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Chloe Campas

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Name: Chloe Campas

Hometown: Chino, CA

Current Location: Los Angeles, CA

TrunkSpace: When did you know that you wanted to act for a living?
Campas: I remember always knowing. When I was little I loved to reenact Disney movies with my Papa. I’ve always been a bit dramatic to say the least.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular performance or actor/actress from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Campas: My mom has always been a big movie buff, which resulted in my siblings and I always watching all types of movies. I was born in the 90s, so Julia Roberts was always an actress I admired. The only performer I ever remember being inspired by growing up was Johnny Depp. I loved the way he would get into theses crazy characters and let himself go. He always inspired me so much to become an actor, and really dig deep into characters.

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?
Campas: I feel like my career is just starting as an actress. I am now beginning to really take my craft seriously, whereas before I feel I was a bit too immature to really go for it. I went down the school route first and now am getting back into acting head first. I wanted to wait until after I was finished with school to solely focus on acting and give it my all, because it is a tough industry to crack. If you don’t work hard, all of the talent in the world won’t help you.

TrunkSpace: When did you decide to move away from your home and pursue acting as a career? How old were you at the time?
Campas: Again, I didn’t initially move to Los Angeles when I first moved out of my parents house. I went to school in Orange County, and just recently moved to Los Angeles this year.

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?
Campas: I’ll get back to you on that one!

TrunkSpace: What has been been your biggest break in terms of a particular role or project thus far?
Campas: I haven’t had my biggest break quite yet. I’ve worked on a few short films, and have been auditioning like crazy. Now that I’m in Los Angeles it’ll be a lot easier to manage my time, and meet the people I need to be meeting in order for my big break to happen.

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?
Campas: I’ve always said I want my first feature film to be horror. I want to see what it would look like for me to be sliced up or killed in a crazy way. Plus, I love horror movies. Other than that I am pretty open to different genres. I don’t ever want to put myself in a box, and limit myself to what I can do or am capable of. If I had to say what genre I feel more at home in it would probably be drama.

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength an actor/actress can have outside of acting ability itself?
Campas: Confidence in yourself. I feel as if Hollywood sucks people up and spits them out. If you stay true to who you are, and don’t take anything too personal, you’ll be fine.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your acting career? Where would you like your path to lead?
Campas: I would love to make movies where I can connect to the character, and really move people with my performance. That’s the greatest high for me as an actress… making people feel. I wouldn’t ever want to become too famous, but I want to make quality movies, and travel all around the world.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring actor/actress who is considering moving away from home to pursue their dream?
Campas: Go for it. Take your time. There’s always a role for every age, and hard work outweighs talent. Stay true to the person you are, and don’t change who you are to fit what someone else wants you to be. Surround yourself with people who bring you up, and who you trust, because you’ll need all the positive support you can get.

TrunkSpace: Where can people (and casting directors) learn more about you?
Campas: IMDb, Backstage, and Instagram @chloecampas!

Campas in “Chocolate” from director Odai Mukdad.
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Next Up

Lina Green

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Name: Lina Green

Hometown: Dallas, TX

Current Location: Hollywood, CA

TrunkSpace: When did you know that you wanted to act for a living?
Green: I knew probably since I was little. My sisters and I would put on little plays for our family and friends just for fun. My friends thought it was so weird, but they said they enjoyed it. I dipped my toes in the water with my first acting experience in high school when I did my first play, “The Tempest.” I think that’s when I really got the acting bug. I waited ‘til after I graduated from college to come out to LA and really pursue it.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular performance or actor/actress from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Green: I remember watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers as a child for hours a day. I watched every movie they ever were in together ‘til like 5 a.m. I think I sat in front of the TV for 15 hours straight watching TCM. I also was enamored with Lucille Ball. She made me want to be a fierce comedic actress. Seeing a woman at that time be so fearless on television was empowering. She was a force to be reckon with and I dreamed of one day being an inspiration like she was for other girls.

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?
Green: I really didn’t have a plan. I knew I wanted to do something that for the most part was not only my dream, but its difficulty was high. About 10 percent of people actually become successful in this business and those odds were enough for me. I didn’t want to live with regrets, so I decided to move out to LA, take classes, hustle to get an agent and just do it!

TrunkSpace: When did you decide to move away from your home and pursue acting as a career? How old were you at the time?
Green: I decided to take the leap of faith when I graduated from college. I had to wait some months because my sister wanted to come too. So after she graduated we drove from Texas to LA. The trip was a nightmare and that’s how I knew there was no turning back. It took 24 hours and we drove without stopping until we got to LA. I must have had about three panic attacks along the way, but by God’s grace we made it. I was 23 at the time and ready to truly live the life I always wanted.

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?
Green: The move was an interesting one. I’ve never driven for such a long time, so that definitely was a challenge in itself. It took at least a good year for me to feel at home. I found the acting school, Playhouse West, where I made a core group of friends that helped the transition a bit. It also just took some getting used to. I was a southern girl now living in Hollywood. That’s quite a shock for a girl who has lived in Texas her whole life and never dreamed of doing something so brash.

TrunkSpace: What has been been your biggest break in terms of a particular role or project thus far?
Green: I think doing “Grey’s Anatomy” has probably been my biggest break. It was an amazing experience that I will always cherish. The cast and crew are so kind and the set really had a family atmosphere. To work with actors that I had been watching for a long time was like being in a dream. I am also on a webseries called “Sexless” that’s had a lot of success in the online community and the work I do on there is so fulfilling and keeps me going creatively.

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?
Green: I would love to take on a superhero role… one that is comedic. I love roles where the lead is a woman and she is badass and doesn’t apologize for it. Roles like Carrie Mathison on “Homeland” or Stella Gibson on “The Fall.” These are woman with complexities who struggle with being imperfect yet are still the best at what they do. There something about seeing a sexy, smart, kickass woman doing her thing that is irresistible. Those are the type of characters I want to embody.

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength an actor/actress can have outside of acting ability itself?
Green: To be completely comfortable and open with yourself. When you know exactly who you are and what you are about then no one or nothing can tell you otherwise. When you know that, those little insecurities and wanting to please people don’t get in the way of being the artist that you’re meant to be.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your acting career? Where would you like your path to lead?
Green: Ultimately I would like to create shows for people of all ethnic backgrounds and walks of life. This is going to sound cliché, but I would like my path to lead to complete happiness and self-fulfillment. So often people go after goals and once they attain them they are still not happy. I don’t want to be one of those people. I want to be able to ultimately give back and help others to their dreams and goals in life.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring actor/actress who is considering moving away from home to pursue their dream?
Green: To follow your heart and don’t expect your journey to look like someone else’s. (I wish someone would have given me this advice early on.)

