Illuminating his journey on and off the stage

Photo from Paul Tully's personal page.

Photo from Paul Tully's personal page.

Samantha Vasquez

Theatre wasn’t always on Paul Tully’s career goals, his original choice was the military. That all changed when his chief told him something he hadn’t realized.

“After four years, she told me that I did my job honorably. If I wanted to go to school and find a passion, I could. If I decided I wanted to return to the Navy, I could because it would always be there,” Tully said, “I owe her a great deal for that because I would not be doing what I’m doing today.”

With past acting experience when he was younger, he ultimately knew what he was interested in doing.

Before moving to Los Angeles, he lived in New York. While there, he took classes at HB Studios and studied Uta Hagen’s technique of acting. Along with that, he participated in NYU films and many community plays.

Soon after leaving the Navy, he enrolled in theatre classes at Cerritos.

Tully eventually got his groove back and immediately began participating in his classes and joined his first play at Cerritos called “Getting Here” by Forrest Hartl.

Since then he has been in plenty of shows such as “¿De Dónde?”, “The Rivals”, and “The Grapes of Wrath.”

He began performing outside of the school and touring the country. He has performed in some of the most prestigious theaters in cities such as New York City and Miami.

Along with Brenda Banda, Tully is the co-founder of a theatre company from Cerritos College called Urban Theatre Movement.

UTM helps students pursue their career in acting and helps them acquire contacts for mentorship.

“I’d like to see students reach out more because the company is there for them and they can make it as actors. They can work in this industry and myself, including many others, are all living examples,” Tully said.

Member of UTM, Charlie Sanchez, has also worked with Tully. “Paul is the Malcolm X of theatre. He will make sure the job gets done by any means necessary,” Sanchez said.

Student’s can get the opportunity to get mentored by A-list actors and the professionals that help keep the company afloat.

Fellow friend and colleague of Tully, Alex Alpharaoh, said, “His leadership took our fledgling company from the black boxes of Cerritos and Long Beach, to main stages in Los Angeles, Miami, New York City and back home to SoCal.”

Tully is currently performing in “Laughing But Serious”, a skit in the company’s one act festival. The festival is called “Urban Legends” and is held until Dec. 14.

Recently, Tully was chosen to join the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. The union represents actors, musicians, and radio personalities.

“I worked hard for this acting thing. It’s the one thing no one can take from me,” he said, “All the acting classes, all the indie films, all the USC films, touring the country and doing plays for free was worth it.”

Tully will star as Danny Quinn alongside John Leguizamo and Julia Stiles in a film he recently shot in New York called 11:55 Holyoke.

“Being flown to New York and picked up and dropped off to set with a limo each day was pretty awesome. I can definitely get used to this,” he said.

When he isn’t acting, he’s either spending time with his son, Tony, on the football field or spending it in the gym.

“I’m working with a new manager as far as acting and trying to revamp my look and slim down to get open for more television roles,” Tully said.

As far as what’s next, he’s not entirely sure. He hopes to become even more successful and inspiring people by creating life provoking moments and art through acting.

“It feels good to get it but the hustle never stops for young artists like myself. It’s not about the million dollars, the Rolls-Royce, and it’s not about winning an oscar. Those would be great but it’s really about the journey.

Find out more information about UTM on their website: http://urbantheatremovement.com