From The Quad to Giants, 2017 has proven to be the year of rising stars and one talented individual to keep your eye on is Omar Salmon. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Salmon is an actor who has done numerous projects ranging from theater plays to independent short and feature films. His resume includes Law and Order, Power, and Broadcasting Christmas with Melissa Joan Hart & Dean Cain. Salmon also stars in the popular web series Makeup and Breakup the Series as Blake and the short film InSex as Sean, both of which have won awards at the inaugural Black Web Fest 2017.
Check out my interview with Omar Salmon where talks about both projects winning, his dream role, what’s next for him, and more below.
1-When did you first decide that you wanted to pursue a career in acting?
I first decided I wanted to pursue acting in my late teens. Growing up, I always knew I wanted to do something that wasn’t typical for the average black man. I felt I was different and owned that. I played basketball like every other black child across America but it didn’t fulfill me. After watching enough Denzel movies, I knew I could give acting a shot. After a few small projects, I fell in love with it and the rest is history.
2-Who’s your favorite actor and/or actress?
My favorite actor of all time is Denzel Washington without a doubt! I just feel like he’s the greatest to ever do it. To me, he is the [Michael] Jordan of acting. You can’t really put him in the category with anyone else. But my favorite actor right now is a tossup between Michael Fassbender and Jake Gyllenhaal. There’s just a level of the work that you can see that they do. The commitment to every character and the insight that they allow me to have into their world on the screen is just amazing! When I look at them, I become inspired all over again. I also really like Mahershala Ali and Hugh Jackman as well. With Mahershala Ali, there is a level of ease that he has. He is just living on screen as if a camera isn’t all in his face. You can’t buy or teach that. And Hugh Jackman is just a beast! His concentration in every scene is just beautiful. He doesn’t take a scene off. I know you asked for my favorite but, as you can see, I couldn’t just wire it down to just one. LOL!
3-You’re first role was in Law & Order. How was it being on the set of an award winning series?
Law and Order was cool. It was a VERY long day but, it was cool. I enjoyed it. The good thing about sets like that is you get to see firsthand what professionalism is! You get to see and learn that there’s a time to joke around and there’s a time to be serious and get the work done. Even now when I work on indie films or projects, I like to work with directors who have that same mindset.
4-You starred in The Will To Want and Two Days in Harlem, two short films that won the audience choice awards at film festivals. How were these experiences?
Well, The Will to Want is the project that meant the most to me. Even until today. Temi Tokosi, the director for that project, was super cool. He was passionate and he had a vision for what he wanted. He had my respect from the first time we were on set together. We shot for 3 days and two of them were 12 to 14 hours long. I remember getting home from [New] Jersey at 1am and having to get up out of the house at 5am to meet in the city so we could go back to New Jersey to shoot. At one point, the director got really sick and couldn’t shoot anymore. We had about two more shots to get. Everyone banded together and got the job done. The DP, producer and AD all pulled together and made it work. The funny thing about it is that, I loved every minute of it. It was definitely a passion project for all of us on set. I have the poster hanging up in my room ’til this day.
Two Days in Harlem was fun. It was cold as ever outside shooting some of those night scenes but we got the job done. The cast and crew for that project made everything really easy and smooth. They were definitely organized and on their game! I loved that!
5-You starred as Blake in Makeup and Breakup. How did you get the role?
I knew the writer/director, Eric Dickens, from a previous project that he casted me in back in 2013 called Township. He texted me one day and asked what was I working on. He told me he had a role that he wanted me to play in a web series that he was putting together. He sent me the script to the 1st episode the next day. When I read it, I was automatically going to do it! There was no way I wasn’t going to be on board with it. He’s a really good writer but I didn’t expect to be that drawn in by the script. I had to play Blake once I read it no matter how busy I was!
6-You star as Sean in the incredible short film InSex. How was that experience?
InSex was interesting. Projects that require love scenes are always a little weird for me. LOL! Playing the character Sean required a different approach from me. I didn’t find him to be a usual suspect. He was more complicated than some may see at first sight. I thought the cast and crew were cool as hell and they took it seriously. Everyone invested a lot and it’s always great to be a part of something like that. And the hard work paid off…
7-Both projects won awards at the first ever Black Web Fest. How does it feel to be part of two award winning projects?
It feels really good! It’s humbling actually. The camaraderie on the set of Makeup and Breakup makes the feeling that much better. We all have tons of fun and we get the job done. Everyone takes their job very seriously-everyone from behind the scenes to all the characters. I love it! InSex-I am super proud of because a lot of effort and hard work was put into that by everyone. The director was on his game and for me, on a set, it all starts from there. We follow the directors lead.
8-What is your dream role?
My dream role is something that I’m working on now. There is a One Man Show that I hope to have up and running next year. It takes a lot of work and I have to go through all the work that’s needed. I’ll be working on it in class with my acting coach, the great Susan Batson. She’s amazing! The character is a person that I take very seriously and he is a huge inspiration in my life. I’m not going to say who the person is yet but, just know it’ll be good!
9-What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into acting and/or writing?
The advice I would give is: make sure it’s something that you REALLY want to do. Better yet, the only thing you want to do. It is VERY hard work and if you want to be taken seriously, you have to do the work. No matter how good you are, be prepared for a ton of rejection! It can and will mess with your mind. You will feel not good enough at times. But as long as you’re truthful with yourself, you will be okay.
10-What is NEXT for Omar Salmon?
I look forward to getting back on stage this year. I love theatre and I haven’t been on stage for about three years. I’m dying to get back on stage! Also, I’m about to work with the Writer/Director of Makeup and Breakup on another short film. I have a small role on VH1’s The Breaks for this season. I can’t wait for that to air. Hopefully they didn’t cut me out. And lastly, I’m just looking forward to getting better at the craft and making people connect to the characters I have the honor of playing and portraying.