Here we are moving into the weekend after the Season 4 finale of Z Nation, and Z fans around the globe are wondering what they’re going to do now that we must wait until 2018 for the premiere of season 5. What a long wait this will be for those die-hard Z Nation fans!
Thankfully, to keep the Z Nation flame alive, we can always keep tabs on our favorite Z Nation cast and crew via social media. Thanks to outlets like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, our favorite characters, and the real people who portray them so well, are within our reach via smart phone, tablet, laptop or another internet capable device 24/7.
As Z Nation fans old and new may recall, on the season 4 double finale, Morgan and the gang found Mount Weather and encountered President Carlson herself, portrayed by actress Ina Chang, being guarded by two die-hard Secret Service agents, played by the talented David S. Hogan and Justin Torrence. It didn’t take long for the gang to find out the President was not doing anything for the good of mankind, but instead, she was gearing up to destroy everyone outside of Zona with the reset. Sarge, played by actress Gracie Gillam (formerly on shows including The Vampire Diaries and Supernatural) was on the Presidents side, or so it seemed until she shocked viewers by changing her mind abruptly when she heard what the President was doing.
The president, along with her agents, were obliterated by Sarge and 10K and now, the fate of mankind has fallen to Lt. Roberta Morgan as she is blasting through the sky in a drone, Murphy who has turned a vibrant shade of red and Doc, who might just sit back and roll up a big Z Weed joint and groove his way through the end or who might surprise us by taking charge and leading the way to a new tomorrow.
With the outstanding writers of Z Nation, you never can tell what will happen next and that’s a huge part of what makes the show so great. This leaves us to wonder will our beloved characters survive until season 5? Will Addison make her return and just when will we ever see 5K and Red again? Those are questions that every Z fan wants to know but unfortunately, we’ll have to slink our way through 2018 until the season 5 premiere later in the year.
Until then, we can luckily keep track of what everyone is doing to keep busy until the next season starts filming by stalking their social media accounts, but even better, we can sit down and chat with a few of our favs if we’re really lucky.
After many hours on the road traveling throughout the beautiful state of Tennessee for a television shoot with my daughter, I was able to catch my breath and sit down to chat a little with the great David S. Hogan about his life, his characters on Z Nation and some really cool projects he has coming up that we’ll all want to know about.
Thanks so much David for taking time from your busy life to talk to me. I know fans worldwide will be happy to hear what you have to say.
You have one of those faces that fans are sure to remember and with all the television shows, films and commercials you’ve starred in, it’s an honor to be able to catch up with you. I suppose we can start with one of the cheesier questions that every interview with those in the industry starts with and that is, when did you know you wanted to be an actor, and what was the first acting job you had?
First off, thank you for your time. It’s a privilege to be here.
I was exposed to the arts early on in my life. As a kid, I went to an alternative (meaning, a bit less traditional and more focused on the arts) school, Orca Elementary, and I fondly recall the dance and movement classes taught by Gary Burdge. My parents were also very involved in arts culture, so I grew up with music, film, and theatre in my environment.
The acting bug did not really bite, however, until I was late in my college “career.” Between 1992 – 2000, I was enrolled at Seattle University, first as a full-time student, then as a part time student, then back to full time, finally graduating in 2000 with a Bachelors of Arts in Criminal Justice and Minors in Music and Psychology. Not to travel too far down a sullen path, but during my teen years and into my twenties, I was a bit of a mess – alcohol, drugs, and general mischief – and I didn’t really get my act together (pun intended) until I was in my late 20s. It was 1998, I think, when I joined the choir at Seattle U. I had always enjoyed singing, but only shared my voice with a few select friends, or within the privacy and acoustical support of my shower walls. My mom, Sue, has always been in my corner, and she was an active member of the SU Choir during this time. She knew I was trying to turn a corner, and, dare I say, “get my shit together,” and she probably mentioned my joining the choir in hopes that I would find a healthier outlet for my time and energy. The SU choir proved to be a wonderful support and creative playground for me, and under the direction of its leader, Dr. Joy Sherman, I thrived. My voice grew and developed, I made a ton of new friends, and I realized that through performing and sharing myself, I could reach and touch an audience.