TrunkSpace: Where can people (and casting directors) learn more about you?
Green: At my website at linagreen.net or blog at eddijoyce.com. My IG: @justlinagreen

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Next Up

Marinela Zubovic

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Name: Marinela Zubovic

Hometown: Memphis, TN

Current Location: Los Angeles, CA

TrunkSpace: When did you know that you wanted to act for a living?
Zubovic: I think I always knew ever since I was a kid that I enjoyed entertaining and making people laugh. It just grew into a real option in high school because I was spending all my time in the theater. From then it was about convincing my parents to let me pursue it as a career, and luckily, they did.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular performance or actor/actress from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Zubovic: When I was 10 years old, I watched “Resident Evil” on VHS, and I saw Michelle Rodriguez playing Rain. Up to that point, I had only seen Disney princesses or damsels in distress on TV and in film. That was the first time I had seen a woman holding her own around men. I didn’t know roles like that were possible. I think my eyes popped out of my head I was so excited.

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?
Zubovic: I knew I had to go to a real conservatory style program and learn how to be a stage actress. I wanted to have a degree and real training behind me so I could have the confidence to walk into a room and know I was qualified to be there. USC SDA really prepared me for that. As for the industry, well I think that takes years to figure out, and I’ve only really started to understand what it means to be a young actress in 2017.

TrunkSpace: When did you decide to move away from your home and pursue acting as a career? How old were you at the time?
Zubovic: I was 18 and I was moving into my dorms at USC to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. It was exciting and terrifying.

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?
Zubovic: Going to college in LA is a lot different that actually living in the city. When I graduated, I felt really lost, like everything was new. I lived in a different part of the city, and I was struggling to even get an audition. It’s only been a year since then, and while I feel like I’m understanding LA more, it can still be a challenge. But the people I went to school with are some of my best friends and it’s so reassuring to have them around.

TrunkSpace: What has been been your biggest break in terms of a particular role or project thus far?
Zubovic: I think I’m so new at this that even getting a manager or an agent can be a big break. It feels like you’re climbing a ladder, only every time you make it up a couple of rungs, you go backwards. I’ve learned to appreciate every little thing that comes my way.

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?
Zubovic: I would love a really gritty, real tortured role. I think too often they put us 20-year-olds in these cushiony roles because they don’t think we’ve experienced life yet. I’d love to get my hands dirty with something really challenging.

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength an actor/actress can have outside of acting ability itself?
Zubovic: Know who you are, and don’t let anyone tell you different.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your acting career? Where would you like your path to lead?
Zubovic: As a child I think I definitely wanted the fame because I didn’t know any better, but a real actor knows that the joy is in the craft, so even something as simple as being able to make a living off of acting alone is my dream, even if I never sign a single autograph. It’s the same goal of making people laugh or cry or making them feel anything that breaks up the monotony of daily life.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring actor/actress who is considering moving away from home to pursue their dream?
Zubovic: Go to school and get a degree. Plenty of people think that Instagram or YouTube fame is an option, but everyone has to be trained in order to exceed in their particular trade and this industry is no different. Having that solid foundation is what allows you to build an amazing career.

TrunkSpace: Where can people (and casting directors) learn more about you?
Zubovic: You can check out my website ( www.marinelazubovic.com ) or my IMDB page. And of course, Facebook and Instagram by the same name!

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Trisha Molina

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Name: Trisha Molina

Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

Current Location: Los Angeles, CA

TrunkSpace: When did you know that you wanted to act for a living?
Molina: I think I always knew that I was headed in that direction, but it wasn’t a fully formed decision until later in my life. I immigrated to America from the Philippines when I was 4 years old, and I had a difficult time making friends, so I took solace in retreating into my imagination. I was constantly coming up with these stories for my toys and I to act out, and I loved it whenever my mom pulled out the camera to record it all. By the time I was a teenager, I started taking drama classes, and acting became more of a coping mechanism to help me deal with depression. Once I started my Theatre major in college, it became so much more and I truly fell in love with acting. I couldn’t see myself pursing any other career. There’s just no replacement for the feeling that I get once I start delving into a scene or into the filmmaking process itself.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular performance or actor/actress from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Molina: It might not be the most groundbreaking of performances, but I definitely remember being a kid and watching movies like “Jurassic Park” and “Jumanji” and thinking, “WOW. I want to do that for a living!” I honestly thought it was the coolest job to have — still do! It wasn’t even so much the movies themselves that got me interested, it was actually the behind the scenes footage that inspired me. I love watching behind the scenes stuff. I used to watch this show called “Mega Movie Magic” on the Discovery Channel, and it would show you all of these behind the scenes special effects stuff that they would do in movies and I was so fascinated by the whole process. I loved seeing how all of these different parts came together in such a collaborative process and created something wonderful to watch and experience. It showed me this whole other level of movie making that I hadn’t even considered and it inspired me so much to be a part of this industry. It just looked so fun!

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?
Molina: For the most part, I’m just going with the flow. I went to college and got my BFA in Theatre Performance/Screen Acting and that’s really about as far as I got with my plan. I had one all laid out prior to that, but once I graduated, everything kind of went out the window. Life happens, you know? I was at the mercy of trying to make a living wage and saving up to move out to LA, but it took a lot longer to get out here than I had anticipated. Even once I was out here, it took a while before I was able to really pursue this career path full-force.

Now that I am, I’m trying to remain as positive, productive, and flexible as I can be — which is really important, in my opinion. I’ve been taking an on-camera acting class for the last two years and am always striving to keep getting better in my craft. I’m represented commercially, but not yet theatrically, so I spend a lot of my time submitting myself for a variety of projects. I’ve also realized the importance of having a good network under your belt, so I do my best to make sure that I’m making real, genuine connections with people. As amazing as it is to have a plan, I’ve learned that it’s more important to remain flexible and not let the setbacks knock you down. Trust me, there WILL be setbacks, and what matters at the end of the day is how you deal with them.

TrunkSpace: When did you decide to move away from your home and pursue acting as a career? How old were you at the time?
Molina: To be honest, the actual decision to leave home wasn’t really completely mine, but I was 23 when I finally got out here. I had been trying to save up to move to Los Angeles for about two years after college, but something huge always happened every time I had enough saved. For instance, a family emergency came up that required me to go back to the Philippines on very short notice… which meant a lot of money went towards a round-trip plane ticket. Around six months after that family emergency, I got a random phone call from my boss at the time telling me that my request to transfer to our LA location was approved and that I had two weeks to find an apartment and move there. For context, I put that transfer request in a year prior to this, so I had NO CLUE that it would ever get approved.

I literally had just the bare minimum amount of money in my bank account to put a deposit down on an apartment, rent a moving truck, and maybe buy some groceries once I was there. As soon as I got the green light, I drove down here, found an apartment within a day and a half, and drove back just in time for my going away party. It still took me about two and a half years after that to get to a point where I could actually pursue my acting career. It was just such a crazy moment in my life because I had no real time to think about anything! In hindsight, though, I don’t think I would change anything about it.

