The Daily Quarterly: What made you want to be show business?
Bo Keister: As a kid, I was always into movies. I watched everything I could get my hands on, and it left its mark on me. I did plays in school, performed in choirs, and loved being on stage. But being from a small town, making it a career seemed impossible, so I kind of gave up on the idea.
When I got to college, nothing really caught my attention. There were just no majors where I said, “Yeah! I want to do that for a living.” I still had an avid love for movies, and decided to take a chance.
My dad did some snooping around and learned that Wilmington, NC had a lot of film work going on, so I drove down and checked it out. A week later, I moved there and dove in head first.
It’s one of the scariest things I have ever done, and thankfully it’s worked out. I guess I just couldn’t live my life always wondering “what if,” so I went for it.
TDQ: What was your favorite horror movie growing up?
BK: Oh, geez! That’s a tough one! There were so many great ones when I was growing up. If I had to choose one, then I’d have to go with the original “Friday the 13th.” That was my first.
TDQ: Who are your influences?
BK: I’ve had too many personal mentors in my life to name, not the least of which would be my parents, so I’ll narrow it down to actors.
I’ve always been a huge Tom Hanks fan. He has such a perfect “every man” quality to him, and he plays his roles so flawlessly you forget you’re watching him. As far as intensity goes, it doesn’t get much better than Denzel Washington. It’s a thrill to say I’ve worked with him on Remember the Titans. Lastly, I’d say Kevin Spacey. He spent a great portion of his early film career playing smaller character roles, and then when he got his shot with The Usual Suspects he blew it up. It’s hard not to admire a person who made the most of an opportunity and wowed everyone with his skills.
I can only hope to be as great as those guys one day.
TDQ: What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
BK: My first acting coach once told me, “In this business, a thimble full of boldness will make you rich.” That’s always stuck with me. When I question taking a chance in an audition, or making a bold choice for a character, that always pops into my head and gives me the gumption to try something I might have otherwise been too afraid to attempt.
TDQ: What is the worst advice you’ve ever gotten?
BK: Early on, I had many that I considered friends tell me to give up; that I was chasing a pipe dream and would never succeed. All of them said, just finish school and get a regular job. Very few thought I would make it this far; yet, 17 years later, here I am. Still going, and not going anywhere but up.
Truthfully, I should thank them. They were the fuel to the fire and drove me.
TDQ: Tell us about “The Hillbillly Horror Show”BK: Hillbilly Horror Show started with the concept of creating a series that was “Hee Haw meets Tales from the Crypt” to showcase independent horror short films. Horror host shows have always been popular, but they’ve died off a bit over the years. We saw an opportunity to revive it, and it’s turned out well. What you end up with is an anthology of top notch horror shorts, blended into a comedic wrap around story that centers on our hillbilly family.
Volumes 1 and 2 are out on DVD, with 3 available for pre-order via Amazon, and volume 4 coming later this year. In addition to DVD, we’re on multiple Roku channels, VOD in the UK, South Korea, and India, and we’re hoping to launch on iTunes and Amazon Prime soon. Continue reading