We were fortunate enough to talk ish with Chicago’s very own…Harold Dennis!!! Harold is a actor who have been in over 100 films…yes people you heard right, he’s been featured in 171 performances to be exact. And he’s not done yet nor show any signs of slowing down anytime soon. Lets get to know Harold Dennis…
3 Voices: For those who may not know, tell them who Harold Dennis is & what have Harold Dennis done.
Harold: I am Harold Dennis. I’m an actor. I was nominated Best Actor for the film “Englewood”, by the African American Arts Alliance Of Chicago. I have been honing my abilities every day for over sixteen years. Every gig that I’m involved with has something to do with the craft. I’m a Chicagoan. I love this city. I’d like to continue living here and work wherever the work takes me. I have 13 years of class time, which includes 10 years with Ted Sarantos, 15 months with Green Shirt Studio, 2 years with Eta Creative Arts Foundation, 1 year with the Actin’Up Performance Troope, and many workshops under my belt. I like acting in film. That’s what I said I wanted to do when I started and today, that is what I do. I don’t get involved with the community plays anymore, because the independent film offers are frequent. I can’t do both without giving up film projects.
I help others, I coach aspiring actors. I’ve given free acting monologue workshops at a few film festivals. I help connect actors with filmmakers. I wake up in the morning looking for my next project and before I go to bed, I’m looking for my next project. This is who I am.
I acted in a play called “I Was There When The Blues Was Red Hot”, in 1998 up until June of 2000. I was in One Hundred and Seventy One performances, often playing two roles in a show. It was performed at the former Gerri’s Palm Tavern off of 47th St. and King Dr., in Chicago. We also performed the show in city colleges around town. We even performed the show at 12 noon, downtown, outdoors in the middle of Daily Plaza. There was a 9pm show time, It was “Free” to get in and $10 to get out. I loved that play, it provided me the opportunity to get an enormous amount of stage experience. In 1999, I was cast as Ernest in “Impromptu”, which ran for a short period at the former Excalibur Shakespeare Company of Chicago, The award-winning, multiracial, Professional Chamber Theatre in Residence at the Harrison Street Galleries Studio Theatre in Oak Park, Illinois. I had the opportunity to perform at Actors’ Theatre in Louisville, KY in 2001, in “A Raisin in the Sun” as Joseph Asagai, for a short run, in which I received applause.
My first role in a film came in October 1998, cast as the lead male. It was a Columbia College short film directed by Amber Washington. My first indie feature film role came in 2001. I was cast as the lead. The film was called “The Seventh” or “The Seventh Stone”, filmed in Louisville, Ky.
To get a glimpse at a list of some of my film projects go to: www.imdb.com/name/nm1815557 I am also attaching my demo reel and other clips of film work for you to see.
3 Voices: What made you want to be an actor? How did you get started out? What were some of your first roles?
Harold: I guess in the back of my mind I always wanted to act. I just didn’t believe that it was possible for me. My father(R.I.P.) has a half sister named Marian Rolle, niece of Ester Rolle from “Good Times”. She is an actress. She performed her one woman show off Broadway and overseas for years. The show was called “Desiree”. My father used to talk about her when I was young. I found myself on stage in a school play in second grade. It didn’t go so well, in my mind. I did other projects for school and church but wasn’t committed. So, I got involved in many other activities over the next years.
In 1993 I saw my mentor and high school band teacher, John Watson Sr. in “The Fugitive”. That was the first time I ever saw someone that I knew on the big screen. That moment changed my life. I understood then, that it wasn’t impossible for me to do this thing, that was secretly in the back of my mind my whole life.
I ran into a couple fraternity brothers that I knew at a party one evening in 1994 and they mentioned that they were filmmakers, Kenny Young and Carl Seaton. I kept in contact with Kenny. In early 2007 I was a background actor/ extra on my first ever real film set, “Early Edition”. I was amazed at what I saw. I did more gigs over the next few months. I began to want to do more, I wanted lines to deliver. Kenny suggested I take a class. So I enrolled at Eta in September of 1997, taking beginning and advance acting there. I was in class every Tuesday and Wednesday evening up until May of 1998. Then I took the advanced class again. Myself, Kenny and Carl along with other actors started an actin’Up Performance Troop in February 1998. We met every Saturday morning, in the basement from 10:00am until 2:00pm for a year.
