Sunshine, art deco, yachts, and white-sand beaches — what’s there not to love about Miami? This unique city takes centerstage in Complex.com’s newest digital series, GROWN. Through the lens of Josh, a young local Haitian American, we see the realities of living in Miami and finding love in the digital age. We enlisted local Miami actor Isaac Gooden to work as a Stand-in for Josh on the show, and little did he know, his career would be transformed. Along with becoming SAG-Eligible, Isaac was featured in the last episode of GROWN with a speaking role. We sat down with Isaac to learn more about his experiences on set as the stand-in who stood out.

Castified: Isaac Gooden 1

Where are you from?

“I was originally born in Brooklyn, New York, but my family couldn’t deal with the rough winters so we decided to move to the sunshine state.”

What appealed to you about acting?

“I’ve always enjoyed watching movies and television shows, because it took me away from everyday life for a moment. When you’re watching a great movie you’re not worried about bills, or going to work, or anything else. Your complete attention is on the movie and whatever the cast is going through. Then I made that decision to follow my dreams. I want to take people on an adventure. I want to take people away from their everyday lives and give them an experience over and over again.”

What made you sign up for Castifi?

“Castifi actually found me. I saw a message about it, so I downloaded it and received a message that I had matched for the position for GROWN as a Stand-in. I’ve never been a Stand-in so I figured it would be a great opportunity to learn and be on a REAL set. I thought it was a one day project, turns out it was for a month and change! So I completely took advantage and I signed up to go every single day. It was so easy. From that point it was history!”

Tell me more about the experience of the gig you did with Castifi.

“It was my first time being on an actual set with a whole production team! It was crazy! Everyone was extremely nice and helpful. We went to different locations all over Miami. Eventually everyone became family and I felt completely comfortable being on set with them.”

Castified: Isaac Gooden 2

Tell me more about the shoot you finished with GROWN.

“Then the very last day of shooting, we were on the last episode. I will never forget this. Jordan the top Assistant Director gave me a role with lines! He thank me for always remaining positive and taking my job seriously. I got a bump up and it made me SAG-Eligible. It changed my life.”

What are you most excited about for the series?

“I’m most excited for Edison, Joshua, and Maria. They envisioned something, and it manifested. I believe that’s the most rewarding feeling in the world.”

What advice would you give to aspiring models and actors?

“The best advice I would give to any aspiring models and actors is to treat your dream like a car. Let me elaborate… If you don’t put gas in your car, your car will remain stationary. The same thing applies for your dreams. Fuel it every single day. Reach out to people on social media that are doing what you dream of. Pick ones that are not too famous that will actually reply. You will be surprised of how many people want to help you get started and steer you in the right direction. Only listen to people who have what YOU want. God bless and thank you again Castifi!”

Castified: Isaac Gooden 3