Oh yeah, MOXY!
Yep, this dame has major moxy, because she is not afraid to work her butt off to make a dream come true. Meet Vanessa Giordano our first ACTING MUSE. Now Vanessa, is another gal from New York that I had the pleasure of knowing and is considered family. We were in a performance group our first year at AMDA. Go K1s! What I noticed about Vanessa is her maturity and a hidden strength that just pulsed from within. After we graduated, that strength certainly didn’t burn out. She has taken her destiny in reign and she tells it where she wants to go. Since we graduated she has moved to Los Angeles, worked on some very meaningful acting projects, and now she tells me she is a CEO for her own production company! WOW, did I mention we only graduated in 2008? Well as you can see I’m very proud of her, but time to hear from the star herself!
Vanessa, I am so pleased to have you on my blog!
Thank you! It feels like yesterday we were in Manhattan, singing “They Cant Take that Away from Me” with the rest of our class…such characters… one of the best times of my life!
HAHA! It seemed to become our theme song. An experience I will never forget and I will always treasure. So when did you discover your heart belonged to the entertainment business?
Funny story…When I was a little girl I used to watch “The Wizard of Oz” literally five or six times a day-every day-and it was the point where I would not answer my Mom unless she called me Dorothy. I had the ruby slippers, would only wear braids, even had a little fake dog named Toto in a basket. I was just blown away as a child of “The Wizard of Oz” because it made me dream and it brought me to another world. Then as I grew older, I became interested in classic movies. Judy Garland stuck with me and I watched all her movies and had all her recordings. I loved films, but never thought I had what it took to be an actress. It was too far in the stratosphere. Then when I was about 13, my aunt showed me “An Affair to Remember” with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. It was like an epiphany. Deborah Kerr was crying, joking, singing, and falling in love and I thought “That’s what I want to do!”. Underneath, I think I always knew that’s what I was, an actress, but for some reason it took seeing Deborah Kerr in that movie to make that decision. And I haven’t looked back since!
I did everything I could to perform. I was in all my high school plays, usually as the old drunk English lady, or the crazy southern belle. I always wanted to be the “pretty” character but my talent was comedy and I was always cast as the funny one. I started singing after I had to audition to be in the background for a musical…and the teacher thought I was so good I got a lead. Then I realized my voice was a gift and that led to many musicals, The Neponset Choral Society, which I was the youngest member of, singing the National Anthem at games, singing at weddings, funerals and with bands and orchestras.
Then I moved to Manhattan to go to AMDA, thinking I could never make the move to LA, I would settle for Broadway! But then God throws a curveball and I realized I would never be happy without being able to act in film. So I moved to Los Angeles three years ago and now I am really starting to breakthrough. I found Choice Skinner and have trained with him for two years now. Basically he saw in me what I didn’t see. He held a mirror up and showed me that yes, I can play the crazy New Yorker or the white trash girl, but also, I can be the sexy femme fatale, or the passive nun, or the schizophrenic. Things I always could do but was afraid. Choice Skinner is the best acting coach in LA and his name is blowing up with all the projects he is creating so you will be hearing about him soon! And I will do Broadway eventually, but after my film career has taken off.
I love that you were that in love with “The Wizard of Oz” and Choice Skinner sounds like a wonderful mentor! Now there are two projects you’ve done that have special messages. Could you first tell us a bit about “Nervosa”, which deals with the serious issue of eating disorders?
“Nervosa” is a short film that I star in, as well as produced along with three other ladies, Kelli Breslin, Macaela Jenson and Micah Hart. It’s a very dark, but truthful film about a girl, Morgan, who is bulimic and how certain things in her everyday life, as well as society and other people can trigger her. Right now “Nervosa” is in the final stages of being edited and we are entering the film into many festivals next year to spread some awareness about eating disorders as well to help further our careers.
I have seen so many girls who are too judgmental on their bodies. I’m glad someone is bringing more awareness to how awful it is. You were a writer on this project as well as an actress? How did it affect you emotionally to play such a role that so many women play in real life?
It was a collaborative effort between myself, and the three other girls in regards to coming up with the story, but Kelli Breslin is the one actually wrote it. We met at our acting class “Breakin through Acting” and I proposed to Kelli to do a project together and then we got Macaela and Micah involved. We wanted to create a project that we felt we were emotionally connected to.
After many auditions, 3 agencies and 2 managers, I’ve learned in this town that you have to create your own work to get noticed. Sylvester Stallone wrote and starred in “Rocky”; and since the beginning of film, stars like Mae West, Charlie Chaplin, the list can go on and on of people who wrote, starred and sometimes directed themselves in projects. I am not waiting around to be “discovered”. That doesn’t happen.
