Monica Saviolakis is an actress, singer and lifestyle model in the Boston area. She has appeared in a national commercial for Dunkin Donuts, as well as several regional commercials including those for Pure Hockey, Town Fair Tire, Bertucci’s, and many more. Monica has also worked on many corporate and training videos for several large companies like Google, BOSE, Staples, Liberty Mutual, and Merrill Lynch. She has acted on the set of over one hundred films, web and television shows, commercials, industrials, and print campaigns. I was privileged to attend a workshop by Monica Saviolakis about breaking into the business of acting for commercials. She was amazing and fortunately for me (and you) she agreed to be interviewed for this blog. Read on about her journey in the acting industry, and her advice for aspiring young actors.
I went to school for theatre, and tried to focus on Musical Theater because I love to sing. After graduating in 1998, I traveled throughout New England, working in Arts Administration and Box Offices at prestigious theaters like the Williamstown Theater Festival, the Arden Theater in Philadelphia, and McCarter Theater in New Jersey. I also lived in NY for a short time, working at City Center during the day in Development, and as a singing hostess at Ellen's Stardust Diner at night. After realizing New York City wasn’t going to work out the way that I had hoped, I moved home. I got married, and took some time to raise my family. After being home for a while with my girls, and going back to work outside the home - I got laid off... And I quickly went back to doing what I loved. And, thank goodness I did – I have been happily acting, singing, and modeling as my job since January 2010!
What's your best advice for child actors?
The best advice I can give is Don’t Get Discouraged! There is so much that goes into a casting decision, and most of the time, it has nothing to do with your talent! So, think of every audition as practice for the next one. Keep at it, hone your craft, educate yourself as much as you can on the process and on the craft. When the role is right, it will hit! I have to tell myself this on a daily basis!
Think of every audition as practice for the next one... When the role is right, it will hit!
This one is tough! As a child, I did lots of theater with my schools. My parents drove me day in, day out, pick up , drop off, over and over… They were not happy that I went to school for theater. But they were proud of me for following my dreams. And now, even in my late 30s, my parents support me every day. They watch my girls, they ask me what auditions I had, they show their friends the commercials I am in. Their support means the world to me, and I think especially the younger generation needs their parents' support more than anything.
How do you keep your head up after rejection?
Again, this is a tough one. Even today I find myself in a bit of a slump because I just learned I lost a major role! I had a great audition, even better callback… it was out of my hands. I did my best, I dressed the part, researched, practiced my Boston accent… everything! Turns out – I was just too young for the role! Out of my hands… Go in there, do your best, and like I said before – think of each audition as practice… My motto after every audition is “onto the next!”
On a side note, I came across this article from Backstage.com, Helping Young Actors Deal With Rejection, and thought it would be a nice touch to add to this question!
Anything else to add?
I commend any young child who knows at a young age that this is what they want to do when they “grow up”. Have a good head on your shoulders, have a great support system in your family and friends, and keep the “onto to next!” motto close. Practice makes perfect, and this business is no exception.
Thanks Monica for your time and wisdom! You can learn more about Monica by visiting her website, and following her on Twitter and Facebook. You can also find her on IMDb.