The great thing about doing my own blog is that I am able to select Feature content that really appeals to me, and in turn, what I think others will enjoy as well. I like to focus on people who may be getting a foothold in their career or are involved in a specific part of an industry that I’d like to discover more about. When the magic happens and all of that comes together, I am fortunate to share with you talented people like today’s Feature on Luis Maesso.
Awhile back I ran across Luis on Twitter after he had recently stared in a very successful television commercial for Extra Gum. In the commercial titled Extra Gum: The Story of Sarah and Juan, Luis plays the role of Juan, along side Katie Clarkson Hill who appears as Sarah. Following the same type of episodic lines as the classic Nescafe Taster’s Choice Gold Blend Coffee Commercials from the 1990s, Extra Gum provides us with a modern take on a heartstrings story that plays like a music video doled out in vignette sequences. Oh the feels! This lovely commercial became one of my favorites and I found that whenever the next part of the commercial would premiere, I was rushing to the TV to make sure I caught it! Sarah and Juan had me hook, line and sinker, all for the love of Extra Gum. Take a look at the full commercial below, including a beautiful rendition of Can’t Help Falling in Love by the gifted Haley Reinheart, and see if you don’t agree…
Now, a few months later, I am very excited to be able to introduce you to the multi-talented Luis Maesso.
Tell us a little about yourself Luis… where were you born? Where did you grow up? Hobbies and favorite pastimes?
I was born and raised in Madrid, Spain. I was a pretty normal child. Maybe a bit more sensitive. I started acting in some plays when I was 12, but I left the stage for the guitar, and music became my passion instantly. However, I also spent 7 years playing rugby, and after mixing a bit of music with some sports and a devotion for philosophy, theatre came back to me and I started acting again.
It appears that music plays a big role in your life. Aside from playing the guitar, do you compose music and/or like to sing?
My father is a musician, so all kinds of music was all the time sounding at home. From Pink Floyd to Bach. Therefore, I spent some time playing at some rock bands when I was a teenager, but I never wanted to sing. I was too shy. However, when I wanted to go back to theatre, I could only conceive my coming back if it was related to music in some way, so I started my studies in Musical Theatre at the Royal School of Acting of Madrid.
Were you always interested in acting? How did you get your start?
Always. Even when I was not conscious about it. I started acting when I was around 12. I got into my local theatre group and I played the cute prince 2 or 3 times, but I left it because I felt it was not the proper way to do it, so maybe I got the wrong idea about theatre. Nevertheless, during the time when I was not studying acting yet, I loved cinema movies and the great performances of the best actors from Hollywood or from the European theatre. Besides, I am pretty sure that my friends could tell you that I am some kind of clown for them. Always fooling around.
Have you undergone any education/training for acting?
I am currently studying my Erasmus Program in London. Basically, it is studying at other university from Europe for a year. Therefore, the 3rd year of my studies in Musical Acting is being done in London, at the Rose Bruford College, where I study with a group of an MA in Ensemble Theatre. Next year, I will go back to Spain, to finish my studies.
It looks like you’ve worked in theater and television (film)… do you have a preference?
It is a tricky question. All my training is being focused on theatre, but the border between movies and theatre is quite thin, so references to movie actors during theatre classes are always present. I used to say that the differences between acting on stage and acting in front of a camera are just like the differences between sculpting and painting, but I am not sure about it anymore. If the script is good, I have no preference between cinema and acting. As long as the story is good and the message deep enough, it makes no difference to me.
Can you tell us a little about your experience working on the Extra Gum commercial? What was the audition process like?
It was a pretty nice and fun process. They can be a bit unconsidered at auditions sometimes, but all the people from the commercial were very comfortable and professional, during the audition process and during the shooting days. The director, the people from the agency, the producer… all of them helped us instead of putting pressure.
Were you surprised by the popularity the commercial generated?
It was a lovely surprise, yes. I was surprised about the popularity but not about the effect. Actually, I expected the commercial to hit people like it did, since that was our intention. I was glad and proud when I saw how people thought it was a very beautiful commercial. But as I said, the incredible aspect was the amount of of people who got hit. I guess this is the way it works nowadays. With the internet and the mass media, a good products flies around the world and it can be known anywhere in hours.
What is your most favorite thing about acting… and the worst?
The best thing about acting are the things you learn about yourself and about human nature. It is an act of philosophic discovery that you enjoy as a nice trip or a good meal. When you are able to get the character and you totally understand its feelings and fears, you can see yourself reflected in a way. I could tell you that the worst thing is the hard work, but I actually love the process of rehearsing and studying the author of the texts, but I think that the worst things are the empty characters, the ones that are boring. And I am not talking about fools or clowns: comedy takes us to the same place as tragedy or drama. I am talking about those characters that build up a boring and repetitive story.
Who have been your influencers/role models and inspired you professionally and personally?
That is a very hard question! If you are talking about close people, I would say that my family and friends are my source of strength and inspiration everyday. But professionally, I could mention loads of artists that inspire me all the time. Joaquin Phoenix, Arthur Miller, Tom Hardy, Nietzsche, Grotowski, Ella Fitzgerald… hundreds of writers, musicians, poets… and of course, lots of actors.
What would be your dream role?
Segismundo, from Life is a Dream, by Calderón de la Barca, and Bobby, from Company, by Stephen Sondheim.
Any advice to share for someone starting in this field?
The most important thing is enjoying things and having a good time. Hard work is essential, but if it is killing you, leave it. Life is to be lived, and art is precisely the thing that reminds us about it. If the artist suffers while working, he’d be a slave, and art would be killed.
Tell us something about you that might surprise us to know!
I am in love with Madrid, but I am having an affair with London right now. I love sports, yoga, and drinking coffee at pubs with a good friend or a good book.
Thank you Luis, for taking time to chat. We wish you much success and happiness in your future endeavors, and look forward to keeping up with your projects.
Luis can be found on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
And… one more thing before we go! Fast Five – Questions for Fun
Favorite food indulgence? Cakes, yogurts and cheese.
Any television shows you DVR? When I was a kid we used to record Disney movies… Hahaha
Favorite guilty pleasure? Eating with friends and family.
Which Superhero would you choose to be? Goku! But if you do not consider Goku as a superhero I could choose Magneto.
Define happiness in one word? Freedom.