"Kylie is not physically right for the role." WAS the general consensus when I started in the biz in 1995 = making it difficult for me to book work in TV and Film. On stage it didn't matter (nearly as much). Could I deliver(?) There I thrived and won numerous awards!!! Eventually I "changed the body that I came in, so I could feel like a damn queen." I'll explain in a bit...
All the while I never stopped honing my craft, wrote when inspired, built a fan base, and continued to work in other aspects of the industry; gaining knowledge and respect...
Over 20 years later - I'm no longer jaded or in denial = I'm grateful to be exactly where I am.
"Rejection is God's Protection." I could not have handled any more; had to get ready/stronger.
This is my story and I'm sticking to it ;D
I was painfully shy growing up, which anyone who knows me now finds hard to believe! I was extremely body conscious as I 'developed' early and was often objectified. But my friends liked to listen to my stories, no matter the content; I could find comic relief in even the most tragic circumstances... But I did not pursue performing - that found me.
After college, dying a slow death in a cubicle, I was asked to perform a skit adapted from the Carol Burnett Show, "So Proudly We Heal" (ironic title). My character (Nurse Applebaum) feigned frustration when the doctor kept forgetting my name; exclaiming, "The apples I remember; it's the name I forget." The audience erupted with laughter. It was the first time I enjoyed attention to my figure and quickly fell in love with this outlet. Several plays later I applied, and was accepted into The Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in NYC.
A native New Yorker, I was never a fan of the cold weather. So upon completion of that program, and running most of my classes, I put together a plan, with my bff, and moved to LaJolla, CA - not too shabby a place to start. FYI neither of us come from money; we're wicked resourceful and landed an amazing deal at a time when they were giving stuff away. Still LA was the goal and soon enough I set myself up there.
I diligently submitted (every Thursday) for roles I thought I could play, usually got called in from my headshots, joined a few theater companies, and was soon back on stage. I was introduced to a talent manager - whose company I wound up running and within six months opened my own [Madcap Managerment]. I was making some great impressions but that figure of mine - ugh! Dolly Parton had nothing on me, not to mention J-Lo!! So the feedback (I was now privy to) usually went something like, "Kylie was the best, a complete professional, great hair, beautiful face, funny, BUT not physically right for the role..." Well I'm NO quitter! But being runner-up on most projects was not paying the bills.
As time dragged on I found other ways to make a living - working as a paid reader, casting assistant, assistant to the head of domestic distribution at Miramax, opened a workshop company (Show & Tell) and remained on stage throughout... I turned down the Weinsteins, erotic thrillers, and some very lucrative job offers: a starting six-figure salary as an agent, show runner at USA, producer, director, more casting, marketing for Miramax, offers to expand my managment and workshop companies... But most required giving up acting - never! Ironically my first paying gig was as a bride and I've been faithfully committed ever since. I love acting! Be it a 10 minute audition, a 2 hour play, days, weeks, or months on stage, and eventually - TV & film sets.
I'm grateful my career didn't take off full speed ahead; I would have driven right off that cliff (James Dean). I didn't have a great support system (family) and needed to do some serious work on myself (mind, body & soul). I would have wound up a hot Marilyn Monroe mess had I made it any sooner. At the exact right time I was able to get 'work' done on my body (pro bono) removing what I found impossible to navigate professionally and personally. I went from a size 9 to a size 2, losing only 7 pounds in the process. I'm pretty comfortable in my skin now and my thinking is also right-sized :D
And all the years I exhausted myself in the gym have paid off nicely too - work as a personal trainer, fit into my 50's, with healthy habits, and a confidence I never had before...
I also love to write! Currently working on two TV shows:
1. Sitcom - outlining my life in the industry, "This is What It's Like"
2. Episodic - about a chapter of my life with an addict - taking a closer look at escapisms, "Middle of the Bed"
And planning to revisit a couple of features:
"Turning Lemonade into Lemons" & "That's the Ticket"
* All registered at WGA and Library of Congress *
I hope you stay tuned; God willing there's lots more to come...