With a BFA in acting from West Virginia University, Vance Barber moved to Long Island City five years ago with dreams of hitting it big in the acting world, however after realizing there were minimal rewards to life in the limelight, he quickly changed paths.
Barber, born in Long Island and raised in the suburbs of Richmond, Va., took route to the other side of the camera, finding a job as an acting coach with One-On-One, a company devoted to teaching up-and-comers about script reading, how-to lessons in auditioning, and the tough realities of the acting world.
“I thought if I tried a different angle and fill a different artistic role, it would be a good thing,” Barber said.
Barber now runs his own acting instruction company, Let’s Get Reel, creating digital media reels, filming audition tapes and becoming a thespian therapist, of sorts, right out of his apartment. (www.letsgetreel.me)
Today he has an upwards of 40 clients, some of whom have found success in shows like “Vampire Diaries”, “New Girl” and “Nurse Jackie”.
Fulfilling his other lifelong passion in music, Barber also hosts the weekly LIC-based podcast “Ear Candy” with his friend Adam Hiniker. (www.earcandypodcast.com)
Over the last three years the two have interviewed a number of performers such as; Swear and Shake, Chappo, Charlene Kay, The Last Royals and Mike Doughty.
“The idea is; if you had the band come into your living room and set up for a practice, that’s what it would be like,” Barber explained of the show’s platform. “We hardly ever talk about the music, and we just end up hanging out because that’s the best way to get to know somebody.”
Since their show began, they have also been also been invited to host concerts for Geographer, Barcelona, Delta Ray and more.
It is a long way from home, but for Barber, the make-or-break-it drive of NYC is his inspiration for success.
“If I don’t achieve something while I am here it will feel like I failed,” he said. “But it’s the New York culture and people that makes me want to stay.”