Alina Abramovich – Pursuing an Acting Career in Los Angeles

Alina headshot

 Photo Courtesy of Alina Abramovich

 

Alina Abramovich – Pursuing an Acting Career in Los Angeles

“It’s a very, very difficult dream to have in life but it’s definitely one that's worth it if you're passionate about it.”

 

Alina Abramovich is a teenager from Ottawa, Ontario. She is currently studying drama at the prestigious drama department of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Dancing Owl spoke to Alina about her passion for acting and the advice she has for aspiring teen actors.

Hello Alina. You have chosen to pursue a career as an actress. Why do you love acting?

Well, I’ve been acting for as long as I can remember. I like the fact that I can become someone new and I love the storytelling aspect. I also like the pageantry of it … I would be lying if I said I didn’t like the spotlight - that’s a really fun part of it. I also like how acting can touch people … how when it’s done really, really well, emotions are stirred … I really like that.

 

How did you get involved in acting?

 

I started by acting in plays in elementary school. Then I did some acting with the Ottawa Little Theatre and with Orpheus and Odyssey. I also did a bunch of workshops. When I was 16, I got an agent and I started doing film. I actually did a commercial for Health Canada. And now I’m going to L.A. so its steamrolling.

 

You’ve done lots of auditions. What were those experiences like?

 

Auditions are fun, but they can also be nerve-racking. Sometimes it’s a cattle call and it’s really intimidating because you’re in a room filled with people and all the stage moms are there glaring at you. But generally, they’re fun. I’ve met some really nice people at auditions. As well, auditions give you a lot of experience and insight about how to deal with the people in the industry.

 

Soon you’ll be attending the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. How are you feeling about that?

 

I’m just so excited! All my plans have come together and I finally get to go!

 

How was your recent visit to New York?

 

Oh, that was amazing. That’s definitely the city I want to live in when I’m older. When I’m done at USC, I think I want to go to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts afterwards because it’s more of a conservatory. But visiting New York was just an amazing experience. New York is so full of culture.  I saw six shows and two were on Broadway. That was just like a dream come true! I get chills thinking about it now. The city was so full of life and the people were so great! I was anticipating that visit so much and it really lived up to all my expectations.

 

Are there any misconceptions about acting that really aggravate you?

 

Yes! There’s a well known phrase that says “Oh, the real power comes behind the words”. I’ve written my own plays so I know the power of words. But I hate the misconception that there isn’t any skill involved in acting. Acting is so, so hard! There is so much work that goes into acting! You have to plan out the character and you have to really become the role. And that’s a lot harder than people realize. So that’s the one misconception that aggravates me. And then, because it’s the era of Hollywood, many people seem to think that actors only have to be good looking. But think of Rowan Atkinson who played Mr. Bean. There are these fantastic actors who you wouldn’t call beautiful. When they act, they just come alive with it. Also, some people think that actors are layabouts. But acting is really a hard working profession. You have to push yourself to excel. You have to get an agent and even then you have no guarantees. The starving artist part is kind of true … But if you really want it and it’s your passion then it’s not just like “Oh I'm just moving to L.A. and becoming an actress” kind of thing.  It’s a lot deeper than that.

 

What activities do you do in your spare time? Did you do any sports or clubs in high school?

 

Yes, I actually take on too much. I did everything related to theatre in high school.  I also did track and field, which is my sport. I love to run. I did leadership clubs and I started Spanish club.  I did a lot of clubs in high school. Now, aside from work and preparing to leave, I’m just hanging out with my friends and having some down time.  I definitely read and write, and I like to look at videos on YouTube.  I go to the gym and run.  I love to do exercise.  I find that exercise is definitely something that makes me feel really good, especially when I've had a long hard day, even if I’m tired, because the endorphins kick in. 

 

What advice would you give to a young teen who is trying to become an actor or actress?

 

The one thing I'd say is definitely get involved.  Try different ways of getting involved and try using Facebook; there's actually a great Ottawa audition page that you can go on.  That's how I found out about the commercial that I was in.  They had a casting call and posted what they needed. I gave them my resume and head shot and got the part.  Also, the Ottawa Little Theatre always welcomes volunteers and that is a really great way to get involved. And don't frown upon an opportunity to volunteer behind the scenes.  I volunteered at a theatre as a greeter and I found that to be so valuable. And then I got involved in their productions. That gave me the opportunity to see a huge professional production from back stage. I actually got to sit on a chair and watch it.  The more involved you get, the more connections you make and that can help you out.

 

Also definitely don't ever let anybody tell you that it’s not an achievable dream.  It's a very, very hard dream.  I'm not going to lie.  “It’s a very, very difficult dream to have in life but it’s definitely one that's worth it if you're passionate about it.”  And I think if you’re definitely passionate about it, then 100 percent, go for it. And the one other thing I want to say is you should always remain yourself.  It’s really easy to be influenced. It’s very important to know that everyone in this business has a little bit of a persona. Always have a healthy dose of scepticism, even about auditions. The number one thing is to just believe in yourself. Don't let anybody tell you that you can't do it. Even if you have to go to a thousand auditions and you only get one part, always keep trying and always believe in yourself.

 

Thank you Alina for sharing your story and for your words of advice. Enjoy USC and the best of luck in your acting career!

 

The audition website that Alina was referring to can be found at: http://auditionsottawa.com/auditions/.

This transcript has been abridged and edited slightly to improve readability.

 

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Photo Courtesy of Alina Abramovich