The older I get, the more I realize that my mother is always right. Especially today, her words ring in my head - or rather, her words read in a text message: “I told you your time would come!!!! <3”. This morning, I attended a casting for a dental insurance billboard ad, tonight I’m emceeing a secret concert in a denim store in SoHo, and currently, I’m sitting in my hair and makeup chair at Spring Studios in TriBeCa waiting to shoot a print ad to launch this month (also a secret, for now!). I was cast as the “collegiate”, which is appropriate considering I’ve been feeling quite nostalgic about my college days. About a year ago I graduated from NYU, and today, while I am a professional actress, I am by no means a full-time one. The majority of my days and weeks are not spent on set, but in an office. Currently, I am the NYC Assistant Director at Sofar Sounds, a global community of music lovers that puts on secret concerts in unique venues all over the world (I know, I know, sorry for all the secrets). While I couldn’t be happier with my professional career now, I never thought I’d end up with one foot in the entertainment business, and one in the music industry.
Growing up, I always wanted to be in film and television. When I was thirteen, my family moved from a small town in Colorado to southern California so my two younger sisters and I could pursue our silver screen dreams. Though all three of us had successes - check out my debut feature film ’The Clique’ as proof - I decided I would pursue an undergraduate degree, instead of the full-time acting and auditioning lifestyle many of my Hollywood friends chose. I still auditioned while in college, but the majority of my time was spent studying abroad, joining a sorority, and exploring the city. I studied things like the “Culture of Communication” and “Thinking About Seeing” and interned at a ridiculous variety of companies - from fashion at GUESS and Paper Magazine, to entertainment at Time Inc. and Comedy Central. New passions and skills I didn’t even know I had began to flourish and take precedent over auditioning for small roles. It was my time to learn, grow, and experience as much as possible in the “real world”.
While I found it comforting to have an expansive and diverse professional network in New York, it was also equally frustrating to feel stuck between two possible paths. I knew I didn’t want to drop everything I’d learned at NYU over the past four years to only pursue acting, but none of my other experiences were as fulfilling as the feeling of emotionally connecting in a scene. Once I graduated, I accepted a 9-5 job, and that’s when my real doubts set in. I often felt like I had given up on my dream - I was embarrassed going home for the holidays or running into people who recognized me from my one feature film who would ask if I was in anything new coming out. My answer was always no, and so my mother would continue to tell me to be patient, and to keep pursuing whatever it was that inspired me.
"I’ve grown to learn that changing one dream doesn’t mean that you have to abandon another."
I was studying abroad in Paris when I stepped into my first Sofar Sounds show. Standing in a beautiful artist’s loft, something finally clicked. I didn’t know it at the time, but my hindsight is telling me it had little to do with the one euro wine, and more to do with the visceral passion, intrigue, and excitement exuding from everyone at the show - from the host, to the musicians, and to the guests. Sofar Sounds was something that I quickly felt personally vested in, and donated over a year of my time to be involved in as an Ambassador once I returned to NYC. It’s simplistic secrecy and welcoming community was the first thing that got me as excited about the future as I felt when I first moved to LA with stars in my eyes.
Sofar Sounds is a small start-up. There was never a guarantee of getting hired full time, but when the opportunity arose I fought for it. I applied for a new role last September, and did not move forward (Mom said it wasn’t my time). I applied again for a second role, and did not hear back. Determined, I ultimately to circled back with my current bosses twice before even getting an initial interview!
That’s one thing I’ve taken to heart over the years - the art of following up is one every working woman should master. Another art form worth learning? Adaptability. I’ve grown to learn that changing one dream doesn’t mean that you have to abandon another. It took almost five years of trying tons of different potential career paths out, and now I’ve found a way to get the best of both worlds - I am working professionally in music event production, and also auditioning as an actress in the entertainment industry. I’ll repeat just once more what I’ve been telling myself a lot lately: timing really is everything. Your time isn’t always now, but you have to believe that your time will come, if you take action. In many ways, I’m still waiting for mine, but that isn’t stopping me from working to make the time pass faster. In the meantime, it never hurts to call your mom.
Homepage Image: Joseph Wolensky Header and Right Image: Sean McGlynn