5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started a Career in Entertainment, With Candice Callins
“Remind yourself why you want to be in this career in the first place and how happy you are doing what you love despite the rough road to get there. Once your career picks up there are going to be times were you’ll naturally feel tired. For those moments do something relaxing, something that puts you at ease like reading with candles or going to the beach. Regroup and get back to work because if this truly makes you happy, you will never permanently feel, “burnt out.””
I had the pleasure of interviewing Candice Callins who was on the Lifetime show, “My Crazy Ex”. She also starred and produced the film, “Critique It with Toni and Morgan,” where she played a talk show host. She will also be starring in, “Death Ranch,” the film with Tony Moran and Bill Oberst, Jr.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
My pleasure! Ever since I was old enough to watch movies and retain what was going on, I started to fall in love with entertainment. After every movie I watched I dressed up like the character and acted out the film. Being the only child, this was my form of entertainment. My mom put me in acting classes at the age of 7 and since then I performed theatre from elementary school to college. I went through some tough times after college but I decided I wanted a career that would make me happy and not a job that would satisfy me financially in the moment. So I quit my job and enrolled in a cold reading class specifically for film. My second week in class I met the manager I have now. He wanted to represent me even though I didn’t have any credits because he saw my talent and believed in me. I knew at that moment this career was for me.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
I got invited to attend a Pre-Espy’s event this summer where I met a lot of talented artists and took home a huge duffle bag of goodies. I even went on camera at the event for a commercial. It was a lot of fun and I made a lot of connections.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The funniest mistake I made was trying to cut cost in every corner. I wasn’t making money and I felt I could get away with not putting in the effort for my look, headshots and etc. When I look back on my photos from the beginning, all I can do is laugh. They weren’t the best. I now know how much I need to invest in my image and my brand.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I just wrote a thriller short film, that I will be co-directing, producing and starring in. We film this fall and I couldn’t be more excited to show the world what I’m capable of and to not under estimate me. I will also be in a horror feature film with Tony Moran, who played Michael Myers in the 1978 version of Halloween.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
I’ve interacted with Edwin Hodge from The Purge. I’m a huge fan of the movie series and his character. He was very nice and humble. I’ve also interacted with Keke Palmer several times and each time has been awesome. She is very down to earth. I was actually apart of her book launch team two years ago and had the pleasure of chatting with her a couple of times.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Remind yourself why you want to be in this career in the first place and how happy you are doing what you love despite the rough road to get there. Once your career picks up there are going to be times were you’ll naturally feel tired. For those moments do something relaxing, something that puts you at ease like reading with candles or going to the beach. Regroup and get back to work because if this truly makes you happy, you will never permanently feel, “burnt out.”
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)
I would want to start a movement for equal rights, to stop racism and police brutality. I want everyone to feel safe, no matter their ethnicity and to not feel less than another human being.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. No matter how good you are, you will hear “no”.
Even though I knew I wouldn’t book every role I auditioned for, I thought I’d at least be working on bigger projects a lot sooner in my career. The thing is, there are so many talented actors and a lot of them have your look. Obviously there is no one else like you, but when it comes to the “look,” there is some competition. I wish someone would have told me actually how hard the road would be and how I will struggle longer than expected. Through this journey it’s been tough but I have never been happier. Even our favorite celebrities went through a long journey to get to where their at but they stayed persistent and didn’t let the “no’s” stop them.
2. What makes a good headshot/resume.
In the beginning of my career, I had low quality headshots and an empty resume and I was wondering why I wasn’t getting auditions. Headshots and resumes are the first thing a casting director sees and if you don’t pop to them on paper than you won’t even have a chance to show them your talent in the room. Invest in good headshots and spice up your resume even if you’ve only done small theatre work. Casting directors don’t want an actor who’s not working. Perception is reality!
3. How to brand yourself.
I wish someone would have told me what a brand is and how to brand. Studying yourself and finding out what your type is, is the best way to figure out your brand. Once you figure that out, you’ll know to advertise and submit yourself. Social media is a great way to brand yourself as well.
4. How to network.
First starting out, my manager would get me on the list of events and I would make excuses not to go. I felt people would look at me and ask, “Who is she?” My manager said thats a good thing if people are talking and wondering who you are. How do you become a “name” if you don’t get out there and interact with other industry people? Also, meeting people in the industry is another way of working. A lot of roles I have coming up, are through networking. Remember, sometimes its about who you know rather than what you know.
5. Always remember who you are.
This is so important because this industry can be crazy and it can eat away at your confidence and make you feel less than. As long as you remember who you are, stay true to yourself and remember you are good, you will be okay. If this is what you want, don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t do this. Stay persistent and the right roles and opportunities will come your way.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to catch you”. This is my life quote, right now, because there were certain people in my life that wanted me to have another career because they didn’t believe in me, but once I stopped trying to please others and just do what made me happy, everything started going right for me.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My mom! She supported me in this field ever since I was little and always told me to not listen to people who said this wasn’t a real career. She put me in classes and went to all my performances. If it wasn’t for her supporting me, things might have turned out differently. I know some parents that don’t allow their children to choose what makes them happy so I’m extremely grateful for my mom.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this :-)
Candice Patton! I absolutely love her. Besides the fact her name is Candice and it’s spelled just like mine, she is an amazing actress. She plays Iris West-Allen on the CW show, The Flash. She is an African American woman playing an originally Caucasian character from the comics. She is constantly hit with racial comments because some fans disagree with having an African American woman play that role. She inspires me to keep going even when I get discouraged. I can’t wait to work with her one day; the Candice duo.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
You can follow me on instagram @candicecallins and on facebook @candicecallinsofficial.
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!