Article | Sun September 24, 2017, 10:44 AM EST
September 24, 2017 -- Actress and voice-over artist Jamie Kerezsi is back home and re-entering the Philadelphia acting scene after building a career in New York and Los Angeles.
She went to New York at the age of eighteen, graduated from The School for Film and Television, and began working steadily in voice-overs and commercials. She honed her comedic sensibility by immersing herself in improv and stand-up comedy. Those in the industry described her as a cross between Leah Remini and Eddie Falco with a touch of sass. She was a regular on the show, “Off Campus,” which won a Mid-Atlantic Emmy award, and also had roles on TV shows such as “Law and Order” and the NBC show, “ED.” After ten years in the New York market, she decided she needed a change and moved to Los Angeles where she was cast in the world premiere of the play, “86’d,” and originated the role of Angela. It won the “Pick of the Week” from the LA Times.
“When I was in LA, acting was my life. I was out auditioning all the time, especially during pilot and episodic seasons,” Kerezsi says. “I would go in and create a character, and not just show them what I think they want. I want give all the roles I play a life. I want them to breathe. I want to give them a soul.”
During her years in Los Angeles, she booked numerous shorts for Buzzfeed and screen tested for a series on FOX called, “Fantasy Life.” But after countless callbacks and chemistry reads, the role ended up going to a more well known actress. “In LA, you had the right opportunities if you knew the right people,” Kerezsi explains.
When Kerezsi moved back home to Philadelphia, she was ready to give up the industry, but she was surprised when opportunities and creative collaborations began reappearing in her life. It was like the acting world was beckoning her once again.
“I think something had to change, and for me, it was coming home,” Kerezsi revealed. “When you are surrounded by people that love you, support you and want you to be happy, there is something in your body that becomes dynamic and just snaps on… Philadelphia renewed my dreams about being on film and TV. The people in Philly, and the energy in Philly - it’s just real. Now with Netflix and streaming television, we want to watch people who are real. They make movies about people from everywhere - all kinds of lives and characters. Before (in Los Angeles), it was all about looks and how well you match with what they thought someone should look like. But here, its more about who can better tell the story. Who can make this character feel real?”
Where are you from originally?
Philadelphia suburbs - Delco to be exact.
When did you come back to Philadelphia?
I moved back to Philadelphia two years ago after ten years in New York city and three years in Los Angeles. You can take the girl out of Philly, but you can't the Philly out of the girl.
What inspired you to be in the industry?
I don't know that I can honestly say I was inspired into the industry. Acting is in my genetic make up. It's a passion that lives inside me. I wanted to act since I was a little girl because movies always made me feel something... I have absolutely been inspired by the industry and the incredible raw, vulnerable and real talent that exists within it.
What are some projects that you have worked on?
I have worked on lots of BuzzFeed videos and I was one of the leads in "Off Campus," a TV series that premiered on the CW Philly. I have done lots commercials and voiceovers. I was the lead in Jon Polito's world premiere dark comedy, “ 86’d.” I was also lead in a TV Pilot, “Curto," that was pitched to Showtime. Theatrically, I have played MAY in Sam Shepard’s “Fool for Love," Linda Rotunda in John Patrick Shanley’s “Savage in Limbo," Rhonda in John Patrick Shanley’s “Women of Manhattan," and Jessie in Marsha Norman’s “Night Mother."
What are you currently working on?
I have just been in class with producer Suzanne DeLaurentiis. I took a break from acting when I left LA and just getting back into it.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I would like to be a series regular on a hit TV show and I would like to be at Sundance winning an award for Best Actress.
How do you feel that the industry is changing and how does it benefit you as an actress?
I feel that the industry is changing with all of the social media platforms that are out there. You can be anywhere in the world and you can have the opportunity to be seen. The film and TV isn't just in LA... they have big industry platforms in so many cities across the country. With streaming television, there are so many more shows and so much more work. I also believe that it's a time where people want to see real characters on television, characters that are relatable to people. It's a great time to be working! The opportunities are endless.
Interview by Giovannie Espiritu
Article | Sun September 24, 2017, 10:44 AM EST