About a year after joining the SU Choirs, the drama department announced auditions for Bertold Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera, and I decided to apply. The experience is burned into my memory. I recall standing outside the theatre door, watching actors (many of them also choir members) audition, and feeling completely inadequate. Fear reared its ugly head, and I cowered. The following day, I went to the show’s director, Ki Gottberg, who had also taught me in a movement/masque class, and told her what had happened – that I had walked away from my audition because I was scared. She listened. And she gave me another shot by inviting me to the callbacks. I showed up. I sang. I battled through my nerves. And I was cast as the “Street Singer,” who, among other things, closes the show with the song, “Mack the Knife.” Performing for an audience and closing the show with song was an unforgettable experience; after that I was hooked.
We’ve seen you on Z Nation as Brother Eli in the cult resurrection episode in season 1 and as Agent Johnson (part of the Johnson duo) in the season 4 finale, can you tell us what it’s like to work on the Z Nation set and how does it feel to be called back to a show after you’ve already been killed off in a previous episode?
Working on Z Nation has been both a growth experience, and a great environment to share my work and be a part of the story. In Season 1, Episode 6, I played Brother Eli, which was a good role, but also a big step in my career. I had only been on TV twice before, once in an Under 5 role (less than five lines) in Bigfoot (2012), and the other time as a day player (one day of work) on Grimm (Season 1, Episode 18). With Brother Eli, I had multiple days of work, which gave me a bit of time to settle in, get to know the cast and crew, and become comfortable with the inner workings of a television set.
When I had the opportunity to audition for Season 4, Episode 12, I was thrilled, especially since the Agent Johnson character fit my type so well. I tend to get cast often in cop/ military/agent parts, so when I read the character breakdown, I felt good about my chances.
The audition was a bit of a personal challenge (I just blogged about it here – https:// davidshogan.com/back-on-z-nation-for-season-4), but the read was solid, and, obviously, I landed the role. Being back on the Z set for Mt. Weather was great.
I love the cast – Russell Hodgkinson and I are friends from our time in Seattle theatre, and it was great working with Kellita Smith again, as her Roberta Warren had a dust up with my Brother Eli during my previous stint on the show – and the crew is also top notch and great to work with. On top of that, Justin Torrence, the actor cast as my Agent Johnson “twin,” was fun on set and easy to work with, which gave our characters a great dynamic in the episode.
Would you like a chance to be cast in a different role on the show? We know with the Z Nation writers, anything is possible!
Of course! I don’t see it in the cards, but I would love to be back. As an actor, I feel like I can shape-shift well, but the hair and makeup team would have their work cut out for them if I was to appear again. I think I would need to be unrecognizable to play again. Maybe there’s a chance for me to come back as a zombie! 😉
Even as a zombie, it would be great to see you on the show again! The Z Nation fans love seeing you when you’re able to be on the show, but we now see that you’ve worked in a few other shows as well as some outstanding plays. Out of all the television shows, or movies or plays that you’ve worked in, what would you say has been your favorite and what makes it so special to you?
One of my best experiences as an actor has been on the stage in the part of Enzo in Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain. In Seattle, we have an extraordinary theatre called Book-It Repertory Theatre, and they adapt novels into plays. Myra Platt’s adaptation under Carol Roscoe’s director created a show that will stay with me forever. Enzo is the canine narrator and central figure of the story and, as a dog fanatic who, at the time, had a dog walking and training business, playing the part of Enzo was especially poignant for me.
The show was a tremendous success (here is a link to one of many positive reviews: https:// www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/the-art-of-racing-in-the-rain-at-book-it-an-amazingdog-wagging-his-tale/), and I was honored to portray such a noble creature full of depth, charm, energy, and humor.
I am scheduled to revisit the role in 2018 at Harlequin Productions: https://harlequinproductions.org/season/art-racing-rain/
As some of my readers know, my daughter just filmed her first television show. As a seasoned actor, what advice would you give to newbies like my daughter or to other people, children or adults, who are considering taking that leap to working on a career in acting?
As an actor and educator, I always tell my students that it’s a marathon not a sprint, and that it may take years to find “success.” When I first started acting in 1998, someone told me that it would take 10 years to “master” the craft. I am not sure where they came up with that number, but it’s probably related to the 10,000 hour theory. Needless to say, this is a career where one has to be talented, tenacious, lucky, and patient.
An actor needs to work like an athlete, always training, always refining and developing their instrument (body, mind, and spirit). I don’t have an arts degree, but I have been working and training since 1998, and I still feel like I have so much more to work on in my life and in my craft.
