Eric Banerd is an actor and musician living and working in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He is one of Louis Ferreira’s mentees via the FYA – Fulfilling Young Artists mentorship program.
AN INTERVIEW WITH ERIC BANERD
Eric did an exclusive interview with The Friends of Louis Ferreira in Ferreira Fest 63/ March 2015.
Listen to the sound clip here:
FF – Hi Eric, tell us a little bit about yourself first. Who is Eric Banerd? What do you do? What is your passion? And what gets you up in the morning?
EB – I consider myself an all-around artist. At the moment, I am writing, I’m playing music, I’m acting, I’m involved in producing a film, I’m taking classes, I do a lot of different things. My main passion is film making. But I’ve played music for a long time—I’m a drummer. I play in two different bands.
FF – Wow. What kind of bands? What kind of music?
EB – One band, they’re called The Wild Romantics, and they play a folk/ rock/ blues kind of feel. And I play for another girl, her name’s Jodi Pederson, and she’s a singer/songwriter, and she is more like Lana Del Ray, she’s more pop. So it’s interesting, as a drummer I get to play in a lot of different projects and different styles and I get to blend into the music that the songwriters play.
FF – How fantastic. So, what gets you up in the morning? What’s your get up and go and wow what another great, wonderful day?
EB – I live in Vancouver and I love it here. It’s pretty amazing. The view, I live right by Stanley Park in Vancouver, and I have a view of Stanley Park and the mountains and it really does get me up every day and just puts me in a good mood. And usually every day I’m doing what I want to be doing. I’m creating art. And that fills up the majority of my time, so, it’s awesome. I’m actually the happiest I’ve ever been, right now.
FF – Oh, that’s wonderful! That’s wonderful. So, how did you get involved in the acting profession, or in acting in general? Where and how did you catch the bug?
EB – I had it really early, when I was young. I remember, I wanted to be an actor when I was a kid. I think it’s because my mom had put me in this workshop for one day when I was six or seven or something, I can’t even remember. It was this acting workshop for kids.
And I didn’t even really know what it was. I just went there and we did these exercises where you just connect with other people. I did this exercise with this other little girl who was my age as well. And we just had to look into each other’s eyes and feel something. And from then on, I think I associated that idea with acting, which is essentially what it is. So I always wanted to be an actor but I didn’t really start acting until I was, I guess, twenty, and my friend was taking an acting class.
And I had always wanted to be an actor so she said I should just come watch her class, so I did. And I instantly signed up for six months of training. Like that night.
FF – Talk about contagion!
EB – Yeah, and since then I’ve been doing it. And I love it.
FF – That’s great. Now, Eric, based on what I’ve seen on your IMDb page and various other social media, you do a lot of different things. So, we’ve touched on acting, there’s also directing, producing, and you even composed music for a short film, right?
EB – Yep.
FF – Tell us more about your many talents.
EB – I made my first short film last year. Co-directed and produced. And we’re in the process of making one right now, as well. And, yeah, I’ve been acting for a while. But, as a young actor it gets difficult because you’re not acting all the time.
FF – Right.
EB – You have to be auditioning and then you have to get the role, and usually the roles you get are relatively small, because you’re starting out. So, my friend and I, because we were a little angry, because we weren’t working, we wrote a short film and just made it.
We produced it on our own. And I co-directed it and he acted in it. I had a small, tiny role in it but I mostly directed it. Now we are starting our own little film company and we’re in the process of making another short film right now. And I’m in the process of writing a web-series that hopefully will be made at some point this year, as well.
FF – Oh, that sounds fantastic! So, Eric, tell us a little bit about your participation in FYA, Fulfilling Young Artists. There was a picture of you on Twitter and so I looked it up. Tell us little bit about that.
EB – It’s so cool. It’s a mentorship program here in Vancouver that a guy named Sage Brocklebank started. Sage has been an actor in Vancouver for a long time, and basically I had just heard about it through a friend. I can’t even remember, they just mentioned something about it—oh, you should send off an application to this mentorship program—because they had done it the year before and said it was cool.
So I did that and, to be honest, forgot that I had done it. And then they called me up to come in for an interview. And I went in to the interview and I was just myself, completely honest, and then they matched me up with Louis, which was hilarious because, they didn’t even tell me that they had matched me with Louis, or matched me with anybody; all of a sudden I just got a FaceTime phone call from L.A. It was Louis driving in his car. He’s like, “Hey! I’m your mentor now.”
So since then Louis has been a hundred and ten percent in my corner and has been there for me for whatever I’ve needed him and has turned into a really good friend.
So I can’t say enough about that program. And also, the web-series that I’m writing, we have to make a project, to show everyone at the end of the six months, and I made my pilot episode for my web-series and showed it to everybody, and I got a lot of good feedback from that. And from making that pilot I’ve written an entire season and have producers interested in producing it. So, it’s been a really awesome experience.
FF – How many people are in the FYA program, at this point, do you know?
EB – I think there was about twenty.
FF – Oh, so it’s fairly exclusive, then.
EB – Yeah, it’s not a huge program. There’s about twenty mentors and mentees.
FF – Oh, wow. What a coincidence, what an opportunity, to be able to get that, and not even expecting anything, really, and there it is. And it’s like one of the best things to ever happen to you.
EB – Yeah.
FF – What is the role, or the project, that you’re most proud of up to this point, and why?
EB – That’s a good question. It’s funny, a lot of actors will say this, because I haven’t had any roles on TV or film that have been very big, I’ve done a lot of short film and, you know, smaller principal roles and stuff like that, so I think the best work I’ve done has been on stage and theater.
