I am an actor (on stage, screen and voice over booth) and director who also loves to share the information and experience I’ve gathered in my 18 years of making a living as an actor.
When I first embarked on the process of moving from student actor to professional actor I really had no idea how to make the transition. I am the only actor in my family. So I didn’t have anyone I could turn to for guidance. Sometimes, when I encountered people who were further along than I on the biz path, I tried to ask them for advice and they were pointedly NOT helpful. They were evasive, derisive - as if they were afraid if they pointed me in the right direction I would take something away from them. And I thought, “ Well this is ridiculous! If I ever figure any of this stuff out I’m going to teach it.” Fortunately, I did figure some things out, and I did cross paths with some helpful people, too.
With my hard earned understanding of the Biz, I decided, in addition to continuing my acting career, I would also help others learn the survival skills, avoid the pitfalls, and grasp the opportunities that I picked up along the way, and which have helped me, and many other theater professionals, create the lives we want. So I began the Business of Showbiz to share these lessons. At first a support group where actors could share stories, get validation, and learn from each others experiences, The Biz evolved into a larger workshop, then private consultations, an Empowered Actor tele-class, and eventually a monthly column in Theater Bay Area Magazine.
I believe that a rising tide raises all boats. The more prepared we all are the better our market looks to casting agents, and that is better for everyone. I enjoy helping artists avoid some of the time consuming and costly trial and error that most actors have to endure. As I said earlier I was fortunate to cross paths with wonderful people who taught me valuable lessons on how to make my dream into a career. Now I can be one of those people for you!
(For Velina’s complete bio click here.)
SAG, AFTRA, AEA
San Francisco State University
magna cum laude
American Conservatory Theater
California Shakespeare Theatre
Berkeley Repertory Theater
San Francisco Mime Troupe
Denver Center Theater Company Magic Theater
African American Shakespeare
Word For Word
Kiss the Cook... and the Farmer, too (pilot)
Party of Five
One Way To Valhalla
Singing, Songwriting, Guitar, Reading,Crocheting, International Travel.