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Actor, Filmmaker and Fight Choreographer: Mike Kovac

I met mike on the set of a theatre show I did last year called Made of Stone. He was our fight choreographer and I had so much fun watching him work. The beginning bar fight, once done in front of an audience, looked so real that many audience members came up to us after asking how we did it. They thought they were actually hitting each other and could see no other way around it. Obviously that wasn’t the case.

A graduate of the Capilano University Acting for the Stage and Screen Program, Mike is also an actor/filmmaker living in Vancouver, BC.  Recently he has been part of various stage productions such as Vixens of Wonderland, The Lost Girls of Neverland and Grimm Girls (Concrete Vertigo Productions). Mike has been involved in other shows such as Annie (RCMT), Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Point B Productions), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Western Canada Theatre) and The Thing About Men (Arts Club Theatre Tour). He has also been a part of such films as Yesterday, Mon Ami, Swindle and the upcoming feature, Extraterrestrial. As well, look for him in the Some Assembly Required, Supernatural, Hellcats and Haunting Hour television series.

The Interview

1. What is the force that drives you forward? What fuels your ambition?

Sincerely, the thing that drives me forward is the fact that I truly love what I do. I love working in the entertainment industry and the fulfillment I get from it. It’s as simple as that.

2. Can you talk about your greatest “failure”? (Something that led to your most significant shift in consciousness, and made you who you are today).

It wasn’t necessarily a “failure” per se, but it was one of my lower moments. I was nineteen years old and had just come off of my first two “tours” with a theatre company, each lasting about nine months each. I was trying to work out what to do with myself, and auditioned for a show that would have kept me busy for a little while. I didn’t end up getting the part and was suddenly faced with this vast abyss of nothing coming down the pipe. I became severely depressed. I had no show to throw myself into like I had for the past two years, essentially.

Finally, I was lying on the couch, looking up at the ceiling and I actually said out loud, “Fuck this” and got my ass up. Pardon my language, but that is what I was feeling. I took a look at myself and how unfulfilled I was and vowed then and there that I would never let that happen again. Never again would I let myself NOT have something, some area, some project, some passion, some whatever to devote my energies to. And since then, I haven’t.

3. Are you happy? What does happiness mean to you?

I am absolutely happy, but I do not live with any idea that happiness is a permanent fixture in life. Life is not all going to be happy… And weirdly enough, being okay with that is the path to true happiness. I think, anyway.

4. What do you think is your greatest strength? What is your greatest personal challenge (something you struggle with)?

I would like to think that my greatest strength is the way that I treat people – but I think others would have to verify that for me. In terms of my greatest personal challenge, right now it is legitimately having the energy to do everything that I have set out to do. I have complete confidence that I can do them. It’s just about enough hours in the day and calories in the body.

5. What do you love about what you do?

In short – everything. It feels natural to do and I get fulfillment from it. I also like to help people relax, tune in and share an experience, whatever that experience may be.

6. What is the one habit that you’ve implemented that has had the greatest impact on your success so far?

It’s hard to explain, but in essence – Just doing it. I’m absolutely for preplanning the things that need to be preplanned and working out all of the angles for safety and effectiveness, but there comes a time when you just have to do it. I have found that where others have maybe hesitated or doubted themselves, my ability and willingness to jump into something with confidence and passion have earned me the better experience. That goes with performing, social situations and life in general. It’s not running blindly into things, mind you… It’s just going in with good, strong intention. (If ANY of that makes sense.)

7. How do you deal with doubt?

Do something. The solution is in the action, not in the stewing about the inaction. It doesn’t matter what time of day this is. Sometimes I am hit with the big, bad, ugly doubt in the middle of the night – so I wake myself up and do something, ANYTHING that will get me mentally moving back in the right direction.

8. Is there a quality that you think artistically successful people have in common? What is it?

That’s a tough one to peg down, but I’d still say just doing it. I really like the Andy Warhol quote, “Don’t worry about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide it it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”

9. Do you have any advice for artists? Perhaps advice that you wish you’d been given when you were first starting out?

Actually probably the Andy Warhol quote from above. That and “There are no rules.” There are trends, guidelines, etc – but there are NO rules. A lot of the time when people will tell you, “You can’t do that” it’s just them admitting out loud that they themselves can’t do whatever it is. Ignore them and do it anyway if you really feel like it’s the best choice. To try something and fail is way better than never trying at all. Maybe you’ll succeed!

10. What is your happiest memory (could be related or unrelated to your field).

In the bridge between boyhood and being an adult, I had a magical summer. Words cannot express that happiness. It was growth, beauty and fireflies. I felt like Pip in The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury.

And the last questions is quick

11. What is your favorite book? It could be about your craft, or maybe just an excellent story. If that is too difficult to answer, who are your favorite authors?

Either Zen and the Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig or John Dies at the End by David Wong. David Wong would have to be my favorite author at the moment.

Check out the favourite books by the other interviewees

Follow Mike

IMDB: Mike Kovac

Mon Ami (a film executively produced and starring by Mike Kovac)

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Mike Kovac: Sometimes I am hit with the big, bad, ugly doubt in the middle of the night – so I wake up and do something to move back in the right direction.
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These conversations are about the creative soul. They are the true experiences of creatives with their own creative impulse, and they are the private (made public) reflections on what creativity feels like on a very personal level. All interviews are conducted by Christine Bissonnette
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