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She Got in Gear and Booked All Year


Here at the Actor's Studio of Orange County, we love our students. Recently, we did a very special interview with Ainah Lagrimas, who, at our studio, has taken every Pillars course, most specialty courses, and was a member of our Intermediate class. She has been booking non-stop gigs all year!

Here are some of her recent bookings:

1.) A regional commercial for Honda, music videos, and print ad jobs (Crestron, Reshma Beauty, etc).

2.) Three principal roles in Feature Films and two supporting roles in short films in the last few months. Last year, she worked on her first feature, where she played the lead character.

3.) She is also in pre-production for two additional films.

  1. How long have you been acting?

I have been a working actor for about a year now, but I started training with ASOOC in the fall of 2016, which I consider to be the moment I took my first leap into acting.

2. What would you say has been the biggest takeaway you’ve had from ASoOC in regards to technique?

Specificity. What I have come to understand, after my rigorous training with ASOOC, is that it is a vital part of storytelling. Every class that I have ever taken seems to point to this, which makes more sense to me now that I have been acting on a regular basis. I find that when I act without being clear on my circumstances, wants, needs, goals, and actions, I am not nearly as convincing. Also, I think we can all agree that nobody is interested in a vague story.

3. What has been the biggest takeaway professionally (for example, something you heard from a teacher or something you learned from ASoOC that helped your career?)

That it is important to cultivate a fertile imagination and to give yourself the freedom to play.

4. Do you still have a day job? How does this day job contribute to helping make your dreams come true? If not, is acting sustaining your living?

I do a lot of online work and I also babysit part-time. Evidently, I am not yet at that point where I can sustain myself solely through acting, however, it is a great thing to have a flexible schedule simply because I can accommodate more acting opportunities; I don’t think that I would have been able to work as an actor as much as I have in a year if I had a 9-5 job.

5. Has acting helped you grow as an individual?

Definitely. Acting has helped me to be more comfortable in my own skin and to take up more space. Being a woman, Asian, and an introvert, I have had to overcome deeply ingrained self-doubt and self-consciousness. Don’t get me wrong: they are still there, and maybe they will always be there. However, through acting, I have learned how to make bolder choices and be vulnerable and fall on my face without beating myself up. In a way, I have learned to be kinder to myself.

This is an industry where you have to subject yourself to constant scrutiny and rejection; in order to last, it is imperative to find a way to boost your own confidence, be resilient, and not pick yourself apart at every turn.

6. Have you studied all 7 Pillars?

Yes, I have, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to study this technique. Wherever my acting journey takes me, I take comfort in the fact that I have all these dependable tools under my belt that I can always use and hone to serve my craft.

7. Which Pillar is the most important for you, as an actor when studying?

They are all of equal importance to me.

8. Do you live in Orange County? If so, how is commuting to auditions? If not, did you used to?

Yes, I live in Irvine. It is not easy during rush hour, and parking in LA can be challenging, but, except for one time I was not feeling well, I have never been late to a single audition or shoot thus far. I try to be at least half an hour early so that I have enough time to compose myself and do whatever kind of prep is necessary for the task at hand.

9. If you could leave an aspiring actor, someone in the beginning stages of their career, or someone looking to make the leap professionally, what piece of advice or quote would you leave them?

Patience is not complacency. Meaningful work takes time. Embrace your craft: show up every day and give it all you’ve got.

Patience is not complacency. Meaningful work takes time. Embrace your craft: show up every day and give it all you’ve got.


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© 2013 by Sonya Cooke. All rights reserved

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