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Life & Work with Lizzie Cugnini

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lizzie Cugnini.

Hi Lizzie, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Hi I’m Lizzie! I’m an actor and filmmaker from NJ. Thank you for having me.

I’d always been involved in my school plays and art classes growing up but it wasn’t until my senior year of high school that things changed. Some friends of mine started a web series and I joined as one of the characters. Doing this super small series made me fall in love with TV/Film and realize that I could actually pursue a career in that creative field. I then went to college and got a BA in Theatre and Media Communications with concentrations in acting, directing, and video production. So I decided that moving to LA to pursue my passions was my next step, and now I am here.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Oh no way has it been a smooth road. I moved to LA with all these connections and job prospects but then the pandemic hit and I had to re-asses. A lot of my connections moved out of the city so I’ve had to take a step back and think of new pathways to achieve my goals. A lot of it is just rolling with the punches and not being afraid to change your course of action.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
So my work has changed a lot. I used to be a PA in NYC, and now I’m taking acting classes in LA and writing a short. I also paint a lot these days! Honestly, I am most proud of myself for just being able to live out in LA and not be afraid to go after what I have always dreamed of. It would’ve been so easy for me to move back home to NJ and never leave. But I decided I wanted to pursue my dreams of acting and directing so I’m giving that all I’ve got. I think I’m the only one going after their dreams in LA right? No one else is here to pursue acting and directing? I think what sets me apart from others is that I’m not afraid to be myself. I’ve seen so many of my friends change and lose who they are trying to become something that they think others will like. It’s so important to have a strong sense of self and not be afraid to show that.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
Oh geez… any tips you have for me would be helpful! In all seriousness, I think just not being afraid to contact people you don’t know for advice. The worst they can say is “no”, but on the off chance they say yes, you’ve now built a strong connection with someone. I think with networking the point isn’t to get a job or climb the corporate ladder, but learn from others how they got to where they are in their career. And if that just happens to get you a job… that’s great!

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Image Credits:

Headshots are by Josh Lacour Paintings are by me and for sale

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