An actor is always refining his craft. Whether it’s a small town community play or an epic blockbuster movie, there is something to be learned – talents to be mastered. For Edward Tournier, that process began in children’s theater and continues today.
The 28-year old, soft-spoken actor grew up in the Boston area after moving to the United States at age three. He’s always had an interest in performing. And, from age 10, Edward was dazzling audiences with a wide-range of talents at a local children’s theater.
“I was always pretty captivated by acting,” he told me in a telephone interview. “It was a place to channel my energy.”
His family was rooted in entertainment and “always enjoyed all kinds of art and theater,” so it was a natural talent for him to pursue. While he took some drama classes in high school, it wasn’t until his time at Boston University that he fell in love with theater.
“It just felt very natural to me,” he said. “To keep at it, you have to have that interest and drive to keep moving forward…that’s what inspires me every single day.”
After finishing his college studies, Edward booked “Normal Adolescent Behavior,” an independent movie starring Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia) and directed by Beth Schacter.
“It was a small indy project,” he said. “They had a very exciting young cast and it was fun to be a part of it.”
Edward also shot 10 episodes of an MTV series, “What Goes On,” but it was never distributed by the network.
“That happens sometimes,” he said. “It was fun to do, but not everything works out in the end.”
Both projects were filmed on the east coast, but Edward said to succeed in the industry, an actor needs to be where the jobs are, so he moved to southern California.
“Los Angeles is the epicenter of the entertainment industry,” he said. “This is where things happen. This is where actors act.”
He’s lived in the city of angels for five years now, going through the typical “good times and bad times and lots of theater work.” Edward says every experience is a valuable lesson to “stay creatively sharp” for when the phone rings with the next role.
The writer’s union strike a few years ago changed the dynamic for professional actors though. “People are trying to rap their head around a new media opportunity,” he said. And there are so many of them. “It’s been a challenge for actors.”
He just finished a six week run producing and starring in “Monkey Adored,” a first-run, original production at a local Los Angeles theater. While the Los Angeles Times gave it a mixed review, they praised Edward’s “charismatic” performance.
“It was a really fun part to do,” he said. “It was incredibly rewarding to be in on a world premiere…and doing contemporary theater. It was such a great project!”
Edward reminds himself daily to keep focused on what is important – especially in a city full of exciting ideas and projects.
“It’s easy to lose sight of what I’m doing, because I get to do what I love,” he said. “I’m always seeking to expand my horizons and with acting, things can change in a moment.”
Keeping his acting skills sharp is a continuous process – but one that Edward enjoys doing on a daily basis.
“Being an actor is an act of faith really,” he said. “You have to make your own work, because there are so many people competing for those jobs.”
For him, that means staying physically fit, intellectually sharp and always creative. “You have to make sure you are always prepared so when the phone rings, you’re ready to go.”
Friends and family are an endless source of inspiration and energy, especially when he may be struggling with a particular role.
“My family is endless supporters of mine,” he said. “They are my champions and inspiration to keep going every single day.”
There is a lot of downtime for most professional actors – the period between roles when auditions and job searches consume their time. When the next role doesn’t come quickly, it can be discouraging – something every actor experiences from time-to-time.
“When I do want to quit, I’m reminded that this is what I want to do and I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Usually, that’s exactly when the phone rings with another opportunity.
Edward is a member of the Rogue Machine theater company – a group with whom he genuinely enjoying performing. “I’ve had great opportunities to write, direct and produce with them, so I’ve really sort of stepped up my involvement in other areas of the industry.”
The next project for this exceptional actor is undecided as of this writing, but opportunity is never far away. “I’m always excited about what comes next,” he said.
Whether it’s another stage play or a television series, Edward Tournier is an actor that is here to stay. And, that’s a good thing. Hollywood needs more actors with his character, intellect and determination.