At SpaceGypsies.com, we love reading blogs. When we came across The Working Actress we were instantly impressed. She may be anonymous, but she is as her name describes her, a working actress. While she does get to do some of the things every aspiring starlet dreams of, (like attend premieres and score some seriously sweet Hollywood swag), she’s earned every bit of it through hard work, talent and a whole lot of moxie.
We may not know who she is, but we love the candor and humor The Working Actress uses to share her experiences. It’s a great blog for anyone interested in the entertainment industry and a “must read” for all aspiring actors and actresses. We strongly recommend The Working Actress as an addicting read that makes you appreciate the hard work it takes to be able to do what you love.
SG: When you were first starting out and auditions/parts were slow to come, what kept you going?
WA: When I first started acting, I felt like I had something to prove. I guess I still do. So even when I wasn’t booking a ton, or wasn’t booking the caliber of roles I wanted, I desperately wanted to be the one to beat the odds. I had a fight in me, and also at the beginning of my career it was all so new and exciting. I loved racing from audition to work (as a hostess at a restaurant), and hoping that one audition would change my life.
WA: Writing the blog was something I wanted to do for myself. It was a new year’s resolution — a cathartic way to document my experiences. Just something for me. And once people started following the blog, and agents started contacting me about it, it has evolved into more than a little hobby. And all of that is very cool and exciting. But for me, the important part is to still write like no one is reading — because I really believe that that is what makes it interesting.
SG: Critics are saying that Hollywood is running out of new ideas and is starting to just recycle TV shows and movies, either by making remakes of old shows or simply recycling ideas. How do you feel about this? Have you ever found yourself reading a script and thinking “wait a minute, I’ve seen this before!”
WA: That’s kinda tough to say because almost every story from the beginning of time is a recycled idea. How many rom-coms are not some version of a Cinderella story? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, and there’s also something exciting about seeing how things can be reinvented. No different than if in an audition you and your friend prepare the exact same sides the exact same way. I guarantee you that your reads will still be different. The same goes for regenerated ideas for films or shows.
SG: Several of us are from Chicago and we routinely see films and TV shows being filmed on location here. Is it hard when you have to travel for filming? Do you enjoy it? Is there any place you dream about filming in?
WA: I have had to work on location several times, and it’s incredibly tough to be apart from your loved ones. That part kills. But it’s also like a mini vacation (if you have any days off) — to be a tourist with perdiem!! I mean….amazing.The worst place to shoot though is Vegas…not because it’s loud or devoid of morals and values, but because when you have downtime you can very easily lose your paycheck at the black jack table. Trust me.
SG: Relationships written into scripts don’t always seem to work, have you ever experienced a role requiring a romantic relationship that just didn’t make sense? What did you do to overcome that?
WA: That has happened to me as a series regular and as a guest star. As a series regular you have a lot more leeway to say what’s bothering you; to talk it through with the producers, and to share how incredibly awkward it is when the guy playing your boyfriend is grinding a little too hard into you during your love scene. (Oh yes, and with a big old chubby…that’s not awkward at allllllll 😉 But as a guest star, I feel you kind of have to suck it up. They toss in a kissing scene for no apparent reason, they change your outfit from jeans to a dress the size of a loin cloth….sometimes it’s just part of the job.
SG: Have you ever gone to an audition and booked a part only to discover when you arrive on set that the gig wasn’t what you thought/were told it would be?
WA: Oh Jesus…it’s not on set that that happens. It can, of course. But it’s even worse when you get home, and it airs and all of your scenes are cut. This is after weeks or months of anticipating it, and tivo’ing it, and having friends and family look forward to seeing it — all for a drumroll to………nothing. It’s mortifying. It’s those kind of discoveries that are humbling as they are mind numbing, and have sent me into a tailspin of sobbing in bed with a bottle of wine and a box of cookies. But it’s part of the game.
SG: What was the best piece of advice you’ve ever received from someone in Hollywood?
WA: “You need to know that you’re enough.” Whether you’re an actor, or pursuing any other career in any given field, this piece of advice is invaluable.
SG: What are the essential items every actress should have in her purse at all times?
WA: I used to be really good about this stuff, but I’m not quite as on top of it. But when I first started I would always have: a mini stapler, highlighter, pens, maybe some deodorant for when you’re running around and don’t want to scare off producers; headshots, resumes, breath mints or gum, a hair clip (because CDs hate it when your hair is falling in your face for a scene!), and perhaps a black tank top….so that if you get a last minute audition you kind throw it on and pretty much look right for any part. I also did a blog post on this…. http://theworkingactress.blogspot.com/2010/02/while-everyone-else-is-watching-lost.html
SG: Who do you look up to as an actor? Have you ever had a moment on set where you’ve had to resist the urge to squeal?
WA: Donald Sutherland. I was so excited to work with him. The woman in the hair department said he was a gem and that I would love him, so when I met him (and his oh-so debonair self), I said, “Mr. Sutherland, I hear I’m going to fall in love with you before lunch break.” He laughed. It broke the ice. And I resisted the very major urge to squeal.
The SpaceGypsies would like to thank the Working Actress for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk with us.
Make sure you head on over and check out The Working Actress HERE!