As a shy kid from New Jersey, being in show business wasn’t at the forefront of Asher Grodman’s mind. It wasn’t until middle school when he started performing in the school’s jazz band, but it was his 7th grade crush on a girl that got him bit by the performance bug.
“I had a huge crush on this girl. I got up in front of the school and changed the words of the song ‘Brown-Eyed Girl’ to ‘Hazel-Eyed Girl’, it probably mortified her,” Grodman recalled with a laugh. “It didn’t work out very well, but the desire to connect overwhelmed the fear of rejection.”
From there, Grodman entered a scene contest in New Jersey and put on a scene from “The Producers.” His performance earned him second place, and that gave him the confidence to pursue acting opportunities while in school.
“There were auditions for the school musical, which was ‘Fiorello!’ There was a part that required little to no singing, which was perfect for me, and I got that role,” said Grodman. “With the encouragement on school level, I wanted to figure out how do you do this and make a career out of this. I got into some classes and got lucky and in high school, I found an agent and started auditioning for TV roles.”
Over the years, Grodman has picked up guest spots on shows like “Elementary,” “Law & Order,” and “House of Cards,” just to name a few, while also teaching here and there.
“I remember coming out of grad school and having a hard time trying to figure out how to make a career in acting,” said Grodman. “I got to play Amadeus in the play in the theater in LA, and I got to do it with a guy with a hero of mine. Doing that show is an obstacle course, but it gave me a real boost.”
During his time in the business, one of the most important lessons that Grodman learned was that feelings aren’t facts, and it’s what you do on screen that connects viewers to the story rather than just your character alone making that connection.
“Being an actor is so hard in the sense that the only person who can never see you act is you. You can see playbacks of scenes but that doesn’t put you back into what you’re thinking and feeling at that time,” said Grodman. “When you do your audition and leave, you have no idea how it went and it’s very disorienting in that regard. You tend to be in those feelings and stay oriented. It helped click stuff when I started thinking about the story instead of the character. The story connects you to everyone else involved.”
These days, you can find Grodman on the hit CBS series “Ghosts” as Trevor, a “finance bro” who died in the 1990s partying at a drug-fueled rager. The show features an ensemble cast and has been very popular among viewers.
Grodman says that it hasn’t quite hit for him yet how well the show has been received due to the amount of work the cast has put in filming episodes, but has been feeling the love online.
“It hasn’t quite hit yet, but online I’m aware that I could have 100 careers in this business and never broach what’s happening now. It’s very special, a joyful experience to watch. People are being very nice on Twitter,” said Grodman. “When you’re [filming], you’re thinking about the next thing, then the next thing, and just kind of stay with the work. One of the best things is hearing from friends, family, old teachers, that kind of thing. That’s really rewarding. My high school reached out to do an interview with me. You get gratification from the work, but not a lot of pats on the back — to get some feels really nice.”
Grodman also credits the rest of the ensemble, particularly the show’s two leads, Rose McIver and Utkarsh Ambudkar, for making the show so funny.
“It’s a unique show, what the creators came up with is so clever and so witty and was able to reach is relatable to a wide group of people. It’s so cool to have the fun that the ghosts get to have, but what Rose and Utkarsh are doing is amazing,” said Grodman. “We’re relying on Rose to do scenes with 8 people who aren’t there, while Urkash has the ability to do a scene with nine people and ignore eight of them.”
As for what the future holds, Grodman would like to dip his toes in directing or doing a play in New York.
“I would love to try more directing or do a play in New York. Doing some movies would be great,” said Grodman. “Only two weeks ago we figured out what our future is [with “Ghosts”]. I’m surrounded by ghosts right now.”
You can follow Grodman on Instagram and Twitter @ashergrodman.