After growing up in Philadelphia, I relocated to New York, where I began my professional career. My first major taste of the limelight came from Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding – the Off-Broadway hit comedy- in which I played the “prima donna” bridesmaid Donna Marsala. I soon found success on-screen, appearing in The Rules (For Men), A Packing Suburbia and Pride & Loyalty. I headed west – to Hollywood. There, I created Philly Chick Pictures, an endeavor designed to increase opportunities in front of the camera, as well as behind it.
— Brooke Lewis (@BrookeLewisLA) November 15, 2015
Since making the move, I have had roles in, or on, several projects, including, Quintuplets, Mafiosa, Break, Gerald, Dahmer Vs. Gacy, Alien Dawn, The Mourning, Starship: Rising, Starship: Apocalypse and Lazarus Apocalypse. I starred opposite Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster) in the TV pilot Life’s A Butch. Some of my producing credits include: Circuit Riders (actress/producer), Broken Angel (co-producer), Kinky Killers (actress/co-executive producer), iMurders (actress/executive producer), The Drum Beats Twice (actress/executive producer), The Sinatra Club (actress/producer), Slime City Massacre (actress/co-producer) and Sprinkles (actress/executive producer/producer).
In 2009, I launched the Ms. Vampy TV/talk show/web series, which I created, starred in and produced. In 2011, I went on to launch the teen smash hit TV/talk show/web series Ms. Vampy’s Tween Tawk, Teen Tawk & In Between Tawk and in 2014, Ms. Vampy’s Love Bites.
Did you study acting
I am a firm believer in studying and training, no matter what area of the entertainment business you are in! I feel we have a responsibility to our craft and our audience to be the best we can be! When I was in college, I took acting classes at the famous Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. I studied at Strasberg in New York, then, once I became a working actor, had the privilege to study privately with Anthony Abeson. In Los Angeles, I took workshops, then studied privately with the amazing Tim Phillips, then did all the Actor’s Niche work with the incredible John Dapolito! I have been blessed with the greatest of teachers! And, yes, I still study with Tim Phillips before a big audition.
What acting technique do you use
I have studied sooooo many different techniques and have combined a few that work best for me! Anthony Abeson and I worked a lot with sense memory work. I really love the Stella Adler process of the magic “as if”. Tim Phillips uses a method that involves “pictures” and seeing everything that is on the script page. I combine the brilliance of them all!
What wrong impressions do actors hold about acting
The two things that come most strongly to mind are that acting careers cannot sustain longevity on looks nor “type” alone…and, that there is an age or time frame that you should put on your acting career! The most beautiful beauty Kings and Queens from all over the world flock to Hollywood daily! It is quite possible for a young actor or actress to gain overnight success, based on looks and beauty alone, but the chances of sustaining a long career, based on this is slim. Again, this is the reason I stress training! It really is about doing great work!
I think it is important for actors to understand if they are a specific physical “type” and to play to their strengths, but, again, it is so important to understand WHO you are and WHAT roles are best suited for your talents. The second thing is I have seen so many actors come to Hollywood and commit “for five years” or “until I am 30”. Acting is a career and commitment and unless it fills your soul and there is nothing else you want to do, don’t do it! I think most actors need a “support” job for the slow times, but if you put a time limit on your career and dreams, like a lot of people do, you are sabotaging them as soon as you do! Commit and Create!!!
How do you keep fit as an actor
Oh boy! This is a tough one! This is also an important one! In my 20s, I was obsessed with looking good and in shape on camera. I went to extreme measures and dieted and starved at times! As I have gotten a bit older, I refuse to make myself sick or crazy for this career. I LOVE my wine and tequila and can still party like a Rock Star at times! But, now I allow myself to cheat and try to maintain balance! I tend to go up and down 10 lbs. and that can be a huge difference on my five foot frame! And, we know camera adds weight.
I consistently work out four to five times per week and I eat healthy five days per week. I allow myself to go “nuts” when I am not filming, but about two weeks before a shoot, I will get super disciplined and stop all alcohol, do detox healthy soups and really take care of myself! As far as mentally, I have an amazing Life Coach who keeps me balanced each week and have done therapy in the past. I take spiritual workshops and read self-help books. I believe every creative person should work on himself/herself from the inside out! Life and this career can be challenging.
When you’re offered a role, what do you do next
I love this question! J Of course, it is all about the script and the role for me! I read the script once, objectively, then a second time, subjectively, for my role. Then, if I love it, I send it right over to my managers to read, then negotiate the big bucks! LOL And, if I am being honest, there are times when I have taken acting jobs because I needed the money 😉 We all have to eat!
How do you take a character in a script to a honest, believable and breathing person
Specific choices, imaginary circumstances, sense memory, tapping into my own personal experiences and emotions…and, a lotta prayer! LOL And, even with that, sometimes I hit the mark and other times I fail miserable! Remember, we actors are human and flawed!
How do you stay fresh on set
A really good MAKEUP ARTIST!!! 😉 LOL I have to stay very still and focused! I am not one of those actors who can break character, then jump right back in. For me, it takes time, work and concentration.
What do you want most from a director
My favorite directors have been directors who have acted themselves at some point! These directors seem to focus more on the acting and art of acting, as opposed to the technical side of directing. I happen to be an actress who wants, needs and likes a lot of direction. Sometimes, I do not trust myself and my choices, so I want a director who I can trust and who will bring out the best in me!
What actors do you long to work with
I would kill to work with Robert De Niro!
Um…let’s see…The Godfather: Part II; Goodfellas; Raging Bull; Casino…shall I go on? LOL
What advice would you give to actors
Commit! Study! Do NOT listen to the NAYSAYERS! Follow your DREAMS! NEVER GIVE UP! Be Fearless and Follow Your Dreams
Briefly write about your career
Indieactivity, thank you for this opportunity to share my career with your readers and young actors! I hope something I shared helps another artist in some way! Your readers can learn more