894. A Day in the Life: What's It Really Like to Be an Actor?
“A lot of people think about acting from the glamor and high profile perspective of the occupation. But there’s actually a far grittier side of it that you need to be really strong to be able to deal with. I mean, I’ve known actors who are super talented, but they just didn’t want to deal with the insecurity of not knowing what their next job was. Even if they were successful, they still would have periods of… you don’t know what your next job is, or you’re always striving for another job, you’re always networking. It’s profoundly different than when you have one job your entire career. I love acting and I don’t want to do anything else, but it’s certainly not for everyone!”
Carine Montbertrand is a professional actor, teacher, and audiobook narrator based in New York City. She was born in France but grew up in the US with an American mother and French father. As a theatre actor, she has performed off-Broadway and throughout most of the United States, including Alaska! Recently, she also made a brief appearance on THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL. She’s the award winning narrator of more than 80 audiobooks for companies such as Recorded Books, Penguin Random House, and Audible. As a teacher she specializes in physical theatre and mask work, as well as Voice and Speech.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“From the time I was a young girl, I never wanted to do anything else. That doesn’t mean I didn’t meet any skepticism in my family about it. I didn’t necessarily say it out loud at first, but I was determined to do it. By the time I moved to New York in 1988, pursuing a career in acting was what I was planning on doing. Okay, it seemed like a mountain to climb and sometimes it still feels like a mountain to climb, but there weren’t other things I wanted to do. I think most actors do other things to help support themselves when they’re not acting. And I think different actors have different paths with that kind of thing. I personally wanted to do something that was a little more fulfilling and so I have always taught as well, which I truly love.”
The Most Powerful Lessons and Experiences?
1. “My father was French, my mother American. My father was a professor with a specialty in 17th century French literature, with a particular interest in the French playwright Moliere. From an early age they took me to the theater.”
2. “Both parents had many and varied interests and were very curious individuals, which influenced me greatly and is a characteristic very important to actors because you have to put yourself in the shoes of myriad characters, to help create interest in and empathy for them.”
3. “In my mid-teens we lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, home of the Fulton Opera House. I got parts in a couple of plays, like A Christmas Carol, and began to learn what it was really like to work in a professional theater—a very meaningful experience at such a young age.”
4. “After my third year at Tufts University where I was a drama major, I went to France and studied acting at the Cours Florent drama school in Paris and art history at the Louvre Museum, which laid the foundation for my second passion: teaching.”
5. “In 1988 I moved to New York with no idea how to really break into the acting profession, but was lucky to get a role in a play that was presented by a travelling group of actors who travelled around the country in a van and a U-Haul putting on morning performances for students in various high schools. I was 22 years old and was paid $200 a week, which I thought was amazing.”
6.”After that experience I got a part in an off-Broadway show in New York, then did an internship at a major regional theater—Milwaukee Repertory Theater—which is tantamount to an apprenticeship to become a professional actor. You understudy, play small roles and learn vital lessons by being around professional actors. It was a very important experience for me, and I remain friends with some of the actors 30 years later.”
Connecting With Carine Montbertrand
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