In one year, Asher Book has gone from Hollywood nobody to Hollywood somebody with a hit movie now in theaters. Asher, who stars as Marco in the new remake of “Fame,” attended the real New York Performing Arts School much like his character in the film. Off screen, he is also a member of the band V-Factory. Book spoke recently in a phone interview about his acting and music careers:
Q: Do you feel Fame is a somewhat accurate portrayal of the struggles within the performing arts field?
A: Yeah, I mean I think Fame really emphasizes the different sides of what people might think, in today’s society, what fame is. Most people see it as the glitz and glamour and the overnight success, but I think "Fame" really shows another side of fame, and the hard work and dedication that goes into the performing arts. It shows ups and downs, it shows the audition process, how people get rejected, it shows not to give up. It shows diligence, it shows work ethic so I think it’s definitely accurate.
Q: How did your experience in Middle School compare or contrast with what is portrayed in the movie Fame?
A: Well I think there is definitely a lot of a similarity, just the audition process to get into the school. Most schools you do not really have to audition to get in but his one you had to prepare whatever you were going into, you had to show something of you talent. So for me, I had to go in and sing a song and that’s my way of auditioning for the school. There is also the fact that you would have your real academics, but on top of it, you would be taking either music, or dance class or acting class on top of your regular academics. I guess differences would be, we don’t all sing and dance on the table during lunchtime. It’s just a creative outlet for a school to let people pursue their dreams.
Q: I don’t know if I could handle a school like that, was it hard to manage you time?
A: For me I didn’t find it really hard or challenging, I really liked it, because in that kind of a school they let you leave. Like let’s say if I had an audition, the school would actually let you leave and sometimes you would get to miss some classes you weren’t really excited about. That was one fun thing about it.
Q: What is your favorite song in the movie?
A: Well my favorite song to perform would be ‘Try’ that I did in the restaurant scene. But my favorite song, I love Naturi Naughton’s rendition of the Fame song. I think that one is definitely a great song. I mean the soundtracks amazing I have a bunch of favorites.
Q: How do you describe the music of V-Factory?
A: I think probably in the Pop/ R&B genre. Many people compare us to Justin Timberlake and Timbaland.
Q: Do you write your own music?
A: We tweak it, in the beginning for our first album, the label kind of wanted us to just take what lyrics were given to us and then as time went by we got to be more creative and really choose the songs that we liked and that represent us the best. And then we tweak certain words to make it more our own. But hopefully the second album we’ll have more of an opportunity to write.
Q: If you were to remake another musical or movie, what would it be and what character would you play?
A: I think for a while I wanted to remake "Footloose," like Kevin Bacons part, but there are a lot of movies I like. I would love to maybe do a Jim Carrey role or something funny.
Q: Who has influenced you musically?
A: I guess growing up, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Billie Joel, Michael Jackson and more in that realm.
Q: Do you prefer acting on stage or in movies?
A: I enjoy both of them, but I think to make more of a career out of one, I would probably do movies. But I would love to go back to Broadway one day.
Q: When can we expect a full album from V-Factory?
A: We don’t really have one quite yet. Were trying to just get out the single this month and then the album would be shortly after that.
Q: Does the band plan to tour soon?
A: Right now, no. We're doing a lot of spot dates and every weekend we're doing like a different show. So it depends, but right now it’s just kind of up in the air. We're kind of more just ready to release our second single.
Q: Can you relate to Marco in Fame?
A: Yeah, I think just his mentality on life and how he’s very happy go lucky and always has a smile on his face. He loves life, and just his journey through starting singing at an early age and following that and going to the Fame school and a lot of that I had to pull from.
Q: Where do you wish to be with your career in 5 years?
A: I would love to be doing great roles in a film and working with good directors and good actors. The funny thing with this business is you never know what’s the next project, but I'm very into projects with good messages and trying to inspire people so I plan to be a good role model.
Q: What are your hobbies outside music and acting?
A: I love to be active. I love to be out, so I’m into sports. I play a lot of tennis, football, basketball, golf. I love to go to the gym, go to new restaurants, go to movies. Anything, I’m a very normal guy, I just like going out and being social.
Q: In school did you have sports or was it just arts?
A: The performing arts school I just went to for my middle school years. I moved back to LA, I was living in Pasadena and I went to a very normal high school so when I was there I got to be on the basketball team, and the football team. I pretty much did it all.
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