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?
Molina: It was a pretty easy transition for me; I felt at home almost immediately. Growing up, I had visited California so many times prior to moving here, so I knew what I was getting into. I never really felt like I belonged in Vegas, and I was so sick of it by that point; it was such a breath of fresh air to finally live in a place that I personally chose out. It definitely didn’t hurt that it was a solid 30 degrees cooler and I could go outside without getting heat stroke! I’m more of an introvert and I really love my alone time, so starting off without too many friends didn’t really phase me. In terms of finding my support group, I knew a bunch of people from college who had already moved out here to pursue careers in the film industry. They welcomed me with open arms right at the start, and that’s something that I’ve always been really thankful for. I still keep in touch and see them from time to time, but it gets harder the longer we’re out here; we just all get really busy. At this point, I’ve been here for five years, and I’ve found some great friends along the way through my acting class and through friends of friends.

TrunkSpace: What has been been your biggest break in terms of a particular role or project thus far?
Molina: I don’t know if I’ve really found my “break” just yet. It’s still early on in my career and I’m working on creating a strong foundation to build on. I’ve worked on some fun stuff over the last year and I’m so grateful for the opportunities that I’ve had so far. I’m keeping my outlook as optimistic as possible, so who knows what’s around the corner!

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?
Molina: I don’t really want to close off any doors for myself and stay in one genre. I’d like to explore as many as I can! With that said, I’d like try tackling some more comedy roles. I think it’d be a great challenge because it’s not really a genre that I get to do a lot. On the other hand, I think it would also be a great challenge to tackle more drama, too!

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength an actor/actress can have outside of acting ability itself?
Molina: That’s hard to choose! I think flexibility and perseverance are really important strengths, but my number one has to be self-awareness and knowing who you are as a person. You’re going to face a lot of obstacles both in and out of your career, and if you don’t know yourself or your self-worth, then getting to the other side of that obstacle is going to be a serious up-hill battle. As an actor, rejection is a major part of your life and you have to know who you are in order to not take it personally. It really goes hand in hand with flexibility and perseverance. I’ve found that hardly anything ever goes as planned and you really need the ability to just shake it off and keep moving forward.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your acting career? Where would you like your path to lead?
Molina: Ultimately, I’d love to be consistently working in both film and TV — mostly film. That’s really what I want out of my career. As much as I would love to say that I was an award-winning actress, my primary goal is to be a working one with a long, long, long career ahead of me. I love that there’s so much amazing storytelling on TV and streaming networks, but I would still love my primary focus to be in film. Growing up in America and being a mixed Asian-American, I never really saw too many faces or stories like mine portrayed in film, especially in the foreground. Now that I’m older and am in the film industry, I want to help fill that gap for viewers in a genuine way. I want viewers who were otherwise underrepresented to be able to watch a film and go, “Yes, my viewpoints are valid, too.” From personal experience, it really makes an impact to see yourself positively represented in the media, and I really just want to leave something for my future kids to look up to.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring actor/actress who is considering moving away from home to pursue their dream?
Molina: If this is really what you want, don’t ever give up! Things happen at their own pace, so don’t compare your journey or your progress with another person’s. All that will do is cause you so much more grief and anxiety than you need (trust me). It’s also important to have a life and hobbies outside of acting that helps you to feel fulfilled. Good things take so much time to arrive, so you need to have a lot of patience. And I mean, A LOT of patience. You also really, really need to maintain a positive attitude in all aspects of your life, including your career. You’ll be so surprised to see just how much positivity occurs when you do!

TrunkSpace: Where can people (and casting directors) learn more about you?
Molina: A few places! You can visit my website at www.trishamolina.com or follow me on social media.

Instagram: @trishamolina

Twitter: @_trishamolina

IMDb: www.imdb.me/trishamolina

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Next Up

Grace Rehorn

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Name: Grace Rehorn

Hometown: Kansas City, Kansas

Current Location: Los Angeles, California

TrunkSpace: When did you know that you wanted to act for a living?
Rehorn: As a kid, my best friend and I spent hours in my upstairs bedroom playing a game called “imagination.” We created an entire world of fictional characters and acted out their lives with different plots and relationships. It was basically a very long, weirdly well-developed improv. Looking back, I think this game of imagination is where it began. However, I decided to pursue acting as a career after completing an acting for film workshop in Los Angeles. I fell in love with acting for the camera and the subtly and honesty it requires.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular performance or actor/actress from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Rehorn: The first actress that comes to mind in Sandra Bullock. I remember watching her films over and over until I knew every line. She is hilarious and beautiful, but so relatable! She has the ability to make you laugh and cry in the same moment. That unique balance of comedy and vulnerability is something I strive for as an actress!

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?
Rehorn: I moved to Los Angeles with little experience outside a few drama classes and one triumphant run as Liesl in “The Sound of Music” in the ninth grade. I had a lot of catching up to do. I quickly got into the best classes possible for me and worked on developing my craft. I also focused on gaining experience by acting in small projects and working as a production assistant to help me understand how things work on set. I think this strong foundation will help me feel confident and prepared as I take the next steps in my career.

TrunkSpace: When did you decide to move away from your home and pursue acting as a career? How old were you at the time?
Rehorn: I decided to move to Los Angeles after I graduated from college at age 21. I was considering going to graduate school to become a lawyer or a psychologist. If it was not for the overwhelming support I received from my family and friends, I would have never had the courage to move to LA and pursue acting.

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?
Rehorn: I expected the move to LA to be an easy transition for me. I have traveled a lot in my life and I felt confident. I hate to admit it, but nothing could have prepared me for a move from Kansas to Los Angeles. I used to cry every time I got in my car because driving in Hollywood was so stressful! I have been here six months now, and I am starting to feel at home. I am lucky to have two amazing roommates and a wonderful, supportive acting class. I am now an excellent city driver.

TrunkSpace: What has been your biggest break in terms of a particular role or project thus far?
Rehorn: I just finished an episode of a crime recreation show on Investigation Discovery. It will be my first appearance on TV. I got to spend a week running around covered in fake blood! It was a great experience.

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?
Rehorn: That is a tough question because I love so many genres! I have always dreamed of being in a teen horror flick or an awesome action movie. However, I feel most at home in comedy. I would love to do something comedic, but with great honesty and heart!

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength an actor/actress can have outside of acting ability itself?
Rehorn: Openness! It is so important to be open and present in your everyday life and have the ability to connect with people. I have always been a bit guarded, so I am currently working on being vulnerable enough to truly live in the moment. This helps you bring truthfulness and real emotion to your work.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your acting career? Where would you like your path to lead?
Rehorn: Believe it or not, I don’t want to become rich and famous. I chose acting as a career. My dream is to be able to support myself doing the thing I love most in the world. If I can do that, and be involved in some projects I am passionate about along the way, that would be a success in my book!

