This issue, Interim News Editor Olivia Round sat down with senior theatre arts major Natalie Sharp, an actress that has appeared in shows such as ‘Supernatural’ and ‘Hit the Road’.
1. What is the biggest project you are working on right now?
I am a series regular on the new show "Hit The Road" with Jason Alexander (Seinfeld). It is a comedy, very much like "Little Miss Sunshine," about a dysfunctional family band! Definitely a play on "The Partridge Family."
2. What has been your favorite role you've played on a TV show?
Definitely the character I play on "Hit The Road." My name is Ria Swallow, and I am the eldest and rebellious daughter to Jason (who plays my father). It is very fun to play because she is constantly challenging him and the family, as she hates the idea of being stuck on a tour bus with her annoying family. It’s fun to be ‘trouble.’ I am also a singer and there is a huge singing component to it!
3. What has it been like seeing yourself on screen?
Very weird. I watch myself for audition tapes, scenes I film for acting class or little projects…but when it comes to the ‘big’ ones, I am very critical and I cringe through most of it. It is the least relaxing thing.
4. What is the hardest part of pursuing a career in acting?
Staying confident. It took me a very long time to learn to trust myself. Trust the process. Trust the training and work. Trust the instinct. Trust that I will get there. And I still have moments where I have to remind myself of all of this.
5. How has LMU helped you reach your goals?
LMU has given me a lot of specific training on things I would have never thought to do. Like voice and movement class. Or dialects. It has also given me a huge support system and network. I am constantly getting together with acting friends to read scripts, film auditions and coaching each other! I feel so lucky to have LMU to keep me endlessly learning and constantly inspired.
6. What advice do you have for other LMU students pursuing acting?
What I tell myself all the time. Never stop wanting to learn, be up for the challenge, trust yourself and if you love it, don’t stop doing it.
7. Who is your role model? Why?
I really love Jennifer Lawrence. She is her goofy self amidst all of her fame, and she is obviously an incredible actress. They are all different: The teen adventure/drama, the dark comedy, the very dark/horror movie, smart sci-fi movie… she does everything. She is very strong person and it transfers over to each character she plays.
8. What would be your dream role?
Playing Clark in the CW show "The 100." I have always wanted to play a smart, strong female character—almost like a heroin or leader—and I have always wanted to play in such a high stake world. "The 100" is post-apocalyptic and I think it is the coolest thing. I love action/adventure/sci-fi mix, and of course I would love to fight on screen.
9. What is your favorite movie or TV show?
My favorite TV show is "The Office," because it is so ridiculous. Steve Carell takes everything to the next level and I am obsessed. I love watching him.
10. How do you help yourself get into character before acting?
It is a very natural process. The more you read the script, the more you pick up on things, and discover new things about your character. I will keep a diary, and map my relationships and what I truly want, and then everything falls into place and you just do it. I don’t really have to ‘get into character’ before set every day. After a while, and if you have done the work, it is easy to turn on and off.
11. Who has been your most influential professor at LMU?
Katharine Noon. Her collaborative and organic approach when it comes to scene study and acting is what really made me grow and stretch as an actress. We got to pick our own scenes (which I think is way better than forcing Shakespeare or Chekov), and really learn for ourselves and discover our own craft, versus the one she wanted to have for us. She creates a safe place and acts as a guide in our own process.
12. What would you like people to know about being an actress?
There is a lot of pressure, and it is anything but easy. But also, it is the best job in the world. I get the privilege to step into other people’s shoes, and untangle what it means to be human, and why we do what we do. The psychological process is fascinating, and I do believe that acting has the power to change a lot of hearts, or at least shine a light on a lot of things society wouldn’t, if it's done right.
13. If you could co-star in a movie with any celebrity, who would you pick and why?
Jake Gyllenhaal. His work is so instinctual, and honest. I feel like I would grow the most by working with him. His process is so deep-rooted and absolutely heartbreaking but beautiful at the same time. He also happens to be my celebrity crush.