Rising Star Natalie Lymor: “Let’s start a movement called Project ‘Lunch Box’ & have lunch bags in our cars ready for the homeless”
…Any movement I would start would start with children. I’ve always dreamed of having a charity foundation for homeless children. Also. think food truck filled with perishable lunches in brown paper bags … A juice box, a water, cheese and cracker, beef jerky, an apple, etc. This could feed all homeless not just the children. First, I want to start just filling my trunk this way and when I see a homeless person hand them a lunch bag. That would be my movement. Lunch Bags in our cars ready for the homeless. Project ‘Lunch Box’ .
I had the pleasure of interviewing Natalie Lymor. Born Natalie Lymor Shlesinger in Brooklyn N.Y. to an Israeli father and a Egyptian/French mother being first generation American, She spoke Hebrew at home, slang in the streets, and English in school. When she lost her father at the age eleven, Natalie the middle child of three, learned to juggle her school work with adult responsibilities. She worked her way through high school, while yearning for a creative outlet for which she had neither the time or financial resources. Then fate stepped in when her first film credit came overnight on the set of Director Todd Solondz, who upgraded her role and enabled her to join The Screen Actors Guild. Natalie packed up her bags for Hollywood where she landed her first acting job after just one week. Natalie studied with famed acting coach Ivana Chubbuck whose master class has changed the depth of her acting dramatically. She is also a UCB graduate bringing depth and humor to all her roles. As well as being a working actor Natalie is a known acting coach for all ages and specializes with youth and teens.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Loosing my dad at 11 years old was hard on me and I think I turned to movies for emotional support and hope. My mom had to work , I would stay home to babysit my brother and watch TV. I would fantasize what my life would be like if it were like this or like that or with him and with money etc. and also imagine what it would be like to be a star!
I would always say “One day i’m going to move to Hollywood and be an actress” my sisters friend was staying with us for a while because her home environment wasn’t the best. She was looking in the classifies of ‘The Daily News’ for a job when she came across ACTOR’S REP looking for actors. She convinced me to go and she would come with as well did my High school boyfriend and cousin . The 4 of us auditioned to an Advil commercial copy and I was the only one who got called back and the rest is history!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
So many but, I think my first experience was my most interesting being very rare especially at that time. People wait years to become SAG. The first time I walked on set as an extra was the week I became SAG. I’ll never forget because I was lost trying to find set and someone from the crew tried to help me, he said “are you SAG” I said “ whats that?” he had a little giggle and pointed me to a trailer with a paper sign saying ‘HOLDING’ filled with at least 100 extras. That night, after hours of doing nothing but my homework and meeting cool people in between. They said “We need to keep a few of you and release the rest“ to be honest I wanted to be chosen to go home at this point which of course they chose me to stay for what turned into 16hrs and GOLDEN PAY! This would be the moment my life changed ! I knew standing next to James Van Der Beek , Emmanuelle Chriqui, Selma Blair and many more.. This would be the rest of my life! They called me back to set two more times upgrading me to a featured scene and making me SAG eligible! Thank You Todd Solondz and Actor’s Rep.
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?
Sucking on a lollipop in one of my very first auditions. My coach calls it “Doings” audition rooms call it “Props” I wish I knew then that the audition process would be different then my scene work in class. Basically I was sucking on a lollipop like the character was doing and of course the scene became about me sucking on a lollipop then the actually audition. I still cant believe I did that lol.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I just wrapped a holiday feature film directed by powerhouse Terri J Vaughn, playing opposite the beautiful and talented Wendy Raquel Robinson. My guest star as campaign manager Kim Allison just aired on Emmy winning CBS The Inspectors. My next role to play is transgender in a pilot presentation for a book called “Suicide Chronicles”. I just finished writing a sitcom pilot called ‘SameBut Different’ with writing partner Rachel Londyn and getting ready to pitch to networks. I also co-wrote a short film with 18yr old actress and client Kristi Beckett which I will direct and submit to festivals including Sundance 2020. I am currently writing my first feature film and solo project which will also turn into my own sitcom.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
Garry Marshall hands down! A few years ago I was fortunate to come to Atlanta with a client who had a personal connection and a small part in his last film ‘Mothers Day’ Garry was so generous he allowed me to sit next to him and watch the legend direct! All I kept thinking is “How did I get here?” and the he says (In Garry’s Voice) “You wanna be in the movie ?!“ go to hair and makeup and then sit next to Paul Vogt, Amazing experience!
