Anthony Ghannam, A Laid-Back Young Man, Passionately Pursuing The Entertainment Industry.

by Kees Boer

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Anthony Ghannam is an 11th grade High Student from Fairfield, California. Anthony is a very nice and easy going; the type of young man. The type, who would make his parents proud. Even though Anthony is really easy going, he is actually quite passionate about something.

He's passionate about the entertainment industry. What sets Anthony apart from all the other teenagers that would like to work in the entertainment industry though is that he has actually worked in the industry. For instance, he has done the voice over work of some of the characters in some Disney films, such as Bambi II and Kronk's New Groove. He's also been the face of the Sony Playstation Eye Toy 2 game.

We started talking how he started in his voice over work. "I didn't really plan on doing voice-over at first. I wanted to do acting. When I was 8 or 9, I started watching my cousin, Nick do acting and I thought it was cool!" It was theater, so, I started doing theater. My first theater production was "Joseph and the Amazing, Technicolor Dreamcoat." I was a little Joseph. I didn't really understand it at first, but it was still cool. Next, I did "Junglebook" and I was Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. I wasn't familiar with that character and I had to spin on my head on that one. Then I did Pinocchio and I was Jimmy Cricket. That was a big role. Every time, I did something with theater, I became a bigger part in the production."

Anthony met his agent, Teri, when he went to acting school. She started sending him to auditions. Anthony was very fortunate to book what he has booked. He booked his first audition. It was a radio commercial for Virginia Energy Choice."It aired all over the East Coast, and they gave me the recording of it." Since then Anthony has done commercials for Chevrolet, Tech TV and The New York Stock Exchange. Anthony is also a recurring voice actor for the Adelphia Cable radio spots. He voices the older brother on the commercials.

When he was 11 or 12, he moved to Los Angeles and auditioned to join the Savage Agency. In Hollywood, there is a saying that you get one job for every 100 auditions. It wasn't like that for Anthony. It didn't take him 100 times. He got a commercial and then he got Bambi II, a Walt Disney animated feature. He was Ronno, the mean boy deer, the one that picked on Bambi. Anthony recalls the film: "I was the one that is really mean. I'm nice in real life, but I play mean."

When the director saw his work in Bambi II, he was so impressed that he put Anthony in another Disney film called "Kronk's New Groove." "I didn't have to audition for it. It wasn't as big of a part, but it was still a good part. Bambi II is probably the best thing, I've done so far."

Anthony loved the fringe benefits of doing Bambi II. "First time, I did Bambi II, they were so generous." Disney was generous to give Anthony and his family Disneyland passes which included "front of the line" passes and VIP parking. He was thrilled because his family are huge Disneyland fans.

Then he played Kronk's New Groove. "I play Huayna. Kronk is the big guy in the movie. He had 5 kids. He's the head leader of a squad. I'm one of the kids of those 5. I say random lines in the movie. There are also group lines, where we all say something and then I have 5 additional lines that I say."

He was also on "It's a Miracle" and Fox's Oliver Beene in 2003. Anthony is also behind the voice at the Phoenix Art Museum in the history tour exhibit.

Anthony explained how he approaches his voice over work. "I read over the whole script and my lines. I practice it by myself and when I'm over there, it's not one shot. They give you a lot of direction. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes to do just one page. I remember on one page it took me about 20-30 minutes. It's not that you're bad or something, but they want you to do it a certain way. 'Do it bigger or smaller, or louder.' Voice Over is kind of tough. Some people think it is easy. They think you just talk into a microphone. It's not like that. It's a fun job, but it is just more difficult than you think."

After "Kronk's New Groove," he moved back to Fairfield and started doing commercials and print work. "It is weird, with Theater, you go higher and higher, but with film, you can do small productions and big productions and then small productions and then big productions."

Perhaps Anthony's biggest print job was when he was the guy on the Sony Playstation Eye Toy 2 box. He's wearing a green shirt with blue jeans he is in the front of some kids, carrying a baseball bat. He thought the idea for the game was really cool. "It has a USB with a camera on it. You plug the USB cord into the Sony Playstation Eye Toy 2 and it shows a projection of you on the TV. It's almost like virtual reality. You don't use a controller on this game. You use yourself. You see yourself on the TV."

He himself doesn't play the game anymore. "I sort of got over video games. I play basketball. I went from Mario to play sports. It's cooler."

He still remembers the first time he got recognized for being on the box. "In the Bestbuy store, I was walking and holding the game and a girl, that worked there, came up to me and asked: "Is that you?" and I said "Yes," and she said, "Yes, we just put it on the shelves and I thought I recognized you!" It came out last September or August. I don't think people recognize me anymore, because it is kind of an old game."

Anthony isn't planning on being just an actor though. "I kind of have another thing in mind. I also want to be a director. That's what I really want to do in life. I want to do camera type of stuff, but I also want to do behind the camera type of stuff. It completes me. When I see the camera, I have to direct. It's all heart for me. It's just doing it for fun. When I get behind the camera and I say: 'Action!' it's like I'm in my own world. It's doing the thing that I love."

He doesn't just want to be a director. "I want to be the creator. I want to write the script, edit it and direct it. Robert Rodriguez directed "Once Upon A Time In Mexico," "Desperado" and "Spykids." He's one of my favorite directors. He inspired me. Instead of him being a director, he writes the script, produces it, edits it, and directs it! I want to do everything! I want to be known in life that I invented or created something new and better in the entertainment business."

He is already preparing himself for being a director. "My cousin just graduated and I made a graduation film on that. I have Pinacle Studio Version 9, an editing software and a camera and a group of friends I know and we make random movies. I've done 30 minute videos and edit it. Now, I'm trying to focus on a script. I have a scriptwriter on a computer, which helps me out. I'm thinking of making a movie for the Sundance Film Festival."

If he had to choose between movies or television shows, he knows what to pick: "Oh, movies, definitely movies! If you are making a good show, it goes on for seasons and forever. I would be too bored. I always like the movie aspect. I like people there and just "Action!"

Anthony has two dogs and he absolutely loves them. "One of my dogs is a Corgi, mixed with a Husky. I have another one, a Terrier, a white dog. My Corgi is 10 years old and the Terrier is around 2 or 3 years. The Corgi gets aggravated with the other dog. Because the Terrier wants to play. He just gets aggravated or moody. He tells the other dogs: 'This is my house, don't mess with me!' I love Corgis, they are very cute dogs."

Anthony really enjoys giving back to the community. It is important to him. He is involved with The Los Angeles Mission, the Los Angeles Children's Hospital, the Ronald McDonald House charities, and the Louise Ashby Children's Foundation.

Anthony also has a real passion to want to encourage young people not to hold back. "If you want to do something, go for it. Don't hold yourself back, because if you hold yourself back, you're not going to go anywhere. Also, if people say that you can't be an actor, or director, or even an athlete, don't listen to them, because that's how you don't become one, you listen to people, that don't believe in you. Believe in yourself and push for your dreams. If you want to go for the big stuff, move to Hollywood. If you move to Hollywood, first be good. Don't go, if you don't really want it. Don't go there just to be famous or to be known, for the glamour or money. Do it for the love of acting!"

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