Michelle Oppedisano

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EP 114: Michelle Oppedisano (autogenerated)

[00:00:00] Dane Reis: [00:00:00] you booked it episode 114. Okay. Let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Michelle . Are you ready for this Michelle?

[00:00:15]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:00:15] I am.

[00:00:16] Dane Reis: [00:00:16] All right. Michelle is an actress and a yoga teacher currently living in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from purchase college by way of Boston conservatory three, where she majored in musical theater.

[00:00:29] In addition to performing professionally all over the East coast, she has a children’s drama and musical theater teacher. And for the past two and a half years, she has been teaching yoga and just launched her brand new yoga and wellness. Instagram. Yeah. Facebook pages called live well with Michelle.

[00:00:47] Michelle. That is a quick intro of who you are and what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself, fill in the gaps and a little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry.

[00:01:02]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:01:02] So I’m originally from California. Uh, I was born in San Diego and when I was 13, we moved to upstate New York and. Sort of where I say I’m from, uh, cause I have, I lived there most of my life, um, or my parents have, so my mom, I got into theater because my mom was a theater critic all throughout, ever since, before I can remember. Yeah. Um, so then I fell in love with New York city and musical theater and. Um, after college, I kind of just went wherever the wind takes me. Um, so I went to Orlando for awhile. I was working at Disney world and also, um, universal some dinner shows. And then I moved. Um, then I moved to right outside New York city and I was sort of doing the grind there, but realized that. I wanted a change of scene. So I went to Atlanta. So now I’m in Atlanta and I took some time off to become a yoga teacher and Atlanta, I, uh, started recently more on camera stuff as well as theater.

[00:02:01]Dane Reis: [00:02:01] Oh, very cool.

[00:02:02] Michelle Oppedisano: [00:02:02] the Atlanta market is really growing here. So yeah, I have a lot of background in theater and just started branching out into, into, on camera stuff.

[00:02:10] Dane Reis: [00:02:10] Yeah. 

[00:02:11] Michelle Oppedisano: [00:02:11] That’s kind of kind of where I’m at.

[00:02:12]Dane Reis: [00:02:12] Yeah. I’ve heard that Atlanta has a lot going on in the film world and in lots of corporate production as well.

[00:02:20]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:02:20] That’s it’s true. It seems to be more and more with every passing year. So, um, yeah, I could see myself like splitting my time. Maybe once the theater world opens back up again in New York.

[00:02:30] Dane Reis: [00:02:30] Ah, very cool. And let’s move on to this next section here. And Michelle, look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone?

[00:02:44]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:02:44] So the quote I keep coming back to, um, and I think about it all the time. And I even tell this to other people all the time. What would you do if you had a million dollars? Uh, whenever anyone’s trying to think of maybe what they want to do with their life, especially younger people, kids that think, trying to think about what they’re wanting to do for a living.

[00:03:01] What would you do if you had a million dollars? And that is a quote from office space.

[00:03:04]Dane Reis: [00:03:04] Yeah, with that quote , can you expand, I guess, on what that. Is trying to accomplish and what you’re trying to inspire with yourself or with others when you’re sharing that quote.

[00:03:17]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:03:17] Yeah. So it’s basically, , what would I, what would I do with my time, if I had a million dollars and didn’t have to worry about making money, what would I do with my time? And that’s what you should be doing for a living. Cause then you’re going to really love your job. It’s not going to like work.

[00:03:33]Dane Reis: [00:03:33] I really liked that and I was interviewing. Another guy a few days ago,  he had said in life he’s like, life is all about struggles. Everyone has to struggle. Doesn’t matter if you’re struggling in something you hate or something that you love, it’s going to be a struggle.

[00:03:48] So if you’re going to struggle doing something, do the thing that you love.

[00:03:52] Michelle Oppedisano: [00:03:52] I do that’s exactly right. Yes.

[00:03:55]Dane Reis: [00:03:55] Oh. And those cuts and those two, I think really go hand in hand. 

[00:03:59]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:03:59] Yeah.

[00:04:00]Dane Reis: [00:04:00] Great. And let’s get into this next section here. And Michelle, look,  you are an entertainer. I am an entertainer. And I think that you would agree that this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally, emotional industries.

[00:04:17] In existence and you know, you know, as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now, it takes a lot of dedication and hard work. And while yeah, there’s an outrageous amount of fun and excitement doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures.

