with aspirations to help bring other people’s characters to life with my own unique interpretation. Still, sometimes I’m also able to as a script doctor with what I’m thankful to say have proven to be helpful notes to fellow storytellers, sometimes as a writer myself, and even occasionally as a model for fine artists in my community. The takeaway being that the initial reason I began my pursuit of an artistic / creative career is that I enjoy telling story well. I believe I am good at it and find joy in contributing to other’s pursuits to tell their stories as well. While doing my own self-work through those lockdown days of 2020, I took the Jo Kelly 33-Day Reset course and I came to discover that on a deeper level, I Act because by comparison to my day-to-day living where I tend to stay relatively introverted, in performance, I feel the freedom to get out of my head and body, and be loud with my truth as I explore new perspectives, connections, and aspects of the human condition along the way. Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work. I know it sounds crazy, but I may be the first person ever to have moved to LA in pursuit of being a working actor, right?! With the off-chance I’m wrong… EXCITED I’m excited to be in LA! I packed up a used car I had just bought and drove it across the country from my hometown of Frederick, Maryland in mid-July of 2019. With just enough time to get settled in post-holiday season, I would then (like most) spend the next year and a half primarily in my apartment. In that time I was thankfully able to still work and grow as an artist and a person amidst quarantine-centric living, on a professional level that growth came from classes, booking roles in several small projects, participating in the 48hr Film Festival, to acquiring commercial representation (LUXE), as well as Voiceover (Coast To Coast). Even still, in many ways I consider 2022 to be my first “real” year in LA. So many things that are still very new to me. I do not have a handle on the geography, neighborhoods, etc… So, I’m excited to still be here and to have the opportunity to continue to learn and grow by having new experiences with great friends (old and new). CHALLENGES I don’t know that I would describe the professional journey “Here” as challenging per se. There have definitely been some challenges. Challenging roles, challenging jobs, challenging times without said roles and jobs. Still, I do my best to look at those times and experiences as opportunities. Opportunities to work. Opportunities to breathe, reflect and regroup when without that work. Maybe it’s through all the years of staying on top of audition submissions and collaborating, but those “challenges” don’t feel so burdensome or insurmountable as they might have when I first started in this profession. I suppose the new challenges (Opportunities) I have ahead of me come with moving to a larger market and bigger city, i.e. – Meeting new people to collaborate with, acquiring theatrical representation, joining SAG-AFTRA, continuing to book acting work, finding that balance that involves me making time to write and spend time with lovely people as I explore this new city. Really, it’s letting others know I’m even here. So maybe this article is a step in the right direction. LESSONS As you can probably tell by now, I find a lot of overlap in my approach to the craft and life itself. With that in mind, maybe the following will resonate with those that read this as a creative or just as a human. I’ll do my best to keep it to three. 1. NAME DROPPING IS NOT A CRIME – There is an old saying of “It’s not what you know, it’s Who you know.” And while pithy and telling, I would add that it’s not just who you know, but whether or not who you know knows you and is willing to say so (hopefully in a positive light). It’s that logic that has me gearing up to start a podcast of my own with intent to help shed that positive light on people I do know and want to support in the spirit of piggybacking on another old saying – “I can’t wait to tell people I knew you when.” Let’s stop waiting and start saying “I Know Them Now!” <–Podcast Title BTW (Coming Soon) 2. BE PREPARED…but also be willing to let go of control. – I don’t think there is one instance I can think of where any one job I’ve worked on turned out 100% how it was intended. There are multiple times I can recall being asked to improvise a take or two on camera after we had captured the pre-scripted dialogue. Occasionally those improvised takes would make it into the final cuts of those productions. I won’t bore the readers with my various approaches or processes, but I mention this not just for the sake of acting, but as an artist and as a person. A goal is great to have for the sake of a destination you’re aiming to get to. Doing the grunt work in preparation to get to that destination based on where you’re starting from is only going to increase your chances of getting