“I’d love to start a movement of more acceptance, of yourself and of others”

With Actress Amy Connerley

Yitzi Weiner
Nov 19, 2018 · 7 min read

I would love to start a movement of more acceptance. Acceptance of yourself. Acceptance of others. Acceptance I think is the biggest things that would bring the most positivity to the most amount of people. So many people struggle with accepting loved ones, strangers, and themselves, and I would love to inspire people to find more acceptance.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Amy Connerley. Amy is an actress, singer, dancer, and choreographer based in New York City. She currently performs in the city and has been blessed to be a part of a variety of film projects and live performances. Some of her favorite credits include: The Bomb-itty of Errors (AlphaNYC), Skin (NCo Dance), and Summer Moves w/ Shaun T (People Now TV). Keep up with her journey at


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

When I was growing up, I always loved performing. I was constantly singing in full performance mode in my living room, or choreographing dance numbers in my kitchen. Dance became the main focus through my teenage and college years. Although I still perform as a dancer sporadically, the focus for my career changed a few years back into fully pursing tv/film acting. I never in a million years would have thought I would be an actor in New York City, but here I am. I am here and I am doing it. There are a lot of very challenging moments in the life I have chosen, but as long as I am happy on this journey, you can find me on the stage and screen!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

Living in New York in the performing arts industry is definitely a physical, emotional, and psychological roller coaster. However, I would not trade my ride for the world. Honestly, I’d say one of the most interesting things that happened is when I was on set as an extra and ended up getting bumped up to a co-star role once I got to set. That bump also gave me my first speaking role on a bigger project, made me SAG Eligible, and challenged me to perform on a full set in a very short time frame.

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?

I don’t know how funny it is, but I have for sure had some horrible auditions that looking back years later I can laugh at! When I was first starting out, I didn’t realize how prepared you needed to be for any possible situation during an audition. I walked in with my sides prepared, and of course, as soon as I finished, they asked for a monologue. I had just started pursuing acting more seriously, and I had absolutely nothing prepared. I started ad-libbing a monologue out of thin air. Let’s just say trying to speak a monologue, figure out what to say, and convey any type of emotion on the spot for the first time, did not go well.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I just finished shooting a drama/thriller short film called Casual Encounter that will be heading to festivals soon and I currently perform with a company that does different types of live music performances up and down the East Coast. It’s an absolute blast getting to perform different genres for all types of audiences! I also am so excited to begin filming on a pilot entitled, Who Are You in January. It’s a slasher anthology style series. The writing is wonderful and the cast and crew are so full of talent.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Listen to what you need as a human. Not you as an actor, a singer, an artist, an auditioner. Listen to what you need for yourself as a human being. Take time away from the industry and the craft to be a well-rounded person. Listen to what you want in your heart and soul more than what is expected of you from others.

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 love to start a movement of more acceptance. Acceptance of yourself. Acceptance of others. Acceptance I think is the biggest things that would bring the most positivity to the most amount of people. So many people struggle with accepting loved ones, strangers, and themselves, and I would love to inspire people to find more acceptance.

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) If you want to be a professional performer, be prepared to be independent. This industry is very demanding. You will have to make choices about how to spend your time. You will miss social events. You will struggle with where to invest your time and money. You will have to decide how much this career means to you and much you’re willing to give up for it. I do not mean that as a shaming tool. The opposite actually. My advice is do not put your career ahead of everything else in life. Remember to find joy along the way and be a well-rounded human being.

2) Be kind, but not fake kind. A lot of times I hear people tell young performers to be kind because you never know what casting directors or choreographers are watching. I’m not really a fan of that advice. I want you to be yourself. Be kind for yourself. There is no need to put on an overly “nice” show just to try to trick people into believing you are kind. That is not genuine, and people can see through that in a second. Respect everyone and you will be fine.

3) Listen to feedback, but take it with a grain of salt. Be open to constructive criticism and collaboration. Everyone in this life has something to offer. Whether they are an award winning director or a construction worker who has never seen a Broadway show. Everyone’s opinion is unique and valid. However, keep in mind that art is all subjective. Never let someone spitting pure hatred keep you from being yourself. Do not stoop to their level and engage in hateful behavior. There is enough of that in the world outside of the arts.

4) Be the person who would inspire you. Helping friends, coworkers, or students succeed in this industry is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Surrounding yourself with people who you believe in creates a powerful support system for eachother.

5) Believe in your own path. People are going to tell you that you should give yourself an ultimatum to accomplish specific goals by a certain age. I fully disagree with that. Just because someone tells you that you should be on Broadway by age 25, doesn’t mean that’s true. Do not let others’ goals affect your confidence or staying true to yourself. Take your time and trust yourself.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” This quote speaks to me so deeply. It was actually always a negative quote to me, up until a few weeks ago. The first half of this quote, which I saw everywhere for years and years always spoke to my biggest fears. As someone who values versatility, it illuminated the biggest downside of spreading yourself too thin over multiple disciplines. A few weeks ago, I luckily stumbled upon the quote in its entirety. It was such a powerful moment for me, to take this negative saying in my mind, and find out that it actually was a beautiful and inspiring thing to 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?

There are too many people who have supported me on my journey to choose just one. This is such a weird industry where you have to be ready to ask for help and support others, yet still be prepared to be very independent.

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. :-)

I would love to have lunch with Rachel Bloom. She is so smart and she has created her own path to success. Rachel is someone who is multi-talented and supports so many other talented artists. She is an inspiration to versatile artists everywhere.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

@AmyConnerley

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Yitzi Weiner

Written by

A “Positive” Influencer, Founder & Editor of Authority Magazine, CEO of Thought Leader Incubator

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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