I enjoyed participating in the PAG Conversation on July 13th, 2022. It was inspiring to check-in with and conduct a dialogue with the other amazing and immensely talented grantees. I realized we have SO much in common as thriving artists in Pinellas County. The diversity of talent proves that Pinellas is a booming and vibrant city, slowly turning into one of Florida’s main artistic hubs.
During the virtual stream, I did have some technical difficulty and wasn’t able to share a little about myself or address the question asked regarding my artistic transition. These things happen. I figured I would address this now for clarification AND to still contribute (in some way) to the conversation as a whole.
To start, as an introduction, I’m a working opera singer and actor in the Pinellas County area. Most of my commercial work has taken place in the greater Pinellas/Tampa Bay/Orlando area. I’ve filmed two feature films here, as well as various local commercials for small and medium-sized businesses. Additionally, I’ve participated in a series of both corporate and educational E-learning Training Videos. I’ve had the opportunity to perform outside the state of Florida, as well, for both theater and opera. This year alone, I performed M’Lynn in Steel Magnolias for Mountain Movers Theatre Company in eastern Kentucky. I really enjoy representing Florida AND being an ambassador of talent for Pinellas County. It’s truly a treat to share my talent for storytelling!
Now, I want to transition into the conversation question that was presented to each grantee, individually. I’d like to answer, but I’m going to split my question into two sections. My question was: How did you make the leap from opera to stage, TV, and Film performance? How do you balance the two?
- How did you make the leap from opera to stage, TV, and Film performance? I’d like to say that there was some magical stroke of luck and “right place, right time,” but it’s actually much simpler than that. It was a very organic transition. I started Locally! Right here in Pinellas County. I’d always wanted to venture into commercial work, plus I wanted to enhance my operatic acting on stage…add more nuance. So, I started with an on-camera acting class in St. Petersburg, that would meet every wednesday. There, I met and collaborated with a great group of local, working actors. I learned from them. I learned so much by just engaging with the local acting community. They shared resources, postings, casting experiences, agents to work with, etc. Then, things essentially expanded from there. So, really, I didn’t make a giant leap into the industry, I just stepped into a close-knit, supportive local acting scene. That’s it!
- How do you balance the two? Well, for starters, both mediums function in different ways, which is actually beneficial in balancing my schedule. Commercial work tends to come in spurts, depending on time, production initiative, budget and size of project. These projects can fit nicely into down time that I have in between opera or theater gigs, which can be longer…a few weeks at a time. Live performance needs more time to prep because there is a culmination of different things that need to come together: set, costuming, staging, script work, etc. These aspects need to be fleshed out more for live performance. With opera, there is the added component of musical performance and integration.
Overall, I’m consciously and consistently re-inventing myself and my career as an artist. It’s ever-evolving. I’ll be taking many steps and “leaps” toward new ways to create and express myself. I’m happy to share along the way!