Believe it or not Actor Dorian Missick has a career that spans three decades long. He's one of those faces in Hollywood that you just know and with a varied resume filled with a plethora of characters, it's constantly exciting to see what he'll bring to our screens next. After recently finishing a powerful season of ABC's new hit drama 'For Life' we caught up with the seasoned actor and got a goldmine of great tips on how he continues to manifest his BEST life!
Dorian, we’ve been watching you for years and it’s so exciting to continue to witness your journey! Take us back, how did acting show up for you? When did you decide that THIS was what you were completely sure that you wanted to do with your life?
I come from a family of storytellers. We're West Indian (Bahamas) and that's a big part of our culture. I have a lot of big personalities in my family, so you have to be just as big to stand out. As a child, enough people pointed that out about me that it made me realize I had a gift. When I finally took my first acting class at 11 years old, I got chosen to be in a commercial on my first day. After that, I dove in and have been telling stories ever since. My parents both seemed to really love what they were doing for a living, so as I result, I just assumed you just found something you loved and made a career of it. I loved acting, so I figured it was what I was going to do with the rest of my life.
Where do you go internally to tap into your characters? Are you/have you been able to identify with any of them personally? [& who's been YOUR favorite character so far]?
Each character requires something a little different of me so it varies. I start by jotting down as many questions as I can think of about the character and the answers are always somewhere in the script. I use music quite a bit too. I'll build a playlist for the character that usually changes as I get to know him better. I find something that I can identify with in every character. That's always my way into their mindset. Choosing a favorite is impossible. That's like asking a parent who's your favorite child. It depends on the day and which one is getting on you nerves the least at that moment!
We just saw you on ABC's ‘For Life’ and also via an incredible live episode with your wife [in REAL life] on CBS' ‘All Rise’! Tell us about your character on 'For Life' & how that role came about?
I play a guy named Jamal Bishop on For Life, and he is Aaron Wallace's best friend in prison. He is a gregarious guy who is able to move between the various different groups in prison seamlessly. He shows Aaron the ropes inside. Jamal also has a deeper and richer background than we initially suspect upon first meeting him. As far as how the role came about, I was doing August Wilson's play "Two Trains Running" in LA at the time I got the script. I was completely immersed in that world of 1960's Pittsburgh and then I get this script! I almost didn't read it just based on the prison premise. I wasn't sure I wanted to be a prisoner every week. I thought that might be too much to handle. But I had heard about Isaac Wright before, and when I found out this was his story and who the creatives were behind it, I read it and called my reps as soon as I put it down and said I wanted to do it!
On ‘All Rise’, you portrayed say sort of your real life alter ego “DJ Tailwind”. How did that come together and of course give us the deets on how you became a real DJ known fully as “Tailwind Turner”?
As you know, Simone Missick is my wife and the lead in All Rise. They were one of the many productions that got cut short due to the pandemic. When the producers came up with the idea that they wanted to shoot the finale completely remotely via digital media, I hoped that they would ask me to join the party as I was going to have to be a cameraman, lighting tech, grip, and craft service for Simone anyway...lol! They came up with the idea of me being the DJ and the voice of the episode because they knew I DJ'd and it made perfect sense. I have had a love affair with records my entire life. When my other actor friends were waiting tables while waiting for their break, I was spinning records to float me. As things took off for me on the acting front, I never put the music down. I still maintain residencies in NY and LA as DJ Tailwind Turner.
If you could, what’s one piece of advice you’d go back and give to your 26 year old self?
I would say "be conscious of where you spend most of your energy." I wasted a lot of energy on unnecessary things and situations when I could've better spent my time and energy elsewhere.
Also our favorite question to ask, as the answers have varied from a fine cigar to quality quiet time; What’s YOUR definition of luxury?
For me luxury is when the people you started out with are all seeing success in their various lives. I'm having a moment when all of my oldest and dearest friends are doing well and we have all witnessed each other's journey to get where we are and thankful to have made it through together. Nothing's better than when the whole team is eating!
Has there been any one poignant thing that this current [pandemic] time has taught you?
Family is EVERYTHING! My mom survived a near death battle with Covid-19, and that entire experience brought my family together in a way we have never been. Even though my mom is fully recovered (Thank God), We all still speak everyday on zoom.
What’s next for Dorian Missick?
Season 2 of "For Life" (fingers crossed)***