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Life & Work with Alekandra Martin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alekandra Martin.

Hi Alekandra, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Born and raised in Manhattan, I developed a love for acting at a young age. I remember after watching the Wizard of Oz for the first time, I became obsessed – wanting to dress up and play pretend in Oz everyday. In an attempt to watch anything else, my parents showed me the film Meet Me in St. Louis and it clicked – why be just in Oz when you could also be singing on a trolley in St. Louis. I didn’t just want to be Dorothy – I wanted to be Judy Garland. And while it’s been brought to my attention that I can’t carry a tune and I certainly don’t look as good in gingham as Garland, I never looked back.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
For a chance to get in front of a camera, I signed with a major modeling agency in New York while still in high school. Overall, it truly was an amazing experience that taught me professionalism and set etiquette, but as you can imagine, having that sort of pressure (both professionally and personally) is difficult at any age, but especially I felt it as a high school girl. With these opportunities and the most amazing theater at my fingertips, New York truly offered me the greatest playground to invigorate my love for acting, but it was really London that changed me as an actor. While at Lehigh University, I petitioned to spend a semester abroad at The London Dramatic Academy, an intensive, Stanislavsky-based conservatory in London, England. This program was the most difficult, fulfilling, joyous time of my life. When I think of any highlight in my pursuit of this career, it almost always came along with obstacles and challenges; but that dichotomy is the beauty of this industry and what keeps me going when there is a period of struggle – I always know that something good must be around the corner.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
During the 2020 pandemic, I wrote and produced my first film, “Blanche.” I have always felt an affinity towards the character and was rereading Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire and I began to imagine how this kind of theatrical and extremely social character would fare in 2020. Inspired by one of the most significant plays of the past and reimagined in the mad absurdity of our present, the flighty and feverishly vivacious woman suffers from a similar mental anguish and shares many of the same insecurities and traumas – but reimagined in 2020. Our six-minute short aims to demonstrate one night Blanche plays host and unfolds when her fantasies meet reality.

Connecting our film to a play of the past demonstrates how issues of mental illness and injustices against women have persisted throughout history. As we emerge from the worldwide pandemic and a year of societal distress, “Blanche” offers a look at how isolation affected us all, and especially those who suffer from mental health issues. It was very important to me that “Blanche” was a story about women told by women – as over 75% of our crew identify as women. I am so proud of this collaborative effort that became “Blanche” and I am so excited to begin to share it with the world.

Are there any books, apps, podcasts or blogs that help you do your best?
There are so many great resources out there that have helped me at different times. A couple of months ago, I got really into Clubhouse – especially the Actors Breakfast Club and the Business Side of Acting- both of which are hosted by Michael Tow and Mike Dolphy. I love Audrey Moore’s podcast, Audrey Helps Actors, and Sam Valentine’s podcast, One Broke Actress.

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