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring actor/actress who is considering moving away from home to pursue their dream?
Rehorn: It takes a lot of courage to move away from home to pursue a dream that feels so unattainable. However, in my experience, there will always people saying, “You can’t do it,” no matter what you decide to do with your life! When you experience overwhelming self-doubt (and you will experience overwhelming self-doubt), just remember that you bring something unique and special to the table. Have confidence in the fact that you are the only person in the world who can be you! Combine that confidence with a LOT of hard work and, in my humble opinion, you will be just fine.

TrunkSpace: Where can people (and casting directors) learn more about you?
Rehorn: You can learn all you need to know by visiting my website: www.gracerehorn.com. To get a glimpse of my day-to-day, follow me on Instagram (@gracerehorn)!

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Next Up

Megan Duquette

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Name: Megan Duquette

Hometown: Moline, Illinois

Current Location: Los Angeles, CA

TrunkSpace: When did you know that you wanted to act for a living?
Duquette: There’s definitely a big difference between when I knew I wanted to act (as soon as I first started being aware of my own thoughts!) and when I knew I wanted to go after acting for a living. I have been doing school plays and community theater since I was a kid. I would also force my friends and/or siblings into putting on productions together in our backyards and then have our parents video tape it. (On a camcorder that would then become a VHS, thank you very much!)

I knew I wanted to act for a living in 2015 when I was doing a musical. It was my first time onstage in 4 years. I had set my dream aside and pursued a corporate career, which was completely draining for me, and being back onstage was when I realized it was something I needed to give my all to.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular performance or actor/actress from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Duquette: I wish I could cite some critically-acclaimed and profoundly inspiring piece of cinema, but truthfully, romantic comedies first piqued my love of acting. It was Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts and especially Robin Wright in “The Princess Bride” whom I idolized. “The Princess Bride” is a film that I revere as one of the greatest films ever made, and I can recite it front title to credits. (“Anybody want a peanut?” EPIC!) And, of course, I grew up during the Golden Age of Disney animated films, so I was also inspired by Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Mulan, Pocahontas and Megara. (Megara is vastly underrated but she had a kick-ass solo, and her name was the closest to mine.) It’s a dream of mine to voice a Disney princess some day!

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?
Duquette: As I was starting my career as an actor while ending my career in Human Resources, I did what any good corporate person would do: I made a PowerPoint presentation where I outlined my goals and timelines. Just as any up and coming actors would do this, it was also an important aspect to consider when working in human resources too. By staying on top of all the jobs that I was required to do, which included using something similar to this Maryland background check service to guarantee the realness of resumes, having goals and timelines helped me to stay on track. So, when I decided to switch careers, taking this idea with me was going to be super helpful. I did as much research as I could-online forums and in-person informational interviews with every friend-of-a-friend actor on how they got started, where they took classes, how they got an agent, etc. I based my plan on that information. After six months, I reviewed and revised the plan. After three iterations of the PowerPoint, I have almost entirely abandoned it, and I’m just winging it now! This is definitely a career where you have to constantly reassess your strategy and your goals. I started out thinking that I was going to be a comedic actress and that I wanted to book a lot of commercials. Now I want to do small indie dramas. You grow and change as an actor and as a person through all that you learn and experience in classes, in life, etc. It has been incredibly interesting to see how things have shifted for me over time, and I have no idea where my ambitions and interests will wander next.

TrunkSpace: When did you decide to move away from your home and pursue acting as a career? How old were you at the time?
Duquette: I decided to move away from home when my car did a nice 360-degree spin on a layer of ice and snow in Iowa. I had this epiphany that snow is optional and that I could choose to live somewhere without it. At the time, I was working as an editor at the local news station in my hometown with a shift from 2 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. I realized that I was not in the epicenter of the entertainment industry and that I should relocate to somewhere with more opportunities-and less snow. Had I had a home to sell, I would have definitely looked to someone like these local area San Antonio real estate investors to quickly buy my home so I could get going while the idea was still fresh in my mind!I was 22 years old when I loaded up my car and drove across the country in the tiny Ford Focus I still drive today (and sincerely hope will continue functioning for a few more years). When I arrived in LA, however, I sort of chickened out of the actual acting pursuit, and was here for a solid three years before I even started auditioning for community theater! But I stayed! That is the most important thing-I never left LA once I got here. I just needed some time before I was ready to start my acting career.

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?
Duquette: I am so proud of and impressed by the young actors who move here at 18, 20, 23, etc. and just jump right in. I have seen it many times in classes I have taken, and I am always shocked at how bold and brave that is-to not only be going after such an incredibly scary and volatile career, but also to be taking on such a crazy city all while going through the madness that is your early twenties! Me? I got here and took my sweet time. I mentioned that I did not start auditioning for three years; well, I did not leave my corporate job for five years! I ended up in an entry-level position at a world-leading entertainment company-in HR-and then sort of just kept getting promoted around the company. It was incredible, and I have zero regrets about the time I spent getting to know myself, paying off my student loans, learning the city and getting settled. I met my soon-to-be husband and found a really solid group of friends. I honestly think there is no way I would have been brave enough or prepared enough to take the risk of launching an acting career without having so much stability in my personal life. Your early 20s are tumultuous enough without throwing in an acting career-but I guess those in their early 20s also have more energy than those of us in the next decade-so there are advantages and disadvantages to both!

TrunkSpace: What has been your biggest break in terms of a particular role or project thus far?
Duquette: I was a small spec in the corner for about three seconds in “Kong: Skull Island.” Does that count?! I would have to say my biggest break and one of my early victories was getting to be featured in a scene with Rosie O’Donnell in NBC’s production of “Hairspray Live!” My Midwestern family was so wonderful, and they all watched it and acted like I was so famous for being on TV. It was also really exciting because practically every online publication that recapped the broadcast used a photo of Rosie that included me standing next to her. Sure, no one in the UK knew who that random girl was, but people in the UK saw my picture! I was pretty tickled by that one. Another exciting break was booking an MLB commercial. Granted, I did not make the final edit, but hey-you celebrate the wins you get in this business. (Laughter) I tell people I am in the “Garage Phase” of my acting career-I have been happy to take on roles in student films and in unpaid theater productions. I have loved being in shows at the Hollywood Fringe Festival for the past two years. What I love the most about acting is the connections you make with the other actors, and there is not much more of a rush than doing that onstage in front of a live audience.

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?
Duquette: I primarily get cast in comedies. I think it’s my face. I just look funny. In my heart, I am this Carey Mulligan-type: a soulful, dramatic indie actress, but the industry does not see that yet. So I definitely have a ways to go. I have done some Meisner training, and it has brought out such a different side of me. I have always been told that I am going to be a character actress and comedy will be my wheelhouse, so it is a pleasure when I get to take on dramatic scenes. I dream of someday doing small indie family dramas. I am really interested in stories about mental health and the complexities of our inner emotional lives, especially as it affects families. I have a degree in anthropology with a focus on socio-cultural anthropology-the study of people and behavior in cultures. That is what my favorite kind of storytelling these days explores: Why do we behave the way we behave? What past pain has carried into today and prevents us from living as a happy, peaceful society at the macro level or even as a couple or family unit on the micro level? And how can we be better?