Anyone who wants to explore acting should do just that, as I believe that the work of the actor can help to develop one’s own humanity and understanding of the world. To have a career in the arts is a trickier thing and requires not only talent, but business savvy. And support… and balance… and good fortune… and usually a side-hustle. It’s not an easy path, but it is one rich with rewards in experience, connection, and growth.
Thank you for that advice David. I think it will be a great help to someone who might be considering taking steps to act professionally. You’re not only an actor, but I see you and your beautiful wife, actress Angela DiMarco who also had a role on Z Nation in 2015, work together at your own production company, Mighty Tripod Productions. While you work together to train actors, what is your overall goal with the company and what has been the most rewarding aspect of working with your wife to build this company?
My wife is not only an exceptional human and fantastic actor, but she is a perfect partner in our teaching and producing business, Mighty Tripod Productions and Mighty Tripod Acting Studio.
When we founded our business is 2012, our intent was to educate as many local actors and aspiring actors as possible, and to establish a platform for the creation of our own work. My dad, Jim, was a professor, as was my uncle, David, so I grew up under the eye and direction of educators – I guess you can say teaching is in my blood. Angela was a child actor, and has been working in the industry since she was 8 years old. We are both working actors (theatre, film, TV, commercial, corporate) with a diversity of training, and we realized that we had something to offer our community by way of education. Our studio offers a no-nonsense, human approach to the work, based on the teachings of Stanislavski, while instilling a dedication to the professionalism required for the success of the working actor.
I can speak for us both when I say that nothing fulfills us more than the successes of our students and clients.
With that kind of support, your clients are very fortunate to have you both guiding them through things. Do you take on clients only in person or does your training extend to internet lessons? If so, where can young actors go to take your courses?
I am so glad you asked, as we have been meaning to get our education online for ages. We are both available for Skype coaching for students who are not in the Seattle area, and I can ALMOST GUARANTEE that we will have classes and workshops for sale on MightyTripod.com in 2018.
I see that Mighty Tripod has just wrapped a new film called, The Parish, what can you tell me about the film and where can we see it when it’s ready?
The Parish marks my feature film directorial debut, and I could not be more excited, nervous, and overwhelmed by the entire experience. I have a history of running before I walk, and this journey was no different. I had a few short films under my belt as a director, and quite a few producing credits, but The Parish marks our (Mighty Tripod Productions) most ambitious project to date, and the experience of directing 14 days over a three-week run was exhilarating and exhausting.
The story (screenplay by Todd Downing) is about a woman’s journey back to faith after the trauma of deep grief. Our protagonist, Liz (played by Angela DiMarco), has recently lost her husband during the Afghanistan War. She uproots her daughter, fleeing their home in an attempt to escape her pain. As Liz attempts to settle herself and her rebellious daughter into a new life, she begins having nightmares of her husband’s death. Shortly after, a haunting of another sort begins, as Liz and Audrey awaken a sleeping giant in the form of a scandalous and unsolved mystery that the town had buried some 60 years past.
The film is now headed into post-production, with a targeted release date of late 2018.
I look forward to seeing The Parish! Do you have other projects coming up that you’re working on that you would like to share with our readers?
First and foremost, The Parish! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. All those links are below. Aside from that, look for me in Bad Samaritan, directed by Dean Devlin and starring David Tennant, and, check out Rockaway, which is currently being pitched in hopes of a full series run: https://www.rockawayseries.com (I am in the trailer, so check it out!).
As a person who loves thrillers and horror movies, I will definitely be looking out for Bad Samaritan when it premieres!
David, I want to thank you for taking time for this interview. It’s been a hectic week of travel for me and getting everything scheduled to be able to talk was not an easy task, so I really appreciate you for all that you do. Best wishes to you and your wife with your production company and upcoming work together and as a fan, I look forward to seeing you in new roles soon!
Thank you so much, Angela! It was a pleasure! ~ David S. Hogan
For readers, be sure to follow David S. Hogan on social media at:
You can also check out his website at: https://davidshogan.com/
Links to The Parish:
You can see David on the season 4 finale of Z Nation on the SYFY Channel at:
Be sure to keep your eyes open for information about the upcoming season 5 of Z Nation as soon as details are released!