Please tell me what was behind your decision to leave New York for Los Angeles.
It came out of left field. I was going to attend a conservatory in New York, and continue my studies in acting and theater, but an opportunity arose to go to Los Angeles; and in this gust of spontaneity and hunger for adventure, I decided to just go. I knew that the entertainment industry was most prevalent in LA, but really, I had absolutely no idea what to expect, and that was extremely exciting.
You went to the "Fame" High School - please tell me a little bit about what that was like. How much competition is there? Did it better prepare you for your journey West?
The years I spent at the Performing Arts High School were some of the best years of my life. The teachers give an invaluable education to their students. And not only did I learn so much about my craft, but every day I was surrounded by such talented kids in all facets of the arts...singers, dancers, musicians, painters...it was truly incredible and inspiring. You can just walk down any hallway of that school, and you'll see ballerinas pirouetting past you, hear singers scatting away, and painters creating the most outstanding pieces. People always ask me if the "Fame" movie was true to reality...that is a definite yes.
In my experience, I really felt that competition was usually drowned out by support and encouragement from your peers. We focused on studying and cultivating our art, and that definitely prepared me for the journey ahead.
What was your time on Saturday Night Live like?
One word...fun! I was pretty young when I worked on SNL, but the memories are so vivid. Just recently I was walking around the SNL studio, and I felt like a giddy little girl again, up past her bedtime. I feel so lucky that I got to be in hilarious skits with the funniest comedians. I was there during the cast years of Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Dana Carvey (who I had a big crush on), and they were all so gifted, and so nice. Every time I was called back in to work on SNL, I was one happy little gal.
Do you prefer comedies or dramas? Television or film?
I love doing it all. Whether it's comedy or drama, television or film, I look for a good, compelling story and a wonderful role that I can slip into and become completely.
I'd like to know more about your recent and upcoming projects - "Boogeyman 3," "30 Days of Night: Dust to Dust," "Meteor" and "Citizen Game." What draws you to the horror genre in particular?
It's possible that the genre is drawn to me. I seem to get invited back to that genre. Maybe they've discovered my commitment and belief in the story and characters I play in unnatural situations. I do enjoy the dark, outrageous, psychological drama my character is challenged with in horror or sci-fi. But again, a well developed character in a romantic comedy, drama, action adventure or tragedy certainly should invoke all of the same range of humanity. I love it all.
How was it working with Daryl Hannah and Gerard Butler? Did you take anything away experience wise by working with them?
Working with seasoned actors is like going to a master class. But in addition to observing how they divine a character, I've learned just as much around them as they wear their own skin in contrast to the characters they slip in and out of. So far, I've observed a correlation between the finer actors as finer/smarter people in their real life performances. That would be true of Daryl and Gerard. I found this to be true working with James Woods as well. His brilliance is reflected in his bigger than life, yet authentic characters.
What directors / actors would you like to work with?
The actors and directors I look forward to working with is more a what kind than a who in my hopes. In any job I think we all want the people we work with to share mutual respect and generosity. A nice sprinkling of commitment mixed with levity; warmth, creatively stellar and wonderfully clever is not bad. Of course, the likes of Woody Allen, Sam Mendes or Greg Mottola might just fit that definition of a director, as I would wager that Meryl Streep and Sean Penn are the kind of actors that would create a delicious atmosphere.
Any projects in the works that you would like to talk about?
We just wrapped on an adorable web series that I'm looking forward to seeing. I play the title role in "House of Heather" which is a parody on a reality show... something like, shall we say, "The Hills." Taylor Negron plays my father so that was a lot of fun.
I have a small scene in the upcoming feature film "Citizen Game". I can't wait to see the finished product. It promises to be an awesome movie!
Do you plan on working in New York again at some point?
Just give me the role and I'll be there in a New York minute. Love my city!
Any advice for up and coming actors / actresses trying to break into the entertainment industry?
Put on your thickest skin and enjoy the journey. Every audition is an opportunity to exercise your favorite muscle. If something comes of it, there's the added gift!
Interview By Ashley Hillard
Photo By Stewart Marcano
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