Oftentimes, witnessing a particular event or spectacle ignites a passionate inner flame, we as individuals, never knew resided within our innermost walls. After rising actress Tisha Custodio found herself captivated within the confinement of a man-made mirage filled with divine Shakespearian plots, she quickly allowed her so-called inner flame to ignite a fully-fledged fire. After learning to hone her creative spark, Tisha can be seen showcasing her talents in the Disney + series, Big Shot. In this exclusive interview, Tisha discusses her past in the industry, her overall experience working on her newest project, and upcoming plans she has in store for her budding music career.
Megan Morgante: Did anything/anyone, in particular, inspire you to pursue acting?
Tisha Custodio: I would have to say my first Shakespeare teacher, Pete Uribe. I remember walking into class a few minutes late, to find him doing a one-man performance of the iconic balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet and the whole class was captivated. His passion for the craft is just so infectious, I am convinced he is the reason why I am so passionate about what I do.
MM: Can you give an overview of your past in the entertainment industry and how it led you to where you are now?
TC: It really started at the arts high school I was at. As a freshman, I auditioned for anything and everything - which led me to be an intern at a Shakespeare company and be a part of that year’s actors’ showcase. These two opportunities were formative for me: I made so many valuable connections as an intern, and the showcase allowed me to meet my reps.
Throughout my high school career, I was juggling going to school in Orange County and driving to auditions/jobs in Los Angeles. It wasn’t until I graduated and moved into my dorm room that Big Shot presented itself. After reading the script and meeting the girls who are now my on-screen teammates, I knew it would be silly to pass on such a special show.
MM: You star in the newly premiered Disney+ series, Big Shot…. Congratulations! Can you give us some insight into what we can expect from this series?
TC: Thank you! I love how there is so much heart in this show. Every single character is undeniably human, each going through their individual journey of growth.
MM: What has your experience been like working with the cast and crew on this project?
TC: I feel incredibly grateful to have worked with such generous, caring, and talented people. It was so nice to come to work every day with a cast and crew that have genuinely become like my second family.
MM: You play Carolyn 'Mouse' Smith in the series; what was your experience like bringing this character's essence to life?
TC: Bringing Mouse to life was super fun because, with every episode, I felt like I uncovered a new layer to her. We have incredible writers on this show that got to know us very well throughout this process, and they incorporated some of our real-life attributes into our characters. This made it so effortless to find similarities to my character.
MM: You're also an aspiring singer/songwriter! When did you develop your love for the music industry?
TC: I’ve always loved music. I have been playing guitar and singing for as long as I can remember. My interest grew in high school, as I was surrounded by all these talented musicians constantly rehearsing or finishing up writing a song in the hallways. It wasn’t until I met my guitar teacher that I started writing my own songs. It’s nice to have someone supportive to bounce ideas off of, and he’s really helped me become obsessed with songwriting.
MM: Do you have any new or upcoming projects that you’re particularly excited about?
TC: As far as I know, I’ll just be writing songs until we (hopefully) get a second season!
MM: Do you have any hobbies you enjoy partaking in when you’re not acting?
TC: I love rock climbing. I can’t wait for gyms to open back up, because I used to go every week. I also really love reading. I try to read a book per month. I just finished reading Daring Greatly by Brené Brown.
MM: Have you ever experienced any notable challenges throughout your career?
TC: I think the biggest challenge so far was having to balance high school with auditioning in LA. A normal week would call for me to leave class early multiple times to drive an hour and a half for auditions. Making sure that I kept my GPA up while giving my all in these audition rooms was very formative for me. It made me realize just how badly I wanted to be in this industry and taught me the importance of persistence (both as an artist, and generally in life).
MM: Where do you hope to see yourself within the upcoming years?
TC: Within the next 5 years, along with continuing my acting career, I see myself starting a production company that will tell stories that center around diversity and immigration.
Photography by Ryan West