Rising Star Eve Richards: “Each of us will have a positive body image when we have a realistic perception of our bodies; when we enjoy, accept and celebrate who we are and let go of the negative societal conditioning perpetuated by the media”.

“True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the passion that she shows and the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years”. True beauty comes from within. I realized through my years of experience that the outside appearance is just superficial. In this line of business, it is common to see a beautiful face. Competition can also be tough and I have witnessed so many people burn bridges over petty reasons. However, what many people forget is the more important thing — and that is the integrity and beauty of a person from within. In the same manner, every one of us has insecurities. This life quote reminds me that I should continue nurturing and developing my inner self or inner beauty because when we are good to others, kind and sincere in our actions, we become more confident and we feel good about ourselves. This makes it possible for us to be happy about ourselves and for the success of others, especially our colleagues.

As a part of my series about rising stars, I had the pleasure to interview actress Eve Richards. Eve is a San Francisco-based actor and Marketing professional. Eve was born in London, England, she grew up in London, Africa, Boston and New York City. Eve acted on stage when she attended St. Stephens College in Kent, England. Eve attended Shari Carlson’s Acting Studio in San Francisco, CA. She continues to train with Shari Carlson. As the daughter of a lawyer and a judge, her home life was its own theatrical production. Eve’s parents instilled in her the need to build a community wherever she is. Eve is still building her San Francisco community. When Eve is not working, she likes to explore this beautiful planet and learn about different cultures. Eve loves making videos about her travels and adventures. Eve likes writing her life story as though she is the protagonist of a novel, observing the world from as many angels as possible, and helping other people achieve their dream.


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

Acting is a career path that I believe I was always passionately destined for. Well, having a confrontational lawyer and a righteous judge for parents, my life at home was pretty much theatrical! Kidding aside, my parents were instrumental in allowing me to pursue my dreams and aspirations regardless of the circumstances I faced. For instance, I have always been interested in acting when I was younger. My earliest exposure to acting and show business was in high school. I was also drawn to theatrical plays either as an audience member or as an actor. In fact, I would always audition for school play productions. To me, I felt I finally found what I would like to do for the rest of my life. However, after college, I chose a different career path and worked for companies like American Express and Macys West.

Throughout the last two years, it dawned on me that I was unhappy with my monotonous work. I came to realize what I really wanted to do was be hands-on and be able to express myself — my passion for eccentric ideas and creativity — and create ideas for film and television. After a lot of contemplating, I firmly decided on pursuing my dreams to become a successful actress. The first thing I did was search for acting classes in San Francisco. I then discovered Shari Carlson Acting Studio. As I conversed with the owner Shari, I became instantly enthusiastic — as if the “old me” was finally back. I was inspired by Shari’s words of wisdom and encouragement as she reminded me it was never too late to pursue what our hearts desired, which to me was acting. She also motivated me to try my luck in the entertainment industry. Soon, I began my training with Shari and took both basic and advanced acting and singing classes. Eventually, luck did come and I landed my first small role in a film. The experience drove me to continue auditioning for other acting opportunities as I continued my training with Shari.

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

Since I started my acting career, the most interesting thing that has happened to me was when I auditioned for a role in a romantic comedy. The role involved playing the love interest of the lead actor. When I received my script, I did not waste any time and began reading through it religiously until the day of the first shoot came. When that day finally came, I was surprised when the director informed me he wanted to do a nude scene, which was something not originally in the script. Can you imagine my horror?! I was definitely caught unprepared! On a lighter note, I charged it to experience and learned I should do some research first about a film’s director and production company before applying for certain roles.

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?

When I first started acting, I’d admit to you that I have had my fair share of funny moments. One instance which tops my list would have to be the time when I came to an audition for a project that I really wanted to work on. I was so excited that I was dressed to impress and I am not kidding when I tell you I really “worked it.” However, I soon learned that l wasn’t dressed appropriately for the role. I wore a tight-fitting dress that showed my curves and assets and stilettos to give me an extra “oomph”, but the task for the role and the audition required us to move in various directions at a fast pace. Imagine this: I was running across the room, wearing my skimpy dress and high stilettos, while I was trying to dodge imaginary villains and bullets and delivering lines while going through a military-like obstacle course. To make matters worse, I could overhear the stifled laughter of the casting panel and other crew in the room. Let’s just say it is an understatement to say I was red in the face. To cut the long [embarrassing] story short, I learned three things from that experience. First, I learned to always wear appropriate outfits to a casting call or an audition. It is better to be dressed comfortably rather than be caught unprepared. After all, it is the talent that they are looking for, not the outfit. Secondly, I learned to be more diligent and meticulous when applying for roles, and avoid relying on assumptions or outside appearance. Lastly, I learned it is best to learn to laugh it off and learn from experience rather than wallow in humiliation and be discouraged.

