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Meet Emilie Martz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emilie Martz.

Emilie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I always wanted to be an actor despite lots of time spent trying to convince myself I didn’t. Maybe it would be cool to write for National Geographic, teach History or English to high schoolers, cut hair, or a hundred other things because growing up in Portland, OR where Hollywood and Broadway felt so far away, and people always loved to tell me how hard it is to be an actor or how small the chances are of making a living that way, wanting to be an actor felt too scary of a thing to admit to myself.

After I finished my English degree and realized I spent so much of my college experience in the theatre or wishing I was in the theatre and spending a year working in an office job I found boring and awful, I decided to give myself a chance. I spent a year in England getting a Masters in Acting at The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. That year I traveled around the UK and other parts of Europe, met a lot of wonderful people I still hang out and create things with, and learned stuff about acting and a lot about myself, moved to LA, and here we are!

Since moving here a few years ago, I got married to my best friend and biggest support, worked what feels like a thousand side-hustle jobs, AND have had the chance to work with new and old friends on lots of different kinds of projects from film and theatre to commercials and new media stuff.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
A smooth road? Hahahaha! No. It’s still not a smooth road, and I don’t know that it ever will be. Acting, being a performer or artist of any kind, can make you feel insane. Truly. You wonder constantly if you’re delusional, and you almost have to believe in yourself to the point of delusion. I think the toughest part is people on the outside can never really understand the baby steps that are actually big steps. It’s hard to tell your grandma or a stranger at a wedding that you just had a meeting with an agent, went in for an audition with a new casting director who seemed to dig you, or you just worked on a play they’ve never heard of at a theatre they’ve never heard of. People expect to hear that you’re on a TV show right now, and if you aren’t, it’s a lot of pity smiles. You just have to know in your heart and smile and celebrate internally and with the people who do understand.

It also takes a lot of time and dedication and money to reach every one of those baby steps. You work your butt off and then spend a lot of time trying to look like you didn’t work your butt off and trying to let that work go and just dive in a be present. It’s been weird and hard and frustrating, but it has also been absolutely amazing, and I really wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I really enjoy when I get to be a part of the creative process. I thrive on collaboration. My good friend Erica Smolcynski and I have written and produced a few web series episodes about our semi-alter egos Martinski & Smartz. We’ve had such a great time taking our time and learning from each episode and filling our cups with laughter and creativity whenever we can between auditions, jobs, and other projects. I also got the opportunity to write and perform for Zathom’s short video project. They’re a really cool website/app for writers.

I think what sets me apart is all of it. It’s what sets every actor apart. You don’t have to be the most outgoing or the biggest class clown or have some kind of wild, traumatic life to be an actor. I’ve learned and am still learning to just bring everything that I am to the table. It’s easy to look at a role and immediately picture all of the reasons I don’t fit or wouldn’t be right, but then I try to remember what I can bring: my warmth, intelligence, sense of humor, the tools I’ve learned through my training, and my own personal wealth of constant emotion (my husband can testify to this fact).

Other than that, I don’t know, I show up and have my lines memorized on time, and I’m pretty good at staying out of the way when that’s what’s needed 🙂

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
That’s an interesting question. Obviously, being able to support myself as an actor only is the dream, but I think because acting is such a day by day job for most of us, I have to look at it that way. Every job I book, I have to try to stay present and ask myself if I’m proud of the work that I’m doing right now so that I can look back at a body of work that I’m proud of.

I also think that successes in your personal life often get overlooked in this business. There’s so much competitiveness and drive involved, and a lot of people tell you that you can’t really have that much of a personal life, but I don’t buy that. Feeling like you have successful relationships with the people in your life is so invaluable, and maintaining that keeps me sane and grounded and reminds me what’s really important in life.

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Image Credit:
Patrick Higgins

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