We had the good fortune of connecting with Eric Lang and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eric, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I love that I can set my own schedule and that I enjoy so much of the work I do. A challenge that comes along with that, however, is that you can end up working every day for long stretches without even realizing how much you are tiring yourself out. Over the last year or so, I have become much more intentional about trying to take one day off from work each week. There’s something so restorative about spending an afternoon without a clock ticking away at the back of your mind. “Wasted time” is often the most valuable time in my week, and taking time off also makes me more productive in the long run because it encourages me to crack down and hit the deadlines that I set for myself.
Let’s talk shop! Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have been a professional film and theater actor in Atlanta for five years now. I apprenticed with the Atlanta Shakespeare Company and have appeared at various theaters around town. Last year my castmate, Chris Harding, and I were nominated for a Suzi Bass Acting Ensemble Award for our two-man-show with Aris Theatre, Not About Heroes. My most recent appearance on stage was early this year in a production of Designing Women Live, which was a blast to be a part of. I’ve also gotten to work on a lot of fun and challenging film and television projects. Most recently I filmed an episode of an upcoming show on Investigation Discovery, thanks in large part to my agents at Kathleen Schultz Associates. Balancing theater and film can be challenging not only because of scheduling conflicts but also because of the significant differences between the two styles of acting—but I love that both are a part of my life. I constantly have to step back and remind myself of what skillset I am going to need to draw on because now I am performing in front of a crowd or because now I am a foot away from the camera, and I think that has helped me develop more control over my work as an actor. I love both the feeling of discovery on a film set and the feeling of having my audience right in front of me, so how cool is it that I get to have both experiences each year? One of the compliments that I most appreciate is when a director or audience member tells me that my performance felt earnest. I really try to value sincerity in every role I play, whether it be a foolish neurotic or an odious villain. It’s a truism that everyone is the hero of his or her own story, doing what he or she understands to be right. One of the most startling lessons acting teaches is that there isn’t a stark difference between me and the people I am playing—if my life had gone differently, I could have been any one of them.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love that when people come to visit from out of town, there are more great places for us to grab a drink or a bite than we could possibly get to. Since I’m a proud Decatur resident, we would definitely end up walking around the square, stopping at Dancing Goats Coffee, Café Alsace, Jeni’s Ice Cream, the Brick Store or the Marlay House —then again, why choose only one? At some point I’m sure we’d also end up heading further afield and checking out Café Intermezzo and Doctor Bombay’s. When the weather is good, there are so many great places to take a walk. My favorite spots are the Chattahoochee River Trails and the Beltline, but of course there are also endless neighborhoods to explore. And if we’ve got a little more time, I’d be heading to Sawnee or Arabia Mountain. As for nightlife, there’s so much good theater here, and I’d definitely be making at least one stop at Eddie’s Attic.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout goes to Vashmere Valentine, who took a chance casting me in his short film “The Wish and the Wisp.” I had a great time working on the film with him: he is kind and creative, and I love that he is always moving forward. Every time I turn around he has started work on a new screenplay or directorial project—it’s impressive. “The Wish and the Wisp” has been selected for over 65 festivals and has won over 30 awards, and the credit definitely goes to Vash and his incredible work ethic.
Casey Gardner, Marcus Geduld, Amanda Jewell, Daniel Parvis, Vashmere Valentine