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

I have several projects that l cannot talk about yet, but my long-term goal is to do a documentary about educating young women on developing a positive body image. As an individual who exercises on a regular basis and maintains a healthy eating habit, l accept the fact that l will never be size zero. Instead of trying to change who l am based on the perception of what we see on TV or magazines, l join causes by volunteering to teach women that our body images are shaped by different ethnicities, religious beliefs, shapes and sizes, and are not just based from other people’s standards. Regardless of how beautiful a person is, it doesn’t define our character as an individual. The media has increasingly become a platform that reinforces cultural beliefs and projects strong views on how we should look, that we as individuals often unknowingly or knowingly validate and perpetuate. We should recognize that size prejudice is a form of discrimination. Shape and size are not indicators of character, morality, intelligence, or success. Each of us will have a positive body image when we have a realistic perception of our bodies; when we enjoy, accept and celebrate who we are and let go of the negative societal conditioning perpetuated by the media.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

I have met so many amazing people, but these are a few:

One of the most interesting people I have interacted with throughout my acting career is Shari Carlson. As I have previously mentioned, she was the one to formally introduce me into acting and what it really is. She allowed (and encouraged) me to explore roles and taught me it is okay to add spontaneity into my lines. She also taught me how to be “in the moment” and how to make my characters come to life. More importantly, she taught me to have fun! Thus, she reminded me that acting should be something I am genuinely passionate about (which I am) and that I must not think of it as a typical job. Otherwise, I might lose that positive energy that I possess. With the help of Shari’s techniques and advices, I learned a better approach in acting. I highly recommend all actors — whether aspiring or experienced actors — to take her classes if they are in the San Francisco Bay Area. I guarantee, you (and your acting prowess) will never be the same!

Another interesting person I have come across is Rosita Ruiz. Rosita was my first ever acting coach. She came at a significant time in my life where I was finally “finding” my old self again. She was very patient with me and guided me to discover my potentials that I was unaware before. It was Rosita who helped me find “my brand” and urged me to take charge of my acting career.

In addition, I also remember Sarah Valentine. Let me just say that Sarah is among if not the most amazing accent coach I have had. She helped me become more versatile in taking on roles that were foreign to me. There was this one time when a role for an audition required a South African accent. I approached Sarah and she immediately sent me a record of the accent in just a couple of hours. Also, sessions with Sarah was amazing because she gave both positive and constructive criticisms, which I believe have strengthened and improved me as an actress.

Then, there is John Michaels, who has been my no. 1 fan and supporter since day one. Michaels has been tremendously supportive of me since I started from my amateur years until my professional life as an actress in the entertainment industry. I value our chat and emails more than he’ll ever know. To me, he is a great mentor, a patient listener, and a good friend. He constantly encourages me to push myself to achieve greater heights. Also, his high energy and spirit is very contagious and he motivates me to do my best (and never let him down). Also, Paim Michael is a very passionate actor who has not only helped me rehearse lines but has also showed me how to use my emotions to let my characters shine. I am thankful to Katrina Thio and Jason Alex, l love collaborating with these two amazing artists.

Finally, Mark Cornwell is another person that I will never forget. Mark was my manager at American Express. To me, he was a great mentor who encouraged me to work hard and find what I am truly passionate about.

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

It is no secret that it is difficult to find “true” friends in this industry. However, it is not impossible. It is really important to be careful who you trust and do not get involved in controversies. Surround yourself with positive people and stay humble. Just stay true to who you really are and the rest will follow. Additionally, the entertainment industry is a numbers game but don’t be discouraged because it can be difficult to land a job. Sometimes, you can apply for a hundred auditions but only get a call for one (or none at all). Do not lose faith; do not get jealous over the success of colleagues; and make every audition, success and failure a lesson to learn from. Never to quit, especially if you believe this career is truly your calling. Also, continue to seek for opportunities to help you grow and develop as an artist. Lastly, no matter what happens, never forget your family and true friends.

