Having the opportunity to be on a hit show on television comes once in a while. Making your mark on a hit teen show and booking roles on other shows is the hope of many working actors. Merrick McCartha took time to share with me what lead to his role on All American and his appearance on this  9-1-1 for the finale. 

Q: How did you first get involved with All American?

A:  I auditioned for what was originally a small so-star role for the show. I’d auditioned for the casting office several times for other projects. Once I got on set, I learned the writers of the show had taken a keen interest in my audition and thought I was exactly what they were looking for.

As the show progressed, my character’s daughter became more prominent and they asked me to come back for the season 3 premiere episode. And as chance would have it, they added several more scenes for that episode at the last minute. I was prepared enough to be able to shoot off of a script that had only been updated that morning. Some of it was handwritten by the end of the day. After that shoot, they contacted my agent to offer more episodes.

Q: Did you expect the show to become a hit when you first signed on?

A:  Actually, the show was already a success. My first appearance on the show was in Season 2. It’s a popular show with a wide range of demographics. There are lots of dedicated fans and some do recaps on YouTube. It’s a wonderful series to be connected to.

Q: I see you have an episode of 9-1-1 coming up? What’s that about?

A:  WELL—I can’t say much about the episode, but it was a thrill to be offered a role on this very popular show. I’m excited to be in the 9-1-1 universe! The show’s cast is an amazing group of actors and I was able to work with almost all of them—and my character is a bit intense.

I originally auditioned for a role that was much smaller than the role I was cast in. Every audition is a victory, but it’s always sweeter to be recognized for the hard work you put into the craft. As an actor, my job is to put the full force of my artistry and skill into each one, every time.

Q: Tell us about some of your past work and current work that is on the horizon for you!

A:  My first big tv role was on the Disney show ‘Jessie’. After that, I was on Scandal in a quick scene with Kerry Washington. Next was a big role on Criminal Minds. After that, I started to work more frequently. There are a couple of film and TV appearances coming up, including 9-1-1 and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

I’m in a short film called Ira Aldridge that’s been making its way nicely around film festivals. It’s won multiple awards and I’m excited about its public release when the festival run is done. I’m also set to do a couple of feature films I can’t talk about—yet.

Q: Sources mention you’re engaged! How did you meet your bride to be and what is planning a wedding during a pandemic like?

A:  YES! My beautiful fiancé Peggy and I had been dating for a couple of years and working together on several projects. She’s a Hollywood photographer and somewhat of a socialite (she’ll kill me for saying that…haha!). My proposal to her was a complete surprise, mainly because it was long overdue. It was the most romantic day. We are fortunate to be planning a wedding right when things are greatly improving with the vaccine being widely available. Of course we are making things contingent on this improvement, but we are ready to scale things way back if things take a turn. So we already have all the main pieces in place, and it looks like our timing couldn’t have been better in finding wedding vendors that are ready to get back at it now that things are getting safer.

Q:  Name any television show you would like to appear on or have a recurring role on?

A:  There are way too many to list. As an actor, it’s a pleasure to work on any project that you are able to grow as an artist, not to mention have fun! I want to play roles that resonate with people and allows me to flex all these acting muscles I’ve been developing over the years.

Q: Biggest lesson learned about taking on acting in the entertainment industry?

A:  The biggest lesson is to NOT do it if you think it will be easy. I’ve met so many people starting out with grand expectations of their ‘instant’ and ‘overnight’ success, only to be crushed by the reality of the business. The reality is that it takes work and it takes time—and lots of both. On top of that, building positive relationships is key. Producing a project in this industry involves a staggering amount of people. For the project to be a long-term success, all of these people need to work in harmony. This means having some understanding of what each person is there to contribute and being able to support them at doing their best work. These are just some of the things you can’t learn instantly, or overnight.  Your chances of success, long-term success, improve immensely once you understand and appreciate the myriad facets of this business.

As Merrick shows, one pathway to success is perseverance with a positive attitude. Keep up with this work; follow him at the social media pages below.