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength an actor/actress can have outside of acting ability itself?
Duquette: The importance of financial savvy cannot be ignored: managing your money well and knowing how to make money outside of acting are huge strengths for an actor. Money comes and goes when acting so there can be some months where you rake it in big and other months where you don’t earn anything at all. It can be quite frustrating but once you get the hang of it, it’s not so bad. I started taking a look into the trading app uk has to offer so that I can make money from anywhere. This means I could make money on my way to casting, on my way home from casting or even from the comfort of my own home. Plus, I don’t have to find temporary work in between acting gigs. Another area I am working on is my ability to not take it so personally when I face rejection, because my disappointment tends to carry over into my home life-and that is not fair to my partner. It is crucial to have the ability to separate your work life from your personal life. You need to have a happy, full life that does not depend on your acting career, because it will frequently not make you happy. I was literally wallowing in self-pity for a dramatic theater role I did not get when my phone dinged with the request to do this interview profile. Your mood could change on a second-to-second basis if you choose to let your acting career highs and lows dictate your mood. Resist that urge! Also, on a practical note: To my fellow glasses-wearers, please punch out your lenses and wear contacts under the frames. You might be asked to take off your glasses for an entire audition, and if you are blind without them (like me) and they were your real glasses on which you depended for vision (like me,) you may end up doing an audition blind (like me). Needless to say, I bombed.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your acting career? Where would you like your path to lead?
Duquette: I have a dog. He is amazing. He is this fluffy ball of love and joy that we rescued at the end of last year, and he wakes up every day so full of optimism that today will be a day of nothing but chasing after his tennis ball. My ultimate dream when it comes to my acting career is to work consistently enough that I can support my dog. My goal is to get him a house with a yard, so that there can be epic-ball-throwing and running around to his pure heart’s content. I am also not far from the stage in life where I may have human children, as well. My ultimate dream would be doing what I love and still supporting my family. Oh, and an Oscar would be nice, too.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring actor/actress who is considering moving away from home to pursue their dream?
Duquette: Oh man. I have 10,000 clichés on the tip of my tongue trying to respond to this, but, the truth is, none of it will resonate or make sense until the person has been through the experience themselves and has the hindsight to understand how good the advice was. That is 100 percent what happened to me. People gave me great advice that I proceeded to ignore, and then months or years later, I realized what they were talking about. I guess the advice I would give them is to breathe. Sometimes I feel like everything around me is racing at 1,000 miles per hour, and then you go weeks without an audition. Breathe and pace yourself and know that you are running a marathon, not a sprint. Also, know that sometimes (frequently, in fact) you will be the only person who believes that you can do this. Keep believing, and keep focused on your goals. Celebrate the small wins, because for a long time, the wins will be small. But progress is progress, even if it is just an inch. And that is something to be proud of.

TrunkSpace: Where can people (and casting directors) learn more about you?
Duquette: My website is www.meganduquette.com. I am on IMDB, Megan Duquette (II) IMDB, as well. If you want to see pictures of the dog for whom I dream of a yard, you can follow me (him, really) on Instagram: I am simply “meganduquette.” I do not really use the Snappy Chatty thing that the kids are on these days, and I think I tweeted twice before promptly forgetting my password. If anyone else knows it, kindly inform me and I will happily add dog photos to Twitter as well.

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Next Up

Christine Celozzi

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Name: Christine Celozzi

Hometown: Boston, MA

Current Location: Los Angeles, CA

TrunkSpace: When did you know that you wanted to act for a living?
Celozzi: I have glimpses of memories from before I was five years old when family members or friends of the family would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I would always eagerly and confidently respond with, “An actress or a professional soccer player.” I can’t recall a time in my life when I didn’t know I wanted to be an actress, but there were many times where I found myself attempting to do something else, something more “stable”, which ironically made me feel less and less sane the further I pursued. Eventually I gave up on stability and started focusing more on sanity, which was when I made the determining factor that there was absolutely nothing else I could see myself doing happily. Acting was the “thing”.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular performance or actor/actress from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Celozzi: Truthfully, no judgment, I wanted so badly to meet and be one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a kid. I felt like if I worked hard enough to watch every single one of their cartoon episodes, memorized every line word for word, and diligently sat in front of the television repeating it, then some sort of magical laser would send out the red alert that the next April was ready. I know it’s not your typical inspiration, but that was mine. I thought I was a prodigy. You can imagine my disappointment when they never showed. It wasn’t all bad though. It did begin this wonderful ability to speed memorize lines, and I have a different kind of appreciation for TMNT in my adult years.

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?
Celozzi: My approach/plan as an actor is to be an asset, not only in the realm of acting but also in the filmmaking community as a whole. I enjoy storytelling. I was born to be a storyteller. Whether I’m in front of the camera, behind the camera, or at home, every single day I make it a point to learn something new about the filmmaking process. Outside of acting I am also a writer and recently started venturing into directing and producing. The way I would like to be described is as a collaborator. I feel like when you’re following a passion through curiosity, through the eagerness to learn, you’re going to continue to meet the right people, you’re going to find places to apply your knowledge, you’re going to find people who want to work with you. Everything is a learning experience, so as long as I’m learning, I’ll consider my acting and film career successful.

TrunkSpace: When did you decide to move away from your home and pursue acting as a career? How old were you at the time?
Celozzi: I decided to move away from home and pursue acting as a career last August. I was 28 at the time, and I was ready to fully give myself to the process.

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?
Celozzi: It was surprisingly an easy transition. I knew immediately as it was happening that I was making the right decision. I put a lot of trust into the unknown and believed that everything would happen as it was supposed to. The physical transition was quite a wonderful one. I knew I wanted to gain more life experience while venturing out here, so my boyfriend, who is also an actor, and I traveled across the southern half of the United States for 93 days from Boston to LA. Those 93 days consisted of a planned itinerary with around 300 items, including zip-lining over alligator pits in St. Augustine, riding in a hot air balloon in NM, and visiting my favorite place on earth, the Grand Canyon. Upon landing out here, I began taking classes immediately, completing a Meisner class with Anthony Montes, a former student of Sandy Meisner, the 8-Week Audition Masterclass with Risa Bramon Garcia, and Improv 1 & 2 with The Second City within 3 months of getting into the groove of acting again. Through classes it was really easy to quickly build an expanding support group with friends and peers and create a new home out here in California.

TrunkSpace: What has been been your biggest break in terms of a particular role or project thus far?
Celozzi: I think my biggest break thus far is something I can’t talk about just yet!

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?
Celozzi: The specific types of projects I feel most at home in are character pieces, whether comedy or drama. I experience something amazing when given a character whose layers I have to sort through, when bringing them to life is an art form.

