Barry Floyd enjoys a whole new ‘Game’
Exclusive Interview by Michael Aaron Gallagher
When “The Game” ended its run on The CW television network many thought the show had played its final season. But for the cast, everything was about to change, as BET picked up the series and gave it a make-over with new locations, storylines and drama.
Barry Floyd, who plays Tee Tee, recently talked about how he went from being a production assistant to a series regular and in the process found he could do more than just help behind the scenes – he could make audiences laugh too.
Michael Aaron Gallagher: “First of all, tell me a little bit about your character on ‘The Game.’ Who is he and where did he come from?”
Barry Floyd: “I play Tee Tee. His real name is Terrence, but everyone calls him Tee Tee. He is the best friend of the quarterback, Malik Wright, quarterback of the San Diego Sabers, and they basically grew up together. And Malik brought him with him when he blew up and made him his assistant.”
Michael Aaron Gallagher: “How has your character evolved from the beginning up until now?”
Barry Floyd: “He’s kind of grown up a little bit and he’s started his own business and he finally has a girlfriend… Whereas before, he was always connected to Malik, whenever you saw Malik on screen you saw Tee Tee, like a Batman and Robin type of thing, now he’s kind of branching off on his own. And I have a lot of scenes by myself, without Malik at all.”
Michael Aaron Gallagher: “A lot of people who haven’t seen the show may not know this, but “The Game” actually has a great script and a great cast. What do you like most about the show?”
Barry Floyd: “I just like the relationship between all the characters – there’s a lot of drama. It’s a very drama-heavy show. They’re always butting heads… but at the end of the day, they’re all friends. They all love each other. It always comes back together.”
Michael Aaron Gallagher: “What can fans of ‘The Game’ expect from the new season on BET?”
Barry Floyd: “First of all, it looks great. It already looked good on The CW but we shot down in Atlanta and we did a lot of location shoots as opposed to shooting on set. So the world opens up a lot more. It looks a lot more cinematic. Secondly, they have a few less restrictions than they did at The CW. They’re finally able to make the show that I think they’ve always wanted to make in the first place. You know going from network to cable, you get a lot more options as far as censorship. Whatever it is that made them fall in love in the first place… it’s 10 times better than it was before.”
Michael Aaron Gallagher: “You started out as a PA and then caught an unexpected break. Take me through those first few scenes that you filmed in front of the camera. What was going through your mind at the time?”
Barry Floyd: “The first scene I did, I think it was a party scene and I just had one or two lines and they were just basically for comic relief. So there would be a serious conversation going on and I’d jump in and say something stupid. And the audience would laugh, kind of like a Kramer [from ‘Seinfeld’] or a J.J. from Good Times, one of those type of characters, just like a comic foil basically.”
“So I remember being really nervous that I was going to say my line and nobody was going to laugh. And once I said that line and I got that first laugh and I saw that audience reaction, I knew that I could do this. But it was very nerve-wrecking – I just didn’t know how anybody was going to respond to me. And second we were shooting in front of a live audience.”
Michael Aaron Gallagher: “Were you surprised that the writers kept adding scenes for you, given that you didn’t have the experience that many of your fellow actors did?”
Barry Floyd: “Yes, because when I first did it I thought it was going to be maybe a one-time thing and I would have a nice story to tell my grandkids and stuff, but they just kept giving me more. And the more I showed that I could handle it, the more they gave me.
Michael Aaron Gallagher: “Was there ever a point when you had second thoughts about being an actor?”
Barry Floyd: “Well, once I started I was very interested in continuing on. But it was very scary because, since I was in high school, I’ve always worked a nine to five job. In high school, I went to school, got out of school and went to work. When I graduated from high school and college I just worked every day. As an actor you don’t work every day. You don’t know when your next job is coming. You don’t know when they’re going to call you again. So just not having that security of a regular job that you get up and go to every day was kind of scary at first. But I’ve just learned to roll with the punches and save whatever money I make until the next job comes along and I’ve been able to transition into it pretty well.”
Michael Aaron Gallagher: “Have your career plans changed since you started acting? What are some of your long-term aspirations?”
Barry Floyd: “Well I still consider myself a writer, even though I’m not yet a professional writer. The only thing that’s changed is that in addition to being a writer, I’m now an actor, so I’m just trying to do both and hopefully be successful at both.”
Michael Aaron Gallagher: “Are you interested in doing movies down the road?”
Barry Floyd: “Yes, definitely. As soon as possible, actually. I’m hoping with the show coming back I’m going to be able to generate a little bit more buzz behind my name and hopefully that can help propel me to the next level.”
Michael Aaron Gallagher: “Are there any particular writers, directors or actors you would like to collaborate with?”
Barry Floyd: “I’m a big Samuel L. Jackson fan, because I just love how he’s worked forever. He’s been in everything. I feel like he never turns anything down. And he’s just such a part of popular culture – from Pulp Fiction or Star Wars or Snakes on a Plane or Die Hard – he’s been involved in every franchise in Hollywood. So I would definitely love to work with him and I would love for my career to kind of mirror his.”
Michael Aaron Gallagher: “A lot of young people head out to Hollywood after graduation like you did, with a dream, whether it’s to be an actor or director or writer. Do you have any advice for someone who might be about to take the plunge?”
Barry Floyd: “Just make sure that you’re all in. You can’t be halfway about it. Because once you get here it’s kind of tough. I got lucky relatively early, but still even before that break I was a PA for years I was a tour guide on the Paramount lot for a year before that. Just know that when you come out here you’re going to have to work and hustle. And success might not be immediate, but as long as you don’t give up, then eventually you’ll catch your break. Everybody does. But the problem is that a lot of people down here give up and go back home before their break ever comes.”
Michael Aaron Gallagher: “What do you think the producers saw in you, to give you that break?”
Barry Floyd: “Well, when it first happened I was going through what’s called a network run-through, and on a lot of sitcoms they’ll rehearse a couple of days before they shoot. Before they shoot they will kind of do a dry run of the show in front of the producers so they can see what they are working with and if they want to make any changes. And that particular day one of the stand-ins, (who was one of the stand-ins for one of the actors) wasn’t around so they asked me to do it. And I was just getting a good reaction from one of the producers… they were laughing and they just thought it was funny. And then on top of that they knew me to be a hard worker in my PA job. Because I’m not a hundred percent sure that if I hadn’t been a good PA if they would have been interested in giving me a chance. So that’s actually another piece of advice… when you come out here you might come out here to be an actor. If you’re not an actor right away be the best at whatever job it is you’re doing in the mean time. Because you never know who’s watching and you never know who might be in the position to give you that break.”
Michael Aaron Gallagher: “If I catch up with you in a couple of years, what do you want to be doing?”
Barry Floyd: “I want to be in movies and I want to be writing my own movies and hopefully in a position where I can produce a few projects as well.”
Barry Floyd enjoys a whole new ‘Game’
Copyright © 2011 by Michael Aaron Gallagher – All rights reserved.
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