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Meet Sydney Burger

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sydney Burger.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up on the Jersey Shore in my hometown of Ocean, New Jersey which means yes, to lots of bagels and pizza, but no, I’ve never met Snookie. My whole childhood was filled with constant activities. My parents had me try and do almost everything. I played basketball, soccer, softball, fencing, and took gymnastics and dance classes. I went to so many camps including sewing, claymation, pottery, science, art, and even a math camp (sounds depressing but I thanked my mom for that later in high school). So I was doing a little bit of everything from the ages of 3-10. Then I got asked to join the dance team at my studio, which was such a big deal to me because I looked up to the “team girls” my whole childhood dancing at that studio.

So I decided to dedicate all my time and energy to dance and join the team. I trained in all styles including ballet, hip hop, contemporary, jazz, tap, and musical theater five days a week for about 4 hours a day. Dance was truly my first love. It gifted me with so many invaluable life lessons and skills, taught me so much about who I am as an artist and as a human. In high school, I took my first acting class. I was quickly enamored by it. I realized how similar acting was to dance and that it was not just the movement of dance that I loved so dearly; it was the storytelling aspect of it all. That same year, I was watching the Oscars when Viola Davis gave her speech after winning Best Supporting Actress and she said, “I became an artist and thanked God I did because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life.” At that moment, I promised myself I would follow my heart and pursue acting as a career.

So after senior year, I moved to LA to pursue acting at the Hussian College of Los Angeles. Here I have met the most amazing people and trained with some of the best teachers that have taught me so much about my craft and this industry in the last two years. I was able to collaborate and be apart of many amazing projects that helped me grow as an actress. Last year I was fortunate enough to sign with my commercial agent Mark Park at Stewart Talent Agency. I still train and take classes in various styles of dance, but I am currently focused on acting and auditioning as much as I can. My goal is to create and be apart of art and forms of storytelling that truly affect people using all of my various skills and knowledge I have obtained throughout my life thus far. There is no better feeling to me than watching a movie or TV show and being completely engulfed in their world. I want to give that feeling to my audiences and am determined and ready to do the work to get there.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
While I have had some amazing experiences in LA thus far and feel very blessed and lucky for everything I have been given and earned, like any actor/actress will tell you, it has not been easy. Pursuing a career in the entertainment industry comes with a lot of pressure. When you tell someone you act, they immediately assume you’re in some huge movie or TV shows and if you haven’t been yet then they ask what your “real job” is. Living in LA and especially now with social media, I find myself comparing me and my journey to everyone else’s. It’s easy to feel like you’re failing or not doing enough, but I’ve been learning to remember that if you just do the work, the work will come to you, and everyone has their own timing and journey that is unique to them. I practice every day to let the space between where I currently am and where I want to inspire me rather than terrify me.

This year I made the scary and tough decision to stop attending school. I realized I was only working towards a degree because I had been told by society for most of my life that that was what I had to do to be successful. But I realized for what I want to there are infinite resources and classes outside of a university that will support the life I want to create and allow me to make my own schedule to put my time and energy towards classes and activities I am truly passionate about. Thankfully I have the most amazing support system of family and friends who encourage and believe in me every step of the way. Growing up my mom would always tell me I can do anything I put my mind to and that is exactly what I intend to do.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
Growing up as a dancer taught me that it takes hard work and consistent training and doing to be a great artist, so my determination and work ethic is what sets me apart from others. I am proud of my positive outlook on life and the ability to never give up on myself. It’s easy for some people to get caught up in the rush of things out here and forget why they came here in the first place, but I hold myself accountable for doing at least one thing every day that will bring me closer to my goals. I am passionate about learning and have taken as many classes to become a versatile actress and will always want to learn more. I also recently discovered a secret dream and love I have for directing so I hope to later transition my acting career towards directing in the future like many other trailblazing actresses have done in the last few years. I want to make a positive impact on people’s lives and inspire people to go after what they want.

As entertainers, I think we have an obligation to bring joy to people’s lives and share important stories worth telling. As artists, we have the privilege of having voices that can reach people all over the world so having something important to say and share is important to me. I understand how lucky I am to be living the life that I am; pursuing a career purely for the love of it is not something everyone gets to do and I don’t want to ever take that for granted. Something else I am known for is my desire to create a sustainable environment. I care a lot about learning ways to save our environment from the damages we have caused and educating myself and others about how we can make a few small changes to our lives in order to make a huge impact. Another important aspect of who I am involves all things food. I love to cook, bake, and try new restaurants. Eating or preparing a great meal brings me so much happiness.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite childhood memory is when I was performed on stage for the first time with my team. I remember standing in the wings before we went on feeling the most nervous I had ever been. Then when I walked on stage and all the lights came up and the music started my mind and body just went into overdrive and felt like it just knew exactly what to do. I felt so safe and at home. Like I could finally be myself. After the dance ended, I came off stage sobbing. My teacher asked me what was wrong and I said, “I am just so happy.” There is something so inexplicable about being young and performing solely for the pure love of it. When we’re children were not being afraid to just go for it and we do not care about what anyone else thinks or what you look like. I cherish that memory because that childlike outlook on life is something I always want to remember and hold on to forever.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My amazing mother deserves all the credit in the world. She is the most selfless person I know and I would truly not be half of the person I am today without her. She taught me everything I know about hard work, perseverance, and being a strong woman. My biggest goal is to be able to give back to her in some way in return for everything she had done for me. Also to my dance teachers at 100% Dance. You all taught me more than I can even say and believed in me from the very beginning. Lastly, to my amazing friends (you know who you are) who support me and are there for me no matter what. I can’t thank you all enough for everything I am forever indebted to you.

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