Summerville native turned Hollywood actor: ‘I’m glad I’m from the town that I am’
Scarlett Wactor hasn’t seen her oldest son, Johnny, in two and a half years.
“We Skype on Christmas morning,” she said. “What can I say, I miss my child. I hope one day he makes it well enough that I can see him at least a couple times a year.”
But that’s all part of the sacrifice you have to make to follow your dream, according to Johnny Wactor, a Summerville native who now acts on the NBC TV show “Siberia.” The show airs on Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC.
“Acting is not an easy thing to do and not an easy industry to get into,” he said. “You have to be willing to bust your butt, and you’re going to have to make a lot of sacrifices.”
Wactor began his acting career in Summerville when he attended Rollings Middle School of the Arts and Summerville High School.
“I’ve always been keen on entertaining people. … My best friend and I made numerous movies together in high school, I did theater in high school and I stuck to it in college,” he said.
Although Wactor double-majored in business administration and Spanish when he attended the College of Charleston because they were more practical choices, he couldn’t keep away from his passion. After his graduation in 2009 he moved to California, according to his mother.
“You have to work hard at it, and a bit of luck doesn’t hurt either,” he said with a laugh.
Scarlett Wactor agreed her son has been lucky.
“In general I’m excited for him because what he loves to do is act. I’m proud he has had the opportunity to make a living at this. It’s happened faster than we thought,” she said.
For Johnny Wactor, his recent success has been encouraging and has helped propel him toward his future career goals.
In addition to filming season two of “Siberia,” Wactor will be acting in a small film called “The Road Home” beginning next year, has directed his own independent film he hopes will premier at the Toronto film festival, and is “constantly” going on auditions.
In part, he credits his success to his Summerville roots.
“I’m glad I’m from the town that I am, I’m definitely different from a lot of the actors out here because I have a genuine disposition. That prepared me for the acting world; there are so many people that are kind of fake out here, they put some façade on instead of being themselves, but being genuine has definitely helped me get this show,” he said.
He continued, saying his experience should be encouraging for aspiring actors everywhere: “If I can do it from a little town like Summerville, anybody can do it from anywhere.”