REGARDLESS of the odds against them in times of economic hardship, students like freshman Anna Lasbury still aspire to become actors in the future.
“I am definitely interested in pursuing acting as a career,” Lasbury said. “It is something I love, and I am extremely fortunate that I can continue to act for a profit in the future, even if it is difficult. It works out really nicely because you want to do something you love for a job.”
In times of economic hardship, teens are typically advised to look for careers with more economic stability. However, counselor Melinda Stephan said she encourages students like Lasbury, who have a passion for something, to chase their ambitions despite any potential obstacles.
“I typically don’t want to squash people’s dreams. I usually tell students who are pursuing something that maybe doesn’t have a very good economic outlook or difficult to break into to just have a backup plan,” Stephan said. “But I think this is the time to try to follow your dream. When else are you going to do it?”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Occupational Outlook Handbook, actors suffer rejection frequently and undergo prolonged periods of unemployment. From her numerous experiences in the business, Lasbury has already witnessed the difficulties of profiting from acting, but she said this has not deterred her from her plans.
“I honestly think that already, it’s really hard to make a living off of acting,” Lasbury said. “But I feel like since I love it, I’ll stick with it and have to do other jobs too, but use it as part of how I get my money.”
Stephan advises those who are pursuing acting to research and become well versed in the expectations of the industry.
“No matter what you do, acting or engineering, you want you gather information,” Stephan said. “It’s important to find out what the field is like, how you can break into it, where the connections are, and what you have to do to prepare yourself to do it.”
Why did you start acting?
For TV acting, I started acting because I was really little and I watched TV a lot and I saw the Welch’s Grape Juice commercials. I thought it was really cool how people my age could be on TV. So I just asked my mom if I could try it and somehow the first audition I went to, I ended up getting it, so it worked out really nicely. And then for theater, I just knew that a bunch of people who did TV stuff usually do a lot of theater stuff, so I was like, ‘hey, I might as well audition for The Sound of Music’ and then I signed up to be in that too. So it just kind of all sparked.
What is the movie that you are in?
It’s called “Sound of the Spirit” and it’s about a girl who goes all these trials because her parents die. So she has to live with her aunt and uncle and they have religious disputes. She just has to go through a lot of struggles to get through that situation.
Who do you play in the movie?
I play Rivka Margolis and she is turning thirteen years old and she’s the one whose parents die. They are all Jewish, but she’s not a regular Jew. She is Messianic, which means that she believes that Christ is her savior. So it’s really weird that she has to live with her aunt and uncle because they are just regular Jews and they don’t believe in that and they have a lot of trouble.
Does acting interfere with school?
Yeah, it interferes with school quite a bit and not to my advantage because I have to make up a lot of schoolwork. At a theater that I work at a lot has ten shows a week, which is crazy, and we only get Mondays off. So I have lot of matinee shows during the day and night shows, so I really have no time to get homework done. I literally work on my homework before I go on stage to go do a scene.
How do you manage to balance acting and school?
It’s difficult and I’m not as good of a student as my sister because she’s really, really smart. But I try to work as hard as she does because I know she studies a lot, so I kind of copy off of her.
Why do you love acting?
It’s kind of like my sport. Everyone else plays soccer or football or something like that, but acting is the thing that I love and I pursue to try to continue doing and it’s fun.
How many roles have you gotten?
For TV and film stuff, I have no idea because I do auditions every week, but usually nothing comes out of it. The statistics they say is like you land role for every 50 that you audition for. But I don’t know the exact number for all the TV things I have done. For theater stuff, I have been in nine different shows and I am going to be in another one this summer.
How long have you been acting?
I started when I was seven for TV acting and then for theater, I started doing it at eleven.
What were your first roles?
I did a commercial in Tennessee for an insurance company and then my first theatrical role was Brigitta in The Sound of Music.
What is your favorite role that you have ever played for television?
For TV, it would probably be Rivka because it was kind of difficult because I had to cry a bunch. It was just kind of testing my abilities, which was kind of fun.
What is your favorite role that you have ever played for theater?
For theater, I played Dorothy in The Wiz, which is usually played by an African American person, but I thought that that was really cool that I got to play her because I wouldn’t normally get that opportunity and it was just really fun because I liked the music a lot.
When is it going to be released?
We have a screening, which is a preview, coming up in two weeks and then the premiere is March 15 at an AMC movie theater.