My first roles as an adult came during the student showcases at Eta, and in Amber Washington’s short film. Others are, “Fredrick “Udig” Johnson and “Big Flo” in “I Was There When The Blues Was Red Hot”, “Ernest” in “Impromptu” and “Joseph Asagai” in “A Raisin In The Sun”.
3 Voices: Who are some of your influences? Who would you love to work with some day?
Harold: The people that have influenced me are my parents. Other influencers are the adults that I watched while growing up. My mentors are my high school band teacher-the late John Watson Sr., my acting teacher at Eta-the late Harold “Ocoro” Johnson, my aunt-actress Marian Rolle and my acting teacher for the last ten years-Ted Sarantos. I’m in class almost every Wednesday.
Over the years there have been a number of actors that I’ve said I’d like to work with someday. The list keeps growing. So, I would just like to keep working with very talented actors now.
3 Voices: You have been in over 100 films, videos, & commercials, which is incredible. What are some the roles that stand out for you?
Harold: I have a number of roles that I’ve played that stand out. One was “Father Sheppard Flockings” in “Peaces Of A Dream”, I was accused of child molestation in that film. I heard the role was offered to Kanye West but he didn’t take it. So, out of everyone else in the country, I got the role.
I played a Nigerian in “Adia”, a short film. I married a 14 year old girl in that one. The audience didn’t look at me kindly after the screening.
I can go on and on.
3 Voices: After having such an extensive career, what is your ultimate goal? What is the role of your dreams?
Harold: My ultimate goal is a secret that I keep close, and even if I did achieve it, I probably wouldn’t recognize it because it keeps widening. I can say that I’d like to win awards and help other actors achieve their goals. It makes me smile to know that I was part of another actors’ happiness. It brings me pleasure to know that the people in the audiences watching my work can leave the theater afterwards with some small thing to carry with them to use which will add value to their lives.
My dream role is to play “Dante” in a screen adaptation of “The Inferno”. There, I said it.
3 Voices: What is next for Harold Dennis? Are there any exclusives you can share with us?
Harold: I actually have a bunch of projects right now in the works, some completed and others to be filmed within this upcoming year. I’m very excited. Here’s a short list of titles to look for:
2015 Dead News Report (pre-production)
2014 Shadows of Death (pre-production)
2014 Day 1 (filming)
2014 Bachelors Grove (filming)
2014 True Grace (filming)
2013 Deacon’s Choice (filming)
2013 Drifted (filming)
2014 Four Seasons (post-production)
2013 Devil in My Ride
2013 Dark and Quiet: The Execution of Trayvon Martin (You Tube)
2013 Motivational Growth
3 Voices: How can the people reach Harold Dennis on social media sites such as (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and etc.)?
Harold: You can reach me at:
http://youtu.be/SO_9G1tOKvI 30 second clip
trailer…Christian scenes preview from JR2 films
http://youtu.be/gZJcTcjxQVE “Pieces Of A Dream” movie trailer
http://youtu.be/Gbhgr34eivM “Pieces Of A Dream” music video
http://youtu.be/EiaL7J7R2vM 20:17 “ Dark And Quiet: The Execution Of Trayvon Martin
http://youtu.be/p8Vu5irK-3g “A Better End” trailer
http://youtu.be/fdKTZ0l6Y5g 5:55 “Out Of District”
http://youtu.be/nQtEHhCQs6Y Christopher Nolen’s Four Season’s (Movie Trailer)
http://vimeo.com/43108790 36:34 PCC Network presents Actor Harold Dennis
http://youtu.be/JD1LbPXIV60 The Visitor from Elsewhere Interviews Harold Dennis Part 1
http://youtu.be/XIySPm9euRc The Visitor from Elsewhere Interviews Harold Dennis, Part 2
And there you have it people! You heard it all from Harold Dennis himself! Amazing right? If you’re an inspiring actor, you definitely want to reach out to Mr. Dennis to get some tips on being a better actor. Much success to you Harold, we look forward to your future films and seeing you win more awards. Keep in touch.