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San Leandran Seeks Success on the Big Screen

  • January 7, 2011

You might see Michael Goyeneche around town, at the store, or at his job at a bank.And you might see him roughing up some punk in an alley.Don’t take it personally. It’s just business. You see, Goyeneche is in the acting business.The St. Felicitas and Pacific High grad will appear in a TV pilot that’s screening at the Alameda Theatre on Jan. 25 and Jan. 26. Goyeneche has a supporting actor role, playing an cop in “A-Town,” a TV pilot by director Christopher Leonard filmed in Alameda last summer about the fictional city of Alamaden.Goyeneche seems to get cast in the tough-guy roles, even though he has a knack for humor. “I like comedy roles, but I’m mostly cast as the heavy,” Goyeneche says. “I guess it’s my looks.”

  “A-Town,” according to the show’s publicity, is about the lives of a troubled rookie police officer and a struggling single mother that collide as a pair of merciless criminals descend upon a quiet California suburb.Goyeneche plays a supporting role as a smart-aleck unethical cop who lets his buddies slide while dumping homeless people across the bridge in Oakland.The actor is happy to do a couple of lines from the show, as he ate lunch at a restaurant this week. “I take this transient guy and drag him over to Oakland and I say, ‘They got methadone clinics and crack, you’ll be more comfortable here. And if I ever see you in Alamaden again, I’ll break your legs with my baton. Some of the characters he plays aren’t saints, but Goyeneche got his first taste of the limelight on the altar during Mass at St. Felicitas when he was in the second grade. “That’s when I discovered I didn’t have a problem speaking in front of people,” he says. “I liked it.”

At John Muir Middle School he was the photographer on the yearbook. At Pacific High, he appeared in “Lifeguard,” along with another student named Wayne Coy who is now a radio personality. In college, he majored in broadcast journalism at Chabot College, transferring to Chico State and Cal State Hayward.Goyeneche looks like he could play a mob boss, as he did in a commercial for the Wii Nintendo game.“I had a velour sweats outfit, gold chains, and I got 1,600 bucks for one line – that’s the most money I’ve ever made,” he says.He also had a role in “Ryan and Sean’s Not So Excellent Adventure,” which is available at Blockbuster and on iTunes.

Goyeneche is hoping the “A-Town” pilot gets picked up by a network but he’s still keeping his day job, since less than 10 percent of pilots become a TV series. But he has his hat in the ring, appearing in a number of films and commercials, hoping to eventually get his break in the  movie business.He’s lived in LA for a while, looking for acting jobs, and he plans on going back in another year. He lived in an apartment building in Burbank not far from Warner Bros. when “The Tonight Show” knocked on his door for a segment they did on budding actors. They later played a clip of his acting on the show, which he was invited to attend, and Jay Leno pointed out Goyeneche in the audience.His favorite role was  playing a barfly in another TV pilot, called “Serving.”“I was a regular customer at the bar who was kind of a pain in the neck,” he says.

Goyeneche is keeping his day job at the Bank of America for now, but he’s hoping to make acting his profession. Maybe his big break will come when he goes to LA again.“I want to make it stick this time,” Goyeneche says. “I would love to do this full-time.”

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