Here at Studio 27, we pride ourselves on fostering talent and highlighting artists doing cool work in the community. Their successes are our successes, especially when they’re local to Atlanta! We interviewed actor/writer/comedian Swift Rice and chatted about acting, comedy, and making a living from art.
Studio 27: Hi Swift! Thank you for allowing us to interview you!
Swift Rice: Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be interviewed. A friend told me “it is better to be seen than viewed”...sorry, that was random.
S27: Ha, no worries, we love it! Tell us a bit about who you are, and what you do.
SR: I’m a improvisor/comedian/actor. I enjoy teaching at my afterschool program. We teach acting and improv to kids ages 10-15. I consider myself a “hustling artist.” I’m blessed to be able to make a living from my gifts.
S27: What made you want to get into acting and writing?
SR:I’ve wanted to be an actor for as long as I can remember. I was an only child for many years, so I created and mimicked a lot of characters. My mom took me to a lot of plays in NYC. She also kept me involved in activities that sparked my creativity. I think when I performed at Madison Square Garden was when I really wanted to be in the business.
S27: That’s amazing - I didn’t know that about you! And you and I have gotten to perform a few times together at Dad’s Garage in Atlanta. You’re an awesome improvist - how did you get started with improv, and how does it play into your acting work?
SR: I love performing with you - your choices are so complementary to whomever is in the scene with you. I started in stand-up, because I thought it was the fast track to acting. That’s when I met Tommy Futch. He had the idea of turning 9 urban and blue comedians into “clean” improvisers. [That’s how] The Blacktop Circus was born. It was one of maybe three all-black improv groups in the country. That was all of 20 years ago - it’s a lot more now.
I [also] use improv for my auditions and helping me to create better choices.
S27: What’s the best piece of advice you ever received as an actor?
SR: Be honest in your scenes and keep perfecting your craft.
S27: What are you currently working on?
SR: I just filmed Boomerang, which is a TV show that picks up from the 90’s movie of the same name. I will be filming a movie in Savannah next week which I can’t name at this moment, and [am] filming a TV show called ‘Doom Patrol’ that I shoot next week as well. Also, I have a project that I wrote called, ‘Black Magic’ that will also feature [Atlanta actor] Hannah Aslesen.
S27: What future projects are you most excited about?
SR: [That] project that I can’t tell you about! And Black Magic.
S27: We can’t wait to hear more when you’re able to share it! Finally, what advice would YOU give a young, aspiring actor?
SR: Being an actor is a journey of self-discovery. Be true to yourself and be true to the scene. Oh and don’t do drugs.