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How did you get started in acting?
My mother was in show business from a young age, so I grew up with the bug for the biz and a desire to perform. I didn’t actually pursue acting until I was in my 20s with 2 kids and a very supportive husband who encouraged me to take classes in Tampa and Orlando. It was a much needed creative outlet for me and an opportunity to meet other folks in the industry outside of my husband’s sweet little hometown where we lived.
So many actors need to take a temporary break from their careers because of “life”. How did you make your way back into a successful acting career and completely knock it out of the park? What advice would you give to actors who want to return to acting after a hiatus?
Even though the kids were my priority, I worked part-time in the regional southeastern market where we lived. I continued to take a class or two, booked commercials, print work and an occasional film over the years. We also lived in Los Angeles during pilot season each year, which was a great experience for our family. After our youngest left for college, I began studying with renowned teacher, Zina Jasper in NYC and veteran actor/coach Dan Bright in Orlando. For me, it’s been a slow process of learning, growing and never giving up. My advice is to discover your own passion, have supportive people around you and work really hard.
What have been some of your career highlights so far?
* In the 90s, Producer Aaron Spelling handpicked me to play Gregory Harrison’s potential love interest in the WB series, “Safe Harbor”, which opened doors for me in Los Angeles.
* Other highlights have been attending film festivals all over the country and abroad as an actor and a filmmaker. The top 3 festivals in the US are Sundance, Tribeca and SXSW. In 2019 I had the honor of my first trip to SXSW with the web series, Queering, which I’m a series regular in. Jan. 2020, I’m thrilled to be attending Sundance with the world premiere of the film, Beast Beast, where I play the role of Mrs. Gunderson. Tribeca is next, so stay tuned!
* As a Producer, my documentary, “Beneath the Crown” has screened at festivals all over the world, won numerous awards including the Telly Award for Best Documentary. Through my production company, Her Little Red, I’m proud all our films are female driven and female empowering.
* Recurring as “Homeless Lynn” in the Youtube TV sensation, Cobra Kai, has been a wonderful experience that I’m beyond grateful for. The Cobra Kai/Karate Kid franchise has a large and loyal fan base, which have been very supportive of my character in the show and also my other work.
So busy! Tell us more about your series regular role in the YouTube series, Queering and what you feel the show and your character means to the audience?
I’m honored to play Val who is coming out as bisexual to her lesbian daughter. It has been a remarkable opportunity for me as an actor and as a woman to experience the ups and downs of what Val is going through. Queering touches on some very raw topics with humor and a lightness that helps us understand the LGBTQ community better. The audience has been overwhelmingly supportive of the show and anxiously awaiting more content.
What is your favorite way to keep growing and learning in your career?
I’m always looking for opportunities to play characters that challenge me. Indie projects are a great way for me to experiment and grow, so I do a lot of self submitting and self taping and am willing to work for less money in the right project. I continue to study with Zina Jasper in NYC and Dan Bright in Orlando.
What’s next for you in you career?
With Queering having millions of views on YouTube and Season 1 being an official selection to screen at SXSW film festival, we’re beyond excited to begin filming Queering the Movie in the Spring of 2020 in NYC.
My recurring character, Homeless Lynn, in the YouTube series, Cobra Kai, continues to provide comic relief through her sassy and provocative personality. Look for Lynn again in Season 3!
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Interviewed by Kari Nissena
© 2020 Kari Nissena