[00:04:39] We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it?

[00:04:54]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:04:54] I have always had a fear of advancing without perfection. So I, um, it holds me back from. From a lot or it ha it has held me back in, in my life. Um, so that’s been one big thing, but the other main thing, especially specific to our industry is comparing myself to other people. that’s just something that, I mean, you go into an audition room and there are a million people who look like you and sound like you.

[00:05:19]And, and maybe one person looks a little bit better. One person sounds a little bit better and you’re like, Ugh. But the, uh, after years and years of continuing to do that and realizing that, that plus my fear of advancing without perfection was really holding me back. I really had to let go of focusing on anybody else, um, because there’s always going to be a place for you.

[00:05:38]Uh, or for me, you just gotta, just gotta trust it.

[00:05:41]Dane Reis: [00:05:41] Yeah, wonderful insight. And  the first thing you said you had a fear of moving forward without things being perfect

[00:05:48] Michelle Oppedisano: [00:05:48] Yeah. Yeah. So for,

[00:05:50]Dane Reis: [00:05:50] No, go on.

[00:05:51]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:05:51] Well, for instance, you know, I’m a, I’m in. Not be super comfortable with my dancing skills at this time, because I’m feeling, you know, whatever sluggish today or whatever. And maybe in the past I would have skipped the dance call or, uh, you know, skipped that audition and gone to gone to a different one that didn’t call for dancing.

[00:06:06]But you know, the more you just push through it, the easier it gets , um, but it took me a long time to learn that. And I, I rarely do. I really do think, you know, it’s, it’s a huge part of it.  my career and what has held me back.

[00:06:16]Dane Reis: [00:06:16] For sure. And I’m glad to hear that, you know, , you’re very conscious and aware of that at this point and you’ve moved beyond that, but I think it’s also good to note that. Pushing forward when you don’t feel like it’s the perfect time or the idyllic time to do so is also a skill. Just like we train in our performance or dancing or acting or singing.

[00:06:40]We train in that so we can get better. And the more times you just step over your fear and keep doing things the easier, it also becomes.

[00:06:49]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:06:49] That’s a really good point. It’s like a muscle. They work out. Um, yeah, that’s, that’s a really great way to put it.

[00:06:54] Dane Reis: [00:06:54] Great. And let’s move on to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized yes. I am going to be an entertainer for a living or maybe it was, yes, this is what I need to be doing in the entertainment industry. Tell us about that.

[00:07:18]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:07:18] So my, my moment is so cliche and, um, so I was very young, everybody who’s listening to this probably knows who sat in the foster is, um, Simon foster was in the national support of Leymah’s when she was like 19 or something. And I saw the tour come through and I’d been going to theater to see theater with my mom for forever.

[00:07:36] Like I said, she was a theater critic. Um, since before I can remember, and I always loved musical theater, I started me doing children’s theater. When I was really young and was continuing to do it and I loved it. I loved it. But  I still remember seeing it. I can still see it in my head, Sutton foster doing Ebony.

[00:07:55] And that’s what I want them doing for the rest of my life. I never changed my mind, like throughout. I was like, I think I was nine and I just always knew that’s what I wanted to do. Now I’ve, I’ve, I’ve gone through, I’ve questioned that decision, of course, because this is such a, such a, um, ever-changing industry.

[00:08:11] So the industry then is same as the industry now, but, uh, what, where does remain the same is that passion and the fact that really nothing is as fulfilling for me.

[00:08:20]Dane Reis: [00:08:20] Yeah. And. I feel like I’m having a little bit of a flashback memory of being at the conservatory with you and you singing something from Les Miz.

[00:08:32] Michelle Oppedisano: [00:08:32] Yeah, I was probably, I was on my own. I’m sure. Just because that song was always, I mean, it’s so overdone, you know, they say, if you’re going to overdo something, if you’re going to do something over done, just over, do it well and make it your own. And that was, I was always my, like, I’m just going to do this when I can song, like maybe for cabaret.

[00:08:47] I actually have a I’m doing on my own as a, um, an, a talent competition. When I was younger, I was like, I was, I was probably like, I don’t know, 10, and my mom, like, we went all out on this talent competition. I think I won, I can’t remember, but I have like a trench coat and it was like, it was just that I think it was just because that moment.

