Success Story: Marquis Stewart on Booking ‘The Prank Panel’ and Getting His SAG-AFTRA Card on Casting Networks
Marquis Stewart is originally from St. Louis and began doing theater at an early age. A natural performer, he always knew that was his path. His schooling led him to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and he has been acting professionally for three years. He credits much of that success to the help of Casting Networks and his self-submissions, which really got him off the ground running. He sat down with us via Zoom to talk about getting his SAG-AFTRA card, his recent success on the platform and what is coming up next for him.
Thank you for sitting down with me! Tell me all about the job that led to getting your SAG-AFTRA card.
So, I booked a new prank show called The Prank Panel back in April 2022 and it’s going to premiere on July 6th, and I’m really excited about it. The Casting Networks ad said, “Do you have someone you want to prank or someone who’s always pranking you,” so I took a chance and applied. Casting selected me and said that I was the very first person they cast.
So, are you a comedian?
I wouldn’t say I’m a comedian, but everyone thinks I’m funny. I just couldn’t see myself being up on stage for a long period of time, making people laugh.
What was your experience like on set?
It was overwhelming but in a good way. It was like one of those surreal moments like, Oh my gosh, is this really real, you know. I have a lot of gratitude and am very thankful for the opportunity to just be selected by someone taking a chance on me.
Who is in it?
It’s Eric André and Gabourey Sidibe and Johnny Knoxville, and just seeing it all come together was so surreal. I’m just very thankful because I’ve worked hard, and everything that I’m trying to pursue is finally unfolding. I would do it all again, and that’s how I got my SAG-AFTRA card. I wouldn’t have gotten it if it wasn’t for Casting Networks.
What else have you booked?
I’ve done a lot through the platform. An app for the Lotto, a mouthguard ad and a lot of variety from commercials to The Prank Panel. I also booked Adidas, and that was pretty awesome too.
Do you have any tips for people who may be signing up for the platform?
I would say the most important thing [is] that a person should make sure that they are doing [updates] on their profile and when they’re setting it up is to make sure that they have pictures that showcase not only their personality but different looks. I feel like a lot of casting directors want people who are very diverse and not just one similar look, so if people do have different looks, I would say that is a plus.
So, great pictures.
Yes! Stay away from selfies because I did that, and Casting Networks is professional, so you don’t want to have selfies unless they ask for them. They’re going to look at you as if you’re not taking it seriously. Also, having your reels in regard to showcasing your work is really important.
Do you have anything coming up?
I’m actually really excited because I am going to film a movie!
Thanks! It’s a faith-based movie, and I did get it on Casting Networks. It’s a lead role, and I’m excited about what the journey has to offer and what’s in store for filming a leading role.
That’s awesome. Any advice for being on set?
I always just say to let your light shine and be your true authentic self. Soak in everything in every experience, whether it’s the same type of project or a different one, it’s always a new learning lesson and experience. I’ve realized [that] even though you’re doing what you love and you’re on set, it’s like you’re still learning a lot -not only about the industry but yourself as well— and how you want to be portrayed as an actor or actress or performer or entertainer.
That sounds like a good life philosophy.
I know a lot of people let things get to their heads. I just soak it up and really experience everything.
Well, congratulations on having so much success with the platform. I always think it is brave to move across the country to become an actor. St. Louis to Los Angeles is pretty far. Do you have any advice for your younger self as an actor?
I would tell my former self to take myself more seriously because my profile wasn’t really well put together, and as I said before, presentation is key. How you want to be viewed as an actor, entertainer, actress, or whatever your title is in the entertainment industry starts with yourself. It starts within you.
So, you just have to let your light shine.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
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