Honestly, when Parker Young walked into the room – I didn’t know what to expect. But as soon as he did, he certainly had an aura about him that truly speaks to his great personality and charisma.
I don’t know if it was his all American boy charm or Abercrombie model body that caught everyone’s attention. But either way, it was pretty obvious that he was worth getting to know.
I began the interview while he was preparing for his James Dean-esque photo-shoot. And for that reason, I applaud him for his exceptional ability to multi-task while simultaneously answer thought-provoking questions in such a deep, well-thought out way.
At first I was a bit timid because I didn’t know how he would react or what he would say. Fortunately, he was such a personable, down-to-earth guy with a lot of great stories to share, that it was hard not to become caught up in the adventures of his life.
Zooey Magazine: Do you have any secret talents? Parker Young: “I can juggle, that’s pretty secretive. You know the sit down Sea Doo? They make a stand up version that’s really difficult and I’m a master at one of those guys! And I am a kick ass paint-ball player, I’d challenge anyone! I also ride a motorcycle, although my mom doesn’t like it.”
ZM: If you could give advice to the younger you, what would you say? PY: “I would tell young Parker that he should enjoy every moment of his life and just live by that motto. To enjoy life and have faith that everything is going to be okay in the end. I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist. But being a perfectionist can stress you out and make things difficult. So I would tell little me to enjoy it and in the end everything is going to be okay and that you don’t need to over-think things. And to have fun, do what you love, be a good person and – I’ll see you in a few years.”
ZM: Earlier you said you were a perfectionist. Does this also apply to high school? PY: “I was. I was a straight A’s student. But I was captain of the football team too. That was my big sport in high school. And up until high school I played basketball, soccer, and swam. But Football was my main sport in high school and I was going to wrestle after the football season, but I fractured a rib so I had to sit out the wrestling season. But yeah, I was a jock, a slightly smarter jock than Ryan Shay though.”
ZM: Do you have any tattoos? What’s the story behind them? PY: “I do. I’ve got two. I’ve got one on my inner bicep and one on my right forearm. The one on my right forearm is in Latin and it’s in my dad’s hand-writing. It is the first part of Newton’s third law of motion, ‘To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.’ I have the first part of the law, and my little brother has the second part tattooed on his arm. And for me, it’s karma. Its cause and effect, what goes around comes around. What you put in the world comes back to you, even your thoughts. Even what you think about will come back. That law of constant change and give and take – to take action and be a good person. The other one on my arm is from a Chinese philosopher 3,000 years ago, it says ‘He who flows as life flows, knows he needs no other force’ – and that is in my handwriting. It is a reminder for me to just chill out. You will be at your most powerful when you go with the flow. For me, being a perfectionist and always trying to be in control, I found that it is a stressful way to live. And when you’re acting you need to let go of control and be more free, responsive, and reactive. This one I actually found after being in acting class and realizing my faults. My biggest fault was always wanting to have everything right and being in control of the scene. I really had to learn to let go and flow the way that life does.”
ZM: If you had to choose a career other than acting, what would it be? PY: “When I was a kid for Halloween I was either a ninja or army man. So I think that I always wanted to do something like that. I don’t think you can be a professional ninja per se. But in a different life I would have loved to have gone into the marines, or become a navy seal. I think it has always been something that, as a kid, you day dream about. In place of that, acting was the safer more fun alternative. But, I think a more normal answer would be something to do with psychology. I love philosophy and psychology. I think I would have gone in that direction – picking people’s heads a part and helping them work through their problems.”
ZM: Who makes you happy no matter what? PY: “First person that pops into my head is my brother. My little brother, he’s 19 his name is Nelson. We are four years apart. Growing up he was always just a little bit too young for us to be best friends and he always wanted to keep up with me and my buddies. But now that he is older we’re best friends. He’s like a pit-bull, he’s so loyal and would do anything for me. He is so positive and believes in me so much, he’s always a go-to-guy. And there are others: my whole family, my mom, dad, sister, and friends. But I gotta set him first.”
ZM: Is there anyone you aspire to be like? PY: “I think there are so many people that I aspire to be like. And every day I feel like I am constantly aspiring to be a better me. I try to find where I am closed off, or things that make me uncomfortable and I try to push those limits. Every day I try to make myself uncomfortable so I can no longer be uncomfortable. My parents – my mom and dad inspire me so much and my younger siblings. Family to me is the most important thing, it is something that you don’t easily find elsewhere. They are with you to the end, they believe in you, love you and they inspire me every day. Also, the people I see that are achieving their dreams. Whether they are musicians, or just about any sort of artist. People that perform and put themselves out there and are judged and ridiculed and chase that dream – inspires me every day. Even rappers, you see these guys who get up there with this confidence and are just doing what they love.”
ZM: Speaking of rappers, any favorites that come to mind? PY: I’ve got an image of Lil’ Wayne in my head. He’s great.
ZM: Do you have any embarrassing stories? PY: “The story that keeps coming to my mind is about of one of my best friends. It’s an experience we both went through, but it was more embarrassing for him. We were 17, and I was dating this girl at the time who lived in Florida, and we are from Arizona so we were going to go visit her. And before we go, my buddy is showering at my place and he comes out and says ‘Dude, my butt is so smooth,’ and he’s just bragging about how smooth his butt. Then he says, ‘Yeah I just shaved my butt with your face razor.’ And I’m just thinking, ‘What!? Come on man!’ Next day, we get on the airplane and he says, ‘Man I need some butt cream, my butt cheeks are so itchy.’ So we are looking around the airport and of course there is no butt cheek cream. And so then we get to Florida, and a couple of days in we are all out hanging out in the Jacuzzi and he goes to use the bathroom and he yells, ‘Parker get in here!’ So I go in, and he shows me his butt and it’s covered in red rashy bumps – just disgusting. It was really funny and he got what he deserved for bragging about his smooth butt. But…it’s not really a personal embarrassing story.
ZM: Final question, what are your hopes for the future? PY: “I would love to be successful doing what I love doing. And what I love doing is acting and being a part of creating TV and films. I love working and being on set. Digging into scripts and collaborating to create something that people enjoy and can come together to watch, experience. I think the art is so unifying. And I love that I am able to be a part of it. So I hope that I can continue be a creator and spend my whole life creating things. I want to leave a legacy that’s more than just movies I’ve been in because ultimately, it’s just a movie, or it’s just TV. I see people that are helping the world. For example, the film maker of ‘Kony 2012,’ it’s incredible that he’s going there and making this his mission. And the fact that millions of people are getting involved. We have that power, the power to create things that millions of people can see. And in this age and the internet, it’s crazy. What good can you do? How can you motivate people to wake up and start caring about each other? It could be giving a spare dollar to someone who is homeless and starving as opposed to honking your horn and rushing to your next meeting. I want to be able to contribute to that movement with my life.”
Interviewed by Jeanelle Horcasitas
Photographed by Vince Trupsin Groomed by Angie Miller