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How to Make It in Show Business

The road to show business is paved with auditions, more auditions and lots of rejection. But every once in a while, the hard work pays off. These St. Edward’s graduates tell us how they worked the odds in their favor — and found success on the screen and stage.

By Stacia Hernstrom MLA ’05

 

 

Bianca Malinowski ’07

Major: Theater Arts

Job: Actor, director and co-founder of Lightworker Entertainment

Now starring: As Debbie in the AMC series Halt and Catch Fire

“Find an agent and manager who believe in you. It’s important to have a team working for you because three is better than one. This business is all about knocking down doors — work begets work. Don’t give up. It may take years before something comes along. Life is about the process. It’s a career; it takes time … hopefully a lifetime.”

 

Amy Lee Pearsall ’94

Major: Theater Arts

Job: Actor

Awards: Named one of New York’s Indie Theater Now People of the Year for 2014

“Study your craft. And that never ends, no matter which degree you obtain or conservatory you attend. Go to class, read, train your instrument, stay healthy and try to live a well-rounded life. Be true to yourself, be true to your calling and make your art. Write the play, mount the show, shoot the web series, upload the video. The possibilities are endless, and there is no better time than now to create your own opportunities.”

 

Charles Rogers ’09

Major: Communcation

Job: Writer and Director

Awards: SXSW 2014 Grand Jury winner for Fort Tilden

“If you want to make it in anything, you have to not let criticism cripple you. Making it in show business is the same as making it as a person — you always have to believe in yourself no matter what. There are plenty of things that could get in the way of your success, but ultimately, you can’t really rely on anyone else. You’re the only person you can look to for that.”

 

Ashley Spillers ’08

Major: Sociology

Job: Actor

Awards: Elizabeth in Last Vegas opposite Robert De Niro

“Work really hard — and as much as you can — on all kinds of things. Don’t be too picky, and see everything as an experience. Keep learning, stay in classes and try not to subscribe to one particular ‘method.’ You’ll probably end up doing your own thing anyway. Keep loving it, and remember why you want to do it — because the world needs that love. It shows in your work and that’s what inspires people.”