Rising Star Autumn Ivy On The Five Things You Need To Shine In The Entertainment Industry

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This profession is a marathon, not a sprint. I think Hollywood can give false hope of instant success, and few are lucky enough to experience that. If you are in this career for the craft and the art of it, then keep riding the train and you will get there soon enough.

As a part of our series about pop culture’s rising stars, we had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Autumn Ivy.

Autumn has been entertaining since she was a little girl. From plays and musicals in grade school to attending Wayne State University for a major in theater and a minor in jazz dance. She received her Occupational Trade Degree as well as her Advanced Acting Degree from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Autumn is currently pursuing her acting career in Hollywood and writing her own material for film.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, which is not what people normally assume a Vegas childhood to be like. I lived in a beautiful suburban area in a gated community. I went to church every Sunday with my family and played with all the kids in the neighborhood. Las Vegas did not become “sin city” to me until the age of 18, when I was able to get into a couple bars with a huge “X” marked on my hand for anyone under the age of 21. Before I turned 21, I was no longer living in Vegas and instead was pursuing my love for the performing arts.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

For as long as I can remember, I was singing, dancing, and acting in all the school events. There was nothing better than putting on a costume and becoming whoever or whatever I wanted to be. However, I believe that growing up with a father who was heavily involved in the entertainment industry influenced my decision to pursue this career full-time. My father is a comedy magician by the name of Jeff Hobson. Throughout my childhood, I was able to see many of his shows, which he performed on the Las Vegas Strip for years before moving on to Broadway. I knew I wanted to be standing exactly where my dad was on that Broadway stage, just with fewer card tricks involved. Thankfully, being born into an entertainment-like family meant my choosing to be an actress was not too much of a shock and was encouraged. I haven’t looked back since.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that has happened to you since you began your career?

During my time at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, I had the opportunity to be in one of my friends’ short films that he was inspired to write about self-doubt and the “good angel and evil devil” on our shoulders that we carry around throughout our lives. In this film, I played myself as well as my own angel and devil. We filmed each character individually in the same room to be able to show all three on the same screen. It was a crazy experience to see three of me all at once. The director decided to submit it for festivals all around the world, and it was nominated 10 times and won 4 awards for best drama at the Golden Nugget International Film Festival, the Global Film Festival Awards, and best actress at the San Diego International Film Festival. I did not realize how many people around the world had seen the film, so I was very confused as to why people from Berlin, Switzerland, etc. were following me on social media until a couple weeks later. And a big thank you to Fabrizio Daniele for making all of that possible.

It has been said that mistakes can be our greatest teachers. 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 was cast as Elle Woods in the musical “Legally Blonde” during my senior year of high school. Before intermission, I had about seven quick changes with a chucky microphone pack hooked up to my bra and a very thick blonde wig on that had me sweating bullets. We had several moving sets that we rolled from the wings onto the stage. One of the sets was a pink bedroom with a revolving door and a huge staircase that went up to the second floor. It was my favorite set piece. During the show, there is a moment where I change behind the set and I wait for a screen to come down that blurs the background for the audience so we can move freely behind it as we do a smooth transition to the next scene. I’m guessing it was my first-show nerves because I thought the screen had been brought down and I was free to walk to the wing half naked. I realized that was not the case. I quickly ran back behind the set piece, mouthing profanity under my breath, in hopes that my mic would not pick up my utter embarrassment at that moment. I am sure that the audience had a clue after I locked eyes with some of the people in the front row with a look of shock on my face and my nude undergarments, which from that distance looked as if I were completely naked. I didn’t hear anything about my naked walk-off from my friends or family after the show, so either they were saving me more embarrassment or I was a very lucky girl that night. We will never know. I guess the lesson there is to check your surroundings before you take action, especially when you’re naked.

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

I am currently working on my own project, which has been in the works for some time now. It is a short film that I have poured my heart and soul into, and I can’t wait to see it come to life in the new year.

You have been blessed with success on a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

I would rather have tried and failed at everything than never have tried at all. However, I do not believe in failure or success; there is only the art of doing. This makes it easier for me to take that leap in life because I do not think I’ll be any lower than when I started, and at least I would have lived. Of course, the unknown will always be scary and mysterious, but I promise that no matter where you end up, your character will thank you for taking that step. So JUMP!

