For almost twelve years I worked at a desk five days a week and received a regular paycheck. That paycheck allowed me to pay my bills, go out with the girls or my husband, travel home to Massachusetts to visit my family more often....but at what price?
When I was let go from my job in July 2008, and some of you already know all this, I didn't know what I was going to do. I consulted with my husband and we both decided that I should go for my dreams. And so here I am.
When I entered this industry professionally, I received some much needed guidance of my friend and colleague, Mim Paquin-Robinette (a professional opera vocalist and musician in NYC), by hooking me up with The Savvy Actor. Thank God for that. With the help of The Savvy Actor and my coach, Doug Shapiro, they showed me how to create the business of me...turning my craft into my career. I met with them and learned how to create my brand unique to me and my talents, how to target talent agencies, and how to market myself. Well, I may not be Julie Roberts (yet) but I have worked consistently over the last two years. I am very proud of my accomplishments and extremely thankful the the amazing minds at The Savvy Actor (Jodie Bentley, Kevin Urban, and Doug Shapiro).
In 2008 when I was first unemployed I was cast in Beauty and the Beast as Madame de la Grande Bouche and then basically did nothing. It was right after the new year that I was approached by Jodie to start coaching with Doug Shapiro. I learned really quickly why I didn't work after Beauty and the Beast ended. I was going about things ALL WRONG!
After a few coachings I started to notice a difference in how I carried myself as an actor and also how I approached auditions and submissions for film and tv. Immediately I was cast in a brand new musical with the Broadway actor Bart Shatto down in New Orleans titled 'Scandalous' about the life and works of D.H. Lawrence. It was an amazing experience and I earned my EMC card. EMC is a program through Actors Equity where I can earn points that will lead to my union card.
Right before I left for New Orleans I was cast in another original musical titled 'The Butterfly Project' that was going up in June of that year at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. I was able to originate a role and be a part of an amazing experience. I then was cast in a film in Philadelphia titled 'Westfield' which I filmed the weekend after 'The Butterfly Project' ended. ALL WITHIN SIX MONTHS and I got paid for it all. So, all the doubt and insecurity I had about going pro was put to rest.
Do I still get nervous? Um...yea! For many reasons. When you are not booked on a gig, you are not making money. That is extremely nerve wracking. Luckily for me, I have a great support system and I've done some solid networking.
Speaking of support and networking...As I wrapped production of the film in Philly I started a five week class on audition technique with the uber talented Kathy Deitch. I went to Wagner College with Kathy and followed her successful career in the Footloose and Wicked on bway as well as many other accomplishments that are too long to list here.
In Kathy's class we fine tuned our talents and wrapped them up in a neat little package of power that allows me to walk into every audition room prepared and ready to Wow! I have had more callbacks since taking that class than ever before. I also booked a show Off Off Broadway. I made some great friends and connections.
Basically, I am thrilled to have you believe in me and support me in my decision to go the distance with my acting career, especially Mim and Jason Robinette (also a NYC opera vocalist).
I hope you will subscribe and follow my adventures.