Your new movie Ad Men
- in a few words, what is it about, and what can you tell us about your
character in it?
Ad Men is the story about
three aspiring money-makers that have alcoholic tendencies.
What did you draw upon to bring your
character to life, and how much of Nick Dayal can we find in Sala? And do
you "dance" with girls in the back of your van in real life as
and myself are eerily similar, I think that’s why Jesse Barack [Jesse
Barack interview - click here] asked me to do
the part. We’re both a little over-animated, all over the place,
inappropriate and slightly crazy.
funny because we filmed Ad Men
in June-July, and there's a scene where Sala
just got back from Jamaica… he’s always up and leaving. And in July I
met a girl I liked. She said she’d always wanted to travel and had never
been anywhere outside the country. “Just get a passport” I said to
her, repeatedly, and she did. She didn't really believe me, nor did she
know where we were going until we were at JFK a month later, and the
security guard said, “Have a good time in Jamaica.” That same
spring, I went to Costa Rica and Panama where I fought a bull, went bungee
jumping, white water rafting, and that’s the censored highlights of the
trip. In 2013, I finished my UMass Boston undergrad degree during a summer
program in Puerto Rico, and at the end of the trip I cancelled my flight
home. I was the only one out of 33 students not to return to the US. I
stayed and drank. Then in the fall I went WOOFING and drinking wine across
Italy from October ’til Christmas with my buddy Carlo. We spent a third
of the time farming, a third of the time drinking and exploring, a third
of the time passed out, and all of it together. If I could pick an
honorary brother it would be Carlo. He’s a dumb idiot with a mustache
who happens to be a brilliant artist, unconventional genius and the nicest
guy ever it makes me sick.
is, I like to drink and travel, and so does Sala.
for the van… I drive a Subaru Impreza Wagon, butttt the back seats do go
down completely ;). And there’s always the hood of the car.
How did you get involved with the project in
the first place?
I was a
production assistant, did some make-up and set design, and acted in Harvey
the Great. That was a week of non-stop filming, constant movement: Changing locations through three states, with little or no sleep, and
nailing it. I liked the people I worked with, and I think the feeling was
overall mutual. And Ad
Men brought a lot of these people back
To what extent can you identify with Ad
Men's brand of humour?
sarcastic, hypocritical and unpredictable just like the funniest aspects
of life. The unintentional fall, the regrettable drunken incident in
public… I think it’s hilarious.
day I was walking around Great Barrington and this cool looking girl said,
“sick t-shirt, man.” I looked down and it was raccoons throwing rolls
of toilet paper across a cop car. I think I wore it during the filming,
and never realized how cool it was until cool looking girl said something.
Thanks Raccoon Brand!
What can you tell us
about your director Jesse Barack [Jesse
Barack interview - click here], and what was your collaboration
He’s great. He
has an ability to convey what he envisions, speaking to each individual
actor in a language they understand, and making it come to life.
Do talk about the shoot as such, and the on-set
John Segalla, Graham King, Nick Dayal
atmosphere was fun.
only two kinds of people in this world and it’s very obvious in this
situation. When you’re filming and time is precious, those breaks that
you do get, what you do with that time is very telling. So there’s
the smokers and the non-smokers.
a not a smoker, but I do smoke cigarettes occasionally every day. Anyways,
us smokers always had a good time. When everyone else is calling their
girlfriends or moms or rescheduling appointments. Guys like Quinn Wilson,
Matt Nissen and I, would disregard all responsibilities or health concerns
and smoke as often possible. We would stand off somewhere to shoot the
shit, laughing and learning from each other. Quinn “the sound guy” was
amazing to watch on set. He showed me how dynamic and important sound is
to any production, and I really learned to appreciate sound production as
an art form. Capturing sound in a continuously changing environments, and
just holding that boom stick steady, in awkward positions for hours.
It’s intense, and crucial.
passion for it finally opened my eyes to how “sound guys” are artists
and express themselves just like actors, writers, and costume designers.
And from watching and listening to him I felt confident enough to take a sound
production position in the film Atropic by Stephen Billick.
And I was successful, thanks to Marb 27’s and Quinn Wilson.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
performed in the play Tarot Show, singing and dancing, pretty much
naked. Director, writer, and actor Heather Fisch explained,“if you are
intrigued by mysticism, sexy young performers, beautiful music,
mathematics or bizarre characterizations of classical archetypes then you
will love this.” It was at the Mahaiwe Theatre in Great Barrington, and
that was a lot of fun. It’s a beautiful theatre and it was full of
smiles and laughter. Tarot Show will also be at HERE Arts Center in
Manhattan September 1-6.
also played a Spanish matador turned soldier in Olé, a long short
film based on the life and writings of Ernest Hemingway. It was written
and directed by Stephen Billick - here's the trailer
The film will be finished by September and available on the OU PHRONTIS
PICTURES CO. page on youtube.com.
got you into acting in the first place, and did you receive any formal
training on the subject?
