Interview With a Lifetime Star: Christos Shaw

In my first ever Vocal interview, I have a conversation with a fresh face to the Lifetime scene who has big dreams for his future: Canadian actor Christos Shaw!

Trevor Wells: Thanks for agreeing to this interview, Christos. Let's get the big stuff out of the way first: what made you want to pursue acting?

Christos Shaw: It's a funny story, actually. My dad just sort of threw me into it when I was 7 or 8. He was producing a television series called "Young Blades" at the time, and there was a recurring role for a young kid. He thought I would be good for the part. He took a risk by casting me (who had no experience acting at the time), but it paid off. After that, I couldn't get enough of it. I wanted to be famous! Haha.

That's an interesting backstory! You started your career pretty young, though. Were you nervous when you were first starting out?

Honestly, I don't remember if I was nervous. All I do remember from that experience was being so excited about everything. I was excited about my on-set tutor, my wardrobe, props and the set. I remember being on cloud 9.

That's awesome to hear! Do you still work with your father?

Every now and then, yes. He's always liked to give me small roles when work is slow for me, which I have always been extremely grateful for. It's kept me working, networking, and busy. I don't like to for him very often though. I like to feel as though I earned something completely on my own, and I don't like being treated differently because I am my father's son.

Good to hear; you've definitely proven yourself in your work. So now for the big question: What led you to the wonderful world of Lifetime?

Lots of Lifetime movies film up in my hometown, Vancouver (Canada). I also love working in their films because you tend to work with the same circle of actors a lot of the time. You see a lot of familiar faces on that network. If I continue on to do more acting in the future, I certainly hope some more opportunities for Lifetime pop up.

I certainly wish that for you too! Who have been your favorite people to work with thus far?

The entire cast and crew of Runaway Christmas Bride were truly amazing. I had such an incredible time working with all of them. It really felt like a family. Another one of my favorite people to work with is director, Farhad Mann (who directed Daughter for Sale and The Game of Love). He is so funny, honest and gives great constructive criticism.

Great to hear you've met so many encouraging people! Of all the characters you've played in your career, who would be your favorite?

 I would have to say my favourite character I've ever played was Mike in Runaway Christmas Bride. He reminded me of myself a bit, and I loved that throughout the movie he developed a relationship with Jason, who he did not like in the beginning. He definitely had a lot of depth to him. I also loved playing Michael in I Didn't Kill My Sister.

Yes, those two were definitely fun characters. The first character I remember seeing you portray is Brody from Stolen Daughter. How was it like portraying him?

Oh my goodness, almost forgot about Brody! I didn't necessarily like playing Brody because of who he was, but I loved the plot in that movie and the series of events that happened to him. He was just a teen boy trying to impress a girl, which led to them finding themselves in a scary situation. It was fun playing a love interest though. I had never gotten all flirty before on camera, haha! It was so fun to watch back.

I'm sure that must've been a fun experience. One thing I've noticed about your acting in movies like Stolen Daughter and Where's My Baby? is that you have great skill at emoting (particularly in moments where your character is scared or upset). How is that you're able to do that so effectively and what tips would you give to other aspiring actors?

You know, that's a good question, because I still get nervous about acting in emotional scenes. I think when you are doing an emotional or intense scene with another actor, you feed off one another. You react off each other's movements and expressions, or at least that's how it works for me. So my advice for aspiring actors would be to get comfortable with who you are working with first, and to try not to fear judgement. In Where's My Baby?, I remember the director telling me to overact a little bit, because once you can overact a scene, it's easier to bring it back down to being realistic again, if that makes sense.

It does, and I'm sure my readers will appreciate that clever advice! Any other advice you care to share?

I think some important tips would be to always be confident in your skills, because if you booked a job, you earned it based on those skills--but it is also very important to listen to directions from the director and take their advice. Also, it may not necessarily be a skill-related tip, but always be nice to everyone on set! Always! Also, I'll tell you a little secret for emotional scenes: make-up artists have this special little harmless tool that they use to help our eyes water when we need to cry!

Great advice, and neat trick makeup artists have come up with! One last question: With 2018 still being a fresh year, what do you expect the future to hold for you?

Music! This year, I am putting 100% of my effort into my singing and music career (although I will try to squeeze a movie in somewhere). I spent the last quarter of 2017 taking vocal lessons and writing songs, and while I'm continuing to do that through 2018, I can guarantee you will hear my first single this year! Hopefully, an EP will follow shortly after. I am working with some really awesome people I love, so I hope things will go well and people like what I put out. Expect music from me before the summer!

Good to know you're so ambitious this year. Can't wait to hear and see what you have planned! Thanks for taking the time to talk and keep up the great work!

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