Obba Babatunde comes straight to mind as well. Brilliant actor ,director and humble heart. My favorite audition to date! I went in because the lead actress and friend of mine Ciarra Carter referred me to play one of her girlfriends. First, gratitude for the connections we make that lead us to our next opportunity. Obba was there himself also starring in the film he is hands on from conception to creation. A true artist. After my read he paused and said “Your great but i’ll be honest you're not the direction I’m going for these girls but I think you could be our Lynda, you good with just jumping in with me?“ As he gets up, he hands me sides and we work on it together in the room. This never happens. Even better he is directing me on the spot and ill never forget looking into his eyes and being so connected to him and the script at the same time.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Always remember why you love acting. Find the balance between life and art. Build tough skin. Take inspired actions towards your goal. Meditate.
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. :-)
Any movement I would start would start with children. I’ve always dreamed of having a charity foundation for homeless children. I also once had this idea, think food truck filled with perishable lunches in brown paper bags .. A juice box, a water, cheese and cracker, beef jerky, an apple, etc. this could feed all homeless not just the children. First, I wanted to start just filling my trunk this way and when I see a homeless person hand them a lunch bag. That would be my movement. Lunch Bags in our cars ready for the homeless. Project ‘Lunch Box’ .
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)Acting classes - take them but don’t stay too long, check others out, learn a little of everything and then choose one as your home base but still take breaks and apply what you learn in the real world; then come back and sharpen your skills even more.
2)Representation — remember you bring something to the table too so don’t be desperate, you want to find someone who believes in you and can pitch your talent. Confidence is key in your craft and your relationships.
3)Auditioning-trust you did the work and let it go. We get nervous and try to please the casting directors and get it right . In reality they are rooting for you and want you to get the job, because guess what? then their job is done. Have fun in the audition room.
4)Show Business — 50% Show 50% Business. I actually teach this to the actors I coach. We focus so much on the craft when in fact who you know and what you know are equally as important.
5)The P.R.O.C.E.S.S. is the technique I developed from all the elite coaches in LA . My motto is Live It. Love It. Book It. The 80/20 Method. 80% Instinct 20% Craft. Don’t forget your instincts always come first, because without the foundation of your core truth the craft won’t matter. Character over copy always!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“ Today you are you, that is truer than true, there is no one alive, who is your than you.” Dr.Seus
Everyone who knows me knows this is my favorite quote and that i’m all about Dr.Seuss and Oprah! I live my life pretty much by their words.
This quote has 2 meanings that made it relevant to me and probably to all people and actors especially. Growing up I was embarrassed of my laugh and now I realize it’s the best because its unique to me and identifies me, people will wait outside a theatre and say “ I knew you were in there because I heard your laugh” or I’ll go see a friends play and after they say “thank you for coming the cast was like who’s that laughing and I’m like she’s with me!” I made their night and most importantly my laugh makes people laugh. I used to think they were laughing at me, now I realize it’s infectious in a good way.
Also, the compare despair aspect of this quote. Always wanting to be like someone else or have what they have, Social Media and especially with actors in the auditions waiting area, starting to look around at the other girls and start to second guess etc. Now I OWN “youer than you” when ever I feel insecure or not worthy I remind myself with this quote that I AM !
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 am fortunate that many people have helped me and continue to help me along the way. I start with my family, special shout out to my mom she’s my everything and my sister Stephany who non of this would be possible! She flew from Florida to LA I believe 8 months pregnant with twins to meet me here to help set up for my new life!
Ivana Chubbuck my first and longest acting coach, I consider her my mentor in my craft and my coaching. A few Casting Directors that taught me the ropes behind the camera and also gave me acting opportunities to name a few Fern Champion, Shayna Sheerwood, Ani Avetyan & more…
My most recent guidance in achieving success has come form unexpected blessings and people who have come into my life , I am grateful for Robert Townsend for motivating me to write my first feature film and that is what I am currently working on. Deborah Draper who continues to inspire me to write, produce and make films with purpose. She’s also, the conduit to my last project introducing me to Terri J Vaughn. Esther Pearl from Camp Reel Stories allowing me to mentor the youth and get involved with her organization which is also, how I met Deborah… See how it all goes round and round!
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. :-)
OPRAH for a million reasons and a million more! Martin Scorsese discussing my role in his next project .. Please and Thank You
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I use IG most frequently…