Interview by Naomi K. Bonman
They say hard work pays off and that is definitely the case for Inland Empire resident Raheem Mitchell. Mitchell was recently cast in the Amazon Prime series, Finding Miles, where he plays Harold Jackson, a former top salesman in a brokerage firm who, through the actions of hos best friend, is now homeless.
Mitchell got his start in acting through Daz Patterson who taught him a lot about the entertainment industry in terms of acting, stage etiquette, and terminology. She also taught him how and when to audition for certain projects, scene study and professionalism.
“She has been my guide and mentor for a large part of my career,” Mitchell states.
You were recently cast in a Amazon Prime series. Can you tell us the name of the series and the role that you play in it?
The name of the series is Finding Miles. I play Harold Jackson, a former top salesman in a brokerage firm who, through the actions of his best friend, is now homeless.
How was the casting process for the film? How did you go about auditioning and hearing about he auditions?
I subscribe to a casting service, LA Casting, where I submitted for the role and was asked to audition. The casting process varies from production to production. In this case, the producers and directors viewed my profile and acting reel on the LA Casting website and contacted me for an initial audition. I was then asked to return for a “call-back” and then for a reading with other cast members.
You got your start with IE Filmmaker and playwright Daz Patterson. ,What are some of the things that you learned from her that has helped shape your career?
Ms. Patterson has taught me a lot about the entertainment industry, including Acting, Stage Etiquette and terminology, how (and when) to audition for certain projects, scene study, professionalism, etc. She has been my guide and mentor for a large part of my career.
What other projects are you working on?
I am working on several film and television projects , including the Warren G and Snoop story, the L.A. Southside Slayer ID Channel true crime story, and the Rae Carruth (former NFL Player) true crime story. In addition, I continue to perform stand-up in various venues, such as the Ontario Improv, the world famous Comedy Store in Hollywood, the Mad House in San Diego, and others.
What inspired you to get into show business?
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always enjoyed making people laugh and performing to be the center of attention. It got me in trouble in school of course, but it has brought me to where I am now. My motto is “All I need is a stage!” And it can be a film, television, theater, or comedy club stage!
What is your advice to other rising Inland Empire actors that are trying to get their name out there, but feel that they have to be in L.A.? How can they create a buzz around their name in the Inland Empire?
The entertainment business is not an easy one. If you are in it solely for the money, you will face many disappointments. I am in it for the love of performing. The advise I can give to other IE actors who love to perform is to join websites, such as LA Casting and others, put your profile up, get professional headshots and start submitting for roles that fit you or that you want to try. Don’t give up if you don’t get the one role you want. Don’t turn down roles simply because they do not pay. These can be used to build up your resume.
The more experience you have the more you will be used. With the Internet, you don’t have to live in L.A., but you DO have to be available for auditions and filming whenever they may occur. Filming can take place anywhere, so be ready to travel (drive) on a moment’s notice. Some roles may only offer IMDb (Internet Movie Database) credit, but this is the go-to database for Directors and Producers to see what you’ve done. Don’t give up your dreams. It is not an easy life, but if this is what you love to do, it can be very rewarding.
As an actor, what do you feel is missing in the inland Empire, also what are some of the strengths that you see that the IE has in terms of show business?
The IE is sorely lacking in “tools” for the entertainment business. Specifically, things such as acting classes, classes in the various performing arts (i.e., acting in commercials, stage production, set-building, film editing, etc.) that are readily available in the big cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, New York, etc. If it wasn’t for Ms. Daz Patterson, I would not have been able to channel my natural talent into a working talent without having to take expensive acting classes and going back and forth to Los Angeles. Daz puts up stage productions which offer the community the opportunity to experience performances, and up and coming actors to hone their craft. The community also needs to support their talent – attend stageplays and performances. The strengths that the IE has in terms of show business is the talent. There are countless talented actors, singers, writers, etc. who have the will power and talent to go far, but don’t have the necessary tools to work with.