Article By: Maria Shamkalian
What are some of your biggest achievements in the film industry?
I had landed a role in a Amazon Prime production with Dreality Films playing a reoccurring role on a series called Porte Richmond. Shortly after, I landed a role on another series called Honey Child with Dreality with the same director, Domini Supastar. In Porte Richmond, I played a crazy cat lady neighbor. In Honey Child, I played a career counselor at Temple University which serves as the backdrop to the show. Cinematically Temple University looks amazing on film. It has been a great experience being on set and shooting for both these parts with the same director. I have numerous stage experiences in 2018 including Uptown and working with the talented director Rodd Deon. In addition, I had a role in Downtown Dreamin written by the super talented Bethel Sheppard Bates. Roz Fulton, from Direction and Exposure has been a huge person referring me for auditions that fit my type.
What is your most recent success and how did you accomplish it?
Being cast by the same director, Domini Supastar in both Porte Richmond and Honey Child.
How did you get started in the film industry?I started as an extra in movies such as Taps and Blow out filmed in Pennsylvania. I had a family and took a break and now that the kids are grown, I can pursue my passion again.
Why do you choose to work in PA and what do you love the most about working in Pennsylvania?
I am a born and bred Philadelphian. I feel that Philadelphia is like a mini New York City. It has the same vibe as Manhattan being in the city and I love being a part of that new and vibrant restaurant scene that Philadelphia can now be touted for.
What are some of your favorite shooting locations in Pennsylvania? Philadelphia and Valley Forge. I was a film major at one time at Temple University and did a project at Valley Forge National Park shooting some days in the snow. What an experience it was!!!
What do you love the most about your job?
It is just so exciting to be able to act and be a part of a production from beginning to end.
What is your most memorable, most awkward, or funniest on set story?
It was mostly in theatre, but the lead would always change his words and we had to always guess when our cues were.
What are some of the challenges of being a female filmmaker?
I just think it is a matter of getting the same respect as males do which is a given. Females have to work doubly harder to earn that same respect.
What is your advice for other women in film?Just do it and do not hold back. Start in small increments until everything becomes second nature. Remember baby steps in the beginning
Do you have any upcoming Pennsylvania-based projects?Yes, a show called Runways , from Rollo Robertson Productions as a Madam.
PAFIA has been working hard on increasing the film tax credit in Pennsylvania and bringing more film work to our local crew and talent, but we must all unite to really make a difference. What can you tell our elected officials about the importance of PA film industry and the difference it has made in your life?We need the tax credits in Pennsylvania to keep our industry strong in PA so all the work does not continue to go to Atlanta, Georgia.
What is your advice for the aspiring actors and filmmakers? Some steps to take? Some mistakes to avoid? Continue training. I train with John Pallotta. Every thing helps in building your craft to becoming better at what you are doing.
What are some good strategies to find more gigs?
Backstage, getting an agent, reading industry newsletters , join acting Facebook groups, networking, going to industry functions.
What are some of the most valuable lessons that you have learned about this industry and wish you knew earlier?
Never Give Up. Keep going. If you have a dream, continue to push forward in the direction you want to go.
What is your favorite film shot in Pennsylvania?
Creed 2 - I was an extra in that movie.
What is your favorite project that you worked on?
Porte Richmond to date.
What is your biggest aspiration in this industry?
To be a series regular and a paid professional actor to live off of that career.
What would be the best way for our local PA cast and crew to submit to your upcoming projects?
I am not writing anything right now but that could be something in the future. You never know.
Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA)461 Cochran Road, Box 246Pittsburgh, PA 15228(717) 833-4561 firstname.lastname@example.org