Film Courage: Ravi, you were an investment banker or you did something with finance?
Ravi Patel, Actor: I was! I was doing my parent’s dreams. I did finance and I was working in the banking world.
Film Courage: And what happened?
Ravi: I blew it! No…I’ll tell you what happened…I got laid off around 2001 and I’d already used up my vacation days. I knew…I was just a horrible investment banker. I hated it.
Film Courage: Why?
Ravi: I knew at that point in my life that I had to at least try something that I cared about and that began the journey of me kind of like doing a lot of crazy stuff and eventually after awhile I was in LA bartending. I was thinking about going to Law School and I got asked to do an audition. The next thing you know I was a full-time actor. It was crazy.
Film Courage: So how do your parents feel about it now (if you don’t mind me asking)?
Ravi: My parents love it! They’re acting now, too! Success is great. Every parents excited when it’s working. But when I first did it they were super scared because they are naturally conservative. But now they are literally acting now themselves, so the tables have turned.
Film Courage: Sure. Was there a moment where you almost went back [to the 9-to-5 world]? I know you said you were laid off?
Ravi: I constantly relapse and say why am I doing this? Because acting is a very abusive relationship, you really have to know what it is. And I’m also not one of those people (those rare few) that believe that if you want to be an actor, that it’s all you need to focus on. I actually think to be an actor you need to have other sources of happiness, other sources of fulfillment and honestly even other sources of work and then you can really give yourself to acting. Because what makes acting really hard is when it gets confused with the career. Because once you are relying on acting for money all of the sudden the desperation works its way into the audition room and some people never figure out how to do that. It’s a really difficult career path to also do it in a way where you’re actually able to enjoy the acting and not be completely reliant on the end (whether you succeed or not) in order to be happy. Because I work a ton and even then it’s so often a struggle, lots of ups-and-downs. So I have to remember what it is and what it means for me. And at this point I have a wife, I have a kid. I have other sources of fulfillment and I also have other sources of income because that is the only way that I can be happy with acting.
Question For The Viewers: Do you like your day job?
LEARN MORE ABOUT BUTTER (Ravi Patel plays Dr. Bean)
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¡CALAMBRE! is a 53 minute episodic black and white film about a poet who returns to his hometown of New York City to rekindle an old flame, only to complicate his return with new women in his life. A film by Carlos Renaso.