Before Friends in Film I always knew I wanted to work in the industry. In school I studied performing arts and took Improv courses. I would attend non union auditions. I would get super gross offers from sleeze-ball guys on how I can “work my way into the business” aka “the casting couch..” I felt like unless you know someone in the industry there is NO way in! I felt like such a small fish in a huge pond.
I moved to Louisiana in 2013 in hopes to start out in a smaller circle, to gain some experience and make some connections. Where the heck to meet this circle of connections? I had no idea…
Early 2014 I found FIF. Like most people, I was super skeptical. Why should I pay this lady that I don’t even know? How do I know these mentors are real? They aren’t “Famous” .. Well little did I know..
Janet and her program was more of a mentorship. A place where I could go to talk about my fears and I could ask allllll the questions I wanted! I could vent..and learn through mistakes. Janet and the group taught me the right things to say and where to meet the people to say these things to! How to connect and stay connected.
In Louisiana I worked on a few free projects to gain some local credit. I would volunteer at film festivals in the town I lived and join workshops to make friends! I worked background and feature roles on TV shows and movies such as Bad Mom’s and NCIS.
While handing out tickets at a local film festival in town I met a director from KC Missouri. He told me ..” I will cast you as a lead in my first feature..” Now of course I smiled ..gave him my info and never thought too much into it. That Director I told you about earlier… he called me. He auditioned me, and cast me as the lead in his film. We are set to film in May 2018. He flew me out to KC for the table read back in July 2017 and I was able to meet the cast and see him again. (It had been 3 years.)
With the goal of acting still in mind 24/7 here is a prime example of Janet’s methods working: I was working and getting paid $250 day rate as an assistant to wardrobe on a shoot for Delta Airlines, the client (Delta) liked my look and asked the director to put me though wardrobe and get me in front of the camera, so now I am in a commercial for Delta airlines.. See with out Janet’s method I would have been one of the hundreds of actors to audition .. I would not have been making money working on set and I would not have been right in front of the client.
I now live in Atlanta where I work at Pinewood studios. I started as a Production assistant and have moved up to a 2nd AD. Climbing the ladder everyday and sharing my love for acting with the new friends I make. I love coming to work everyday. I make $1,000 a week and am able to afford to live in a 4 bedroom house. I went from a 1 bedroom apartment in a rough area to a 4 bedroom house in a beautiful area. Working in the industry.
Something I learned from FIF was to STOP acting so damn “hungry” all the time! By that I mean.. people can sense desperation and it is NOT attractive. I used to be that actress that carried my headshot everywhere..just waiting for the “right people” to say EXACTLY what this director said. But the old me would scare them away and not even realize it.. Fast forward to today and the work I have done, the money I have made… I was able to stop working as a waitress. I have been making a living solely on the income of working in film, TV and commercial. I have worked in set dressing, I have associate produced, I have production assisted, camera and director assisted.. I do it all really! In one year I have made over $50,000 working in the industry. The hugest excitement for me is that IT’S only the beginning!
(New Orleans, Louisiana)