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?

With such strong societal scrutiny, it’s easy to see how the focus on how we look can slide into the dark side — negative body image. Positive body image involves understanding that healthy attractive bodies come in many shapes and sizes, and that physical appearance says very little about our character or value as a person. Realize that we cannot change our body type: thin, large, short or tall, we need to appreciate the uniqueness of what we have, and work with it. We are unique and we can’t get a sense of our own body’s needs and abilities by comparing it to someone else. Each of us will have a positive body image when we have a realistic perception of our bodies; when we enjoy, accept and celebrate who we are and let go of the negative societal conditioning perpetuated by the media. Remember, beauty comes in different sizes and there are different types of beauty. Self-love, confidence and a healthy lifestyle is required. We can all prosper, it’s all about building a positive mindset.

5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I First Started Acting/ Directing/ Performing/ Hosting

  1. Be careful who you trust in an industry where nothing is permanent. Some may use whatever they know about you against you.
  2. Never say never unless it’s to never quit.
  3. When in doubt, ask for help. It is okay and natural.
  4. Learn to internalize and draw from your emotions to make scenes more realistic. However, do not forget to strike a balance between work and personal life. Likewise, do not bring your problems or frustrations from work into your home.
  5. Always stay true to yourself and always stay humble.

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

“True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the passion that she shows and the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years”. True beauty comes from within. I realized through my years of experience that the outside appearance is just superficial. In this line of business, it is common to see a beautiful face. Competition can also be tough and I have witnessed so many people burn bridges over petty reasons. However, what many people forget is the more important thing — and that is the integrity and beauty of a person from within. In the same manner, every one of us has insecurities. This life quote reminds me that I should continue nurturing and developing my inner self or inner beauty because when we are good to others, kind and sincere in our actions, we become more confident and we feel good about ourselves. This makes it possible for us to be happy about ourselves and for the success of others, especially our colleagues.

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?

I agree that it would be impossible for me to succeed without the help of other people whom I’ve grown to trust and love. If I was to express my gratitude to the people who have helped get me to where I am right now, the list would be endless. Nonetheless, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people who tirelessly have supported me, tried to understand me during my weakest points in life, and have placed their trust in me at time when even I doubted myself.

First, I would like to thank my mother who has inspired me and has supported me throughout my ups and downs. She also never doubted I could do it, and was the wings beneath my wings.

Secondly, I would like to thank my father whose strict discipline has helped me become a better person since I was younger. Even though he wanted me to become a lawyer, he still supported me because he knew this was what would make me happy and fulfilled. He also gave great advice whenever I needed it. He was my rock and shoulder to lean on when I felt too tired to continue.

I would also like to thank my brother, MJ, Edward, and Linda, as well as other supportive friends including Maureen, MaryRose, Nia, and Patience, whose constant cheers of encouragement brought tears of joy whenever I felt lonely. Most of them were there when l needed to rehearse for auditions, and they were the first ones to defend me whenever someone tried to criticize me or make me feel less of a person. They kept me going and strengthened my faith in myself because they never got tired of believing in me. Likewise, they are also my worst (in a good way) and meanest critics! *laughs* But I know that they love me no matter what because they often tell me what I needed to hear.

Additionally, I also want to thank my cousin Ranx who has been in the entertainment industry for as long as I can remember. Having him by my side and knowing that he understands where I am coming from has helped me put more trust in my abilities. He always gives me tips on how to cope better in this demanding career and I know I always have his back wherever, whenever needed.

Finally, I would like to express my undying gratitude to other family members, friends, and actors in my acting class who have also expressed their belief and support in me. In the end, I feel very fortunate that I have met these people who are family to me. No matter how far we are from each other, I know that they are loyal and sincere people I can trust when everyone else may have gone tired of me or has turned their backs on me. I feel confident that they will always be there even if I am no longer in this industry or profession because they are the people I trust, love and will treasure for the rest of my life.

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. :-)

Wow, there are so many people I’d love to have lunch with — but it’s a dream to have a talk with Oprah. I would love to hear about some of the challenges she has faced and overcome. By all accounts she has remained gracious and grounded, which is an incredible accomplishment.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100033002482454

https://www.twitter.com/@everichards_eve

https://www.instagram.com/everichards_eve/

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