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength an actor/actress can have outside of acting ability itself?
Celozzi: The ability to learn. The ability to see something for what it is. The ability to laugh at yourself. The ability to place your ego on the sidelines and lead with your soul. The ability to understand human beings, not only as a means to bring a character to life, but also in order to communicate with the people you are working with.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your acting career? Where would you like your path to lead?
Celozzi: My ultimate dream is to be able to take my acting career to the furthest point I can and continue learning and moving people along the way. Again, if I am allowed the ability to continue to learn, that’s the most that I could ask for from any career.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring actor/actress who is considering moving away from home to pursue their dream?
Celozzi: If there is nothing else you want more than to act, then do it. Do it to your fullest potential, do it without fear, but be aware that it’s not something that will come and find you. It’s something you must be willing to seek, and it takes a lot of hard work.

TrunkSpace: Where can people (and casting directors) learn more about you?
Celozzi: I have a website: www.presskit.to/christinecelozzi, and my IG (@christinecelozzi).

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Next Up

Penny Middleton

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Photo By: Lauren Toub/Makeup Artist: Brad Laskey

Name: Penny Middleton

Hometown: Lansdale, PA

Current Location: New York

TrunkSpace: When did you know that you wanted to act for a living?
Middleton: I’ve always been a storyteller. As a kid, I was constantly finding ways to tell stories. In elementary I convinced my friends to play “Saved by the Bell” at lunch (casting myself as Lisa Turtle). Why they agreed to do it I’ll never know! At home, I created routines for “Star Search” and wrote characters for myself to play in shows like “Punky Brewster.” In high school I auditioned for my first play. I got a “callback” and thought I had been cast! I remember telling my friend who had theater experience, “I’m in the play!” She looked at me puzzled. She informed me that I didn’t have the part, not just yet. In the moment my heart sank. I never wanted to have that feeling again; it was like mourning a death. That’s a bit dramatic, but this was high school… everything was high stakes! I realized that what I had so causally chalked up to be a quirk, my constant need to tell stories, was much more. The energy around creating became precious. I was (thankfully) cast in the show and I haven’t stopped acting since.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular performance or actor/actress from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Middleton: As mentioned, I just really loved creating stories as a kid but the idea that I was acting never dawned on me. All that changed when I was 7. I finally connected the dots. This “thing” I did had a name. Acting. “The Witches,” a children’s fantasy novel by the British writer Roald Dahl was adapted into a film starring Anjelica Huston. There is a particular scene in the film where Huston’s character, the “Grand High Witch,” addresses her fellow witches in a ballroom. I remember watching Huston and thinking, “What ever that is… I want to do it.” Huston was so magical to me. The way she spoke, her physicality, her eyes – all of it. My little 7-year-old self was here for all of it.

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?
Middleton: I didn’t start with a plan; I just tried to make space for acting. That was important for me. I was really lucky because my introduction to acting occurred in a space that practiced blind casting. In other words, I didn’t know that I couldn’t play any part. That was my mentality when I decided to pursue acting professionally. As a woman of color, expectations did not match reality. I realized that I did have to have a plan…and that plan involved a lot of hard work. That plan meant becoming a writer and a producer. Creating my own work is what keeps me in the industry. More than half of the work I do as an actor is self-produced, a fact that I resented for a long time. Now, I embrace being a writer and producer. I also embrace the reality of this business but I reject the box in which it wants to place me in. I audition when I can and continue to carve out a nook for myself with my own self-produced work.

TrunkSpace: When did you decide to move away from your home and pursue acting as a career? How old were you at the time?
Middleton: After paying for college out of pocket I (finally) graduated cum laude from the University of Central Florida in 2010. I started working in advertising. A few years passed and I was still acting when I could, but really I was just trying to keep my head above water. I was barely making enough money to get by. I got a promotion and with it I asked for a raise. I was told that would not be happening. When I initially had the conversation with my boss, I didn’t plan on quitting, but when I was told that I wasn’t going to receive a raise my gut instinct was to utter, “Okay, then I have to put in my two weeks notice.” I went to my car and cried! I had no idea what I was going to do. Then, I realized that I had always wanted to move to New York to pursue acting. A month later, I packed up my car and drove up. I maybe had $1000.00 in my account, no job lined up, but all the passion in the world.

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?
Middleton: On the drive up from Orlando, it was pouring. I was crying and just so terrified. I called my friend Angie who told me that I had to stop for the night and get some rest. She said, “You can’t drive into New York with this energy.” She was right. The next morning the sun was shining and I finally arrived in New York. I was excited… nervous, but excited. I was lucky because my college roommate’s mom (who is really like my mom) let me live with her until I got on my feet. I had been in New York for a few weeks and I got my first production assistant job with Staci Levine. I met Staci in Orlando so I reached out when I got to New York. At the time Staci was producing a show at the Barrymore Theatre called “An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin.” That was my first job in New York. I got to stand on the Barrymore stage and I got to see two Broadway legends perform (for free). I realized very quickly that this city is magic. Three months later I got an email from a friend, Joshua Conkel, asking if I wanted to be in a play his theater company was producing (“Your Boyfriend May Be Imaginary” by Larry Kunofsky). I could not have been more grateful for that production because I made so many friends. I immediately felt at home here. A lot of the jobs I get are based on referrals, something that I do not take for granted. It’s hard for people who don’t live here to understand this, but New York is incredibly intimate. It’s a really small bubble. It’s all love. I don’t know, it seems cheesy but everyone supports each other. It’s simple that way.

TrunkSpace: What has been been your biggest break in terms of a particular role or project thus far?
Middleton: This is a hard question! I always think that what I deem as success or a “big break” may look different to someone else. I’m proud of the work I’ve done in New York but I think I’ve just now entered a groove. I believe in manifesting and setting clear intentions for what you want. I also know that it never shows up exactly the way you want it to! I don’t want to block anything that may be coming my way… so let’s table this one and ask me again later!

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?
Middleton: I love, LOVE dark comedy. It’s what I tend to focus on when I’m writing. I studied classical humanities and philosophy in undergrad so there’s always this part of me that wants to explore the social upheaval of humans, but in a funny way. Women of color don’t often get the chance to explore these types of roles. Which can be frustrating but that’s why I write!

