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Rising Stars: Meet Andria Kozica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andria Kozica.

Hi Andria, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I grew up doing theatre in Chicago, moved to New York City for school and ended up here in Los Angeles. Even though I moved here to pursue more tv and film work, I always find myself back in the theatre. For me, theatre is home. Theatre is a community. The best people are in the theatre. When COVID hit, there were so many really interesting things happening: open call virtual auditions, TikTok got big, a lot of very innovative at-home content was being released. And then it all kind of dried up as the novelty of lockdown wore off, and I think a lot of actors – myself included – started to feel a little hopeless. I really started to miss my artist community – and yes there were plenty of Zoom play readings to go around, but once you hit that “end meeting”…I mean, is there anything lonelier than the silence of your apartment once you click out of a Zoom meeting?! I started to think a lot about how actors always feel like we have to wait for someone to give us an opportunity. Acting is very hard to do alone (you can only do so many monologues!) 

Actors thrive off of each other. We thrive off of the story given to us by a playwright or screenwriter. We thrive in a team; in a community. And in a situation like the lockdown of a global pandemic, we are very limited in the kind of art we can create and stories we can tell, and even more limited by the nearly non-existent opportunities being presented. I also started to think about how much I missed college! I miss being consumed with the craft. I missed how everyone was constantly sharing poems and trading plays and working on scenes around the clock. I miss going to plays and movies and talking about them afterwards over cheap wine in a dark bar. I recently rewatched the tv show ‘Slings and Arrows’ which is about a Shakespeare festival in Canada (it’s brilliant and hilarious and a must-watch if you’re a theatre artist!), and it warmed my heart to see people so passionately diving into creation. Ultimately I wanted to create the community that I was craving. The main mission of The Actor’s Rise is to help actors rise into their own empowerment. I want actors to feel like they have an affordable touchstone for learning and growing and getting inspired to be an actor, both in business and craft.

Right now, our Instagram is our main touchstone; I almost want it to feel like a bulletin board in the student lounge of your acting studio. Lots of inspiration and quotes and recommendations, as well as updates about what’s happening in the community. The classes and workshops are meant to be affordable and accessible and a place where smart, passionate instructors get to share their knowledge with other artists. My goal is to take the ego out of acting class and allow a place of sharing and uplifting. Like right now we have two fantastic social media workshops taught by Jessie Evans of the food blog Jessie Eats. She is an actress whose foodie passion turned into a brand, and she’s brilliant at social media. She teaches an Instagram Tips & Tricks class to help creatives feel like they can use posting as a tool for both craft and business. When she teaches, it feels like a group of friends getting together. We laugh so much, and Jessie creates an environment where everyone feels comfortable to speak and ask questions. Many of the students still keep in touch and share how they’ve incorporated what they’ve learned. This is the kind of energy I want to bring to everything we do.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Well…I did a soft launch in the middle of a global pandemic right before the 2020 election so…I would say that was struggle number one. Big time. People were very distracted at that time. Now Los Angeles is starting to slowly wake up in terms of productions and filming, and I’m hoping that we can be a catalyst for actors to wake back up to their artistry and drive.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
To me, Los Angeles has always felt like the place where you can build your life and grow roots. I lived in NYC before this and there’s nothing like the magic of New York, but in LA you can have a car! You can walk in grass! You can go to the beach! There’s so much possibility in Los Angeles. So much creativity and so much drive. I feel so lucky to be here.

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What to check out next:
Aleasha Bahr is a sales & marketing strategist known for showing introverts and ambiverts the Secret Art of Subtle Selling.  She personally sold millions in revenue while discovering introverts are usually top sales people – as soon as they stop trying to act like extroverts.  We’ve partnered with her to produce Introverted Entrepreneur Success Stories. Check out episode 1 below:

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