When growing up in St. Petersburg, FL, Steve Hamm remembers the impact of the “Golden Rule” on his young life. It wasn’t merely a rule of conduct it was a driving force that he carried throughout his life. Hamm’s parents divorced when he was 10-years old. Although, separated his parents provided structure and discipline that would influence Hamm’s military and acting career.
Steve Hamm hails from a military family. His father was in the Air Force. He enrolled in the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Program. The skills taught in this program (discipline, motivation, leadership) enabled him to pursue a successful military career. After graduating from High School, Hamm decided to join the Army and signed-up as a Helicopter Mechanic. Approximately 8-years into his contract, he was accepted into Rotary Wing(Helicopter) Flight Training. A few years later, he received specialized training as a Maintenance Test Pilot. This was no easy fete, it involved learning how to troubleshoot and diagnose various types of mechanical, electronic, and aerodynamic malfunctions to bring the aircraft back to an airworthy status. Hamm’s deployments included Kosovo, two tours to Iraq and two to Afghanistan. Needless to say, he was quite busy after 9/11. He officially retired in March 2013 after serving over 23-years in the military. “During my last desert deployment, I came to realize that I finally had had enough of being gone for months at a time and living under very austere conditions,” says, Hamm. “To this day, the thing I miss the most is the comradery. You develop such a close bond with people being in that kind of environment. The other thing I miss is the structure. The “civilian world” doesn’t provide this. You must take it upon yourself to have structure and discipline to succeed.”He is currently employed as a helicopter Lifeflight Pilot along with being an Actor.
“During my last desert deployment, I came to realize that I finally had had enough of being gone for months at a time and living under very austere conditions,” says, Hamm. “To this day, the thing I miss the most is the comradery. You develop such a close bond with people being in that kind of environment. The other thing I miss is the structure. The “civilian world” doesn’t provide this. You must take it upon yourself to have structure and discipline to succeed.”
Approximately 6-months from retiring from the Army, on a whim, Hamm decided to attend a weekend acting workshop. After being on stage and doing “cold reads”, he was “bit by the Acting Bug. ” He moved to Ohio and was able to secure a full-time job will pursuing his acting career. A few months later, he signed with an agency and has been acting ever since. Hamm chooses his roles with precision. Many of his dramatic roles have included Military Personnel, Cops, Detective and family roles.
He considers himself an introvert although acting has definitely changed his life. Acting has enabled Hamm to come out of my shell to an extent. “Acting demands vulnerability for character development,” says, Hamm. “This vulnerability enables me to expand outside of my comfort zone and enjoy all the life has to offer.”
He accounts much of his acting success to his fiancé. With her heart of gold, great sense of humor, and direct personality she has provided a great support system by reading and recording lines with Hamm. “She keeps me grounded and I can’t ask for more,” says, Hamm.
Steve Hamm’s career spans from his break beginning with Director David Walker, of Walk-Starr Productions in “Crisis in the Valley,” a Christian drama where he played Anthony King. Then to a supporting role in a web series, “Cold Blooded” a super-thriller shot in NYC by Director Crystal Spates of UniquelyMadeFilms. He also worked alongside Justin Diemert of “BrokenTVEntertainment on “Memoirs of Wroth City” a unique neo-noir crime drama where he played a supporting role as a Police Desk Sergeant. His most recent film, “The Donut” was award winning film honored at the 48 Hour Cleveland Film Festival where he worked with Director Ryan Chester.
His most memorable role was being a featured extra in the Bruce Willis film “Acts of Violence”. When he initially submitted for the role, I was just supposed to be an extra in the background. The Director changed his mind at the last minute and decided to include him and another actress in one of the final scenes.
“Acting takes a lot of discipline! Most people have no idea of what is required to become a successful working actor. They see the glitz and glamour after all the hard work. Acting takes focus, motivation, and constant determination and persistence. Acting is a business and must be treated as one. We are commodities and must keep ourselves mentally and physically in shape to be marketable for future business,” says, Hamm.
What advice does he have for upcoming actors? “NEVER GIVE UP!!” “There is a ton of information out there, but this is probably the MOST IMPORTANT tip and a piece of advice to follow. If acting is your passion, then you must FULLY commit to the process. Like any business, it takes money to make money. Get your professional headshot(s). This is your primary marketing tool. This is what may or may not get you in the door. Have a resume and keep it updated. Get on social media! You must get exposure, and this is the best way to do it. I personally use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Subscribe to casting sites like IMDB.com, Backstage.com, and ActorsAccess. Make sure to keep all your personal info updated with these sites as well. Establish your personal website. This should be your go-to place to advertise yourself and make sure all your social media accounts are linked to it. You never know who might be checking out your stuff.”
He admits that the movie business is a VERY tough, competitive, and sometimes brutal industry. Where thick-skin is a must. Rejection happens 99.9% of the time. You WILL get passed up for a role for a variety of reasons that you have absolutely no control over. JUST ACCEPT IT and move on. Bryan Cranston had some great words of wisdom during one of his interviews. He said he learned, eventually, that once he finished an audition, he would forget about it and move on. He didn’t think to himself that he needed to nail that audition no matter what. By having that mindset, he was able to free himself mentally and give his best performance. This obviously worked for him since he’s a huge star now. I adopted this mindset as well. In doing so, I don’t bring myself mentally down with anguish wondering if I will get booked. If the Casting Director really likes you, you will find out soon enough. If not for that role, they may keep you in mind for future projects.
Think of the journey as a marathon and pace yourself. You will have slumps that can last for months or longer. EVERYONE goes through them. A lot of people consider quitting at one time or another. If this was an easy job, then everyone would be doing it.
NEVER post negative thoughts on social media! This can and probably will end your career.
My final few pieces of advice. BE NICE TO EVERYONE! From casting assistants to fellow actors, directors, and producers. If you are easy to work with, word will get around. People in this industry talk to each other. Once booked, come to the set prepared. Know your lines. Do your homework. Act like a professional. There is a lot of hard work involved to make what looks on screen natural. ENJOY THE JOURNEY! It’s well worth it in the end.
Find out more about Actor Steve Hamm by visiting his Official website at www.stevehamm.org