The Working Actor EDITOR'S INTRO
This is the tenth in a continuing feature at IndustryCentral profiling "The Working Actor".
William Shakespeare said "There are no small parts.....". William Shatner may have said it too, but the longhair with the tights was first, or so the reports go. In this feature we will explore what it really means to be an actor working in Motion Pictures and Television.
Broad public acknowledgment may have eluded some who find their way to these pages, or perhaps they may have brushed against what is referred to as stardom by virtue of one or more remarkable performances. However for many, the rewards of plying their craft in a field which has allowed them to earn a living may exceed the burdens of public acclaim. Given the chance, some in this clan might prefer the longevity offered by anonymity over the potential for short lived fame.
These individuals, either by design or fate, have managed to sustain a career by crafting performances which rendered them a good casting choice. They are usually thought of as a face you recognize, but you just can't get the name past the tip of your tongue.
Most of these folks have spent countless hours on stage in theaters ranging from 20 seats to 2000, building characters from the works of Ibsen, to Eliot, to Williams, to yes even Shakespeare, and so many of the modern Playwrights. They have rounded their skills doing drama, comedy, & musicals. Their work is a serious venture.
These people have given us screen performances which quite often were the catalyst that brought an Oscar or Emmy to another and yet they continue to work as "Characters" or "Co-Stars" without the trophies and plaques adorning their mantle.
Miguel Sandoval
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Miguel Sandoval has appeared in almost one hundred film and television roles, including the popular boxoffice hits "Jurassic Park", "Clear and Present Danger", "Do the Right Thing", "Get Shorty", and "Up Close and Personal".

He has guest starred on such television series as "Seinfeld", "Frasier", "Murder One", "Law and Order", and "E.R.". Mr. Sandoval will next be seen in the films "Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her" (Spring 2000) and "The Crew" (Summer 2000).

Miguel began working as a professional actor in 1975 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when after studying pantomime (on a lark) with a local mime school, he was asked by that company to join the cast of "The Dumb Wife", a Commedia del'Arte to be performed in the parks. Later that year, Miguel joined the troupe full time and continued more sophisticated study of mime, working with Tom Leabhardt, a disciple of the famed Etienne Decroux, founder of L'Ecole de Mime de Paris.

Along with his wife (and original mime teacher) Linda, he transformed the company into New Mexico's first full time professional theater company performing original works, as well as classical and contemporary pieces. Examples are "The Collected Works of Billy the Kid" by Michael Ondaatje, "The Ride Across Lake Constance" by Peter Handke, "The Real Inspector Hound" by Tom Stoppard, and "An Anthology of Works by Gertrude Stein".

Besides presenting its work in a formal theater, the company, called The Performing Arts Collective continued to perform in parks and schools throughout the state until its members disbanded in 1979.

Miguel then founded an acting company comprised of inmates at the New Mexico State Penitentiary. They trained two times a week for one year, eventually presenting a production of "Waiting for Godot" and "Endgame" for the inmate population, as well as the general public.

From there Miguel went on to act in a season at The Nina Vance Alley Theater in Houston, Texas, playing Tybalt in "Romeo and Juliet", among other roles. Next he returned to his hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico for the inagural season of the Santa Fe Festival Theater, performing in "Cyrano De Bergerac" and "The Front Page". It was during that summer (1981) that Miguel got his first taste of movie making when he was cast in the film "Timerider", executive-produced by ex-Monkee Michael Nesmith, who recommended him to the director of his next film (Repo Man), Alex Cox. So it was off to La-La Land.

While beginning to work in television and movies, Miguel kept his hand in the theater playing the title role in Peter Handke's "Kaspar" and an adaptation of "The Circus of Dr. Lao", among others.

After "Repo Man", Miguel worked with Alex on five other projects. "Sid and Nancy", "Straight to Hell", "Walker" (also Casting and Second Unit Director), "Highway Patrolman" (Casting only), "Death and the Compass", and most recently, "Three Businessmen".

310/ 277-4400

Seven Summits Pictures And Management
(323) 655-0101

Miguel Sandoval's advice to the aspiring actor:

"Don't let them see you sweat. Develop a strong and candid relationship with your representative(s) or maybe your loved one or coach, someone who allows you to rant, complain, moan, whine, voice resentments ("Don't they know who I am" category), flip out, maybe even rehearse, etc.

