Today we’d like to introduce you to Lydia Caradine.
Lydia, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’m a writer and actress… as well as an artist, amateur ballerina and all around dilettante. I was born in Greenville, PA but grew up in various places across the country with a left-brain father and a mother who was a teacher and amazing artist. Ironically, I was always encouraged to be generally creative as long as it didn’t get in the way of having a real job. I wrote short stories and poetry throughout elementary school and high school, as well as participating in drama club and choir. I majored in Mass Communications and Broadcasting in college as that was approved as a stable field. When I graduated however, it was a horrible time for print journalism and I spent the summer after college in a self-curated film history course. This reawakened my passion for TV and film, so I started writing features and making plans to relocate from Surprise, Arizona to L.A.
Two years into my feature writing journey (then living in Columbus, OH), one of my middle school friends was getting married in Santa Barbara. I traveled to her wedding, but during the week I was there, I contacted a few of the people I’d recently met interning at the Cannes Film Festival and landed a development internship on the Warner Bro’s lot. I called my mom and told her that I wasn’t coming home, quit my jobs over the phone and somehow, I’ve managed to survive in L.A. ever since. I studied improv with Monkey Butler and I spent an amazing two years at Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre. Part of living in LA is constantly reinventing yourself (while never aging) so in addition to growing as an artist, I’ve also had the chance to explore the fitness industry as a pole and aerial Lyra instructor.
Since my first internship, I’ve continued to write- working on a streaming comedy series and writing my own features and pilots, usually in the disparate genres of dramedy and historical drama. I’m currently pitching a few projects and adjusting to life as an actor in the age of Zoom.
The ups and downs of life in LA have afforded me the time to develop other areas of creativity in my life such as crocheting and painting. My mother is SUCH an excellent artist that I was too intimidated to paint growing up, but about four years ago I picked up a paintbrush for the first time and discovered that she passed a tiny bit of her amazing talent to me. I create and sell portraits and other items, and I accept commissions as well. I also make and sell scarves, legwarmers and other accessories whenever I can get my hands on good yarn.
Has it been a smooth road?
Nothing about L.A. is smooth, even when things seem to be going your way! You really have to be okay with hearing “no” a lot and learning to change course when things don’t happen the way you intend. I’ve had to learn how to be adaptable and accept that there are things no amount of ambition on my part can change. I will say however, that the waiting and criticisms have helped me to be more patient and gracious with myself and I’ve been challenged to become a much better writer and actor than I ever was before.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I think this question has never been more relevant than it is right now. At the beginning of the year, Quibi and TikTok seemed to be the biggest disruptors but now that we’re living in COVID times, everything has been turned upside down. As a content creator and actor, I truly hope there’s a way we can safely go back to set and to a lesser extent “work drinks.” As a woman and person of color, this recent groundswell of social consciousness is bringing new and much-deserved opportunities for marginalized artists. I hope that everything happening now leads to sustainable and efficient safety measures that work for the realities of filmmaking, and sincere and lasting change in the way films are cast and marketed and how crews that are hired. I’m hopeful that this moment will result in richer content.
- Website: www.lydiacaradine.com
- Instagram: @lydiacaradine
- Twitter: @lydiacaradine
- Other: https://society6.com/lydiacaradine