We had the good fortune of connecting with Kevin Carrao and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kevin, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Growing up in Chandler, I always did creative things. Loved building random things out of legos, wrote poetry, even made movies starring my stuffed animals using a cardboard box with a long piece of paper at the end for the rolling credits. I went to Corona del Sol High School in Tempe where I got heavily involved with the drama program,. It gave me the opportunity to start acting and work on productions behind the scenes too. Once I got to college at ASU, I figured I needed a “real job” for a career, so I waited to declare an official major. However, my second semester of college I took an acting class, and knew that I loved acting and working on productions too much, and it still needed to be a major part of my life. I ended up getting a BFA in Theater Education. But instead of going right into the classroom, I ended up moving to Los Angeles to take my chances as an actor, or play the lottery as I called it. I knew right away it would be difficult, already knowing how cutthroat the industry can be. But I felt it was important to at least try, and not regret in the future failing to take on the challenge.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In 2005, I moved from Phoenix to Los Angeles. When I arrived, I hit the ground running, getting my first representation and being sent out for auditions. I have always been a character actor specializing in comedy, so I began some improvisation classes at Groundlings and L.A. Connection Comedy Theater to continue my growth. In the beginning, I was a little intimidated to try out improv. But the thing I learned most from it is that there is not just one correct way to do comedy. It is not a competition, but a collaboration. At L.A. Connection, I was given the opportunity to perform live shows weekly for about two years, including with the improv group “8 Ball”. I was able to perform with “8 Ball” twice at the World Famous Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip, which was pretty awesome. Also during this time I began working as a background actor, given the chance to be on the sets of both TV and film including “The West Wing”, “24”,

“The League”, and “The Dark Knight Rises”. Being able to work on professional sets showed me how similar that world was to my original theater background. You have all these people on and off camera, or on and off stage, that basically come together as a family to create something entertaining for an audience. Performing in front of a live audience has its energy, but performing for the camera lens provides it’s own energy as well. The audience may not be present, but you know you are creating something for them. I realized over time how grueling the auditioning process truly was, and decided to start creating opportunities for myself through writing. This led to my first short film being produced, “Torture Me’, where it was my first time acting, writing, and producing all for the same project. And in an interesting turn of events, the film was selected for the Phoenix Comicon Film Festival, which turned into a homecoming for me. With the same producing team, we worked on another short film “Obtuse”, again with me starring, writing and producing. For this film, I finally got to screen in Hollywood at the Holly Shorts Film Festival. Around this time, I had a friend of mine that turned into my writing partner, Patricia Rigney. We wrote very well together, and started working on our own original comedy scripts for television and feature films. I then found out the writing world is just as difficult as the acting world when trying to pitch scripts to production companies. This led to Patricia and I creating the web series “Glasscock Park”, so we could produce something that we wrote together. In 2021, “Glasscock Park” premiered on YouTube with nineteen episodes. With this new project came the addition of new responsibilities for me. One of them was adding the director hat. I had directed for theater before, but this was my first time doing so for the camera. It is different than directing for the stage, because what you decide to do is frozen on film forever. I ended up learning an additional skill with this project as well, editing. It was very interesting to experience the decisions that needed to be made as an editor, and to do your best to make the strongest choices so the final product is as polished as possible. After our first season ended, we were proud to be an official selection for the 24th Annual Dances With Films Festival in Hollywood. And in 2022, we became an award winning series when our composer for “Glasscock Park” won Best Original Score at the Indie Series Awards in Burbank. Over the course of time, my career keeps evolving. Basically, I’ve had a lot of challenges that I took on and then found the ways that worked best for me to move forward. With any type of profession, you can always learn and get better, and thats exactly what I’ve continued to do over time. And I’m still reaching the point where a general audience can associate the name Kevin Carrao to comedy both for acting & writing. I can dream, can’t I? But following your dreams are just as important as ever. And it’s crucial for all of us to continue to strive for our goals.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When I go back home to visit, a majority of my family and friends still live in the East Valley. In general I always make sure to get some Mexican food, because.

it’s way better in Phoenix than California. One of the places I like to go to is Espo’s near Chandler Boulevard & McClintock Drive. It’s near my parents house, so I’ve been going there since I was little. Always have to get a ground beef hard shelled taco when I’m there. I’m also a big Phoenix Suns & Phoenix Mercury fan, as well as the Diamondbacks, but basketball is my overall favorite. So I try to go to games when I can, and love to see how much downtown Phoenix has grown over the decades. And even downtown Chandler has changed so much too, love all the new restaurants that are all around that area as well. When I hear people are traveling to Arizona, I also suggest going to Sedona. I just think it’s such a beautiful and magical place.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Of course it’s difficult to single out from family and friends, who have all had an impact on my life story. But there is still one person from my youth that I have always credited with truly spurring on my creativity. It’s my 5th grade teacher, Katherine Winrock at St. Mary-Basha Catholic School in Chandler. She was a New Yorker with crazy sayings that was able to bond with ten years olds. Besides the general lesson plans she had to execute, she made sure to instill with all of us the importance of the arts, whether visual art, writing, and also music. She honed in on each student’s true potential. Even after the school year was over, she personally sent us newsletters in the mail, talking about her travels, visiting museums, and even reading lists of books to check out. And remember, this was all before internet and everything that we are used to for communication today. She helped me to really embrace my creative side, which was really important before entering my teenage years. Over time I was able to reconnect with her, this time thanks to to the internet. I try to meet up with her when possible while visiting back home. She is still that special person I am so grateful to have encountered in my life.

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