[00:09:08]Is, you know, seeing her in that role was really when I was like, that is exactly what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. And so that song, even though it’s so over done, so it’s, the Shea has just always like held a little spot in my heart.

[00:09:19] Dane Reis: [00:09:19] Yeah, I I’m envisioning you in that black box theater sitting on one of those black boxes.

[00:09:24] Michelle Oppedisano: [00:09:24] Yeah. And I remember when, when we were doing one of our, um, One of our finals and one of the categories we could sing was top. I think it was Fran. I can’t remember it, but I think it was Fran. And she was like, okay, Michelle, here’s your moment. We’re doing pop. You can sing on my own. I know how much you love that song.

[00:09:44] Dane Reis: [00:09:44] It’s so good.

[00:09:47] And I want to piggyback on that real quick and let’s talk about your number one, booked it moment. Walk us through the day, the auditions and call backs. If they happen to be a part of it, what was going on in your life? And what about that moment? Makes it your favorite? Booked it moment.

[00:10:07]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:10:07] So my favorite book, that moment has to be, uh, so as I said before, I’ve been doing. Mainly theater. I have a, a large, um, a lot of experience. Yeah. Professional theater. And I only recently started branching out into on-camera stuff. So most recently, my big book that moment was  last August I  was on an episode of homicide Hunter, which is one of those crime reenactment shows.

[00:10:33] And, um, Those are like not a huge deal, but for me it was a, it was at my television debut. And that was really exciting for me. Cause you know,  , um,   one of the things that keeps coming up and is sort of an inevitable thought in this career is, you know, should I be doing this? Should I be doing that? There’s so many things that I could be doing. Um, so a lot of times I’m questioning things, which is a little bit of a vulnerable state of mind, but it’s, I think it’s those firsts that keep me going or keep us going and remind us how fulfilling it is because.

[00:11:07] That was such a huge moment, even though this the homicide Hunter isn’t like for people who watch crime reenactment shows, I hear it’s a good one, but I don’t, I don’t really know too much about crime reenactment shows, but the fact that this was a first for me, a television debut, I was really excited, but , sort of how it happened was is really the interesting part because I originally was.

[00:11:30]Uh, called by my agent to audition for one role. And I am new to this. I need to order I’m I’m in the process of ordering a self, like a home self-tape setup. Cause now everything is self taped. So my boyfriend was helping me. He was being the reader and it was like a, like a shooting scene and it was really, um, Just really, uh, involved for an amateur, you know, reader here.

[00:11:54] Who’s not really, uh, in the acting world. So anyway, . And then the very, you know, the, you know, you know, the drill or, you know, , you know, how we can get called in for something and then have to be to do tomorrow at 10 or something. So, so , I submitted that. And then the next day they asked me to submit for a different role.

[00:12:08]On the same episode and it was due very soon and I was scrambling to get it done and I didn’t make it. So this is on actors access where if you don’t make it, the audition closes. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I have totally screwed up this chance. Like they really liked me, um, because I, I had to work that day and then we had to figure out the lighting and whatever, and I just like barely missed the deadline.

[00:12:33] So I was super bombed. I booked it anyway. They still booked for that second role. And I was like, at first I was like sick to my stomach. The next day I was so bombed. Cause these. You know, you audition a lot and before, you know, you audition over and over and over again, and then you book something and then you audition over and over, over again, and then you book something.

[00:12:51] So when they keep asking for something back, you’re like, Oh, this is something I could book. So I was really bummed, like sick to my stomach the next day that I blew it. And then I booked anyway, and it was just, I was like on cloud nine, I was that’s. It was so that made it even more special, especially since it was my very first television.

[00:13:10]Dane Reis: [00:13:10] Oh, that’s so cool. And I really like that. You talked about how the firsts are always so exciting and they really kind of keep us going in this career and you’re right. There’s it’s what I love about this industry is that. People come into and they go, Oh, they think that they can be, yeah, they’re going to be a dancer.

[00:13:27] They’re gonna be a singer. They’re gonna be a musical theater person or all these different, very specific parts of the industry. But there’s so much, and there’s so many different places where you can actually fit in, use your skills in, but we often don’t explore a lot of that, but it’s so fun when you start jumping out of that comfort zone, that first bubble that you were in and you started doing new things.