there. But the path you end up taking has twists and turns compared to the straight line you were envisioning. You’ll have to trust that your prep-work did exactly what it was meant to, not to simply get you to your goal, but to give you the coordination and confidence to get there despite having to adapt to detours and giving yourself permission to stay open and curious on your journey towards that goal. The most important thing I can emphasize is that you don’t get stuck looking at that goal from the distance, that you don’t confuse obsessive preparation as the action of taking the journey itself. I’m often guilty of both of these things. So, I can say from my own experience that taking the actual beginning steps toward that goal is Key to gaining any kind of forward momentum. You might not get there how you thought you would when you started, it might take longer than expected, but your chances will be so much higher if you set the goal, figure out a plan, and Start the journey knowing what direction you’re aiming to go and that that plan is not set in stone. 3. DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN. – I’m absolutely guilty of not giving this lesson its dues, but whenever I do, I can’t begin to convey the level of release and relief I feel. It’s far too easy to get caught up in pursuits of being “successful” being “professional”, or just being an “adult”. But all of these words are perceptions and the weight that come with them are self-imposed. Nobody else is keeping us from doing head stands, using our imaginations, drawing for no other purpose other than because we want to. Give yourself a moment to think about something you enjoyed doing as a kid and ask yourself why you can’t do that today. No need to capture it for social media. Just do you and and enjoy the experience, because why not? WHAT I WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT ME – I’m an actor/screenwriter that is relatively new and excited to meet new people (professionally and socially) to support, grow, and collaborate with creatively and share new experiences in this expansive town! – I’m a gregarious introvert. ex. I have no problem joining the conversation at the party, but I’m less likely to initiate said conversation. – I’m a comic book and Ghostbusters nerd, I enjoy mediation, yoga, and puzzles. I’m left handed, I played marbles professionally in my pre-teens, I used to work at a ninja warrior gym…you get the idea – Beyond all that, I’d encourage anyone interested in learning more to visit my website, IMDb, and Social Media accounts, or feel free to reach out and ask me directly. I’ll do my best to respond in a timely manner. If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to? So as mentioned before, I’m still getting my bearings myself. I feel fortunate to have landed in Atwater Village for the sake that it’s been a nice town to me that has touchstones that take me back to various places from where I’m from back in Maryland and the surrounding states. It also has been a convenient distance to several other parts of town (Los Feliz, Glendale, Silverlake, Eagle Rock, Echo Park, etc…). ACTIVITES – Venice (or really any beach as I haven’t been to enough to be picky yet) – Hike in Griffith / Observatory – Button Mash (Barcades) – JAM / TEMPEST (I’ve been itching to take a Parkour Class) – Anyone game for an Escape Room? – Comedy Night at The Friend hosted by Cecily Breaux FOOD/DRINK – Fred 62 – Breakfast Burrito! – El Sauz Tacos – Chicken Burrito! – The Bigfoot Lodge – The High Low – The Village Cafe – Home / Guest House – The Dresden – Walt’s Pinball Bar BY THE WAY – I’m Totally open to suggestions if anyone reading this wants to send me a DM via Insta haha The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to? I hope I’m not overstepping by putting more than one name on here, but just prior to and during the 2020 lockdown, I had the good fortune of connecting with one Monnie Aleahmad and Eileen Chase. We created an accountability group with each other and that bond has honestly been a driving force of encouragement that has helped keep me from spiraling since moving to LA in late 2019. I’d like to thank Jona Xiao, Brian Patacca, Christine Horn, Jenna Doolittle, Jo Kelly, DaJuan Johnson, Ajarae Coleman, Walid Chaya and everyone who through their services, newsletters, Zoom seminars and Clubhouse rooms, continually sparked motivation, inspiration, and community amongst myself and other creatives through these past few years since having made the move out here. Website: https://www.claytonstockermyers.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/actorcsm/ Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/claytonmyers/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/actorcsm Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ActorCSM/ Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpWntLUsgSt7eU-m3VbuY8Q IMDb: http://www.imdb.me/claytonstockermyers