He’s a versatile actor playing AJ — a burnout pothead in Comedy Central’s Workaholics, to Willie — an intense and pony-tailed redneck from Central Florida on TNT’s hit drama The Last Ship. It appears that UW-Green Bay alumnus Scotty Dickert ‘07 is well on his way to fame.
Just a few months after relocating to Los Angeles, Dickert booked a role on HBO’s “All Signs of Death,” and after day one was bumped to a recurring role. He is currently filming the Netflix original movie XOXO, in a strong supporting role opposite Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland and others. XOXO was recently named the #1 Netflix movie to watch in 2016 by the CheatSheet entertainment website ahead of big named titles, such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Brad Pitt’s War Machine.
But what appears as a quick ascent into stardom — Dickert says it’s ironic that he has now been in “acting school” as long as he was at UWGB — has actually been a balance of hard work, opportunities, and a few disappointments.
That assignment to the recurring role, mentioned above? That series ended up on the cutting room floor. Not a great memory for Dickert who said he received the call and remembers falling back against the wall and sliding down to the bathroom floor. Lucky for his increasing fan base, he didn’t remain there very long.
“I’ve known for years that I’ve worked extremely hard and have developed the chops to do this; but I dealt with the same frustration that every other actor goes through while relentlessly pursuing this passion to hopefully come across the chance to get that break,” Dickert says. “Sadly, though, without a great resume you don’t get opportunities; but without opportunities, how are you supposed to build a great resume? It’s a pretty thick, well-bolted door out here that everyone is trying to get through, and that’s why you have to be prepared for the long haul in this career. You have to be ready to work your ass off, accept rejection, and somehow find the patience to wait for someone to take a chance on you.”
Fortunately, his experiences and successes since, have helped him to be seen as confident, prepared and an asset on set in the eyes of the people behind the camera.
“My proudest moments are when I’m able to overcome the toughest parts of this industry: Breaking the barriers that keep actors from getting opportunities,” he says. “There are so many actors in LA fighting for the same roles as I am and to get with the same representation as I have. There is nothing like building a team of agents, managers and coaches that truly believe in my skills. Without them I’d be escorted off the lots by security for trying to step onto Paramount or Warner Bros. They are the people who fight for me every day just to get me seen by casting and are confident that I will do the rest. So every time I book a job I know that they’re just as stoked as I am. Then I get to call my family and biggest supporters and tell them the exciting news, which is right up there with the best part.”
The XOXO project will be his “coolest and biggest to date” because of the significance of his character to the storyline in the film as well as the increasingly global platform Netflix provides.
“That’s what director Christopher Louie and incredible producers like Daniel Shafer and Joe Russell of XOXO have done for me,” he says. “I’m not saying my career is set and I never have to go on another audition again; but this experience has left me with an absolutely overwhelming gratefulness and appreciation for the people who put their faith in my abilities. Not every actor gets that chance; so being given the green light to create a character and collaborate with incredibly talented directors, producers, writers and cast members are my proudest moments.
Dickert says he is pleased with his career and can’t wait to see what the future holds. On top of his theatrical work, he recently booked his eighth national commercial and is fortunate to have multiple platforms to be seen. He says he is thrilled to be in the middle of the “crazy.”
“Being here for six years, I’ve experienced all different types of crazy; from the parties I thought only existed on Entourage… to getting a call saying I’m flying to Mexico tomorrow for a 24-hour shoot… to every day running from auditions, to wardrobe fittings, to EDM festivals, sprinting with camera crews behind me from stage to stage in arms reach of Deadmau5, with my heart rate so high it takes weeks to come down from. Even if this all were to end tomorrow, though I’d be heartbroken, I’d always appreciate this incredible journey, these unbelievable life experiences, and the ability to make the people I love proud and help others take a short escape from whatever it is they need a break from. That being said, I have every intention to keep this train rolling!”
Dickert, who majored in communication with an emphasis public relations and was a member of the Phoenix tennis team, says he looks fondly back at his experience. His grandparents lived in Green Bay and were always close for support. In addition, he could always turn to his Phoenix family.
“I always say that I wouldn’t trade my college experience for anything. I’m proud to be a Phoenix and UWGB will always be in my heart. I was fortunate to receive a tennis scholarship while attending ‘Geebs’ and had a great coach, Dan Oliver, and a team of friends that were like family to me. I had great professors that helped set me on a successful path and helped build my confidence and make me a better person. I loved my film classes, which helped build a general idea of the history of film before I moved to LA and expanded on that knowledge, as well as marketing and psych classes. I’ll always think of professors like Tim Meyer (communications) and Regan Gurung (psychology) as having an impact on my life as well as staff in other departments such as Sherri Arendt (coordinator of Tutoring Services), who could not treat students with more care or interest.”
On an occasional visit back to Green Bay one might find Dickert at his former hangouts — The Settlement Bar, Coaches Corner or Kittners — and of course, the lure of the brats, beer and the excitement only found at Lambeau Field.