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Life & Work with Denise Reed

Today we’d like to introduce you to Denise Reed.

Hi Denise, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My interest in performing arts started at the tiny age of three which was when I started dance. I went on to dance for about ten years, three or so of them spent competing around the east coast. I’ve always loved being on stage and performing (a typical Aries) and so that lead me to participating in the musicals and traveling performance groups in high school. While I enjoyed acting on stage, I saw it at the time as more of a hobby than a career. I went along to pursue a college degree with my love of performing on the back burner. However, in my last year or so, I did my very first short film as part of a school project and I absolutely fell in LOVE with acting on camera! I started skipping classes to head into the city for auditions and I couldn’t wait to graduate so I could pursue acting full time. Since then, I’ve been acting, modeling commercially and filmmaking here in NYC.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Pursuing this career has definitely NOT been a smooth road! I think the biggest obstacle has been the financial toll it takes to pursue a career in the arts. Without coming from a wealthy family, it is definitely challenging to balance a survival job with auditioning, filming, training, networking, etc. Having to work a job that you don’t love in order to have a flexible enough schedule to make your creative career the top priority is just something many actors and creators have to deal with.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am most successful in the commercial world between acting in commercials or modeling in commercial print work. However, my heart and soul lies in tv and film! I not only love acting in projects but I enjoy the whole filmmaking process from idea to script to storyboarding, pre-production, set design, cinematography, directing and editing. While I act in mostly commercial work with some tv and film sprinkled in, I would really love to dive deeper into filmmaking in the near future and start producing/directing projects that I act in as well.

What were you like growing up?
I was actually rather shy growing up! Despite loving being on stage, I was not a super talkative child. It wasn’t until maybe middle or high school that I started to come out of my shell. Once I moved to New York, I really became my authentic, confident self and found my voice (which is quite loud). Now I can’t shut up! When I was younger, I was also really interested in painting, drawing, photography, etc. I almost went to art school! I still paint and draw a bit in my spare time and I started a business photographing headshots for actors under the name Actor Bestie.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Main image and image #5 photographer credit: Nate Napolitano

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