April 6, 2012

Spotlight of the Day: Meredith Michalojko

Today I chose one of my personal friends as my Spotlight of the Day. Meredith Michalojko is a model/actress currently working in L.A. She took the time to answer a few questions exclusively for The NYC Film Chick:

How long have you been in L.A?   I officially moved out to Los Angeles in August of 2011.  My family and I loaded up the mini-van and drove cross country to move me into my new apartment. Along the way we stopped by some national landmarks and touristy sites such as Graceland and the Grand Canyon as well as visiting family members we don’t often get to see.   

 What school are you currently attending?  I am currently attending Santa Monica Community College (SMC) where I am taking my general ed. courses towards my business degree where I plan to transfer to Cal State LA.  SMC is the number one transfer school to UC and Cal State schools with over 30,000 students.  

 What are you majoring in?   I am majoring in business because most of the schools with an acting program out here would not allow me to audition for TV and film roles outside of the school while I am enrolled. I will be able to incorporate the business aspect into my career goals and if, God forbid, I need something to fall back on.  It will also be useful as a backup plan if God forbid I need one.   

 Are you focusing more on modeling or acting?  I have been acting longer than modeling. Modeling was something that came to me through acting because I was tall and skinny.  It was also another way for me to promote my name within the industry.  I have come to love both of them but for different reasons.
What is unique about living in California as opposed to living in Pittsburgh [where she use to live]?  Living in LA is way different than living in Pittsburgh. First of all, the weather is wonderful! I will go to the beach and send pictures to my family while they shiver in the cold snow. (they don’t like that very much)  The people are a lot different as well.  I have found that Los Angeles is more accepting of differences and unique styles that people portray.  One example my friend gave me was he went home to Chicago to visit after living here and his sense of dress had changed a little from the influence of the west coast. As he went home he was glared at and ridiculed by people in his hometown for being different than the “norm” of the east coast.  I love the people back home but I admire the open minds and unique styles I encounter out here.

What have you learned in your time in L.A? I have learned more about myself and about the world than I could have ever imagined in my time here.  For anyone who has moved away from their family for the first time they can agree that this is probably one of the most eye opening experiences they’ve faced.  For me, it is sometimes doubled due to the fact that not only did I move out, but I moved all the way to the other side of the country.  I also maintain a career along with school work, a job, and an active social life. I’ve learned a lot about how different people’s upbringings shape who they are and how to work with those differences in order to overcome challenges. I’ve also learned the value of trust, responsibilities, and prioritizing.  Trust can be a hard thing to come by when everyone out here is competing for the same thing.  Through my experiences since being here I have had to select my friends carefully and who I can truly trust all based on trial and error.  As far as responsibilities and priorities go, every so often I will sit down and have a good think with myself.  During this time, I may find myself getting off track from my ultimate goal and I will reflect on what I need to get done.  I am constantly given so many social opportunities that most peers my age could never imagine that I sometimes lose sight of the fact that I need to better myself for my career and the rest will always be there for the taking.

What are your goals? My managers and I set aside a list of goals to accomplish by the end of this year and throughout the next few years as far as my career goes.  We set up a reasonable schedule of deadlines for when I should be booking commercials and guest spots etc.  As for school, I just want to maintain a “B” or higher in every class. 

  What jobs have you worked on so far? TV: We The People-Stacy Sweet (costar) Music Video: Patrice Wilson Music Video Teaser-(featured) Youtube: Mtvs Made Doushebag Player-Hot Chick (featured) Modeling: LA Fashion Week Fall and Spring- Project Ethos (MulteePurpose,Furio, BodyTecture, Luica), Amato Haute Couture (designer for Lady Gaga, Nicki Manaj, Katy Perry), Feature Film (In Progress) 

Your favorite celebrity run in? That’s a tough one because I meet a lot of them at parties and events. It's awkward to talk about them as celebrities or when we are out in public and fans ask for pictures. However, recently I was at a party with some friends and Kevin Mchale (Glee) was there and he came up and introduced himself (of course I acted like I didn’t know him yet he’s my favorite on the show!) He was so sweet and seemed super chill.

What advice would you give someone who wanted to move to L.A to model or act? LA is a lot different from the rest of the U.S. as cheesy as that sounds, but it's true. I am grateful to have lived outside of it before moving there because I was able to witness the cultural differences and standards of society to where I wasn't jaded by the Cali lifestyle. My advice would be attend as many classes as possible to prepare and even when you do get out here still attend classes. My biggest pet peeve is having people tell me they want to become an actor but don't want to do the research head of time. It's just like any other career you need the proper knowledge to do the job right. Even every celebrity and working actor I have met still attends classes. There's never a time when you can't develop your craft even more.

Agent: Kendall Parks-JLA (Jack Lippman Agency)
Manager: Nelson Park and Vic Vaswani- ESI Network

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