Interview with Adam McArthur | Practicing Unconditional Self-Esteem

Rejection is something that everyone has experienced at some point in their life. It can come in many forms, but whatever the situation is, it opens up an amazing opportunity to practice unconditional self-esteem. It is easy to stay confident when we get the answer we want, but what to do when we don’t?

All emotions are born from within, they are the direct reaction of what we think about ourselves and our environment. By consistently practicing to redirect our thoughts, hence our emotions, we have the opportunity to react in a more positive way to the word ‘No.’ Literally, feel your way back to where it feels better. The most important ‘Yes’ is the one we say to ourselves, the rest will come as you allow yourself to believe “I can do this anyways.”

It might take many auditions before the actor finally books the job he or she wants. But it also gives them the opportunity to refine their craft and learn to expand their self-esteem. In this inspiring interview, American actor and martial arts enthusiast, Adam McArthur affirms: “(…) There are going to be times when you’re not booking jobs and that’s hard on your self-esteem (and your wallet!). (…) Work hard and be patient. It’ll happen.”

Adam, it is a living example of his own words. He is currently working on a new independently produced animated show called Salem the Series and you can also hear him in the hit Disney XD animated comedy series Star vs. the Forces of Evil as the lead voice of Marco Diaz.


Introduction

  • Please introduce yourself briefly. Who, in your own words, is Adam McArthur?

Welp! I’m a lot of things! I’m an actor, martial artist, husband, son, brother, entrepreneur, lover of boba, part-time ninja and loyal friend.

  • Do you remember the moment when you felt, “I am an actor!”? If so, please describe your emotions.

I do! I was probably seven or eight, watching a free preview of the Disney Channel, and an of Kids Incorporated was on. I needed to be like them (smiling).

Entertainment Industry

  • Many talents within the entertainment industry are putting in a lot of effort to achieve the results they want. However, some talents succeed and others don’t. What is your formula for what you consider success?

The key to success in entertainment is two-fold. 1. Persistence. It’s so easy to give up! Don’t. And, 2. Being comfortable being uncomfortable. There are going to be times when you’re not booking jobs and that’s hard on your self-esteem (and your wallet!). Get a good job to support yourself and don’t look back. Work hard and be patient. It’ll happen.

  • The process of acting and doing voice acting must be quite different from each other. How do both activities nourish each other?

They’re actually not different at all! Good acting is good acting. They key to being a good actor is equivalent to any other thing you want to be good at. Study, practice,  put in the time and hard work. There are no tricks. Openness and hard work are all that’s required.

Acting

  • When you do voice over a cartoon, are you by yourself in the recording room or with the rest of the cast?

It depends on the show! For Star vs The Forces of Evil we all record separately, but many of them have the entire cast in the same room.

  • Currently, you are the lead voice of Marco Diaz in the hit Disney XD animated comedy series Star vs. the Forces of Evil. How do you prepare mentally and physically when it comes to creating the voice of Marco, especially as your character has evolved?

Marco and I have a lot in common, which is really nice because I pull from a lot of experiences I’ve had personally. Your middle teen years are complicated, emotional and confusing. I try to bring a lot of that honesty to Marco. It’s a lot of fun.

  • Do you think the adventures and stories of Marco and his best friend Star, the princess from a different dimension that is seeking her own path, reflects topics that are relevant today? If so, in what way?

Absolutely! The show is all about unlearning intolerance, being positive and authentic to who you are. It’s been amazing to see how relevant the undertones are, but at the same time not at the sacrifice of the story and the characters.

  • Marco and Star have a great friendship. How would you describe their relationship, and do you think there is a possibility in the future for them to end up falling in love with each other?

It’s no secret I want them to end up together haha. They are the best of friends, but it’s deeper than that. As they move through adventures together it becomes more and more obvious they were made for each other. Whether that will be as friends or something more I guess we’ll all have to wait and see!

  • Marco is often labeled as a bad boy, but his intentions seem to be always good. How does he manage his own expectations about who he really is?

I think it’s safe to say the only person who thinks Marco is a bad boy is Marco. And even then he’s probably not too sure. I think Marco has learned a lot about himself and he’s very comfortable being Star’s best friend and voice of reason.

  • What is it about Star vs. the Forces of Evil that makes it exciting and fun for the audience?

The characters! Daron Nefcy, the creator of the show, and the entire crew. Have created these amazing characters that we can all relate to and that we genuinely want to see on screen. I also think as a crew we’re all very interactive with our audience and the fandom really loves that.

  • Do you have any practices or exercises to keep your voice ready?

Improv!  Staying loose and doing improv helps in about a million different ways. It’s a fun exploration of characters and acting in a very open and creative environment.

  • What other projects are you thrilled about at this moment?

I just started working on a new independently produced animated show called Salem the Series. I’ll be voicing a character named Oliver and I think fans are going to love him!

Life

  • You are a practitioner and an admirer of Martial Arts which involves not just fighting techniques but mental and spiritual practice as well. How has Martial Arts impacted your life?

I could write a book on how martial arts has impacted my life. It’s given me confidence in myself, a mentor, “brothers/sisters”, and much more. It helps me operate from a place of not being afraid to work hard and also not being sad or down when something doesn’t go my way. My Sifu always said, “Someone had to succeed. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be you.” And I’ve carried that with me forever.

Good Soul

  • Are you involved in any charity organization or humanitarian causes you would like to mention?

I am! Quite a few actually. But rather than mention them, I think it’s a very personal choice where people donate their time and money, so I’d rather take this opportunity to encourage everyone reading this, whether you take a friend out to lunch or donate your time volunteering or give monthly to a cause you support, in the end, all we have is each other. Help others and be fulfilled. You won’t regret it.

Close Up

  • The spirit of The Hedonist Magazine is The Essence of a Joyful Living. How does Joy during the creative process affect your own experience and, in consequence, the final manifestation of your actions?

In anything we do, if you don’t do it with joy it shows! I absolutely love what I do. I’m grateful to be able to do it. If I didn’t love it so much, I think it would affect my performance and fans would see right through it. Watch an episode of Star vs The Forces of Evil – you’ll be able to tell right away I’m having a blast.

  • When you hear: You can be, do and have anything you want, words from the teachings of  by Abraham Hicks.  W, what is your take on such a statement?

I couldn’t agree more. Don’t let anything hold you back – not your parents, not your own definition of success, not where you come from, or what anyone else says you can accomplish… no matter what… you can do it. So DO IT.


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Photographed by Ryan West | Grooming by Laura Arango