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength an actor/actress can have outside of acting ability itself?
Middleton: This is going to sound so “Afterschool Special” but just having a good sense of self is important. On the most basic level, I can’t expect to bring life to a character (make them tangible and fixed in the world) if I don’t fully know who “Penny” is. It also rings true to have a good sense of self-humor. That is to have the ability to laugh at yourself. I think it helps with taking direction because if you can laugh at yourself then you open yourself up to realization that you’re not perfect (perfection is boring!). There’s a great deal of evidence that suggests laughing improves both our mental and physical health! I love laughing even though I look like a Muppet when I do it.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your acting career? Where would you like your path to lead?
Middleton: I want to have a production company. When I moved to New York, I started freelancing in production. I wanted to know every aspect of what goes into creating a project. Obviously I want to be in front of the camera, but I also want to create a space for those on the margins. I believe in the beauty of our collective story, but I also know that representation matters. Having a production company would provide a space for voices/stories that would otherwise go unheard. I will call it Adventures in PennyLand and it will be paperless! Production uses a lot of paper.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring actor/actress who is considering moving away from home to pursue their dream?
Middleton: If there is anything else you think you can do that will make you happy, do that. This is not easy. If acting is a part of you, the fiber of who you are then you have to honor that. Give it a fair shot, give yourself a fair shot… and remember, never allow anyone to place their limitations on you. Trust that if you are clear with your intentions and you put in the work, the universe will provide for you… in the meantime there are always credit cards! Kidding. Kind of.

TrunkSpace: Where can people (and casting directors) learn more about you?
Middleton: Please visit my website, pennymiddleton.com. You can also follow me on Instagram, Penny_Middleton & Twitter @Penny_Middleton. Also, my IMDB page is here.

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Next Up

Megan Magee

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Name: Megan Magee

Hometown: Levittown, PA

Current Location: Astoria, Queens – NYC

TrunkSpace: When did you know that you wanted to act for a living?
Magee: I remember having dinner with my mother at Friendly’s when I was in 9th grade. I was talking about wanting to audition for colleges, which musical theater programs I wanted to apply to, etc… and she was reminding me that was very competitive and would be very, very hard. She wasn’t being discouraging, but she was firm with me in making it clear that it would be a lot of work, and there was no guarantee of success. She said that someday I might change my mind and want to do something else, and that would always be okay. I remember snapping back without thinking, and saying, “I know I will have success. Because of all the people who are trying to do it, some will get tired of it, some won’t like it, some will change their minds and quit… and I will never quit.” I sometimes still wish I had the strength in that belief that I had when I was a kid, but although it may waver at times, it still rings true. I will never quit. And I’ve always known that. So looking back, yeah, I think that was the moment when I knew this is what I was going to be doing for my career and for the rest of my life.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular performance or actor/actress from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Magee: The first time I was deeply, deeply moved by a piece of theater was when my parents took my brother and I to see our babysitter and his high school musical! He was Enjolras in “Les Miserables” and I must have been about 10 or 11. My mom had informed me that the show was very sad, and had showed me some of the music so that I could follow the story. I cried so much, especially when Anthony, our babysitter, died during the battle scene. It was really powerful to see somebody that I knew quite well and looked up to giving such an amazing performance, and even though I knew of course it “wasn’t real,” it felt so real to me. I think that was the first time I fully grasped the magic of theater happening right in front of you, and making you feel as though you are truly living through the story with the actors. I “was Eponine” for weeks after that… I was totally obsessed and ran around the house singing all the songs. It’s still my favorite musical of all time, partly because it’s awesome, and partly because that was such a powerful memory for me.

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?
Magee: I’m still figuring that out every day, honestly. Originally I wanted to do musicals. That was all I wanted to do. I loved singing more than anything, and I wanted to be on Broadway and all that. But as I’ve grown as an artist and an actor I’ve found such deep, meaningful work in the theater coming from straight plays, and those have become my favorite performances to go see and to be a part of. I think the best thing I ever did for my career was decide to enroll in a two year Meisner program at the William Esper Studio. The time spent there stripped me of a lot of terrible habits and empowered me as a human being as well as an actor. I’ve been blessed with a lot of theatrical opportunities since then, finally having my Off-Broadway debut in 2015, which was incredible. This year has also brought some theatrical projects, but has been more focused on the marketing, the branding, the business end. I’m in a fantastic film and TV class at the Terry Knickerbocker studio that is all about nailing your type, killing the audition, booking the job, and how to break into this business as an entrepreneur. So I feel like every day I’m learning a new way to reapproach my “attack” on this industry as a career. It really is changing every day. I’m just doing my best to keep up with the times, and still remember that feeding my soul as an artist is the most important thing.

TrunkSpace: When did you decide to move away from your home and pursue acting as a career? How old were you at the time?
Magee: I still can’t believe that I survived the city moving here at 18 years old. I was fresh out of high school, I was an absolute baby. But it’s shaped me in so many ways that I couldn’t be more grateful that I took on the challenge. Fortunately, coming from Pennsylvania I wasn’t too far away. I still have the opportunity to take the train home on weekends or for special family events, which is very important to me. My family is amazing. Being here for almost a decade now, it has been the best thing in the world to me that I’ve been able to get home and see my family more than once a year… for a lot of people I know that’s usually not the case. I got lucky. My family is my biggest support system.

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?
Magee: I’ve always been very adaptable, which my mother will back up for you. I adored living in this city, and I immediately found a wonderful group of friends at my school and dove headfirst into exploring the Big Apple. I think at times it was pushed. I think my stubbornness at being a “success” combined with my starry-eyed ignorance in a way meant that I thought I was happier than I was. But in any case, it got me through my first few years here while I was still growing my roots. Fake it ’til you make it is no joke!

TrunkSpace: What has been been your biggest break in terms of a particular role or project thus far
Magee: The summer of 2015 brought my Off-Broadway debut, which felt like a huge shift in momentum. The play was a hilarious comedy called “Women Are Crazy Because Men Are A**holes” and had transplanted itself from LA to the historic Cherry Lane Theatre here in NYC. Taking a bow in front of an audience that size was truly a dream.

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?
Magee: Lately I’ve been craving comedy, comedy, comedy! This is a welcome shift, as in the past I’ve loved to suffer and have sunk my teeth into the most dramatic work I can get my hands on. My tendency is usually to be drawn to the darkest, saddest stories with the most twisted characters, and I will always have that in my heart. But lately my dream role is something like Amy Poehler’s character Leslie Knope in “Parks and Recreation”. Especially in film and television I have been finding such pleasure in comedies like “Community,” “Scrubs,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”… all these amazing shows where the actors are showing up and committing 1000 percent to these scenes that are just out of this world wacky, and I really, really admire that. I’ve also been kind of a goofball my whole life, so it’s been nice realizing I still want that too. This acting stuff has to be so serious all the time!

