Interview: Actor Colton Tapp

Film Dumpster chats with up and coming actor Colton Tapp about his career, his process, and his upcoming film and television projects.

Colton Tapp grew up skateboarding and playing paintball in a small town outside of Dallas. As he grew older, he realized there were very few places near him for people like himself to pursue their hobbies, so he decided to open a skateboard and paintball shop. The business flourished, eventually leading to Tapp owning three stores, and even being approached by the city to help design their first skate park. But despite his access, he was not happy with the retail world, and chose to take a leap of faith, and sell the business to pursue another passion of his: acting.

The change in careers wasn’t without its obstacles. “Luckily, I had just taken part in a film called Blood on the Highway before I had considered doing this as a career, and I  had worked on the crew of American Idol season seven, but the biggest challenge was pairing up with somebody who was going to train me to help build the career I wanted to build,” says Tapp. “You can’t just hop in and think you’re going to do it yourself. But luckily I was able to put together a team that was going to help me take off in the direction I wanted to go.”

When discussing his acting process, Tapp says that while he prefers to rehearse, the nature of the business doesn’t always allow for it. “Typically, you’re brought out onto a set, and you’re shooting the minute you walk through the door.” Tapp also says that while he likes to stay tight to the script, he’s always up to a challenge. “I’ve been specially focusing on my improv skills, and have been studying with [famed improv group] The Groundlings in LA. It depends on the situation, though. Sometimes you have to go in and show the emotion more than the words, where as other times you have to stick to the script and tell the story how it’s told.”

Tapp has a full schedule of projects ahead on which he has recently completed work. He can soon be seen in the drama Three Days in August, in which he costars with Rocky Horror Picture Show and Spin City’s Barry Bostwick. The film tells the story of a woman’s search for her birth parents. “I didn’t feel my audition went great,” says Tapp, “but  about two days later I call a call to come back and read again, and the director asked if I would come on board.” The film, which conveniently shot about three hours outside of Dallas, was a learning experience for the actor. “It was great working alongside Barry Bostwick, Marriette Hartley, Meg Foster, Ed Hyland, who are just four huge players in this game. I was in just about every scene with them, and was able to see their process as actors, which was awesome,” says Tapp.

Tapp can soon be seen portraying a couple of historical figures. In Solar Eclipse, which centers around the assassination of Gandhi, Tapp will be  portraying John Wilkes Booth, who will be seen through a series of flashbacks and dream sequences. In addition to Solar Eclipse, Tapp can be ten in an upcoming episode of the Fox News series Legends and Lies with Bill O’Reilly, portraying  Lieutenant Edmond Gaines. “Gaines was a true American hero that most people don’t know about,” sas Tapp.”When [former Vice-President to Thomas Jefferson] Aaron Burr was running for President, he was a real political headache. He was great at politics, but he had a terrible agenda. He almost won the Presidency, but he had committed a couple acts of treason, but because of his power, he wasn’t going to be brought up on any charges. My character Aaron Gaines was the one who bounty hunted him, brought him back, and arrested him for treason. “

Tapps also recently wrapped production on the science fiction thriller Boundary, “I’m an ex-fighter pilot in the military, who is recruited by NASA to explore the edge of the universe, where they have discovered a whole that might hold some answers on the other side,” says Tapp. Giving the film the science stamp of approval is none other than noted theoretical astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. “He’ll be working at the NASA control center, helping us out when all goes wrong. It’s going to be pretty neat.”

Tapp’s love for horror has led to a few projects in the genre, including the short film Something’s Here, for which he won Best Actor and Best Screenplay in the Dallas Horror Film festival, and the upcoming Death Road, in which Tapp will also serve as producer. Producing is something the actor says he’d like to continue to pursue. “It was a lot of fun being able to piece the team together, and see the project from start to finish,” says Tapp. I think producing is a great route for an actor to take, because you really have your hand in a lot of pieces.”

We would like to extend a special thanks to Colton Tapp for speaking with us. You can follow Colton on his website, www.coltontapp.com.

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