Name: Michelle Halterman
Hometown: Ocean Twp, NJ
Current Location: Los Angeles, CA
TrunkSpace: When did you know that you wanted to act for a living?
Halterman: Growing up I was always drawn to the performing arts. I took dance classes from age seven all the way through being on the dance team in college. I was in the band, the chorus and school plays. I studied music industry in college, and thought about going into TV production for a while. But when I moved to NYC the job market was tough and I decided to finally pursue acting as a career.
TrunkSpace: Was there a particular performance or actor/actress from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Halterman: I was definitely drawn to sketch comedy and characters. I loved “SNL,” “MADtv” and even shows like “All That” inspired me as a kid. I especially loved Julia Louis-Dreyfus on “Seinfeld.” I still think a little Elaine comes out of me here and there (both in real life and acting).
TrunkSpace: How did you decide to approach your career as an actor? Did you formulate a plan of how you wanted to attack what is known for being a hard industry to crack?
Halterman: Hopefully I’m not the only one who is still trying to figure out this path on a daily basis! (Laughter) But when I lived in New York I did some Off-Broadway shows and was involved in my first sketch troupe. I made the move to Los Angeles in 2010 to pursue more work in the TV and film industry. Since then I have taken classes at UCB, The Groundlings and Scott Sedita’s Acting Studio. I am still in love with comedy and have been trying to work and perform in whatever way I can. I even tried stand up for a while. My plan is to keep making contacts, keep making people laugh and keep having fun while being creative.
TrunkSpace: When did you decide to move away from your home and pursue acting as a career? How old were you at the time?
Halterman: I guess living in New York for two years I was still close enough to my hometown in New Jersey. So at the end of 2010 I moved to LA with a friend to give it a shot out here. I was 25.
TrunkSpace: Was that move an easy transition for you initially? How long did it take you to feel at home and find a good support group of friends and peers?|
Halterman: I was lucky enough to find an apartment, a car and a job in the first week of moving to Los Angeles. I only knew my roommate and two friends from college. But eventually between my part time jobs (and I’ve had a lot), acting projects and classes, I have met lots of other great people who have been really supportive. I still miss NYC and might move back someday (or be bi-coastal), but for now I am taking every opportunity I can in this market. There is so much work available out here, it’s just hard to find your path and keep it going.
TrunkSpace: What has been your biggest break in terms of a particular role or project thus far?
Halterman: I was in my first national commercial right before I moved to LA which was very exciting. Since living in Los Angeles, I was one of the leads in an indie feature film which was a wonderful learning experience. But mostly, my biggest role is yet to come!
TrunkSpace: Is there a specific type of role you’d like to take on or a specific genre that you feel more at home in?
Halterman: Well, of course I definitely feel more comfortable in a comedic role. I would love to be one of those actors who is always making guest appearances on shows like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Drunk History,” “Children’s Hospital,” or any sitcoms like that. But I would also love to stretch my muscles and comfort zone by acting in more dramatic roles. Hopefully characters that represent strong females and who help tell an amazing story.
TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength an actor/actress can have outside of acting ability itself?
Halterman: Confidence and patience. It may take years to make people believe in you and see your talent. So be prepared for rejection and never stop trying.
TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your acting career? Where would you like your path to lead?
Halterman: I would love to be a series regular in a sitcom. And of course a movie career on the side wouldn’t be so bad either. I just want to play interesting characters and entertain people.
TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring actor/actress who is considering moving away from home to pursue their dream?
Halterman: Having money saved up is very important to get started. Don’t be ashamed if you have some part-time jobs for many years. I still do. Take classes that interest you and make friends. Create your own work. This whole thing is a marathon, not a sprint.
TrunkSpace: Where can people (and casting directors) learn more about you?
Halterman: I’m on LA Casting, Actor’s Access, Casting Frontier and IMDB. My personal website is www.michellehalterman.com
My IG @michellehalterman
My Twitter @michelledeanne