"Kylie is not physically right for the role." WAS the general consensus when I started in the biz = making it difficult for me to book work on TV and in Film. On stage it didn't matter (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 that 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 share most anything with a comedic flair. But I did not pursue performing - that found me.
After college, in Florida, I was asked to perform a skit adapted from the Carol Burnett Show, "So Proudly We Heal" (ironic title). My character 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 I quickly fell in love with this new found freedom. A few plays later I applied and was accepted into The Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in NYC.
A New York native I was never a fan of the cold weather. So I put together a plan, with my bff, and moved out West, to LaJolla, CA (not too shabby a place to start). FYI neither of us come from money; we are both super resourceful and got an amazing deal at a time when they were giving stuff away. Still LA was the goal and I soon set myself up there.
I diligently submitted (every Thursday ;D) for roles I thought I could play, joined a few theater companies, and was soon back on stage. I obtained my SAG card within weeks and 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! Dolly Parton had nothing on me! 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..." Ugh! But I'm NO quitter!
As time dragged on I found other ways to make a living while committed to my pursuit - working as a paid reader, casting assistant, assistant to the head of domestic distribution at Miramax, and opened a workshop company (Show & Tell). And remained on stage throughout...
I'm grateful my career didn't take off full speed ahead. I didn't have a strong support system (family) and needed to do some serious work on myself (mind, body & soul). I'm clear I would have wound up a tragically hot Marilyn Monroe mess had I made it any sooner. I turned down the Weinsteins, erotic thrillers, and some very lucrative offers to do other things: a starting six-figure salary as an agent, show runner at USA, producer, director, more casting, marketing for Miramax, expand my managment and workshop companies... Most requiring me to give up my SAG card/acting - never! Ironically my first paying gig was as a bride and I've been 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.
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'm pretty comfortable in my skin now and my thinking is right-sized along with my figure. I went from sizes 9 to sizes 2, losing only 7 pounds in the process, and though I'd often get told I had an hour-glass figure it was really more like 2 - 3 hours :-( And all the years I exhausted myself in the gym paid off nicely - working 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...