And I’ve done a few plays. Either on stage, and it’s funny, you do a lot of your best work in class. I’m in class all the time.
FF – Right.
EB – And every week I’m giving it in class, which is why I’ve started to make my own films. Because I want to show people that now. I want to show what I’ve been working on. Other than just going into these TV shows and having a few scenes, where you can’t really sink your teeth into the character.
FF – Right.
EB – I mean, you can. “There is no such thing as a small role, only small actors”, is another saying. But I’m really making my own films so I can show people what I can do. But, yes, I think some of the best work I’ve done has been in the theater that I’ve done. For sure.
FF – Now, I’ve also read on your Twitter that you are involved in charitable projects and fundraisers for good causes. And so your desire to help others certainly rings a bell with all The Friends of Louis Ferreira, this is what we’re in many ways all about – supporting young artists and charitable causes that Louis is interested in and so forth. So it’s the birds of a feather thing. So, what’s in it for you? Why do you do it?
EB – I want to do more of it. It just makes you feel good about yourself. It makes you feel good that you’re helping other people. I mean, there’s so many people out there that are struggling with so many different things. And I feel really fortunate that I’m not really struggling with a lot of things. And it’s just important to me to help other people. I think you get what you give, too. I’d like to do more of it, to be honest. I haven’t done a lot of it recently.
I used to own my own company. I owned a franchise for a painting company and we would do big fundraisers every year for the MS Society. That’s where a lot of my fundraising came from, was through that, through the MS Society.
And I met a lot of people with MS, it’s such a crippling disease, you can’t help but want to help these people.
FF – Right.
EB – Because it’s not like they’ve done anything wrong, it’s just out of nowhere, the MS shows up and just takes over their life.
FF – Right.
EB – Some people, they can’t move anything below their head, they can only move their head. It’s just a terrible disease. I don’t know how you would not want to help out with something like that. And especially, as an actor, you can draw from all of these experiences, too.
FF – Yes.
EB –They affect you, and you can use that in your work as well.
FF – Right, right. Let’s talk a little bit about Louis. You just mentioned that he became your mentor through the FYA program. And the first phone call in the car, and that sounds so typical to me. What are some of the activities that you’ve done together? And how has he helped you? What kind of advice do you get from him? So, basically, tell us a little bit about what he does as a mentor when he’s working with you.
EB – It’s funny, we talk about acting of course, but mostly we’ve just talked about what we’re going through, like each of us is going through in our life. And he’s more or less become like just a really good friend. We’d go to our favorite restaurant in Yaletown called The Parlour, it’s my friend’s restaurant, and we would just hang out there and just chat and he’s helped me in so many ways. From getting a new agent to helping me run auditions, to setting up meetings with casting directors for me, and just supporting me. I could call him or text him at any time, if I had a good audition or a bad audition, I’d talk to him about it. And he was always open ears about everything.
I don’t know, he became like my dad, in a way.
FF – Yeah.
EB – I just can’t say enough good things about him. And I enjoyed every moment I spent with Louis.
FF – So, based on his influence, and this whole FYA program, do you yourself have an interest in mentoring others when you get to that point?
EB – Absolutely, yeah. I definitely will, because I see the benefit. It benefited me so much, and I would love to give that back to someone else. And I can’t wait until I’m at the point where I can do that. I absolutely will for sure.
FF – And, now, we’re actually at the bottom of the list here, so here comes the infamous question that looms over everybody who does an interview with us—if you could describe Louis in four words, what would they be?
EB – I would say, loving—he says that all the time, that he loves everybody—he is genuine in loving.
Genuine is another good one too. He’s genuine, loving. When he goes into a room, he can change the room. And when you see him, like I got to go to set, to see him on set, he can change the vibe of someone.
And extremely talented.
FF – Wonderful! Those are great words, Eric, thank you so, so much for taking the time. I know this happened all very, very quickly. And very impromptu, but I promise you it will have an impact. Maybe not right away, but word gets out there about those people and that’s the most important thing.
Thanks to Casey for the transcript!
Important Links for Eric Banerd
Follow Eric Banerd on Twitter.
Friend him on Facebook.
Visit Eric Banerd on Instagram.
See Eric Banerd’s page on IMDb.
Check out Eric Banerd’s bookings at GoStudios.
Visit Eric’s Business Page for EVEN BETTER PAINTING
Watch the short film “Dear Judith“, co-directed by Eric Banerd:
Eric Banerd’s Bands
Eric was a drummer playing with the following bands:
The Wild Romantics at the
Rock of the Woods Festival
From The Wild Romantics Facebook Page:
“As they say, all good things must come to an end. It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our longtime drummer and friend, Eric Banerd, as he continues on to pursue his career as an actor and filmmaker.
The good times we’ve had together are countless and all of us in the band can’t thank you enough for everything that you’ve put into this project over the last couple of years. We’ll never forget having no idea who you were as we gave you a ride home from Peak bootcamp and then a few months later flying out to Toronto together and sharing the sweatiest HoJo room all together for way too many days straight. Alas, I could go on and on and on. But let’s save the rest of the stories for those nights at the bar when someone needs a good laugh.
We wish you the best of luck in all of your future projects. You’ll always be our Uncle Daddy. No matter how many times you go to the store for cigarettes and come home 7 days later. Love ya.
Aleisha, Rory, Jarred and Evan”
Eric is a big believer in “5 a day for better health”.