Ask Alexandra – October 2010
I saw you show on the film “A sister’s secret” yesterday. It leaves on my mind your nice business women, dynamic, gentle speaking but the power come from inside, warm eyes… I love Katherine’s style very much. She is my admiration. I haven’t seen other your role yet, but i think you are suitable and will be success to show on the business’ women role.
Some information about me: I am Hanh, from Viet Nam. I am living in Danang city, working for American Textile company, got 2 children (1 son, 1 daughter).
Love to hearing from you!
It is good to know my movies are playing in Vietnam! And thank you for the kind words you have about my character in A Sister’s Secret. I havent been to Vietnam, but my twin took a bike trip through the countryside and she says it is very, very beautiful. Vietly, the webmaster for this site, is Vietnamese-American, and she is also one of my closest friends. I hope to visit your country one day. Hopefully you and your kids will visit America too!
I hope this letter finds you doing well. I was kinda young when I first discovered you, I was 4 yrs old, when you was in Christine. At the time it gave me nightmares. LOL. Anyways, I was looking to get into acting myself and was wanting to ask your advice. I already went through a semester of acting/theater classes and had my headshot made as well. Since then I gotten nervous about going further. I was hoping you could give me some advice. I live in a small town in KY. Actually, I only live about 30mins from Bowling Green, where director of Christine, John Carpenter grew up and went to college. I took my acting/theater classes at the exact same college. Any advice and help I’d REALLY appreciate.. Keep up the great work and stay beautiful!!
You are not specific about whether you are interested most in a career on the stage, film or in tv, but the bottom line is that if you want to make a living at acting, you must leave your small Kentucky hometown and head to Chicago or New York for theater, or to Los Angeles if you are interested in being a tv or film actor. There is really no ifs, ands or buts about it. If you are not willing to do that, you can certainly have wonderful experiences doing community theater anywhere in the United States, but you wont be able to make a living at it. However, it is great to do local theater, and you will undoubtedly have a great quality of life living in the place of your choosing, raising a family etc. You can be an actor even if you dont make money off it, as long as you act!
If you want to have a shot at national success in show business, however, you have to take risks. And the first risk is moving out of your comfort zone (literally). If you do move to one of the cities I suggested above, it is important to get into acting classes, theater troupes etc to immerse yourself into the acting world. Do low budget or student movies to get tape on yourself to put a reel together. Then you get an agent usually through a recommendation of a fellow actor. Bad ones are worse than no agent at all, so it is vital to get a good agent. Getting a decent agent is harder than getting a job, ironically, but it is possible. I recommend you give yourself at least 2 years, preferably 3, before assessing whether acting is something to be pursued further, as it often takes that long to know for sure whether there is a real opportunity for success.
Read biographies and autobiographies about the business and about actors. Samuel French Bookstore online has plays.
Please let me know what you decide. Thank you so much for writing.
I just want to say to you that you have really been an inspiration to so many people, with your willingness to stand up for what you believe in. I want to first start by saying that I’m gay, and very, very proud to be gay, and I want to be more active in my feelings about it. I live in Pennsylvania, where prop 8 is still active, and I have gone to a couple rallies, but haven’t really gotten into civil disobedience like you have. Prop 8 means more for me now, because I am in a very, very committed relationship with a woman I really, really love, and would absolutely marry if I had the option. What I’d like to as you, is how do you find the strength and courage to do all of these fantastic deeds, knowing that you could be arrested or go to jail. Hell, haven’t you even gone to jail for certain issues you feel passionate about? What complicates things even more is that my girlfriend is a police officer, so she sees both sides of everything. Obviously, she wants the same things I! want, but she’s on the other side of the law, and she sees just how important staying within the law is. In any event, it’s a bit of an issue for me.
Thank you so much for being such an amazing role model for everyone, especially those of us in the gay community.
There are many, many ways to be an activist, and going to jail is just one of them. I have gone to jail for what I believe, but I think alot of other things I have done have more positive impact on the world than that.
You say you are gay, and interested in gay issues… my first question is, are you and your girlfriend “out”? That is probably the best way to be a gay activist: show the world a loving, respectful, decent relationship between you and your partner. Another way is to support those who have less confidence in coming out. Mentor a gay teen in your area. If there isn’t a mentoring program, start one! Work to stop bullying in high schools by speaking to classrooms, maybe at your old high school or grammar school, to show kids that being gay is something to be respected, not teased. Help start a gay/lesbian club in your town! Write an article for the local paper about being gay, to rid people of misconceptions, or suggest a local radio dj interview you about gay marriage, or what it is like to grow up gay in a world where you are made to feel like what you are is wrong and not natural.
I have learned that when people meet gay men or women, they lose their fear and prejudices, so being out in your community will go a long way to open people up.
Best of luck, Ellie! Thanks for helping make the world a better place. Please let me know how you decide to contribute. And I hope you can one day soon marry your lady love!