After seeing his film After the Rain in the Buffalo Film Festival, I had the opportunity to sit and speak with Roy Vongtama. I went to the meeting prepared with questions but ended up just having a fascinating conversation with this multitalented man. Roy grew up in Hamburg and Orchard Park. He graduated from Nativity of Our Lord School after attending Our Lady of Mercy School. He then went on to Canisius High School, the University of Pennsylvania where he earned a BA in Biological Basis of Behavior and the University at Buffalo for his medical degree.
It was during his time in college that Roy was bitten by the acting bug. It was then he decided not to choose one profession over the other, but to pursue both.
While interviewing at UCLA for his residency, Roy was asked why he was seeking a position there, his answer, "Because I want to be an actor." Little did he know that the man who was interviewing him, the chairman of the department, had also wanted to be an actor, but was talked out of it by his parents. Since graduating from UCLA, Roy has become a board certified radiation oncologist and a working actor and producer.
In his recent film, After the Rain, which he also produced, Roy plays a motorcycle riding member of Hospice, treating and helping a young man and his loved ones come to terms with his impending death. The film delves into the topics of the meaning of life, priorities in life, your relationships with your loved ones, and how we deal with death.
Roy was raised a Buddhist and attended Catholic schools; he uses his strong sense of spirituality in both his medical practice and his preparation for the character he plays in the film. When it was mentioned that during the viewing of the film there was hardly a dry eye in the house, Roy shared that a man approached him after watching the film and said, "My brother died a few months ago, this movie brought me such joy." Roy says he relies on his spiritual beliefs a great deal in his holistic approach to his medical practice.
To learn a bit more about the multifaceted, multitalented Roy Vongtama, please watch this video
of an interview he did with Roswell Park Cancer Institute as part of their Cancer Talk