Luciano Vignola is both an actor in film and theater, as well as a musician, and has been in the entertainment business for quite a while. He recently starred in the short film, Children of War by APOLONIAD Productions. It is my pleasure to have a sit down with him today, and get to know him a little better. Join us in our chat below and learn more about Luciano.
Miranda ~ Hello Luciano! Glad to have you visit TBAP today. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Luciano: I was born and raised in Bohemia, New York. I come from a one hundred percent Italian family. I began studying the art of drumming at the age of five, and then at the age of eight, I began my career as a drummer for a pop/rock group. At thirteen, my family relocated to Nashville to pursue greater opportunities for that group. And then at seventeen, I was blessed with the opportunity to study at Lipscomb University, with a focus in acting. Upon graduation, I began my journey, and have been blessed with many different experiences in both my field of acting, and in everyday life, itself.
Miranda ~ Are you a Christian and, how did you become a one? Tell us your story.
Luciano: Yes I am. At the age of seven, my mother accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior. Through reading the Bible, and learning about the many Biblical heroes, I discovered I wanted to be just like them. Sometime during the age of seven or eight, I decided to follow in my mom’s footsteps and accept Jesus as my Savior.
Miranda ~ You’re into acting. How did it all begin?
Luciano: As a kid, I did a few auditions. Several industry people had seen my drumming, and saw me as a TV talent as well. I wasn’t really too crazy about it. It wasn’t until I was fifteen when I started seeing real film and hard-hitting motion pictures, that I developed this love for acting, storytelling and directing! I became set on being an actor. I chose Lipscomb because it was local, and they had a startup program that needed actors. I knew nothing, but I figured they were new, too, so they would use me.
Miranda ~ What led you to decide to go into Christian film acting as opposed to secular? Or do you work in both industries?
Luciano: I actually act in both industries. It’s an interesting mix. There are certain roles that I will not accept, and I’m very much into redemptive stories; whether it’s a Christian film or a secular one, I’m all for the deep-rooted worlds.
Miranda ~ In what ways is the Christian film industry different from the secular? Do you think there’s room for improvement in the Christian film industry?
Luciano: Christian film and secular film differ very much in content and believability. Secular film isn’t afraid to take it to a realistic place. With that being said, I believe it’s important to filter what is essential to tell the story, and what is not. On the flip side, Christian films have excellent morals, standards, and are usually safe to watch, but it lacks on believability and story structure. I think as Christians, we play it safe at times, and strictly cater to our own audiences.
Miranda ~ How has your journey so far in acting/filmmaking helped develop you spiritually?
Luciano: Honestly, I can’t say that acting has made me a stronger Christian. It could be a culmination of the projects that I’ve worked on as well as my relationship with God at the moment that I was involved. But a goal of mine is to always bring a positive and encouraging vibe to every set.
Miranda ~ What has been your experience on the Children of War set? How has it made you a better actor/person?
Luciano: Working with Apolonia was AMAZING. She is so talented and creative. Working on the Children Of War set was very exciting and full of awesome and upbeat people. We all met the first day of shooting and became a family when it ended. Everyone contributed to the story. If we didn’t understand something, then we would talk it out. The role was a stretch for me because I am not a Southerner, nor have I ever been a Coalminer. The research about the city of War was fascinating, and it painted a picture of struggling families. I worked on my southern accent with a dear friend of mine, Steve Alberts (the character, Slavy Freeman). The work stretched me, and caused me to dig deeper to make it real for me. Lots of fun it was!
Miranda ~ The role you played in Children of War, has it inspired you personally—if so, then how so?
Luciano: The role of the character, Les, shines light onto the sons/daughters who stick around with a parent(s) into their old age. It’s like the older son in the Prodigal Son story from the Bible. The younger son walked away, but the older son remained to help take care of everything. Les is that to me. He speaks support, love, and protector. In a way, I think he also wants to live up to his Father’s will to keep going.
Miranda ~ What do you hope viewers of this movie will walk away with?
Luciano: Forgiveness. I think it’s important for the viewers to make the connection that it’s not about the past. It’s about the present, and the return of a family member that has messed up. It’s about celebrating that return.
Miranda ~ Are you part of any film project right now? May we have a sneak peek?
Luciano: I am currently working on a TV show called American Super Group! It airs on Pop, MTV Live, and MTV Classic.
Miranda ~ What are you most grateful for—generally/presently?
Luciano: I am most grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ; He has brought many blessings into my life that I would never have encountered if it wasn’t for Him. He is amazing and truly loves me! The second blessing that I am most grateful for, is my fiancée, Kelly, and our son, Kamden. They are both life to my day. Kelly is the strongest, most hard working person I know, and she inspires me to push harder every day! Kamden knows exactly how to put a smile on my face, and his love is so precious! He teaches me that the simplest things are what truly matter most.
Miranda ~ How would you describe your experience as an actor as opposed to what you expected it to be before you started acting, especially in regards to fame and hard work?
Luciano: Acting is definitely a hard job. The common thought is that you just simply say your lines and then you’re done. There is such a craft and an art that goes into acting. As far as becoming famous, I think that depends on who you are, and what you define as your point of success. If fame is the goal, then the artist will not get far. Love for the craft is what ultimately pushes the artist into the spotlight because, they refuse to allow a No to stand in the way of what they live to do.
Miranda ~ What advice would you give to anyone venturing into the industry for the first time?
Luciano: Really think about what you want—why do you want it? Can you live without it? Do you have a plan B set in place? “Plan Bs” are double-edged swords. The thought is that, if you have a plan B, then you will automatically default when Plan A fails, so therefore never have a plan B so that Plan A can’t fail. I’m torn with this because, if an actor gets burned out, and decides after 10 to 15 years that things aren’t working, and so no longer wants to live the stressful life of an actor, then they have no other skill in their tool belt that will feed them. Plan Bs offer a safety net just in case the career of an actor takes a turn for the worst. It would be much better falling into the backup plan of Plan B (doctor, teacher, accountant, corporate world, director etc.), than being stuck working a job that forces you to live paycheck to paycheck.
In the end I encourage anyone who has a dream to go for it! Dream big, live your dream, and strive for it. But I also encourage you to think smart.
THIS or THAT Q&A
Coffee, Tea or Mocha? Coffee
TV or Magazine? TV
Jogging or Pushups? Pullups!!! J Pushups, first; then jogging.
Rain or Snow? Rain
Spring or Fall? Spring
Summer or Winter? Summer
Breakfast or Dinner? Dinner
Movies or Books? Books, first. Then movies.
T-shirt or Collar shirt? T-shirt
Gym or Outdoor? Outdoor
About Luciano J. Vignola
Luciano J. Vignola, named after his Italian mother Lucia, was born and raised in Long Island NY. His film Credits Include: Cope, The Key, The Cleaner, Crossing The Line and Dead of Night. Luciano received great praise for the originated role of James Cashill in the play Twilight of the God’s, produced by the Blackbird Theatre Company. He also received great acclaim for his work on the musical Hairspray, where he starred as smarmy show host Corny Collins. Luciano has performed in plays such as Death of a Salesman, Taming of the Shrew, Barefoot in the Park and Much Ado About Nothing. He is also recognized as a Drummer and Entrepreneur. He is known for his good humored and exuberant personality; and his ability to connect/encourage others.