Nowadays, Giltner has left his home and family in Metropolis to pursue an acting career that has been keeping him busy appearing on everything from television shows and movies to music videos.
Giltner, 26, a 2006 graduate of Massac County High School, never had any formal acting classes. After graduation, he attended a couple of semesters at Shawnee Community College, but then decided, “Me and school were not compatible.”
He stumbled upon a modeling and acting agency based in Nashville in September 2012 and went to a showcase.
Later he went that same year to a Pro Scout event in Chicago, where he had to do a one-minute monologue.
In Chicago he met an acting coach from L.A., Chambers Stevens, who had taken some interest in him.
In October 2013 Stevens finally contacted Giltner to tell him he thought his chances were good at getting work in Hollywood.
Giltner picked up and moved to north Hollywood to “really give it a try,” he said. Giltner said since making the move to California, he has been taking acting classes and learning more about how to deliver lines.
Since moving to California, Giltner has had a role on ABC’s The Middle, where he appears a few times in the show’s 100th episode. He had a role in a television movie for the Syfy Channel — Hammond — and in the role he was dirty and bloody, with a gash on his face.
“It’s been a fun experience,” said Giltner, who says he was involved in another movie for the SyFy channel, T-Minus, set to premier on May 1. In fact, moviegoers who go to see the new movie Divergent, will possibly catch a glimpse of Giltner, who has a small role as one of the hostages in the movie.
Most of his work has involved background work, and he has currently been booking himself rather than paying an agency to book work for him.
Most of the time he sits and listens to a recorded message that lists available jobs and what the casting people are looking for. He said it seems like a lot of jobs are looking for someone who can play a younger looking role. “It goes in waves,” he said, pointing out from a production standpoint, finding an actor or actress who is older, but can play a younger role, saves money. If an actor is underage, there is the extra cost of having a teacher on the set as well as the child labor laws stipulate teens cannot work over a certain number of hours.
His next goal is to receive his SAG card. Giltner said in order to receive a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) union card, an actor has to have a speaking role to become a member of the union. He will have a little bit of help from Stevens, whose wife is a writer for the Disney Channel show Liv & Maddie. Giltner hopes to get a speaking role on season two of the show, which is filming now.
According to Giltner, at some point he hopes to also secure an agent and work his way up into bigger and better projects. For now he is working hard at giving his career in acting a shot and says if things do not work out for him in Hollywood, he can always come back home.
His advice to someone who may be contemplating a career in acting is to visit Hollywood and see what it is like. He says the easiest, yet the hardest thing he did was to get up the nerve to pick up and move.
As for his parents, his father has been staying with him in Hollywood and says he and his wife, Sharlet Giltner, support their son. He said they realize he is young and want him to pursue his career while he is young, rather than looking back later on in life and wish that he had taken the chance.
Giltner says while he has been out and about in Hollywood he has seen a few celebrities, but admits he has not had much time for celebrity watching because he has been so focused and busy on working. He did have a moment when he was a bit “star struck,” when he had the chance to work on an episode of Franklin & Bash, which stars Mark Paul Gosler, who played the character Zach Morris on Saved By the Bell. “It was a big deal to work with him,” said Giltner, who was a big fan of Saved By the Bell.
He said sometimes people may tend to think that celebrities are “snobby,” but he said Gosler was very down to earth and talked with Giltner for about 15 minutes. During the course of the conversation, Giltner, who is a soccer fan, found out Gosler is also a soccer fan. “It was a top moment for me,” he said.
“I’m having a ball,” he said.