If you enjoy the looks and acting skills of Chris Meloni mixed with a side of helping people reach their best lives that they can, then you will probably end up with the super talented and handsome Frank Paul Vignola.
Frank, who is based in the heart of New York City on the Upper East Side, has developed quite the name for himself in the acting world by landing key roles including The Blacklist: Redemption and The Six Degrees of Murder. Don’t worry, his acting isn’t always on the super dark side as he is able to bring out his comedy angle (which he honed his craft in at the William Esper Studio, T. Schreiber Studio and Upright Citizens Brigade) in roles like the short film Seeking: Jack Tripper.
He also finds himself as a part-time life coach, which works wonders especially in the world of New York City where people can last either a day or a lifetime here depending on how focused you can truly be.
I sat down with Frank to see why acting is his passion, how Meryl can truly do no wrong (obviously), and how his acting and life coach skills have a way with intertwining with one another.
So on your Instagram you call yourself an actor and a life coach. Have you ever thought of combining those for an Oscar-winning performance?
Coincidentally, these two roles in my life run parallel with one another. I have implemented so many acting techniques in my coaching, and I have even taught them to clients. Being a great actor means understanding yourself and others on a deeper level, which is such a big part of life…and coaching. And coaching has given me such an insight into character study and character development. It’s hard for me to imagine doing one without the other. They constantly aid and inspire one another.
What started your love of acting, and who was your biggest inspiration in all of it?
My love for acting probably started as a kid, because I loved movies and often felt very connected to characters. A few affected me so deeply that I formed friendships with them in my head, drew pictures of them and even wrote about them. I want to be able to affect someone that deeply with my work. I want to inspire people, I want to make them laugh, cry…I want to make them think…question themselves. I want to disturb them.
It doesn’t hurt that I’ve lived a crazy 36 years and that my journey to self-discovery has been all over the place. I’ve yet to be given a role where I haven’t been able to find myself in it…even the darker ones. In fact, the darker ones I often connect to the easiest!
I have so many inspirations, I’ll rattle off a few – I was a huge Bruce Willis fan. I wanted to be Bruce Willis. I collected all of his movies. I used to steal VHS tapes from the rental place and return blank tapes instead. Heath Ledger…man. I get upset when I talk about him. I wanted so much more, and he had so much more to give. Meryl Streep… she still can do no wrong to me. Anthony Hopkins, Bryan Cranston, Jared Leto, Julianne Moore, Emily Blunt, Javier Bardem, Charlize Theron, Daniel Day Lewis, just to name a few.
Do you find it’s hard for gay men to be taken seriously still in the world of acting, especially when the ones who come out get relegated to roles that often don’t involve romance?
Love is love. I can fall in love with anyone, regardless of gender. Anyone who knows anything about acting should know that. If you’re cast based on your sexual preference, that’s bullshit. Is it hard for gay men? I don’t know honestly. And my career is still a baby. Right now, my guess is I’m going to be cast in plenty of romantic roles with women. And I’m confident that there will never be a fucking nanosecond that someone watching thinks “he’s not really into her” because I will be. Because that’s my job as an actor. Gay men need to be true to themselves and keep breaking these bullshit stereotypes.
What has been your biggest accomplishment acting wise to date and why has that touched you more than others?
Every time I let myself go deeper than I did the last time, it feels like an accomplishment. As roles go, I once played a husband and father of three who was brutally murdered in his own home by his wife. I was fucked up over it for a few weeks after. I don’t know if it would happen that same way today, because I’ve learned how to dive deep into darkness all the while wearing a harness attached to a rope.
Do you have a dream actor/actress, director or writer you are dying to work with?
I’m dying to work with hungry, passionate, creative people, and there’s a lot of them out there. Any of the ones I mentioned earlier would be amazing to work with. As far as writers and directors: Tarantino, Fincher, Scorsese, Fede Alvarez, James Wan, Eli Roth… Andres Muschietti did an amazing job in the 2017 It. There’s lots more.
Tell us about your life coach angle and how you got involved in that.
I was a teen who used to cut himself and do drugs. I was on virtually every antidepressant and anxiety pill you can name. I had no self worth. I was bullied. After years of getting expelled from multiple schools, incarceration, group homes, rehabs, shelters, institutions and a few near-death experiences, I found my worth. That was a really long story condensed into like three dramatic sentences. But that’s it in a nutshell. I found my worth and fell in love with life. And now I help others do the same. It’s a part of me. I’m coach in many of my relationships in life, not just work. It’s who I am.
What projects do you have that are currently in the works?
I’m getting some stubborn fat sucked out of my belly in a few weeks. I can’t wait. How’s that for vanity? Oh, and I’m working on an amazing fart compilation. The rest… stay tuned!
Ultimately, what is your biggest life goal that you have yet to achieve?
I’m achieving it. I just need a bigger platform to reach more people.