Speaking with Ronald Dillard Jr., Writer/Playwright/Director/Actor and Producer

Ronald Dillard Jr. on Location
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A David Rabadi interview with Ronald Dillard Jr.

It’s always a pleasure to speak with people living out their dreams. Todays’ Q&A is with the very talented Ronald Dillard Jr. 

David: Hello Ronald, thank you for taking time out to speak with me. You wear many hats, producer, writer, actor, and director. What role do you favor more?

Ronald Dillard Jr.

Ronald: Hello, how are you? Of course. Thank you so much for having me. Acting is my love. I’ve been acting since I was twelve years old. It’s hard to pick one because I measure them per project and how I can best serve the story; however, having the opportunity to write stories that fascinate me. That gets the edge because it’s nothing like creating the characters, world, and situations that can inspire, inform and entertain an audience. Other writers, I know, and I call it, are made from screech biscuits. 

What inspired you to get into the entertainment industry?

Watching movies as a kid that get you going so much that you say, “I want to do that”! Than to fall in love with acting. Next, you hear a knock on the door in high school, and it’s an opportunity to write and act in a scene in the school play. Just when you think it’s over in college, the theater director taps you on the shoulder and says how about you direct and act in this play. It was all of those opportunities that fed my hunger for these crafts. Then as I got older, continuing to go to the movies, watch a great T.V. Series, or see a great play was a constant inspiration!

What is the most rewarding part of your work?

Going from the blank page to pre-and post-production on to the release of the play or film, hearing what people enjoyed or when they like to talk in detail about what they saw or how it moved them. The first play I wrote, produced, directed, and played two characters in (I Deserve Better). The best feedback I got was that this married couple had been together for twenty-five years. They were watching the DVD, and the husband turned to his wife and said, “Was I as bad as that guy” his wife said, “You were just like him” It Turned out he used to abuse his wife for years past physically and could not recognize the man he used to be. This brought the husband to tears as he gave his wife a big hug and kiss and assured her she would never have to worry about that again. I was thrilled to hear they were able to move past that tough part of their relationship, but for it to have such an impact, it’s hard to get any better. 

Movie Poster

What are some obstacles you face in the industry?

Because I’m not yet a big name, you run into people that look past you instead of listening to you. Which I’ve learned happens to us all as we are still building. So the most important thing for me is to stay ready, so those who listen can see the vision of what I’ve done in the past and what we can do together in the future.

What have you learned about yourself through your work?

That I have seen a lot of pain in my life. And it has been devastating, but I seek to choose the other door instead of allowing my pain to change me into someone I don’t want to be. I know I use my stories to showcase a point of view that I hope my audience can learn from. 

What advice do you have for people looking to get into the entertainment industry?

Decide that this is what you want to do. Do as much research as you can. Study your craft, say, and the people whom you admire that are great at your craft. Listening to Ridley Scott interviews and film commentaries has severed me well. Be kind to people and work hard. Yes, there may be a lot of no’s on this journey, but that is how you decide that this is what you want to do because it keeps you focused, learn from your failure, and give me your best!!!! 

Thank you for your time. Any words of wisdom to all the readers?

I heard this phrase before “If you stay ready, you never have to get ready” I live by those words. In the film, A Soldier’s Story, directed by Norman Jewison, Adolph Caesar, who plays Sgt. Waters says, ” Not having is no excuse for not getting”. I saw that movie when I was a kid; those words stuck with me and served me well. David, thank you so much again for having me!

And, thanks to Ronald Dillard

Photos: provided by Ronald Dillard Jr. Entertainment


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