Texas Voices: Charismatic and Captivating – Getting to Know Actor Tom Vera

by Bob Valleau on April 8, 2024 in Entertainment,

South Texas resident Tom Vera is a talented and versatile actor who is making a name for himself in TV and film. With his charismatic presence and ability to bring any character to life, Tom captivates audiences and wins loyalty from many who have seen him perform.

Originally from southern California, Tom began his acting career in his early twenties and quickly rose to prominence with his performances on screen. In 2019, he landed his first leading role in a movie called The Shipment where he had the opportunity to work with acting icons Lee Majors, Tom Sizemore and Robert LaSardo. Tom is known for his ability to seamlessly transition between different genres and roles, bringing depth and emotion to each character he portrays. From dramatic roles to comedic ones, Tom’s versatility and range have set him apart from his peers, making him a true standout in the industry.

Tom Vera currently lives in Texas but he grew up in California. Courtesy photo.

The beginning of Tom’s acting career was undramatic to say the least. “My journey into acting wasn’t as dramatic as some might expect; it was more of a realization sparked by reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. When I read this book, something happened that I didn’t expect – I finished it. All joking aside, this book spoke to me in a way that no other has. I connected with the main character as he was in pursuit of his treasure. Each step of the way, I saw parallels between his world and mine, especially when he realized that the universe was guiding him by sending him omens. When that happened, I was hit by an unexplained wave of clarity. That wave came to me as a montage of moments where I had many interactions with people who saw potential in me for acting, including an encounter with actor Gabriel Mann. Just like the main character was able to see the signs as omens, I, too, was able to perceive these seemingly off-handed comments as the universe guiding me towards my treasure. In that moment, they became my omens. From then on, I have pursued acting and haven’t looked back. Who would’ve thought that giving a book to someone can have such a profound impact on someone’s life? I can say without a doubt that I wouldn’t be where I am today if I never met my wife. She was the first domino that set this whole thing in motion. Thank you my love.”

Tom never backs down from a difficult role and loves a good challenge. His toughest role was intriguing, yet disturbing at the same time. “Playing a pedophile was my most challenging role due to the character’s disturbing nature. It truly was a yucky character; however, the project was really intriguing. What was originally written as a feature length film and later cut to 7 short films, this project focused on a story about the dark desires driven by a cursed $100 bill with my character embodying lust. It was an early career role that demanded a deep dive into a predator’s mindset, like a lion stalking his prey. 

Tom Vera loves playing challenging roles, but acting in a Christmas movie was one of his bucket list items. Courtesy photo.

“I remember one scene where director Maurice Elrod told me to bring out my inner creep. To be honest, I had no idea what that meant. My mind was racing, inner creep? What does that mean? How can I be creepy? Does a creep know he’s creepy? What does that look like and how do I embody that? How was I going to do that? I felt a bit lost, but to find clarity, I had to slow down the inundation of thoughts. So, I took a moment, closed my eyes and went back to what I knew about my character. He was a pedophile. He preyed on girls. He stalked them, waiting to make his move. Like a lion stalking his prey, waiting for that moment to pounce. Boom, I had it. That was it. So, I embodied that predator mentality and became the lion, which was both challenging and a unique learning experience.” 

Tom is all about fulfilling his bucket list. “Filming A Gettysburg Christmas this past year was a highlight, fulfilling a bucket list goal. The joy and warmth of Christmas films have always captivated me, and being part of one was incredibly special. It should be coming out this year, so be on the lookout for it. Like a legit bucket list item! I love a good Christmas movie, even cheesy sappy ones. What I love about them is that no matter how cheesy or unrealistic they are, they make you feel good…they give you a sense of what could be, you know. It was so memorable for me because it was a goal of mine for so long; it was like a dream come true. Working with EmmaRain Welling and her father Shawn Welling on Mission From Outer Space 2037 was also memorable because I got to see a beautiful father-daughter bond bloom right before my eyes. It gives me hope for me and my daughter someday.” 

Tom Vera has a Master’s Degree in Petroleum Geology from Oklahoma State University. Courtesy photo.

Staying busy during his spare time is a priority for Tom. “Spare time? What spare time? All jokes aside, when I’m not working or auditioning, I pretty much stay busy making our new house a home, preparing for our second child, and enjoying family outings. One of my favorite past times is building and setting up for our annual Halloween party because we all get together as a family. We go big and I really enjoy the whole process! I also have a passion for geology, a field I pursued academically, which brought me to Texas. Yes, I like rocks. I actually have a pretty solid rock and mineral collection, which are placed gracefully throughout the house. I have to give a big thanks to my wife for putting up with that. Now if we’re talking about my completely selfish hobbies, I love to travel and do just about anything outdoors. We go on an annual boys trip with all the homies that I’ve known since grade school. We use it as an opportunity to travel together and experience new places and new things.”

When he’s not busy traveling, Tom is at home in Texas enjoying its natural environment, cultural events and quality of food. “Beyond the financial benefits like no state income tax and lower energy prices, I love the Hill Country for its geology, outdoor activities, and cultural events. The community and natural beauty make for an amazing quality of life. Being from southern California, it’s not every day you see deer or Elk roaming the neighborhood. But out in Hill Country Texas, you do! And last but not least, the food out here is amazing!”

When asked how he maintains a good work-life balance in the demanding and unpredictable world of show business, Tom says, “That is a good question. And when you find the answer to that let me know!. Honestly, I wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of my wife and the help from my family. It helps so much knowing that they all have my back in this journey…it’s as if they are in the boat with me. I can’t tell you how many roles they have all played in it, from literally playing characters for me as my reader to traveling to one of my premiers. They are in my ring while I fight my way to the top and words cannot describe how thankful I am to have them there.”

Tom Vera has several upcoming projects including a Batman fan film. Courtesy photo.

Finally, as Tom looks to the future and what advice he would give others, he says, “Dream big, dream a lot and turn them into reality. Why not? You have one life to live, so make the best of it! If a kid like me can do it, so can you. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there. What do you have to lose? Do not be afraid to fail. Rather, embrace failure as a learning opportunity and cherish the journey over the destination. Do not let fear run your life. Listen to it and use it to your advantage. This is your life, you are at the helm! In life, there will be times of glassy waters, times when you’re traveling right through the storm and you feel like you’re going to drown. Support from loved ones is crucial, I know I couldn’t do it without the support of my family. They help during the highs and the lows. The more people you can have in your corner, the easier it’ll be to weather those storms. So nurture those relationships and treat everyone the way you want to be treated!

“I’m excited about several projects, including a Batman fan film and a sequel to If I Could Ride. These opportunities showcase the diverse roles and creative avenues I continue to explore in my acting career. There are a few others on the horizon, but those are still in the early days!”






Cover photo courtesy Tom Vera

Bob Valleau is a regular entertainment contributor for Texas Lifestyle Magazine