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When your face is your business card

It can’t be too flashy. Shiny material can look a little cheap. Leave the tiara at home – keep it simple. Faithful.

It needs to say who you are, without giving away all of your secrets. Authenticity first, and a little mystery behind the eyes.

You hope they call. You hope it’s a solution to their problems (casting problems, ha!)

 

Wonder Russell

Wonder Russell

I’m very happy with my new headshots by Lisa LeVan! If you’re in the Seattle-Tacoma area, be sure to schedule an appointment with her.

Ten Years Later (full film!)

The script showed up in my inbox. I read it instantly. I sat back in my chair in shock. And then I turned to Facebook, of course. “Get ready, Lisa Coronado,” I wrote, to my bestie and fellow actress.

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Then I thanked Kris and Lindy for casting me in a role most directors wouldn’t. For taking that chance on me. I was happy to go to the dark side with these beloved creatives I am proud to know.

Presenting, online in its entirety, my career-to-date highlight, TEN YEARS LATER:

If you were affected, consider sharing this film with other film lovers. I’m incredibly proud of this film – it features many “firsts” for me as an actor, including playing an unlikeable character. I dug in to the work, spending months of prep with my coach, workshopping the relationships, and hitting the gym. It’s unflinching, unapologetic, gritty, dark, realistic and mean, but also beautiful, rewarding, exciting, perfect.

IMG_6225I also want everyone to mark Kris and Lindy’s artistic choices. They didn’t crowdfund this, they paid for it out of pocket to build awareness – to make it “without permission.” This choice isn’t for everybody, but I love that they weren’t going to wait and see if they could make this film, they simply decided it would be so. And it was so. And it was good.

Then, instead of a typical cast and crew viewing, they threw a huge free-to-the-public screening event at a state of the art theatre, curating an evening of short films from as far away as New Zealand, and involving the entire film community. And now, they generously released it online for everyone (along with several other short films they’ve made). Their choices are bold, unconventional, unapologetic, and wildly, generously brilliant. Everyone who makes and promotes art can learn from their example. They truly live by this motto – Creation is Momentum. They can’t be stopped.

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Kris, Lindy, and Lisa are my fiercest, most trusted collaborators. This wasn’t a casual film for us. I’m honored to work with these three and will again – any time, anywhere. ❤

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Will Act for Health Care

In the most recent Seattle Intensive (Actorswork) workshop, we were asked to name a fear we hold about acting. Instantly, I thought of some of the risks within film work, such as:

  •  Lack of control when your performance is chopped up in the editing room
  •  Fear of others’ perceptions of you as a person, (sometimes because of how a performance is edited)
  •  Fear that the film will be badly finished, impacting your career marketability
  •  Fear that your Grandma will see that one love scene

All valid. I battle all of these. But this time, my greatest fear wasn’t “bad” characters or villains or challenging roles or editors I don’t trust… My biggest fear was “acting as commerce.”

My greatest fear may baffle most actors: acting for money. Specifically, I mean having to take a job I’d otherwise pass on, just for the paycheck.

I recently read about an actor who takes his roles based on whether or not healthcare is provided. He may have been a tad tongue-in-cheek but there’s still truth at the core. This discussion isn’t the merits healthcare, it’s why we act.

Acting for me is completely different from a “job.” When I sign on, I want it to be with a mixture of joy and terror, the inward tug of knowing I’m beginning an adventure. And I want it to pay, don’t misunderstand me! But I don’t want a paying gig first, and a compelling gig second. As Amy Poehler hinted during the Golden Globes …

Heh.

The journey has highs and lows. You’ll be swamped with work one month, and then you’ll realize a certain casting director hasn’t asked for you in a year (gulp – true story).  Sometimes you have to take jobs that aren’t exactly winning material – that dry teleprompter-laden training video, for example. Or heck, a national commercial (!) for fast food that you loathe, but it pays your rent for a year.

I just know that I’m an actor because I’m a compassionate, emotional individual who loves to connect deeply. I want that to always be the driving force behind why I take (or don’t take) an acting gig. Most importantly, I need to trust that as long as I am true to myself, the right gigs will continue to find me.

 

 

10 Reasons Your Day Job Makes You a Better Actor

The other night, this came across my feed:

Actors are so much better at their craft when they work at a shitty diner, coffee shop, or desk job- than making a living just being actors

— Sean Hackett (@shackett) April 11, 2012

Woah. What?! Whoa!

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