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“Be A Force To Reckon With, But Always With A Please, Thank You And A Smile” 5 Insider Tips With Emily Dinova

“Life is too short to let situations out of your control stop you or slow you down. Be a force to reckon with, but always with a please, thank you and a smile. Don’t let anyone hold you back from your dreams but don’t screw or step on people to get there either.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Emily Dinova. Emily is a NYC based actor, writer & producer who studied at Regent’s University in London, UK. NYC Credits include: Cold Porridge/Hudson Guild Theatre, Ruptured/Manhattan Rep, The Locals/Jewel Box Theatre, Tony n Tina’s Wedding/Times Square & International Tour, Big Gay Italian Wedding & Funeral/Saint. Luke’s Theatre. Her play Capture was the recipient of the 2015 Fresher Writing Prize for Best Stage Play in the UK.

What is your “backstory”?

I grew up singing and performing before going on to study Opera, half-way through my degree I changed directions and instead majored in English with a concentration in Theatre (Screenwriting, Directing, Acting & Film) I went on to pursue a short stint of sound mixing in NYC before heading over to London where I received my double Masters in Writing for the Stage and Screen. Two years later, I returned to NYC to pursue all things artistic and co-founded my production company, G&E Productions. I’ve been back for almost 5 years now and I have been lucky enough to work Off-Broadway as well as tour nationally and internationally.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your acting/directing/performing career?

There’ve been a lot of these moments, but I think that just means you are doing it right. Being able to adapt to hectic or hilarious situations is all part of the business. A lot of these moments, for me, have occurred on tour with the show Tony and Tina’s Wedding. I’ve actually been married on stage over 50 times! Because the show is so heavily based on improvisation and audience interaction, you never know what is going to happen. I could tell you some truly ridiculous stories. (I crashed an actual wedding as a bride one time!)

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

I’m currently in rehearsals for GAY.PORN.MAFIA, which is as brilliant as it is fun. Joe Gulla, the playwright and Brian Rardin, the director, have been an absolute pleasure to work with along with the rest of the amazingly talented cast. We open at the New York Live Arts Theatre on April 14th, so come check us out! Besides that, I have two films which have recently been completed, one that is on the festival circuit and another that will be submitted shortly. A new play that I wrote and acted in was part of the NYC Winterfest earlier this year, and I am also in the process of getting my first novel published!

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

Once I stepped off the curb on 2nd Ave and almost collided with a bike-riding Ed Norton. It was the scariest thing ever…how could I live with myself if anything had happened to him!? I was also the Production Manager for Broadway Pops International so I was able to chat regularly and work with some amazing Broadway stars. I managed a recording studio for Billboard Music and got to hang out with artists like Joss Stone, Wyclef Jean and George Porter Jr.

Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

Michael Crawford- the first time I heard him sing, I believed I had actually left earth and entered some alternate paradise. Linda Eder- she’s been a huge inspiration vocally- she’s flawless and was one of the first singers that I related to due to her ability to own that one voice ideal. Edward Albee, Sam Shepard, David Mamet,Stephen King, JK Rowling, Daphne DuMaurier, H.P. Lovecraft, Lionel Shriver- brilliant stories, brilliant writers, prolific and inspiring.

What do you do to “sharpen your craft”? Can you share any stories?

I read a lot. I see a lot of film and theatre. This gives me a full spectrum on what I want to do as well as what I will never do. I think I stopped watching anything artistic for entertainment years ago. Everything is a study for me- from acting to film cuts to great dialogue to lighting. I study and I learn. Also, hard work- I keep at it. Don’t let one success or one failure make or break the way. You just have to keep pushing on. This city taught me that.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Is there any other reason to be an artist? The thing I am most proud of though is a play I wrote called “Capture.” It is about my personal experience living through abuse and domestic violence. The play premiered here in New York after it won The Fresher Writing Prize for Best Stage Play through Fresher Publishing Company in the UK and was published. The show was then mounted in the UK at the Shelley Theatre as well as at Seven Angels Theatre in CT. My hopes with this show is to tour it throughout Universities and Schools to spread awareness of this extremely relevant issue. Giving young people the courage to realize they are not victims, but survivors. This play has moved a great many people and I hope to continue on helping others find themselves again after such devastation.

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. Don’t think so much! I’ve always been an over-thinker, and it’s been a source of frustration and brain clouding.
  2. Don’t lose your focus. Keep on the path, there are going to be people who want you to fail and there will always be distractions- ignore them all.
  3. Expect more from yourself. Don’t settle, don’t say well, I’m not good enough or I can’t do this. Know your worth, there’ve been too many times I’ve let someone convince me that I couldn’t. When, in fact, I could.
  4. Doubts and insecurities are irrelevant — if you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. This is SO important, confidence is key, own yourself and know yourself implicitly.
  5. Life is too short to let situations out of your control stop you or slow you down. Be a force to reckon with, but always with a please, thank you and a smile. Don’t let anyone hold you back from your dreams but don’t screw or step on people to get there either.

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. :-)

In this industry, this is the hardest part! Finding people who are willing to invest time, energy and money into you and your projects. I am open to meeting with anyone who is interested in working on meaningful projects with the potential for tremendous commercial success. In the film world, it would be an honor to have a chat with the brilliant minds over at A24 Films.