Actors find Maryland a starting point for careers

BALTIMORE - Actor Thuliso Dingwall said he was surprised to realize he could launch his career in Maryland.

“Of course I dreamed big and thought [my acting career] would kick off in Los Angeles or in New York, but to my surprise it was right here in Maryland,” Dingwall said.

According to the Maryland Film Office’s website, Maryland is projected to have a $400 million impact on the economy this year.

Many films and television series have been filmed in Maryland including "House of Cards, " "Veep," "The Social Network," and "The Wedding Crashers."

Dingwall along with fellow aspiring actors like Styves Exantus and Devin Denzel are among those that have started their careers in Maryland’s Theater and Film industries.

Dingwall, 19, of Clinton, began his career at the age of 5 and received his first major part as Kenard on the HBO television series, "The Wire."

“At the time, being so young, I was like a sponge so I just soaked in so much information and tried to learn as much from the experiences that I was able to be a part of,” Dingwall said.

Since his first major role, Thuliso has been in "Law and Order," "Person of Interest," and "Unforgettable."

Thuliso was also cast in Daniel Beatty’s play, "Resurrection."

About 3 years ago Exantus, 31, of Laurel became interested in acting.

Exantus has been in numerous productions, different series on Netflix, and has recently had the opportunity to work with Julia Louis Dreyfus in "Veep."

 “I was thinking that after I got my first couple of gigs, I would have to go to New York and do some big auditions,” Styves said. “I’ve actually been rolling pretty well here and having a lot of fun doing it.”

It wasn’t until being cast in 2012 in Lifetime Network’s "America’s Most Wanted" as wanted criminal Ibrahima Ragis that Exantus realized he would aspire to be a stunt actor.

Since "America’s Most Wanted," Exantus has tried out for "American Ninja Warrior" and trains daily.

Devin Denzel, 23, of Waldorf, just began his career in February 2013 after performing a monologue in the Mr. Historically Black College and University Pageant as Mr. Bowie State University.

“I have an imagination, and I just like playing different people and assuming different roles and taking on that character,” Denzel said. “Just being somebody else, it’s really fun and that’s something I love doing.”

Since his casting, Devin has been a part of numerous theater productions at Bowie State University and has had the opportunity to be an extra in major film productions in Maryland.