As far as the role affecting me emotionally, while I was acting it affected me in the scene. I let it affect me, so I could give the response the character would have given. When we were done filming, I had to shut Morgan off like a switch, or else bad things can happen…like what happened to Heath Ledger with the Joker. A part of the character does always stay with you; I don’t look at frosting or ranch dressing the same. You will have to see the film to get that! But certainly I did not become a bulimic, nor did I “prepare” for the role by binging at McDonalds or putting my finger down my throat. I don’t consider myself a method actor. Actually the method we were taught at AMDA, Meisner, held me back and kept me in my head until I got to LA and found my coach Choice Skinner.
We haven’t even shown the final cut yet, but even from the trailer the response has been unbelievable. Girls, and some boys, are flocking to our Facebook’s and Youtube page and saying thank you for shedding a light on this subject. Many people have been afraid to talk about it, and have struggled with it secretively. I’m so glad this film will show a deep, dark, private side of this horrible condition. As our tag line says, “Everybody knows somebody”. Oh – and people are saying how great the performances are. *wink*
Yes, I can tell from the trailer! The “One Percent” is also off to a great start. I believe you have been recognized for your work as the character Camille, and have been nominated for an award?
Yes! “The One Percent” is another project I also produced and star in. Also I created my character and her storyline which was great. We were just accepted into the LA Webfest and the Hollyweb Fest and are very excited. Marcie Scott and Daffany Clarke also produced and star in it. We are going to be doing more press and festivals this year. It’s so fun to play Camille! She’s a feisty East Coast Sicilian…sound familiar? She can snap like a branch and doesn’t take crap from these fake Hollywood bozos. Episode 3 is my favorite because Camille goes insane at an audition, and then ends up getting the part! We shot that at Paramount Studios, which to me was amazing! There is so much history on that lot! At least I can say I shot at Paramount!
Ha! I have seen that episode and I cracked up! Can we expect more seasons?
Yes. We will be in pre- production for season two after the festivals. Our goal is to have a cable network pick it up as a show.
Now you are a writer, a producer, an actress, and now the owner of your own production company Stardust Films LLC.! What are your plans for your new company?
Thank you, I am very proud to have my own company. The reason I created it is because I just finished writing my first feature screenplay, “Detroit Angel”. I am very proud after collaborating on “Nervosa” and “The One Percent” as a story developer, to have actually written my own feature! 113 pages of glory! I am very excited and am having a reading next week. My purpose with Stardust Films is to shop my script around and get investors. I am looking for a budget of around $4 million and hope to have some big names attached to two of the lead guys. Oh, and of course yours truly is playing the lead character!
I get the feeling George Clooney is on that audition list ;). For those of us who are writers what kind of scripts are you looking for?
At this time I am only focusing on “Detroit Angel” and getting it into pre-production. I have another script in the works about a hometown hero of mine who fought in the Revolutionary War. But I plan to keep writing my own scripts and producing them. I have a good 7 or 8 stories planned out. So until I am Clint Eastwood or George Clooney status, I will only be producing my own material. Sorry! But also writing my own scripts allows me to incorporate my views on subjects such as prostitution, obesity, women’s rights and the power of God. Those are subjects that in this day and age have been overshadowed by the crap that Hollywood has been churning out.
Now for the million dollar question. Who/what is your muse?
I have many muses. Judy Garland, Bette Davis, Deborah Kerr are my top three whose work always inspires me…even if I’ve seen it a hundred times. I’ve seen “A Star is Born”, so many times, but I always find something new. And Judy Garland was robbed of that Oscar! Hollywood politics! But I also love Liza Minnelli, Sophia Loren, Doris Day, Joan Crawford, Faye Dunaway, Mae West, Rosalind Russell, Elizabeth Taylor, Irene Dunne, Lauren Bacall, Lana Turner, Lucille Ball, Barbra Streisand, Jean Arthur, Ingrid Bergman, and Shirley MacClaine. Also my dog Ginger and even though he is a boy, my dog Winston! They are my kids and keep me sane in this crazy town! If the muse can be male too then Sylvester Stallone, George Clooney, Al Pacino, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese and Cary Grant.
WOW! great choices and there is no gender preference on muses here. Anything else you’d like your fans or future fans to know? Any words of wisdom?
I love quotes, I have so many I live by! “When God closes a door, he opens a window”, “Those who see the invisible can do the impossible.” Never let any one tell you no. If there is “no way”…make your own way! And I made this one up years ago about people who use you… “When you feed the seagulls, they fly back to the blanket…then they shit all over you.” Meaning if let someone use you once, they will just keep coming back for more. Never let anyone use you in business or personal life. You have everything you need to make your own dreams come true.
That’s one girl who knows what she wants and fights till she gets it! If you want to keep track of our first acting muse you can find her at the following links below. More great interviews to come until then KEEP DREAMING and as you can see, thanks to Vanessa, if you do the work, those dreams aren’t so far out of reach. Take Care!
You can like “The One Percent” here as well as watch all the episodes-