It's funny to think back on how this started, and try to share my journey, so here goes...
I was painfully shy growing up, which anyone who knows me now finds hard to believe! I was extremely body conscious (with good reasons) as I 'developed'. I remember in 7th grade talking myself out of taking everything so personally! I had to work hard to overcome that, and still have my moments.
I got the message, from my friends, that I was an entertaining story teller. No matter the content, I could tell most anything with a comic flair. But, I did not pursue performing. That found me.
My best (HS) friend's Mom worked in theatre as a stage manager and after college, she asked me to join in a show. 'What?! They simply wanted me to walk back and forth, with a title card, announcing each act. But it didn't end there, the artistic director asked if I would be interested in performing in a skit. I agreed to play Nurse Applebaum in "So Proudly We Heal" ripped from The Carol Burnett Show - whom I adored! My character feigned frustration with the doctor for not being able to remember my name 'Miss Applebaum'. He would exclaim, "The apples I remember; it's the name I forget." The audience would erupted with laughter each night. It was the first time I enjoyed the attention to my figure. I would pivot on my heels and storm off stage - giddy and wanting more. A few plays later I knew I found my calling. I inquried where to study(?) auditioned and was accepted into The Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in New York City.
Though I was from New York I was never a fan of the cold weather! So, I soon put together a plan with my best (college) friend and we moved out West, got an adorable cottage in LaJolla, CA (not too shabby a place to start) and I was soon navigating my way up to LA. Studied the trade papers - submitting every Thursday for roles I thought I could play, sought out a theater companies, and was soon back on stage. A friend brought me to the set of N.Y.P.D. Blue where and I obtained my SAG card within two weeks. He also introduced me to his talent manager whose company I wound up running in two short months. I would call and pitch everyone. It was fun to get things going. But not so fun each week to have her checks bounce. So, with the encouragement of the other actors on the roster, I opened my own management company and worked for (no more than 10 actors) for years. I was making some great impressions in the casting realm and fiercly supported my fellow thespians, but that figure of mine! Marilyn Monroe had nothing on me, Dolly Parton some; and so my audition feedback usually went like, "Kylie was the best one we saw for this, a complete professional, but not physically right for the role." Ugh! But I'm NO quitter!
As time went on and similar feeback continued I found other ways in (back and side doors). In addition to managing talent, I started working as a paid reader, casting assistant, assistant to the head of domestic distribution at Miramax, stayed active in the theater - invited everyone I'd ever met to every show. And when I started airing my frustrations about not booking TV & Film my bosses suggested "introducing me" to Bob or Harvey. Without hesitation I said, 'I may never make it in this industry, but it's not going to be like that.'
I wish I was born into a different body, but I'm grateful now (some 20 years later) that my career didn't take off full speed ahead, because I could not have handled it. "Rejection is God's Protection" I didn't have a strong enough support system and needed to do some serious work on myself (so again) I would not wind up like Marilyn - that's where I was headed. I turned down the Weinsteins and erotic thrillers, but was not immuned to falling for the wrong guys. I had a lot of lucrative offers: a starting six-figure agent position, show runner at USA, producer, director, marketing for a studio, expand my managment and workshop company... but turned them all down. I remained faithful to acting. I'm grateful for the options; they helped me stay clear about my choice - I love what I do - be it a 10 minute audition, a 2 hour play, days, weeks, or months on TV & film sets - I'm committed!
10 and 15 years from inception (at the exact right times) I was able to get 'work' done (pro bono) removing what I found impossible to navigate professionally and personally = I have a normal body now -comfortable in my skin. I went from sizes 8-10 to sizes 2-4. And all the years I killed it in the gym paid off nicely; working as a personal trainer. I'm fit into my 50's with a youthful energy of what's to come...
I also love to write! Currently outlining my life in the industry as a TV show and tackling a feature film - which takes a much closer look at addictions.
I hope you stay tuned...