How did you become an actor?
I went to a creative arts high school and started as a visual arts major. They required one major class and one minor class to begin with, so I chose theater as my minor. I was a sixth grader at the time and I’d never even thought about acting before. My teacher for the first year was a 5 foot, 60 something year old man, with a personality like jumping bean. His name was Mr. Ray, and he changed how I felt about people observing me. I was a shy kid, so this was huge. At the end of the year I impulsively changed my major to theater. When I graduated from there, I moved across the country to attend AADA, and the rest was history.
Besides acting, do you have any other jobs in the industry?
I’ve worked in a costume shop, a prop shop, and a scene shop building and creating sets for theaters. I’ve also worked as a stage manager, and I more recently started working as a sound utility technician.
What were you like during your childhood?
I was beyond shy. All my teachers ever said about me was that I should speak up more. That’s still true to some degree but I could never be able to look someone in the eye if they were speaking to me. I’ve always been a goofy kid, sort of a dreamer. I always wanted the people around me to be happy. Wouldn’t hurt a fly, that kind of thing. I moved a lot as a kid, so I was always prepared to be the new girl again. I would just wait for people to come to me and ask to be my friend, instead of me trying to make friends.
What are some obstacles you’ve had to overcome?
I wasn’t like the best actor at my school or anything, but I didn’t even think I was worthy of calling myself a good actor. I really had to kick the negative mindset I was trapped in and make a new path for my self. Self confidence is not something they teach you at school, so I had to learn how to be independent of anyone else’s thoughts of me, and figure out who I really was. That’s still a journey I’m on, but I’m glad I got a head start on it.
What type of roles do you go out for?
Funnily enough, stressed out women who are at their breaking point are my favorite roles to play. I love being in despair because it’s a good way to work through my own life traumas. I’ve learned the most from roles where I’ve had to completely surrender myself to overwhelming emotions. It might sound odd, but I love having breakdowns. I didn’t let myself feel for a long period of my life, so it’s great to let someone else feel them for me.
What is the best acting note you have received?
Let it go. You can’t carry things with you when you’re acting. Leave your personal life at the door. And leave your acting life in the rehearsal room. A well balanced human makes a good actor.
How are you keeping busy during this quarantine period?
I’ve been in Reno Nevada with a friend and her family for most of it, so I’ve been a little homesick. I’ve been sharing as much information as possible to help current social justice movements. Also, like many people, we’ve taken to crafting and I’ve been painting quite a lot. It’s nice to get back into it. Sometimes at sunset, I’ll go into their roof and sit for a spell just to absorb my surroundings. I swear Reno has the most beautiful sky I’ve ever seen. I’m traveling to the east coast to see my family in July. I’ll be taking every precaution, of course.
What is your favorite play?
It would have to be a tie between Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling and Boy Gets Girl by Rebecca Gilman. Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.
What is your favorite movie?
Without a doubt it’s Princess Bride. I watched it every night to fall asleep to when I was a kid.
What advice would you give to an actor starting out?
Listen. Do your research. Let go. Get out of your own way. Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t be a jerk. Be on time.