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Session One: The Dish On Gavin Bellour

Actor, musician, and all around Renaissance man Gavin Bellour rocks my little world. After reading this insightful interview, I hope he does the same for you.

(Questions marked with an asterisk were submitted by Jhames. Thanks, LDSA!)

Frankie: First of all, I'm a huge fan of your television commercials. I especially love the spot which finds you in a bowling alley, preparing for your turn by "warming up" with a few dance moves.

How much input do you have when filming spots like this? Is every move you make choreographed, or do you simply "wing it" and hope your scene doesn't hit the cutting room floor?

Gavin: That was actually one of my favorite spots to shoot. The input that an actor gives can vary from being directed within an inch of your life (and being essentially glorified furniture), to totally getting to play around like an idiot.

This was one of the latter. We shot it in an old bowling alley in Vancouver, Canada and to tell you the truth I had very little idea going into it what I was doing as I had done the whole casting process based on a different script.

Long story short we pretty much set up cameras and I got to just dance around like a dork and do what I thought would be funny. The director and I refined it over the course of the day and shot it from multiple angles. A lot of stuff ended up cut out but I was happy with the result. I still think it's pretty funny to watch.

Frankie: What (and when) was the first commercial you auditioned for? What was the first one you got? Which TV spot is your favorite?

Gavin: Uhm ... I think the first one I booked was a Microsoft spot where I was playing guitar on a rooftop and they drew a whole stage and audience around me. As for my favorite I'd probably say the Bowling Alley one or there was a good Napster one too, but I don't know how much it ran.

Frankie: Besides 'This Revolution', in what other films might we have the pleasure of seeing your acting talents?

Gavin: There's one doing the festival circuit later this year called 'These Days' and if you are really clever you might be able to find an old cult movie called 'man/woman/film' where I have a bit part.

Trailer for 'These Days'

I haven't been available for the last few years to do film or TV due to being on the road with Million/Billion ... but we're on hiatus right now and I just signed with a really reputable agency so there'll be some fun stuff coming up.

Frankie: Tell me a bit about 'need:dean', the experimental video. How did that project come about?

Gavin: Oh God ... lol. To be honest I'm not even sure when I did that. My girlfriend recently brought it to my attention and I've tried to watch it but I can't. I did a lot of stuff like that over the years because let's face it, it's fun to play around with cameras and concepts. This was way before the YouTube age though ... so the fact that it would ever end up on the internet was pretty far from my mind. : )

Frankie: A bit of Googling turns up "The Gavin Bellour Trio". Did Million/Billion spawn from the trio, or are the two completely separate musical adventures?

Gavin: I'd been playing solo around LA for a while before I hooked up with Yonatan and Brian. For the first year together, we still didn't have a name, we just played all over and so the 'Trio' was sort of our default name until we were in the studio and we finally decided to come up with something better.

Frankie: How has the recent success of Million/Billion affected your personal life?

Gavin: It's been kinda crazy really. We spent the better part of June through November in a van on tour last year which makes it difficult to keep tabs on people.

One thing I've noticed though is that good friendships stay intact no matter how much distance there is. As for the romantic side of things, I've been in a relationship for over a year so while it seems like it might not be any fun to tour like that, it actually made things a lot less complicated for me, and I would just fly out when we had breaks or she would come and visit us when she could.

Frankie: My favorite track off of 'Ready. Fire. Aim.' is 'Inhuman', it's quite beautiful. I enjoy describing it as 'sensuously melodic'. How would you describe your music?

Gavin: Yeah that's actually my favorite song on the album. I guess the only word I use to describe the music is 'eclectic'. The attempt is always to recombine elements in different ways and I don't think it'll ever stop evolving.

Frankie: I noticed you list Scientology as your religion on your MySpace page. What drew you to the philosophical teachings of L. Ron Hubbard?

Gavin: I've always been interested in philosophical and spiritual stuff and have looked into all sorts of things over the years, from traditional Western to Jewish Mysticism, Buddhism, pop psychology, New Age, Agnosticism, whatever.

