Forrest Hartl: Professor, Film Creator and Podcaster

On+the+left-hand+side%2C+you+have+one+of+the+directors+of+the+film%2C+Free+Lunch%2C+Forrest+Hartl+and+on+the+right+of+him%2C+you+have+Connor+William+Barrett+%28who+plays+the+main+character+Sam+in+the+film%29.++

Alex Linares

On the left-hand side, you have one of the directors of the film, “Free Lunch,” Forrest Hartl and on the right of him, you have Connor William Barrett (who plays the main character Sam in the film).

Samuel Chacko, Editor-in-Chief

When Forrest Hartl became the production assistant for “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” he got his inspiration from actors Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling, who would constantly produce takes.

Hartl, an alumnus of Cerritos College, who has worked on tons of sets and has gathered 15 years of experience in theater, had a mantra that saying yes to projects helped him gain experience and get exposed to the different areas of film.

Going back to Hartl’s years at Cerritos College, he explained that taking theater classes first got him exposed to the cinema. Hartl said he found his direction there.

After graduation, Hartl moved to UC Berkeley to get his bachelor’s degree in Drama and went to USC to study playwriting.

“Once you get to the higher level of education, you grow more and are exposed to things that you wouldn’t have known about in high school or even at Cerritos,” Hartl said.

Hartl also added he was lucky to go to those schools because of the experience and things he’s learned.

The theater Professor also acted in seven movies and directed/produced in three of those movies as well.

The motto that Hartl gave was that he’d say ‘yes’ to every project opportunity.

“Sitting back and waiting and wondering, ‘is this for me?’ is just going to delay you,” Hartl said passionately.

One perfect example Hartl talks about is this satirical podcast called “Your Weekly Dose,” which he co-hosts.

“I had never been on a podcast before and I auditioned for it and got cast on it,” Hartl explained as he was standing, “I don’t know if I’m right for this and I’m going to give it a try.”

Hartl said that the inspiration for the podcast came from the duo called Mark and Brian, who were popular.

Mark and Brian was a comedy podcast that was number one for five straight years on KLOS and the program lasted for 25 years.

They were inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame and had a special reunion podcast in 2019.

“Once they retired, the creator of the podcast, Sean Roberts, he created the podcast to bring that kind of show that was no longer running in Los Angeles,” Hartl said.

Hartl said the weekly podcast is a “different way to perform” and that he’s having a blast on the comedy podcast.

Having things that are hobbies and are “just fun” is important, as Hartl frames it, “Not everything is my ‘life or death’ calling …this is just pure fun.”

“Time management … I have to think ahead on how I’m going to use my morning … and staying focused on what I need to accomplish,” Hartl said.

The writer for “Free Lunch” gives some solutions on how to tackle burnout, “I go for a walk, walk the dog and kind of clear my head a bit … and try to come at it at a different angle and see if I can change my perspective.”

As for hobbies, Hartl writes scripts on the side, goes outdoors, watches sports and exercises.

“I see it as a collaboration because I would get up on my feet with the students and learn just as much and get challenged to stay sharp because of them,” Hartl said about teaching here at Cerritos.

Hartl stressed the importance of having a great team around you and having teamwork, “Getting a good team around you makes you seem that you can do more than you really can.”

Hartl said, “Getting out there and working as much as you can,” would be the best advice he can give.

“If you think it’s gotta happen overnight, you have to change your perspective,” Hartl said, “It’s going to take a while and it might take longer than you think. You have to be ready to invest in yourself long-term.”

Hartl said he’s currently looking for new projects in acting and he’s still teaching here at Cerritos College; Hartl added that he’s constantly auditioning as an actor.