Then you can get it all out and when you go in for the interview/audition, you are self-possessed to the maximum; James Bond, baby, The proverbial Ice Queen. You're prepared, you're confident, and, perhaps most importantly, you've released all those nasty demons that can only prevent you from scoring the job.

Yeah, sure, luck has something to do with it, but as the old adage goes:
The harder you work, the luckier you are."

Miguel Sandoval's Credits (partial)
  • Blow (Ted Demme)
  • Tortilla Heaven (Judy Hecht Dumontet)
  • The Crew (Michael Dinner)
  • Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her (Rodrigo Garcia)
  • Panic (Henry Bromell)
  • Flight of Fancy (Noel Quinonez)
  • Three Businessmen (Alex Cox)
  • Route 9 (David Mackay)
  • Where's Marlowe? The Movie (Dan Pyne)
  • Death and the Compass (Alex Cox)
  • Mrs. Winterbourne (Richard Benjamin)
  • Up Close & Personal (John Avnet)
  • A Corner of Paradise (Peter Rinnggaard)
  • Fair Game (Andrew Snipes)
  • Get Shorty (Barry Sonnenfield)
  • Scorpion Spring (Brian Cox)
  • Breach of Trust (Charles Wilkinson)
  • Clear and Present Danger (Phillip Noyce)
  • Death Wish 5 (Alan Goldstein)
  • Jurassic Park (Steven Speilberg)
  • Quick (Rick King)
  • White Sands (Roger Donaldson)
  • Ricochet (Russell Mulcahy)
  • Jungle Fever (Spike Lee)
  • Impulse (Sondra Locke)
  • The Gumshoe Kid (Joseph Manduke)
  • Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee)
  • Walker (Alex Cox)
  • Straight to Hell (Alex Cox)
  • Sid and Nancy (Alex Cox)
  • Howard the Duck (Willard Huyck)
  • Repo Man (Alex Cox)
  • Timerider (William Dear)
    Television Movies and Min-Series
  • Spenser: Thin Air - Dir. Robert Mandel - A&E
  • The Apartment Complex - Dir. Tobe Hooper - Showtime
  • Foto Novelas - Dir. Carlos Avila - PBS
  • House of Frankenstein - Dir. Peter Werner - NBC
  • The Fixer - Dir. Charles R. Carner - Showtime
  • Red Wind - Dir. Agniezska Holland - Showtime
  • Texas - Dir. Richard Lang - NBC
  • Girls in Prison - Dir. John McNaughton - Showtime
  • Confessions - Dir. Gilbert Cates - NBC
  • Dangerous Dancing - Dir. Stuart Cooper - USA
  • Cisco Kid, The - Dir. Luis Valdez - TNT
  • La Capra - Dir. Carlos Avila - PBS
  • Ned Blessing - Dir. Peter Werner - CBS
  • Majority Rule - Dir. Gwen Arner - Lifetime
  • Death and the Compass - Dir. Alex Cox - BBC
  • Nothing Personal - Dir. Bradford May - NBC
  • La Pastorela - Dir. Luis Valdez - PBS
  • Dedicated to the One I Love - Dir. Brad Wigor - CBS
  • Switched at Birth - Dir. Waris Hussein - NBC
  • El Diablo - Dir. Peter Markel - HBO
  • Dangerous Passion - Dir. Michael Miller - CBS
  • Cause of Death - Dir. Mel Damski - CBS
  • She Said No - Dir. John Patterson - ABC
  • Night of the Dead - Dir. Paul Wendkos - NBC
    Selected Episodic Television One Hour
  • Law and Order
  • E.R.
  • Fire Co. 132 (Series Regular)
  • Green Dolphin Street (Pilot/Series Regular)
  • The Marshall (Recurring)
  • Murder One (Recurring)
  • N.Y.P.D. Blue
  • L.A. Law
    Selected Episodic Television Half Hour
  • Frasier
  • Maximum Bob (Recurring)
  • Grapefruit Moon Cafe (Pilot/Series Regular)
  • Seinfeld (Recurring)
  • Home Improvement
  • Birds of a Feather (BBC)

For more info and credits see IMDb

-- ---End

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Robert Donner [July 1999]
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