Its 6:26 pm
Welcome to 8 Questions with……
I met our next guest,Allyn Morrison,about six weeks ago when I asked her if she would like to do a interview with me. She very graciously said “I would like that” and of course I sent her my questions. Now normally I have a 21 day turnaround period so I can these interviews coming but as we were entering May,I just lost track of what I was doing,meaning I was (and am) struggling to keep writing. May is not a fun month for me.
So I reached out to Allyn to see about her interview and she wrote back saying how sorry she was,she wrote her mother had a dance with something I know all too well.
I admit,reading Allyn’s response choked me up,imagine having to tell a stranger whom you just barely met that you are facing a potential life altering event.
I know sometimes that “fearless” is a somewhat overused word but it Allyn,whether traveling to Belize to help children learn,deciding not to play it safe career wise and chase her dreams or even writing films reviews like the cheetah and I do (trust me,you need DO need to be brave to do that),I don’t think there is a mountain that Allyn wouldn’t be afraid to climb.
After seeing this,how can you not like this hard working actress whose love of family is so strong,am I right? While this pandemic has stopped everything in its tracks,it hasn’t stopped us from introducing some amazing artists like Allyn who just want to create and entertain us. I really hope you enjoy getting to know a all around outstanding actress (and an amazing daughter) Allyn Morrison as she answers her 8 Questions……
Please introduce yourself and tell us what your current project is at the moment.
Hi there! My name is Allyn Morrison, and I am an actress based out of the Dallas- Fort worth area of Texas. I’m not working on a specific project right now what with Covid-19 happening, so I’m doing lots of research and getting ready for the future!
How are you coping with the Covid-19 pandemic? What are you doing to stay sane?
Quarantine has definitely been hard. I live by myself, so I’ve had to get creative in order to stay cheerful. I’ve been going on walks everyday, and the fresh air and sunshine definitely help keep me sane. I’m keeping in touch with my family and friends and zooming with people pretty frequently. I’ve also made myself a to-do list, and that has given me some structure.
What was growing up in your house like? What was your favorite vacation as a child?
I’m originally from Arizona, land of the heat, and that was an experience let me tell you. I’m the youngest of three kids and was actually pretty shy as a child. When I discovered theater during junior high, I felt really alive for the first time.
My family has been really blessed in that we’ve been able to travel quite a bit. I hate having to pick a favorite trip, but if I had to choose I’d say it had to be the trip to Scotland and England my family went on when I was around 10. My family’s Scottish, so we wanted to go see where our ancestors were from haha. Scotland is absolutely beautiful, and England has so much history. I’d go back again in a heart beat if I could.
What led you to become an actress? What steps did you take in realizing your goals?
Like I said earlier, I was very shy growing up as a kid. However, I distinctly remember watching movies at a very young age and thinking, “I could do that. I could get up in front of a camera and say lines.” Ironic, I know. I was cast in my first musical in seventh grade (I was Mrs. Paroo in The Music Man Jr.), and my parents were actually pretty concerned. They told me, “You know you have to get up in front of people and sing right? On a stage?” And I said, “Yeah I know.” They told me later that when they came to opening night they were both dumbfounded while watching me perform. “What happened to our Allyn?” They had absolutely no idea haha.
I continued doing theater throughout junior high and high school and wanted to pursue it in college, but my parents and I realized that I wouldn’t make much money pursuing acting. So I decided to become a teacher instead. However, as soon as I started tutoring during college I realizing that a) I didn’t like tutoring and b) I wasn’t very good at it. Go figure. And I realized that I really loved acting.
I graduated from college with an English degree and took a year off to do a leadership/discipleship program before I started working as an extra part time for two years. I’ve been pursuing acting full time now for a year and a half.
Walk us through your first audition…..how did you handle that entire experience and what did you learn from it?
My first real audition for a speaking part went really well (or at least I thought it did). I made the people in the room laugh, and one casting director gave me a redirect. Now looking back, I realize that I made a few mistakes. First of all, I shook everyone’s hand both before and after my audition! I didn’t know that you’re not supposed to do that. Oops. Also, I wrote down on a form that I wasn’t very available during the shoot dates. I now realize that that was incredibly stupid. No one wants to hire someone who isn’t available! Needless to say, I didn’t get the part.
