Today we’d like to introduce you to Erin Michele Soto.
Erin Michele, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
First of all, thank you so much for having me at Voyage LA!
I’m an actress, and since I was little I’ve always been in the arts. My mom was a ballerina, so I was surrounded by music, and I started dance when I was 18 months old. I created this hilariously ridiculous play when I was seven called ‘The Silly Ones”, which I made all of my friends and neighbors rehearse until they hated me! Then I did the church musical theatre, school productions, yada yada.
High school I was more focused on sports, but came back to the arts in college when I did both dance and theatre and won the National College Dance Festival in College and danced at The Kennedy Center.
I came to Los Angeles by Jeep Cherokee. That was my absolute favorite car!… which I totaled my first month here flipping upside down Topanga Canyon. (I was okay) I think everyone’s initiation to L.A. is a few parking tickets and a little bump…or big one.
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?
I would not be where I am today, hadn’t I hadn’t I been through the struggles I have. However, there’s a school of thought you need to struggle to become an actor, and I find that thought ridiculous…If anyone’s ever been though true struggle, you can easily tell another person you’d happily do without.
I moved here and quickly had some acting breaks, but not enough to make a full income. I was dancing/moving more, and had an injury which literally seemed to take away everything I knew about myself in an instant. My identity of who I was was gone in an instant. I had an accident, and the rug was pulled from beneath me and I was flailing. Because I could no longer dance, teach class etc., I no longer knew how to take care of myself between auditions. I ended up on food stamps.
It’s a little more complicated than ‘Just go drive Uber’, because I was so injured I couldn’t even do that. I struggle to fully open up about this time, as I still mourn the death of one part of myself.
However, the most beautiful thing about struggle, is there is a rainbow on the other side, and I have found so much joy in everything I am doing at current. I love, love LOVE being an actor!
We’d love to hear more about your work.
Out of the struggle came great creativity, and so much loving support! There’s been some time of recovery, but I’m going on almost a year of full force, as the ‘new me’, and I feel incredibly blessed to have a big balancing act going on.
I now have a web-series out on Youtube called “Shirley and Shelly” where I won ‘Best Actress’ at Film Fest L.A. It’s incredible what a seed of inspiration, friends, and passion can do when you put your focus towards one goal.
Also over the last month, I finished an AMAZING time doing Shakespeare at Theatricum Botanicum. Omg, my acting soul got pushed to the limits! It was an intense training program where I got to dive into and play Ophelia from Hamlet and Imogen from Cymbeline. I had a show last week and the reward was awesome with the audience so engaged and excited. I met some wonderful people, and the hard work paid off!
As far as stand-up. I’m still working out that one, as there’s a joke in that…or may be joke’s on me I’m doing stand-up, and growing up the worst thing that could happen to me was I do something, and I end up with people laughing at me, lol.
Movies, yes, and yes! Watch me in the movie ‘Silencer’ on Netflix! I can’t wait to find out what’s happening next.
I got to say I’m just super grateful for the opportunity to have this second chance, and I’m going 100% for everything I want!
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I think the magic is letting go.
Work your butt off to prepare, and then when it’s time, the only way to be present, is to take all of the work with you, let it go, and let…be, here. There’s like a tension releasing of all that work you’ve built up, like a wave and you ride it…and do your best to be a cool person.
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- Youtube: www.youtube.com/
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Tim Regis, Gary Robinson, Albert Gago, Ben Bashor