Breaking Into Showbiz
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NAME: Angela Kinsey | AGE: 37 | HOMETOWN: Archer City | QUALIFICATIONS: Plays uptight accountant Angela Martin on The Office / Won a Daytime Emmy for The Office: Accountants webisodes
• Be prepared to be very patient. When I got to L.A., I was like, “Okay, let’s do this.” I sort of had beginner’s luck: I booked one of the first auditions I ever had, so I was like, “This is going to be a breeze.” And of course, years went by.
• Some people tell you to have a backup plan, but I didn’t really have one. I thought, “This is all I’ve ever wanted to do, and I’ll do it in whatever shape or size I can do it.” I don’t think I was aware of how hard it is to get a show made.
• You have to perform. I’ve met people who say, “Oh, I’m an actor,” and I say, “Are you in a class? Are you performing somewhere?” And they say, “No.” It’s like saying you’re a writer but you don’t write.
• Don’t expect it to come to you, because it won’t. The whole scenario of “I was dis- covered at a hamburger stand”—I suppose it happens once in a blue moon, but no matter what the profession is, success comes to those who are out there hustling.
• You’ve got to know going in that there will be days when you want to quit. If you want to be an actor, get ready to feel like you want to give up. I did. I had days when I was like, “I went to Baylor. I have a college degree. Why am I putting myself through this torture?” Those days will pass. If you want it badly enough, a few people telling you no isn’t going to distract you from your goal.
• Know who you are. If I was trying to be the sexy, glamorous lead, I’d be spinning my wheels here. I’m five foot one and quirky. I’m a character actress. The sooner you under- stand how people see you and relate to you, you can deliver that.
• My biggest break was The Office. That was the whole ten-year over- night success. I’d done a ton of commercials, TV pilots, little parts here and there. Your big break means you don’t have to have a second job.
• Hand on the Bible—as we say in the South—we don’t have any egos on our set. We’re incredibly lucky. We read about the drama that goes on on other sets, and we have absolutely zero of that. It’s an amazing group. For most of us, success has come a little later in life, and that’s a humbling thing.
• People in L.A. are very blasé— very like, “Oh, another actor.” But when I go home, it’s different. I’m from a small town outside Wichita Falls. I went to the mall the last time I was home, and this man had his brand-new leather jacket on. He wanted me to sign it. And his wife was like, “I just got you that.”
• I’m not Angelina Jolie. I don’t get people following me or anything like that. I’m just a nine-to-five working actress, and sometimes that comes with people stopping you to say hello. I’ll take that.