started acting in elementary school to get out of class. I learn from all
the people I work with. Aside from grammar school training and improv
classes at the Improv Asylum, I’ve hosted TV shows for one of the
papers for which I am a contributing writer, The Berkshire View. And I’ve done public readings that I’ve been invited to for some of my
What can you tell us about your
filmwork prior to Ad Men?
the Great with this crew and Atropic with Stephen
Billick. I also was a main character in Project Carlo and
co-starred in Chick and Carlo Leave the Nest by B.D.J. Films in
2012 and 2013.
would you describe yourself as an actor, and some of your techniques to
bring your character to life?
classes at the Improv Asylum in Boston have been among the most beneficial
to me. Someone said, “good acting is when you don't see acting,” or
something like that. Improv classes, public speakings, hosting local TV
shows, being on the radio, it’s that aspect of not thinking on your
feet, but simply not thinking and being on your feet. If you rehearse
something too much in your head it doesn't come across organically. It
seems forced or unnatural. So when I take on a role I try not to think too
much, I let my brain and body do its natural job. I sang and danced in
a play called Tarot Show at the Mahaiwe Theatre half-naked in front
of hundreds of people, including my friends, who can be ruthless. I’m
not a singer or a dancer, but I simply let go of any thoughts holding me
back and had fun, which led to applause and an invitation to continue
touring with the play. I had a good time. When people on set are smiling
and laughing in between takes that’s a strong indicator that things are
going well. That kind of energy is infectious, and so is negative energy.
When people are looking down with looks of frustration it is a reflection
of their performance and translates to more of the same. Things won't
always go well, or according to plan, and I think the best approach in
acting is to accept that as a definite, and roll with the punches. My
approach to avoiding setbacks and really becoming a character is to have
fun with it. That energy will resonate and bring a character to life.
Actors (and indeed
actresses) who inspire you?
Cartman, first and foremost. Then you got Edward Norton, Giovanni Ribisi,
Uma Thurman, Judi Dench is badass, obviously I love Robert De Niro, Samuel
L. I mean that’s not fair, I could go on and on.
Your favourite movies?
and of course, films you really deplore?
love Leonardo DiCaprio, almost to a point that raises alarms, and I think
Kate Winslet is great. With that being said, I hate Titanic. Hate
it. No thank you. I’d rather subject myself to a Lifetime movie than
watch the Titanic. If Scarlet Johansson asked me to cuddle in bed
and watch Titanic with her, I’d tell her to fuck off.
Facebook, whatever else?
Dayal from Boston, MA. Check out my monthly articles at
And you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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During Ad Men, within the first couple hours of shooting, I got stung in the face
by a bee. Right on the fucking lip. It was during a scene where we’re
emptying out Graham King’s apartment, and I was holding a filing cabinet
and a bee stung me in the bottom lip.
tried spitting it out, nonchalantly, because it was in the middle of a
shoot. I dropped the filing cabinet and slapped the motherfucker to the
course it happened right before my dance-van scene with this beautiful
girl I had just met.
normmawwy downt wook wike this.” I told her
really can’t even tell,” she was a sweetheart, and it was a nice lie
and Jesse were looking up remedies…I was putting baking soda on my lip,
and dunking it in vinegar, and lots of ice, more baking soda and vinegar,
worked. It didn't really hurt too much, it was just impossible to talk and
disgusting to look at. Everyone was worried because my bottom lip got to
be at least ten times its normal size. I walked into Rite Aid with Johnny
Segalla and it was like Angelina Jolie walked in, everybody stopped and
stared at my lips, no one looked me in the eyes. The pharmacists said,
“boy, you best go to the hospital..”
it’s so difficult to get a specific group of about twenty people
together, all of which are involved in different projects, not to mention
we live in four different states, to find a day that we’re all free and
can get to Boston… there was a logical chance that due to the
circumstances they would have to cut Sala’s role heavily from the
script. I would have understood, but Johnny Segalla who plays the lead
role decided to drive me to the hospital. Johnny is a good guy, and good
was limited for the next five hours.
half hour later I ran into Boston Medical Center through the ambulance
E.R. entrance, half naked, looking crazy, agreeing that my throat was
closing up even though it wasn’t, because this was B.M.C. on
Massachusetts Ave in Boston, having lived in Boston for 5 years with past
experiences, unless your dying you’re going to wait for hours, maybe
got me a bed in the hallway right away, ahead of patients who had been
waiting for God knows how long, so I must be a decent actor.
some shots, pills, ice, and a couple hours the swelling had gone down
enough that my lips weren’t the first thing that strangers looked at.
I left against medical advice, and
salvaged the second half of the day for filming.
beer or two later I was dressed as a raccoon breaking into Jesse
Barack’s actual house to eat everything in sight. Of course this is a
one take shot, so I went all in. Ate everything from cereal to plastic.
ended with me falling out the window, partially choking and actually
puking. Someone was hitting me on the back while Nick Norman, the
cameraman, was yelling that the guy was ruining the shot.
what a shot it was.