XPAT Spotlight – Interview with German Actor Constantin Cascante
Graduating German high school (Gymnasium) with accolades and having won prizes in subjects like Economy, French and Latin, Constantin Cascante was expected to continue his path in the academics and go for a career in medicine, business or law. But to the surprise of everyone and against all odds Constantin chose a much unexpected path.
He decided to pursue his passion since childhood. Acting!
In search of the ‘American Dream’, he set out for his adventure and left Germany at the age of 19. After stops in Oxford and New York, he finally ended up in Hollywood – a dream come true for all actors.
Born in Tübingen and raised in Stuttgart, Constantin now lives in Studio City in Los Angeles.
Constantin, you’re living THE dream! You were in the midst of preparing for entrance exams to get into Oxford when you suddenly changed course and decided to follow your childhood dream of becoming an actor.
Instead of Oxford, you set out to make it in the film industry. Today, you are in fact successfully working in the industry. I am sure it wasn’t just as easy as it all sounds…
True. When I decided to go to the U.S., it was like entering a whole new world. As an actor, I was fortunate having been able to learn from leading industry names. However, I was also in for some surprises…
As a professional actor, coming from a German-European cultural background and a rather academic family, it was at first hard for me to get used to the Hollywood way of doing things. I had no connections, no relationships that could have helped me in the film industry. Furthermore, the harsh competition, the firm way of promoting yourself, and the amount of rejection you have to face as an actor, held me back at the beginning and left me with a lack of confidence that was reflected in my auditions. I learned firsthand that competition in Hollywood is huge and being a professional actor requires a lot of hard work!
However, apart from my working hard on myself and being persistent, luck continued to stay on my side and already on the first movie set I was so fortunate to make connections that got me signed with a great Talent Manager, who had worked before in the music business with icons such as Sting, David Bowie, and Whitney Houston.
When did your passion for acting emerge?
My passion for acting started, when I was a kid. Growing up I always loved movies and it fascinated me how so many different stories could be told and reach so many different people. I was always intrigued by actors and the way they worked and embodied a character. Furthermore, I always loved how movies could trigger so many different emotions in me. A movie could pick me up when I was down, make me laugh, smile or even cry. On top of that, I always loved making people laugh or tell stories for the enjoyment of others. However, it started very innocently with simple accents or impressions that I would do.
I also grew up with a father, who on the one hand had a great passion for movie classics from which I learned a lot, and on the other hand, he had a love for comic books which led to us being the first in line whenever a new Marvel movie hit the theaters.
When I grew older, it was not only about the movies anymore. I got more and more intrigued about the actors, the way they work, how they work on a character, and the acting industry itself, which growing up as a German isn’t something you ever come in contact with.
In school, I never actually acted, also because there weren’t that many opportunities to do so, and I was trying to focus on my grades. I feel like in Germany, arts aren’t really encouraged as much as your academic career. That’s why acting always stayed in the back of my mind as my dream job but I was too scared or it seemed too impossible to pursue.
What was your parents’ reaction to your decision to become an actor in Hollywood?
My parents’ reaction to my decision was mainly positive. It was in fact with the encouragement of my parents, I went to New York to start the first step of living my dream. They raised me by telling me that I should always follow my dreams and do what I love. Whatever that may be, they will always be there to support me.
Of course, they wanted me to think it through and be sure that whatever I am doing is best for me. But considering that my plans had so drastically changed from becoming an Oxford academic to aspiring a career in Hollywood, my parents took it very well and encouraged me in the pursuit of my dream.
What did Hollywood teach you?
I early on learned that if I wanted to make it as an actor in Hollywood, I had to change my approach, work harder on myself and my confidence, and find classes to keep me up to my game. That’s why I spent time on sharpening my acting tools with workshops taught by Mark Teschner (Casting Director of General Hospital), Stuart Wilson (Stuntman of Bruce Willis), and “The Audition Game” (led by Wendy Davis, lead actress in Army Wives). My newly sharpened skills, alongside my rediscovered love for sports, playing Soccer and Volleyball competitively, contributed in a big way to building up my self-esteem.
As a result, my newly found confidence helped me to take my acting career to the next level which was instantly visible in my work. I came into audition rooms confidently and my callback rate has been at an all-time peak.
Persistence got me to star in multiple short films including the romantic- comedy “The Bright Side of Attraction” and the gritty Action-Thriller “LA- Dangerous”. I also did music videos and viral videos in Howie Mandel’s Studio where I even had the pleasure of meeting him personally. Over the last weeks, I had a big German commercial shooting in a studio in Hollywood, and I starred in a TV Pilot, a short film headed for film festivals and got a recurring role on a series.
Despite some challenges, all these experiences have confirmed my determination to keep working on myself and improving to take further steps towards my goal of reaching “The American Dream”. I believe that eventually, hard work and perseverance does pay off and I am confident that more good things are headed my way.
What do you love about California and what could you do without?
There are a lot of things that I like about living in California. I mean, of course, I love how close you are to all the big studios and pretty much everything acting related. It keeps me, as an actor, always inspired and focused on my goals.
Here in LA, I also met my girlfriend, who is originally from New York; and something I really like about California and LA are the people in general!
People here tend to be very friendly, helpful and openminded and I think that LA being very international plays a big part in that as well. Same is the case with the people I meet on set. The crew and my fellow actors are often a great international mix as well as talented and fantastic to work with. All my good friends here are from all over the planet like France, Italy, Mexico, Puerto Rico, San Diego, Iceland, Sweden and so on. It’s a great thing because you get to learn so much about the different cultures.
Lastly, the weather! I love California weather, especially compared to the weather in Germany, it’s like a paradise here.
The one thing I could do without, is the traffic in Los Angeles – not a big surprise, is it?
What’s your Expat Insider Tip for living in California?
Stay true to yourself! – I did a lot of sports at home in Germany, pretty much during all free time I had. When I came here, I first lost track of that. One of my tips would be that you should definitely find time for what you like to do. You need to strike a balance – and sports is a great way to do that. Even better is to do it with others. I have met a lot of nice people by playing Volleyball and soccer.
Do you have any “Heimweh”?
Heimweh – not really, I’ve been traveling and been away from home for over three years now. You learn that your family is always with you anyway and whenever I do miss them, I just call them up, although it is a big time difference from here to Germany.
Thank you, Constantin, for taking the time to have a conversation with us. We wish you luck with your Hollywood adventure and will be keeping an eye out for you and try to spot you on tv or the movies!
Constantin Cascante – Actor in Hollywood
Appearances in “The Bright Side of Attraction”, “LA- Dangerous” and many other short films. Starred in German Car Commercial and TV Pilot, music videos and viral videos in Howie Mandel’s Studio and recently got a recurring role on a series.
Find out more about Constantin and his work at:
Image Credits: ©Constantin Cascante