Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexandra Wright.
Alexandra, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born in a very small town in Cleveland, Mississippi, and from a very early age, enjoyed putting on fireplace performances with my older sister. According to my mother, I was “knee-high to a grasshopper” when I started telling her that I wanted to be an actress. My sister, mother, and I ended up moving to San Antonio, Texas, where I continued studying theatre in middle school and in high school.
I was fortunate to go to a public school in Texas that had an excellent theatre department that was run by fabulous teachers who really encouraged me to pursue theatre arts in college. I applied to USC, made the move to LA, and graduated with a degree in theatre. As soon as I graduated, I picked up, moved to Boston, and started training for my MFA at the ART/MXAT Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University.
Now, I work in TV, film, and stage. Acting has taken me to London, Paris, Moscow, and Scotland, and I have had the chance to perform with some profound actors and directors. I’m also a professor at UCLA, LMU, APU, and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Privately, I coach students on a variety of topics–acting, voice, and speech, accent reduction, Shakespearean text analysis, etc.
I have a lot of private students who are business professionals, who need help becoming better communicators– whether it’s an issue of stage presence, interpersonal connections, or their speaking voice. We explore all the factors in their life (race, gender, sexuality, familial relationships) that affect how they use their voice, how they connect with others, and how they utilize their presence.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As with any career in the arts, there have been a lot of ups and downs. The shiny celebrity version of acting that is presented to the public very rarely shows this cycle of ups and downs, but it is something that everyone faces in the arts, no matter how “famous” one may be. This business is not a meritocracy–you can be the hardest worker and the most talented performer in the room and still not get the job or become “famous.”
My mentor always loves to say, “I’m sorry, but did you think you were entering the business of ‘fair?'” Acting is one of the few careers where other people feel very emboldened in telling you whether or not they think you’re successful, and that judgment is based purely off of whether or not they know your work.
But, even in times of struggle, I would not change this life for any other. Acting allows me to experience more life–I get to feel more, connect more, live more, research more, create more. I’m a very curious person by nature, and acting allows me to pursue this curiosity.
What is it like to live that life? To feel that thing? To have that relationship? To do that job? To live in that time period? It’s just amazing. Empathy is kind of a hot buzz word right now, but I feel incredibly lucky to be in a profession that is based on the tenants of empathy. I truly believe that acting makes me a more connected, more empathetic person. It’s about so much more than just fame.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
Acting wise, I think I’m known for being extremely hard working and very technically proficient with language. This means that at least theatre wise, I do a lot of Shakespeare.
Drama wise, I play a lot of strong, grounded women–fighters, really. In comedy, I play the woman who is kind of a hot mess–she seems like she has it all together, but her life is in shambles. I’m also known for bringing lots of treats to set haha.
Teaching wise, I’m known for being very passionate. Another word for this: nerdy. My students all know that I’m fairly obsessed with Shakespeare and the craft of acting. I’m a very invested teacher, as well; I think mentorship is a vital aspect of any career, especially in an arts-driven field.
I love this profession, and it’s highly important to me that I’m helping to create responsible, generous, dedicated, driven artists. We have enough actors–we need more artists.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Any time my parents come to see me perform, I feel very proud. Not much has changed from my fireplace days. And whenever I book anything (TV, film, or stage), my parents are the first people I call–after my reps, of course!
Also, being told that older, more seasoned actors I know and admire also respect my work… that’s a great feeling. It’s always been my goal to a) make a lot of money for myself and for my hardworking reps! And b) to be an actor’s actor.
I have a rule to only work on projects where I’m surrounded by people who know more than me–I want to constantly be in an atmosphere of growth. I think it’s healthy to feel intimidated by the people in your creative life: it forces you to meet them at that level.
- Website: www.alexandrawrightactor.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: alexandra_wright_actor
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alex.wright.58
- Twitter: @alleycatt06
- Other: IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5096181/