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

I am glad to see more people of all colors and races on TV now. I think we still have a long way to go, but it is far better than when I was younger. The development of young minds when they watch TV or go to the theater is crucial. That is how we start to view the world around us; being able to see every color and race during those developmental years will help the young see the inclusivity of how the world is. We only recently released the first Disney Princess, Arial, as a black character after years of Arial being white. I am sure the other Disney Princesses are not far behind.

Thankfully, theater has seen a significant shift in including characters of color in place of predominantly white characters, such as Christine from Phantom of the Opera, several historical characters in Hamilton, Hermione in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and so on. This is great for anyone who dreamed of playing a specific character on stage or screen but was discouraged by the lack of diversity in those roles. The times are changing, and it looks beautiful. I can’t wait to see what the theater does next in this movement.

Even though we are making waves in the diverse entertainment industry, we are making small waves. The majority of Hollywood is still white, and so many cultures, races, and colors are left out. Diggit Magazine said in an article that “Television and movies have the ability to normalize events and phenomena that they show on the screen, and this can both have negative and positive results.” If we don’t normalize a diverse entertainment industry, then we are not showing an accurate representation of the world or our reality to the public.

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.) This profession is a marathon, not a sprint. I think Hollywood can give false hope of instant success, and few are lucky enough to experience that. If you are in this career for the craft and the art of it, then keep riding the train and you will get there soon enough.

2.) Stop thinking; just be. We can get caught up in our own world and what we believe to be good or bad acting. Just play the truth; just be.

3.) Prepare so you can let go. Make sure you do all the work that is necessary for freedom on stage or film. You can now let go of the work once you’ve completed it.

4.) Acting is teamwork, not “me work.” If acting was all about you, we would just be doing monologues in front of people all day. When we realize our partner and our relationship with them are the most important things in that moment, the art begins.

5.) “You only know what you know when you know it in the moment,” said one of my favorite acting teachers, Timothy Landfield. This is one of my favorite quotes. As actors, we know the story we are about to tell because we have studied it day and night, but when we walk out on that stage as our character, we are living in the moment for the first time. Hopefully we can live completely in the moment when we discover new things and surprise ourselves during the process.

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

Have a life outside of acting. Go out with friends, travel, make mistakes, and be spontaneous. Remember that living your life to the fullest will only benefit your acting. Acting is living, so go live!

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

When I was little, I was afraid of the vacuum because my family would shout over it instead of turning it off. In my brain at that age, I thought everyone was angry when loud noise was created, and when it was quiet, everyone seemed happier and more at peace. I think silence can do wonders for the brain and body. Sometimes sitting in silence is when we can hear the most. I would love to have one day a year where silence and listening are encouraged. Not that speaking is forbidden, but that when we do speak, our intention isn’t focused on ourselves and the sound of our own voices but on the other person. Imagine if we all cared more about what other people had to say then ourselves; we would all be heard and understood. We would all be loved by everyone. What a nice little utopia that would be.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there anyone you’d like to thank for getting you to where you are now? Can you share a story about that?

My parents helped me more than anyone on my acting journey. They have supported me in every decision I’ve made thus far, and I know they will continue to do so. When I graduated from high school and announced that I wanted to go to college for the performing arts, there were many people who gave me the look of “that won’t work out,” because as we all know, this business is not for the faint of heart. You have to have tough skin and keep pushing on. If you want this life bad enough, you will be able to climb the ladder, and you can’t win if you don’t play the game. I am grateful that I have the parents I do. They encouraged me to play the game and not give up. I would not be where I am without them.

Can you please give us your favorite “life lesson quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I believe Abraham Lincoln and some poets originally quoted this, but my favorite life lesson quote is “This too shall pass.” If you think your life is great and nothing could go wrong, “this too shall pass.” If you think your life is horrible and you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, “this too shall pass.” This helps me not get stuck in one place. Knowing that nothing good or bad can last forever, cherish the bright times and know that the dark times won’t last.

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 just see this, especially if we tag them.

Daniel Day Lewis Do I have to say more? I’ve been captivated by his performances since seeing the film “Gangs of New York.” I then binge-watched all of his films. I have never seen him do anything less then sensational in all of his work. I would love to sit down and talk to him all day about his life and his craft. I could learn a lot from him.

How can our readers follow you online?

My Instagram is @the_autumnivy_show and my TikTok is @autumnivy.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

Rising Star Autumn Ivy On The Five Things You Need To Shine In The Entertainment Industry was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.