His formula for acting is simple: interest in fellow man, being observant, educating on life and psychology, stepping out of one’s comfort zone and not being quick to judge.
It’s a proven methodology for German film and TV actor David Mihalka.
“Try to understand others. Walk in their shoes for a mile!” he said. “Always be a better version of yourself. That’s what I am working on each day.”
It’s certainly fair to say it’s been working.
Mihalka, who grew up watching many movies such as “Amadeus,” is known in the international filmmaking community for his dazzling character portrayals, chief among them his role in director John A. Mati’s feature comedy, “Monsieur Brucco.”
The Switzerland-released film follows Brucco (played by Mati), an Albanian who cuts his finger and is certified permanently unfit for work. Reluctant to accept early retirement, Brucco reinvents himself as a door-to-door toy salesman, but the new career takes a twist when he inadvertently becomes the target of the mafia.
Mihalka plays Monsieur Houstaf, captain of a spaceship.
“His mission is find a new leader for his planet,” Mihalka said. “The computer of the spaceship said that Monsieur Brucco is the chosen one. But he is a total fool and catching him becomes a challenge, since Monsieur Houstaf is a complete idiot as well.”
The role allowed Mihalka to tap into his profound comedic acting talent. He says he relished the chance of “being a fool” on screen.
“Life is so serious. Being a fool frees you! And with a captain from out of space, you have even more freedom to go overboard.”
The film was a success to the point a sequel is now filming. “All I can say is: The fool is still chasing the other fool.”
Other 2015 acting roles for Mihalka include Emilio Ferrari’s TV movie, “All I Want for Christmas,” Jonathan Moy de Vitry’s “Difficult People,” Alex Lewis’ “Driverless,” and Mickella Simone’s “The WorkPlace.”
Mihalka’s been acting since 2014 in the comedy web series, “Zero Button,” and he played Sean Benini in writer-director Stan Harrington’s “Lost Angels,” that won four awards at the Indie Fest USA International Film Festival.
“Sean is a sleazy paparazzi in Hollywood hoping to make big bucks,” Mihalka said. “The movie is about Los Angeles, the glamour and the gutter.”
Mihalka’s filmography also includes acting in Harrington’s multi-award-winning feature mystery, “Perception” and Yu Jung Hou’s “Forever.”
In “Perception,” Mihalka played the role of Yuri and said, “Yuri is a very shy and silent student. The opposite of me. It was my first movie…exciting of course.”
Mihalka’s theatre background provided a valuable training ground before he parlayed his talents to film. From 2010 to 2012, he studied at The Stella Adler Academy of Acting in Los Angeles and starred in theatrical productions of “J.B.” and “The Diviners.”
“In theatre,” he said, “I learned to speak up and be clear in my speech to make sure the guy in the last row won’t fall asleep. Also, I learned to get used to many eyes watching me. This benefits me on set since there are as many eyes watching you like in theatre.”
Veteran actor, writer and producer Tim McNeil has appeared in more than 30 films and television shows including “Forrest Gump,” “Contact” and “Starship Troopers,” as well as in over 40 plays. McNeil directed Mihalka in his original play, “Margaret,” at the Gilbert Theatre at Stella Adler Los Angeles.
“The play is about a community’s reaction to the unexpected suicide of a 16-year old girl,” McNeil said. “Initially, nobody speaks about it, all acting as though nothing has happened. Bruce, played by David, is the most vocal about his concerns. He is a drunk who is not afraid to speak the difficult truth, bringing comedy to a very dark and dramatic play. He is critical to the production because he is the only one who challenges everybody in the neighborhood to talk about Margaret, searching for an answer as to why she did it.
“David proved outstanding in his sensibilities and his knowledge of the character. He understood both the material and his own character, and in turn, made the play feel that much more real. His ability to bring comedy to such a tragic subject, and make it all seem natural without being over the top, is a testament to his ability as an actor. David has something to offer the entire world with his exceptional talent.”
Mihalka credits other actors as having a great influence on him. “Established actors taught me two things: find the unique things about yourself and don’t be shy. Enhance them and show it to the world. The other one is: never give up!”
Mihalka’s talents don’t stop in front of the camera – one look at his work in photography verifies another field where he excels.
Capturing difficult scenes through his work with a camera are a testament to his gifted photographer’s eye. Mihalka’s photography captures scenes from a diverse slice of life. From the sublime to the exotic, to the baseness of life, his photographic eye catches, captures and produces exceptional and unique perspectives of people, places, and situations.