ACTRESS: Stage, Screen, TV, Commercials & VOs
I didn't originally seek out acting, it came to me... I was actually pretty shy when I was younger, loved to sing and dance, and tell stories to my friends - which they encouraged and enjoyed. But I was extremely body conscious and objectified from oh, about 7th grade.... So, when my friend's Mom (stage manager) asked me to participate in a local play I asked, "Doing what?!" It was a skit from The Carol Burnett Show, "So Proudly We Heal" (so apropos as it turned out - the healing part). I was to portray sexy Nurse Applebaum. I had to keep reminding the Doctor in the skit of my name, to which he replied, "The apples I remember, it's the name I forget." The audience erupted with laughter. That was the first time (@ age 23) I can remember being tickled by my figure - it was freeing and I found myself backstage grinning ear-to-ear, wanting more! After several plays with this [community] I asked where to study so I could continue to work. I did an intensive program at the revered Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in NYC and soon was getting paid to entertain up and down the East Coast. I was thrilled! I had no doubt I found my calling.
But I was never a fan of the cold weather and soon put together a plan to move out West. My best friend and I found a great place in LaJolla, CA (not too shabby a place to start!) while I put feelers out in LA. Six months later I had a place in Burbank with another aspiring NY actor. At that time they were giving stuff away! You'll have to ask about my crazy rental deals, roommates - peeping Tom, being stalked, and my O.J. story among other things I could just not make up, so I write...
Upon arriving in LA I immediately found work with a new talent manager, whose business I was pretty much left to run. Within months and numerous bounced checks from her, I was encouraged by her clients to open my own company, which I did. I was getting lots of auditions - for everyone. That too was thrilling! I obtained the 'elusive' SAG card after just two short weeks (much too soon, will explain later) as a stand-in for Kim Delaney on N.Y.P.D. Blue.
But that figure of mine, well, that didn't quite work for TV & Film. My headshots got me into many audition rooms and I was making some great impressions. But most of the feedback went something like... "She's not physically right for the role, often followed by things like... 'the best of 80 women we saw', 'total pro', 'so funny', 'great hair', 'beautiful face', 'we love her'...
I was also able to set up agent meetings, but could not get representation to save my life. Eventually a kind soul, great guy/agent (sadly no longer in the biz) told me, "Casting Directors are having you in, knowing you'll deliver on the material and they want you to win, but they also know you probably won't get hired." I don't think I closed my mouth 'til I got home that day, maybe not for a couple of days - that hurt! But I needed to hear it! Everyone was telling to lose weight. I stand 5'5" and at 115lbs. I didn't have any more to give! Weight was not my problem - genetics was... I tried various diet pills and always kept up my routine at the gym, hiked and biked at least an hour every day - rain or shine.
After a brief period (okay years) of daring people to hire me regardless, then wallowing in frustration when they didn't, trying desperately to 'figure' out how the heck to make those necessary and costly changes (?) I decided to seek out work in other aspects of the industry. I had to make a living afterall. Being behind a bar all night no longer 'served' me. I began major multi-tasking!!! In addition to opening Madcap Management (representing no more than 10 actors) I also started working as the assistant to the head of domestic distribution @ Miramax, while there I started my next endeavor - Show & Tell: "Workshops for the Professional Actor" which I solely operated and performed at each event with my very select actor-members (close to 300). I worked as casting assistant and/or paid reader for TV & Film, directed & produced theater, and always managed to stay on stage - inviting everyone I ever met to every show. And against all odds I got a few film and TV roles.
I was offered some very lucrative positions: a six figure starting salary as an agent @ Epstein/Wyckoff, a show-runner position @ USA, a 2 year marketing contract @ Miramax, more casting work, collaborations with other managers and agents, was approached by CDs and agents to partner up and expand my workshop company. ALL of which I turned down.
I am so grateful for all of those experiences & opportunities - they gave me clarity. I choose (every day) to pursue acting - because there is absolutely nothing I love more !
I've been written up (full page articles) for almost every business endeavor in: LA Times, Backstage, The Hollywood Reporter, and Dramalogue. I won several awards for my stage & film work, with honorable mentions and rave reviews in those publications as well as other local papers and online…
* Eventually I was able to make those much needed physical transformations = pro bono. As life would have it - each obstacle was a blessing; I'm better (in many ways) for having to wait. I moved home to NYC in order to introduce myself vs. reintrodcue, only to find the industry confused by my lack of credits. But there I found Al-Anon and started some of that much needed healing I mentioned earlier. And in 2016 I struggled with the very difficult decision - opting for Fi-Core union status in order to make a living doing what I love. I am pleased to report, it was a sound decision - started working on some great projects, commercials, VOs, series... qualified for my health insurance, bought a new car, and have money saved. I also found my niche in the process - playing mean/bitchy roles; just so many people to channel in that process. And I FINALLY have demo reels I'm proud to share... and I've also been working as a Personal Trainer since - a lifetime of killing it at the gym has been paying off nicely!!!
Currently residing in Atlanta, GA.
Local hire in: Los Angeles, New York, Florida, Texas...
Please stay tuned - there is much more to come... :D