Perhaps best known for his role as Bob on Seinfeld, Vazquez boasts film credits in Captain Phillips, The A-Team, American Gangster, War of the Worlds, Che, and Runaway Bride. He consistently doubles down, sleuthing out ways to maximize his potential as an artist and actor.
So why does someone like Vazquez, who has established himself as a “working actor” in Hollywood, continue to work with Terry so many years after studying?
Well, first of all – they are close friends and artistic collaborators. They initially crossed artistic paths in 1991, and to quote Vazquez:
“You’re always thinking… what other crack can I get on this [character]? … Which is why I work with [Terry], because he sees things that I didn’t see. You know, many things. So you have a great collaborator. Someone who’s like ‘what about this? This particular person knows me, and Sam [Rockwell] and others really well. He knows the lock to the combo. The combination to the lock.”
The training offered at Terry Knickerbocker Studio is all about rising to the occasion of the material and the character you are playing. We, as actors, are encouraged to find ways to source our characters’ through the use of our imagination. Therefore, it is helpful to collaborate with someone, like TK, who knows you, and what you are capable of, so very intimately.
Additionally, Vazquez has built his career on sniffing out roles with value. During a #TKActor talk last year, he was asked about the best career advice he has received:
“Follow a part. I don’t care if it’s in a basement of a church. If it’s a great part? Do it. You can’t always ‘hit’, but if you follow certain things you can hedge your bets. And ‘following a part’ is always a good idea, I think.”
Terry often encourages us to unapologetically define for ourselves, “What are my goals as an artist?” and work from there. Saying you want to be a “working actor” is a fairly unimaginative goal. Acting is a hard business to crack. If you’re going to immerse yourself in an industry where the odds are quote-unquote “stacked against you”, why on earth would you set a small-potato goal for yourself?
Vazquez understands this on a fundamental, artistic level. He, like Terry, was, and still is, interested in maximizing his potential as an actor:
“It’s important to have a clear idea of what you want. When you have a clear course about something that speaks to you, at the end of the day, it’ll come through you. It goes into you and comes out through your filter.”
We feel unbelievably fortunate to consider Yul Vazquez part of our #TKTribe. And if you haven’t yet checked out what the New York Times calls “arguably the first true TV hit of 2019“, we encourage you to set aside a weekend (who are we kidding, you will binge this show in a day…) to pop yourself up some popcorn and hunker down.