How do you approach the roles you play? Do you do anything special or different before you hit the set?
Each role is different. In college I took classes that centered on the Stanislavski method, which includes sense memory and dealing with the given circumstances of a role. That basically means that I try to take experiences from my past and incorporate those experiences into my current role. I won’t have experience to draw from for every role (example: I’ve never murdered anybody), so I have to envision how and why my character is the way she is.
Recently you have started to move behind the camera, what led you to do this? Would you like to get into directing someday?
I actually started working as a production assistant so that I just could be on set. During my first year of pursuing acting full time I also did a program called Friends in Film. This program gives you the tools to get on set as a crew member and then work your way up into the niche that you ultimately want to get to. Learning how a crew works and how everyone’s job works together has given me a fuller understanding of what a set looks like. It’s not just about actors and people behind the camera. We each have a part to play (no pun intended), whether we’re crew or cast, and together we make something much bigger than ourselves. Plus working in production is a wonderful networking opportunity. I get to tell people that I am an actor, and hopefully they’ll remember me for future jobs. I’ve already gotten a few jobs from working as a PA!
I used to want to be a director but I’ve since learned that I don’t have those particular skill sets. Big picture thinking isn’t my strong suit. However, I think I could be a pretty decent producer. Detail work and spreadsheets are my jam.
What is the acting community like in Ft. Worth? How do you learn about upcoming films being shot around you?
The acting community in Fort Worth is definitely small, but we are a very tight knit community. I attend class at a wonderful actor’s studio every week (shout out to Fort Worth Actor’s Studio!), and classes are led by working actors. Our community is very supportive, which is amazing and invaluable as we try to make it in this business.
I have an agent in Dallas who submits me to projects in and around Texas, but I do a lot of research on my own. I participate in a lot of acting Facebook groups, and I keep up with new projects that way. If there’s a project that I definitely want to be considered for, I let my agent know.
Who has given you the best advice/encouragement and what did they share with you?
My acting teacher Nathan has told me and everyone in our class multiple times that the right project will come along. If I didn’t book after a particular audition, that means it wasn’t the right project. In an industry where there can be a lot of downtime between projects, it’s encouraging to be reminded that the right projects are out there; they’re just not here yet.
What three roles do you enjoy playing the most and what three roles challenge you the most?
I enjoy any type of role that makes people laugh. Whether that means being the side character whose sole purpose is comic relief or having a larger part, comedic parts are my favorite. I’ve been told that I’m particularly good at portraying people in high authority, such as a lawyer, cop, or doctor. I’m a very laid back person, so portraying someone who is more authoritative and bossy can be a bit of a challenge, but it’s a good one for sure!
What do you like to do in between projects?
I love to read. Like, I LOVE to read books. I’ve been keeping book lists since high school, so I’m definitely a nerd. Historical fiction is my favorite genre, but I try to throw in Christian theology, nonfiction, and acting books.
I also love to watch movies. Every week I try to watch at least one movie that I haven’t seen and write a review on it. They can be award winning movies, cult classics, or popular films I haven’t seen yet. I call it #movieresearchnight and you can find my reviews on Instagram!
How important is it to promote yourself as an artist and how do you promote yourself?
As an actor, you are self-employed. The only way that you can grow any business is by promoting it. And when you’re an actor, you are your own business, so self promotion is extremely important. For me that includes being active on my acting social media pages, networking with other actors and casting directors, and working as a production assistant.
The cheetah and I are flying over to watch your latest film but we are a day early and now you are playing tour guide, what are we doing?
If we’re in Fort Worth, we’re going to Heim BBQ and Melt Ice Cream for some quality Texas food, next on a tour of Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth, and then an exploration of the Stockyards. If you’re lucky, I’ll take you to my favorite spot: the local library! Just kidding. Kind of.
I like to like Allyn for taking the time to chat with us in what was a stressful time.
Right before I posted this,her mother got a happy ending and thank heaven for that.
I hope you enjoyed meeting Allyn and thank you for supporting her interview.
Like everyone,Allyn has various social media outlets so you can follow her next steps in her career.
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