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Meet Olivia Castanho

Today we’d like to introduce you to Olivia Castanho.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Olivia. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I grew up in a small town in Connecticut called South Windsor. The moment I learned to speak was essentially the moment I knew I wanted to be an actor. I’ve always had a flair for drama, as my family will certainly tell you, and always adored the art of storytelling. I started doing theatre at the age of six and continued through high school, after which I moved to LA at 18 to attend USC’s BFA Acting program.

I’m super sensitive – I cry at everything, whether it’s a film, a book, the news, or just a beautiful view. I get so moved and overwhelmed with both emotion and inspiration that I just sob. I think that makes me to want to move others, as well; to expose a shared experience, educate, enlighten, or even just offer an outlet of entertainment all through storytelling. I don’t act just for the audience’s experience, though, of course. I’m hardcore addicted to the challenge of diving into different characters and breathing life into written words.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s been about as smooth as I expected, I suppose. I think the toughest part is getting the audition over nailing the audition. If you think about how much money goes into a production, hiring an actor that you don’t know and haven’t worked with before is a risky investment. So, justifiably so, casting tends to bring in who they know and can trust to do good work. This industry has sort of an inner circle of actors who people can trust to get the job done well. Breaking into that circle and becoming that “known and trusted actor” is the kicker. That’s the toughest part of the industry, I’d say. The rejection sucks, sure, but I’ve learned to not take it personally. When it’s meant to be, it will be. All I can do is work hard, play hard, and be ready to slay when the opportunities present themselves.

What else should our readers know?
My best friends live so far away from me! Chelsea is my “person” and lives in Connecticut, Noémie is like my sister and lives in Montreal, and Maya, my soulmate, lives in Switzerland. It’s so hard!

What were you like growing up?
I definitely didn’t grow up in an artistic or show business-like household. I had a very normal childhood – I lived in a suburb with a yard and a playscape. I grew up with mostly boys, so I was always a bit conflicted with being either too girly or not girly enough. I hated high school, though, sadly. I envy those who loved their high school experience because I just couldn’t wait to get out of there! I wanted so badly to leave and go be an actress in LA already! Clearly, I took myself too seriously. I got along with everyone and had a close group of friends, but I had trouble relating to most people. When I finally jumped ship and moved to LA, I realized how much I missed home and how much I had taken my “normal” childhood for granted! My family and I are very close – my dad and brothers are my best friends and the people I love most in the whole world. Being away from them to pursue this dream is hard every single day and is hands down my biggest sacrifice.

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Image Credit:
Chris Violette, J.P. Sanders, Bennett Cerf

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