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article imageWillam Belli talks 2020 Daytime Emmy nomination, 'EastSiders' Special

By Markos Papadatos     May 26, 2020 in Entertainment
Actor and TV personality Willam Belli chatted with Digital Journal's Markos Papadatos about his historic 2020 Daytime Emmy nomination for the hit digital drama series "EastSiders" on Netflix, which was created by Kit Williamson.
On being nominated for the 2020 Daytime Emmy for "Outstanding Supporting Actor," he said, "The nomination was really surprising. Filming the show was always a challenge for me because I was on the road touring and in and out of town during the three seasons I was on. Now I know all the hard work and going to shoots straight from LAX red eyes was worth it. Seeing my co-stars Leith Burke and Lin Shaye nominated along with Brea Grant, Kit Williamson, and Stephen for writing and the makeup and other nods were really gratifying because the hard work was not limited to me. Everyone busted their asses."
"My favorite thing about EastSiders were the days I would be Douglas in the morning and then everyone would break for lunch but I would be getting into drag to do Gomorrah Ray for the last half of the day. People just walking by to check on me and ask if they could help and I would tell them only if they had a time machine or a gun," he said.
Regarding his daily motivations, Willam said, "I have been trying to do at least one thing for my career a day since I was 17. Back then, it was mailing off headshots to Backstage ads. Now, it can be any number of things from making a YouTube video to working on a script I'm trying to finish. I also keep a word file on my desktop that has every audition, gig, meeting, lunch, and role I submitted on/went out for/ or did written down in it along with details and notes on the day so If a name sounds familiar, I can just go into this doc, hit CTRL + F and type in a name and figure out why I know them or whatever."
On being an actor and TV personality in the digital age, he said, "I bet there weren't many Emmys for supporting actors in digital series a decade ago so it feels pretty convenient at the moment. It’s nice to now have all these advancements with self-tapes and submissions because I am from the last generation that will have had to have done it the old school way. I regularly juggled a Thomas Guide while trying to get through to the union men's Central Casting job listing hotline to try to find background work the next day. Also, it's nice to be working for platforms like Quibi which have content geared specifically for people to access on phones or iPads online (I'm the host of Fashion’s A Drag coming soon)."
For young and aspiring actors, Willam said, "Do it while you're young and get the money first."
On his definition of the word success, he responded, "Ask me after the Emmy Awards, and I'll let you know."
Willam concluded about EastSiders, "Thank you to the fans for watching and helping create it. EastSiders is so special because it went from Kit Williamson's little web show that could to being broadcast on cable on Logo to then being launched on Netflix to eight Emmy nominations by the last season, and it was all crowdfunded. The fans that wanted more of these characters and stories literally helped make the show and we couldn’t have done it without them."
To learn more about EastSiders, check out the official Netflix website and its official homepage.
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