Steve Grand has made several inroads since exploding onto the national scene when he came out of the closet and was initially known as a gay country singer in 2013.
Now, he's making his acting debut (his first in a non-music video capacity) in the first episode of the web series Falling for Angels, a Here TV/Pride Media project that looks at same-sex relationships in various L.A. neighborhoods. (Grand is in the "Boyle Heights" episode, with Luis Lopez and Adrian Nunez.) Some of the other actors in other episodes include Daniel Franzese (Looking; Mean Girls) and Alec Mapa (Devious Maids).
Windy City Times: How did you come to be on Falling for Angels?
Steve Grand: I guess David [Millbern] and Nick [Oceano], who wrote my episode, contacted my manager. A lot of it was through that route; it's not because I necessarily knew anyone really well. I was interested; they told me the story and I really liked the story.
WCT: And this is your acting debut?
SG: Yeahin terms of it being a character that's not me, that I didn't create. In terms of being on a TV show, this was a first.
WCT: So did you prepare differently for this than with a music video?
SG: Well, I had to learn lines, which I usually don't have to do. And I really wanted to make sure I did a good job. I met with them beforehand and rehearsed with the guy who wrote the character because I really wanted to understand him.
WCT: I had not heard of the Boyle Heights neighborhood. Had you?
SG: I had not, but we did shoot there. It was great, though. We're shooting at a coffeehouse, but they were still taking customers. It was nicejust like a lot of other neighborhoods.
WCT: Was there one aspect of filming that was more challenging than any other?
SG: If I hadn't done my own project, I would have been a lot more nervous on set. With my music videos, I know it's about getting the lighting right, you're trying to wrangle people. I feel like I was able to really understand the perspective of the director and writer of that episode. I really tried to be accommodating and to be like I am when I'm directing a music video. I do thinkif I do say so myselfthat I came to the set prepared to do a good job.
What I think would surprise people is that you really don't get to do very many takes. We're filming all day, but we're getting the lighting and pacing right. By the time you're ready to shoot, you better know it all. I usually like to do a bunch of takes of things, but I made sure I got it togetherand it was a good fear of mine to get over. It's like being on stage; you have to get it right [when you're] right there.
WCT: When you said that, I though of film director David Fincher, who [reportedly] 50-75 takes of certain scenes.
SG: Oh, wow. But with things that are not so big-budget, you've got to pull it together really quickly.
WCT: Absolutely. [Regarding feedback,] have you heard from other people?
SG: I was digging too much to see what other people are saying. But when I posted about it, my fans are really excited I'm doing something and they seem to think I did pretty wellbut, obviously, they're biased. [Laughs] I don't absolutely hate [my performance], which is a good thing. It's hard for me to watch, and that's not usually the case; it's hard to watch myself deliver dialogue and interact with other people in real time.
WCT: Even when transcribing interviews, I still sometimes don't like the sound of my own voice, so I know of what you speak.
SG: Yeah, I used to be like that, too. But I've gotten so used to hearing myself and seeing myself, I'm fine with that; I'm able to be objective with that. But it's hard to know if I've done a good job as an actor.
WCT: Regarding the episode, I have to say that I didn't like how it ended. Your character didn't realize what your boyfriend did.
SG: I totally hear youbut [the boyfriend] stopped. It's one thing to get into that situation and to have your conscience win out in the heat of the momentthat would mean a lot to me. The circumstances are always different, but if my guy told me something like that happened, it wouldn't upset me. What upsets me is lying.
That's an interesting point. Because it's so short, everything doesn't play out.
WCT: I knowI wanted a sequel. [Laughs]
SG: Well, maybe they'll have to fly me back out to shoot some more. [Laughs]
WCT: For me, at least, it'd be good to have some resolution.
SG: It's funny, because I reposted my Christmas video. I still hear from people who say, "Why is it unresolved?" because the guy just disappears; it's unclear if the whole thing was a memory, fantasy or something like that. A lot of my things that have stories are [either] unresolved or they don't end on a happy note.
That wasn't something I did intentionally. But when I was in high school, I was drawn to stories that didn't tie up really neatly. I had such a pure childhood in many ways (I was sheltered for a great deal) that, when I became a teenager, I didn't like happy endings; I didn't feel they were genuine. So I think, subconsciously, I'm trying to put that feeling in my work. Sometimes, life doesn't tie up neatly; sometimes, you have to take the ending and get your own kind of closure from it and move onit's not easy.
WCT: Musically, where are you?
SG: I'll probably have a new record out in the next few months. It'll probably be more popnot as country.
WCT: And you have a calendar out?
SG: Oh yes, I do. I have two separate calendars, at Shop.SteveGrand.com . I've been busy packing them up and mailing them out this week.
Falling for Angels is at HereTV.com and FallingForAngels.com . Three episodes are currently featured, with the remaining three to air in January.
Steve Grand can be followed at SteveGrand.com, on Facebook, on Instagram @stevegrandmusic and on Twitter @SteveGrandMusic .