I knew a few scientologists socially and they were generally happy, stable, successful people, doing what they loved in life and were fun to be around, so I figured there had to be something to it. I've always been the sort of person who likes to make up my own mind about things rather then listen to others so I checked it out and it made a lot of sense to me.

All the crap I've heard other places really has nothing to do with it. I'm not sure why people like to criticize new ideas so much but all I know is I've gotten great results in my life and work from applying it and I'm a much more stable and self-sufficient person than I ever was before looking into it. It's been great.

Frankie: Hi, I'm Frankie, big gay fan. *waves* Sigh. I know, we play for different teams. Are you aware of your gay fan base?

Gavin: *waves back*. Hi Frankie. (blush). I wasn't aware of my big gay fan base. It's very flattering. Thank you.

My Dad plays for your team and lives in SF so I've grown up as pretty much an honorary card-carrying member ... went to my first Gay Pride parade at about age 8. Love it.

Unfortunately, my particular sensibilities stray the other direction.

Frankie: Related: Your Friendster account. All but abandoned? I'm only asking because under "Who I Want To Meet" you typed: "My own personal stalker". Can I officially have that title? I promise to stalk from afar, as not to frighten you.

Gavin: Yeah I kinda abandoned that. But now that you are my official stalker you can let me know when there has been any activity on it and I'll check it then. : )

Frankie: Who cuts your hair? It's always styled impeccably so.

Gavin: Why thank you. That means a lot coming from a Fashionista.

For years it's been an old friend at a great salon in LA but, I'm in NY for the time being so I've had to find a new guy. I scored though and found a great barber shop on the Lower East Side. I love it.

They even give straight-razor shaves!!

Frankie: With all the different facets of the entertainment industry you're involved with, what do you most enjoy?*

Gavin: It varies from time to time but I've pretty much resigned to the fact that I have to be doing them all. I tend to have more energy when I've got multiple irons in the fire.

Frankie: What do you want to be best known for?*

Gavin: Being a renaissance man.

Frankie: Do you have any plans on combining your band with your work as an actor?*

Gavin: Absolutely. I think they both feed into each other and as things expand in both areas there will definitely be a crossover. It's all about symbiotic relationships.

Frankie: More importantly, How many inches are in your Ginches?*

Gavin: That sight was hilarious. I can't wear underwear like that. I look funny.... even so, I've never had any complaints.

Frankie: How many side projects do you like to keep going at any one time?*

Gavin: Let's see ... right now I'm auditioning for new projects, just shot something, writing for a music side project, and working on developing a screenplay ... so ... I guess 2 or 3 at a time?

Frankie: What are your musical influences, and what helps you push your own musical stylings?*

Gavin: I'm not sure what you mean by 'push' but I think it just means what pushes them along? I'll assume that's what you mean.

Uuuhhhhm. There's so much good music out there and often I find myself being inspired by something totally random ... like right now I'm listening to this funky marching band from Portland called March Fourth. It's like Latin, funk, gypsy music with horns. I love it!

Also right now I'm listening to Nick Drake, the New Arcade Fire, Belle and Sebastian and also an old compilation Island Records in the 60's (early R & B) ... but then I was at the gym and caught myself singing along to Gwen Stafani ... not the most 'butch' thing to be singing, but certainly fun right?

It sounds really obtuse but to be honest, I just like 'good' music ... which I feel can exist in any genre. Whatever makes the foot tap and the mind wander is what I like. The fun part is finding ways to weave all of that around a good song and come out with something totally new.

I'm definitely working on that now ... the new thing I'm working on is sort of Motown/Stax Records with gospel backgrounds, strings and horns ... and also a little digital programming too. Gonna be really catchy and really cool!

Frankie: Thank you again, Mr. Gavin Bellour, for a look into the life of one of my favorite actors and musicians. A year ago I wondered who you were, and what you did.

Today I know a bit more about you, and I wonder if there is anything you can't do.

  1. Anonymous daniel | 4/11/07, 9:00 PM |  

    brilliant. frankie is like a totally good interviewer.

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