- Posted January 3, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Talking to Rising Star Jaime Andrews
1) Jaime tell me a little bit about your background:
I grew up on Long Island and did school plays and local theater until I moved into NYC at 18. While there, I did more plays and started getting into doing commercial work and improv. I realized that if I wanted more opportunities, I would have to move to LA, and now I've been here almost a decade.
2) When did you first discover you had a passion for performing?
It's so funny because there was never any question, it was always just what I did. Even in kindergarten I was the lead in the show, and I guess it felt so good that I kept chasing after it. This was proven when I tried to go to college and the acting classes were the only ones to which I could pay attention.
4) Growing up, what were some of your favorite television shows?
I know I watched I Love Lucy, the Wonder Years and The Cosby Show when I was little, but I don't think a show really galvanized me until Twin Peaks. I was obsessed with that show and read all the supporting literature (like The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer). I remember watching it and being terrified while babysitting. My taste tends to be a bit dark.
5) What are some of your favorite films?
Well, to prove that darkness, as a teenager I used to watch Clockwork Orange NIGHTLY while I fell asleep. I know most of it by heart. Same with Heathers. My ultimate favorite, though, is Edward Scissorhands. Nothing makes me cry like that movie.
6) Who were some of your major influences?
I never intentionally studied anyone, but I know those years of watching Lucy sunk in somehow. Carol Burnett too. I also remember watching Lily Tomlin as Edith Ann, which may have fostered my penchant for funny voices.
7) Whom would you say was the best comedienne of all time, in your opinion, and why?
My knee-jerk reaction is to say Lucy, because it all seems to start and end with her, doesn't it? It seems to me that she was the first woman allowed to be funny as more than just a foil to her man. Her physicality and timing were astounding. Honestly, though, I am not a scholar of comedy, so my answer feels facile. Gilda Radner could probably destroy Lucy in a cage match.
8) As an actress, do you prefer stage, film, or the small screen?
I really do love all three, and think there are benefits from each of them. Hearing the laughter of a live crowd is probably the best, but there's something to be said for just giving your performance and leaving it on film. Plus you get second chances to capture a moment, which you can't have on stage. And of course I love the small screen because it has given me most of my opportunities.
9) Do you think there are greater opportunities for young performers in LA or New York?
New York is fantastic, don't get me wrong, and there are a lot of ways for actors to get a start. That said, I remember hearing that NY has 10% of the industry compared to Los Angeles' 90%. It CAN happen in NY, but there is definitely more going on in LA. I also feel like Los Angeles is more open to all kinds of talent, whereas New York wants to see your MFA. All I know for sure is that I am able to make a living here, which is something I never did in NY.
10) You were involved with Sacred Fools in LA where you served in numerous capacities, what was that experience like?
I never dreamed I would wind up running a theater, but doing so was one of the most gratifying things I have ever done. It was also very challenging, having to manage all those artistic temperaments. I was essentially volunteering for an 80-hour week, but I learned a lot - about theater and about what I'm capable of. I'm really proud of the way Sacred Fools grew while I was at the helm (I got to accept awards!) but I was happy to turn it over to ultimately more capable hands. It burnt me out pretty hard and I still get paroxysms when people talk theater business.
11) In World's Dumbest you employ an observational style that, in my humble view, makes you a stand out because of its smooth, subtle delivery. Is there ever a part of you that wants to take that extra dig?
It's hard for me to be mean! It's funny because the few opportunities I've had in this business (going back to 2004's "Crash Test") have essentially been about me messing with people. So I don't TRY to be gentle, but I may be so because of the Golden Rule or fear of reciprocity.
12) What's a typical day like for you?
I'm very lucky in that I haven't had to have a day job for 5 or 6 years now. So I tend to sleep in a bit, then get up and go on my auditions, work on the next day's auditions, do some yoga (if I'm being a good girl), walk my dog, do some writing (if i'm being a VERY good girl), usually I'll have a rehearsal for something or other, and then I tend to go out to eat because I'm not much of a cook. Maybe I'll learn for 2014...
13) If you were to star in your own show right now, what would you want it to be like? Sitcom? Reality? Drama?
My show would be a sit-com, but a non-traditional single-camera affair, like Community or the Office. Then, on hiatus, I would do a heavy drama movie-of-the-week just to keep balanced.
14) Do you ever get stage fright?
I still do, sure! Last night I did a show that I got the script for the same day. Terrifying, but in a good way. I've heard when you stop being scared, you have lost your passion. So I hope I always stay scared.
15) What advice would you give young performers?
Pick something else to do. So many people want to be in this business, but it can really be torture. If you say, "but Jaime! There is nothing else that I can bear to do!" I say, ok, drama queen, but you've got to work. Work really hard, and it will pay off eventually. And stop being a drama queen. You will get so much further by being a serious professional.
16) Any closing thoughts?
I'm honored that you'd ask me to do this...it was very fun! Thanks so much, Ric, and have a super-freakin-great 2014!!!
Thank you Jaime and may your 2014 be exceptional as well!