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength an actor/actress can have outside of acting ability itself?
Magee: For better or for worse, I have boundless energy and I put 1000 percent of it into whatever I’m working on. If nothing else, I am proud of the level of commitment I am able to bring to my career, to my projects, to my auditions, etc. I’ve been able to learn through many mistakes to maintain a level of professionalism and to always show up rehearsed, prepared, and ready to work. That stubborn kid at Friendly’s is still in there, and she will never, ever quit.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your acting career? Where would you like your path to lead?
Magee: Artistically I feel like I’m already there! I am truly living the dream. I have found myself a part of the most beautiful community of actors, writers, directors, and producers in that I am always able to find something to work on or at least go see and appreciate. I’ve been able to direct full length theater, I’ve written my own work that I get to see produced… everything I could have imagined this life would be has to some extent already happened to me. Now that I’m committed to pursuing it forever, since I’m never quitting, as previously stated, my ultimate goal now is to get to that next tier where this work I’m doing can be my sole source of income. I want to be able to support myself fully off of my work in the creative arts, and make that my J-O-B. Right now for me, this means pursuing more commercial, film, and television work… targeting that work more often and booking more consistently. Hopefully eventually booking a long-lasting project that becomes a paycheck! Of course it’s not about he money, but when there are only so many hours in a day and this is what I want to be doing with my life, I feel I have to get to the point where I don’t need to expend any more extra energy busting my butt to support myself financially. And I’m sure once I get there, there will be another step on the ladder to climb. I know this work is never over. But for now, that is my primary focus.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring actor/actress who is considering moving away from home to pursue their dream?
Magee: It is a long and winding road and there is not a map. It’s scary. It’s bewildering. It’s frustrating. It seems futile and fruitless. And you won’t always be happy. If you’re anything like me, it’ll be years of work and dozens of auditions before you book your first paying job. So be willing to have that kind of patience and persistence. Find a community and a place to do work consistently even when you’re not booking, and make that your definition of success. If you feel like you’ve “made it” because you are doing scene work with your former classmates once a week in someone’s apartment, than you have. You have made it. As long as you are always crafting, creating, and communicating, you’ve made it. Everything else is the bonus. If you are able to adapt yourself to a mindset along those lines, I believe it will make your journey so much easier. The joy has to be in the work… because you are in control of that. If you leave it up to the people who might hire you to determine your joy, you’re in for a bad time.

TrunkSpace: Where can people (and casting directors) learn more about you?
Magee: You can visit my website, www.meganmagee.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @MeganMageeActs, or follow me on my Instagram account @presentlaughter where you’ll find a more personal side of me somewhat split between acting projects and my fitness background. A lot of sweaty selfies after long runs or early morning workouts. Be warned.

 

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Next Up

Skyler Thomas

SkylerThomas2_NextUp

Name: Skyler Thomas

Hometown: Oxford, Mississippi

Current Location: Los Angeles, California

TrunkSpace: When did you know that you wanted to act for a living?
Thomas: I get asked this question quite often, and most people are surprised to hear that I never had a “moment” that propelled me on this journey. It might sound silly to some, but I feel that I was born knowing I would pursue this career. It’s what I’ve known as long as I can remember, and there has never been a question in my mind.

TrunkSpace: Was there a particular performance or actor/actress from your childhood that you remember being drawn to and inspired by?
Thomas: I was a passionate Disney fan (and I still am). “Aladdin,” “Pocahontas,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Hercules,” “Mulan”… all of the stories and the characters inspired me to tenaciously follow my dreams and have courage in the face of adversity. As far as “live action,” I was a passionate “Harry Potter” fan (and I still am). I grew up with those actors and with each book/movie. The saga helped me cope with the changes that come with growing older, and it always reminded me of the importance of love and friendship in troubled times.

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?
Thomas: I would definitely consider myself a planner, so it might come as a shock that I didn’t really have a plan when I moved to LA. I think you can have goals and ideas of how you want to achieve them, but to me, it is dangerous to have a rigid plan. There are thousands of ways to achieve success in this industry (not to mention, thousands of definitions of “success”), and there is not a clear-cut path. If you have that inflexible mindset, you close yourself off from opportunities that might be beneficial for you and your career. I like to think of it as a map. My goals are my destination, but there are a hundred different roads I can take to get there, and I am open to whichever road presents itself.

TrunkSpace: When did you decide to move away from your home and pursue acting as a career? How old were you at the time?
Thomas: I have known I wanted to live in Los Angeles since I was five years old and I saw the Warner Bros. animated film “Cats Don’t Dance” about a singing and dancing cat that moves to Hollywood to pursue his dreams. However, I actually decided to move shortly before my 23rd birthday. After spending my first year out of college moving around and not having much luck, I ended up back at home with my parents. One night, I was really struggling with the decision of where to move and what to do. Out of nowhere, my Disney snow globe started playing “When You Wish Upon A Star.” I hadn’t touched it in months. And I took it as a sign that I needed to follow my heart out to the West Coast.

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?
Thomas: The move was initially very difficult. I have always been close with my family, so not having them or my friends here and not really knowing anyone was discouraging and lonely. But around mid-January I was able to find a job that connected me with some of the most wonderful people I have ever met. I still miss my friends and family terribly, but now that I have formed an amazing support system here, LA is a pretty great home away from home.

TrunkSpace: What has been been your biggest break in terms of a particular role or project thus far?
Thomas: My biggest break so far was probably starring in the SAG-AFTRA New Media comedic short “Roommates” that I also wrote. It was an exciting and challenging acting experience, and it was also extremely gratifying to hear others laugh at lines that I had written.

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?
Thomas: The best roles are the ones that combine comedy and drama. It would be great to play a character that is goofy and fun but also vulnerable and haunted. I would also love to have a role in an adventure/fantasy film like “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Jurassic Park,” “Indiana Jones,” etc. The score, the stories, the characters… everything about them appeal to me. Really, I just want to do it all.

TrunkSpace: What would you say is the greatest strength an actor/actress can have outside of acting ability itself?
Thomas: Remaining humble and grateful is certainly one of the best qualities an actor can possess. But to me, the greatest strength an actor can have comes in knowing how to have a life outside of acting. Don’t get me wrong, you absolutely need to be putting the time and effort into your training just like you would if you were an athlete training for the Olympics. But having experiences outside of acting… falling in love, traveling to a foreign country, getting involved philanthropic cause… are vital to the human experience. And having those experiences makes you a better actor because you have more to draw from. You shouldn’t be afraid to live your life because you think you have to be in “actor mode” constantly.

TrunkSpace: What is your ultimate dream when it comes to your acting career? Where would you like your path to lead?
Thomas: My ultimate goal is to be on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” because both of them are my heroes. But mainly, I want to surround myself with and work with creative, hilarious, and kind people, and yes, that does include certain famous actors that I look up to. I would also like to be in a prominent enough position to use my voice for positive change in the world, my main focus being on wildlife preservation, women’s/LGBT rights, and mental health and education in my home state of Mississippi.

TrunkSpace: What advice would you give another young aspiring actor/actress who is considering moving away from home to pursue their dream?
Thomas: Don’t wait for someone to give you validation or opportunities. Create your own. If you want something, go for it with everything you’ve got.

TrunkSpace: Where can people (and casting directors) learn more about you?
Thomas: Check out my website www.vskylerthomas.com or follow me on Twitter and Instagram (@vskylert). I hope you like random pictures of sloths, because I’m about to start regularly posting them.

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