[00:13:50] Also, I find it’s easy to kind of get. Complacent with what you’re used to as well. You’re like, huh? Just go into another dance audition. Huh? I’m gonna go in here and sing my 16 bars again 

[00:14:01] versus switching it up.

[00:14:03]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:14:03] And, and that attitude, that complacent attitude shines through your audition and they can feel it. So the more, the more new, exciting things I think we can find that the more, um, the more bright and interesting our auditions are going to be anyway, cause we’re excited to be there and that’s going to really shine through our audition or not.

[00:14:24]Dane Reis: [00:14:24] For sure. And let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And, Hey, it’s a weird time, right? We are amidst this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?

[00:14:46]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:14:46] well, I’m, I’m noticing the entertainment industry, I think, is going to be a lot different. Um, That’s really a tough question, but I, I think regional theater is probably going to have a boom. Um, when all this is over, which is probably good news for some of the smaller cities and, um, I right now, I’m just waiting it out and I’m continuing to train.

[00:15:07] Cause that’s the main thing is just to keep the skills going. Um, so I’m training virtually right now and , I’m really excited for when the theater world opens back up again. Huh?

[00:15:18] Dane Reis: [00:15:18] Yeah, I think we all are.

[00:15:19] Michelle Oppedisano: [00:15:19] Yeah. It’s, it’s a really weird time. Um, but you know, it’s. It’s definitely opened my eyes up to the possibility  of more things virtually. And I see commercials right now. That’s the biggest, the biggest thing I’m noticing right now are commercials. And I’ve had auditions for commercials over the last few months where they would be filming in my apart.

[00:15:39] Like I w I would be filming the commercial in my apartment. So it’s yeah. Yeah. Like I’ve seen auditions where it’s specifically said you have to be. Okay with us sending you professional equipment, um, you have to be living with someone who is willing to videotape you. These are for big, you know, for big money, Denise.

[00:15:55]Um, that’s not all tell them some of them will have quarantine and, and cOVID. Like preparations before shooting on location, but , I think, I think there’s going to be a big, a big shift in the commercial world and, um, yeah, I don’t know what, I don’t know about theater.

[00:16:10] I’m excited for it to open up again whenever that is.

[00:16:13] Dane Reis: [00:16:13] Yeah, great insight. And what kind of projects do you have going on now?

[00:16:19]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:16:19] Well, my latest show was canceled because of COVID. Um,  saw that and that one wasn’t is not going to be rescheduled because we had already performed one weekend of it and then they canceled the second weekend of it. So that was a bummer. at this point I’m working on my yoga stuff because I’m auditioning for the stuff that is coming through.

[00:16:37] , it’s a lot more scarce these days, but, um, Yeah. At this point, I’m focusing on yoga and, and that’s, that’s what I’m working on. Well, while this is going,

[00:16:44] Dane Reis: [00:16:44] Very cool. And  you said yoga stuff.  can you expand on that a little bit?

[00:16:48]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:16:48] Yes. So, uh, two years ago I took some time off from acting to become a yoga teacher. And I, I love teaching yoga. I feel like that. I feel like it really did help. In my acting career too, because it clears your head. And so I’m able to focus a lot better and just go throughout my day, you know, handle anything with grace.

[00:17:06]Um, so yeah, I just started live well with Michelle, which  is basically my wellness brand. I, I also am really big into nutrition, so eventually I’ll want to incorporate that into it. But right now I’m offering yoga classes, private lessons, virtually and social distance in person locally here in Atlanta.

[00:17:25]Um, and I’m, I have the Instagram page and I just started a Facebook business page, which gosh, that opened up a whole new world of opportunities. You can book appointments through that. So I’m, I’ve been spending a lot of time getting all that going, yoga, photo shoots, stuff like that.

[00:17:42] Dane Reis: [00:17:42] Yeah, very cool. And it’s time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightning round. I am going to ask you. A handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you ready? All right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?

[00:18:11]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:18:11] Fear of failure. 

[00:18:12] Dane Reis: [00:18:12] Hmm. Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

[00:18:17]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:18:17] Do it anyway. 

[00:18:18]Dane Reis: [00:18:18] Third question. What is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on? Pause.

[00:18:30]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:18:30] Just keep doing it. Uh, if doing it however I can, if I’m turning, keep training, if I’m working, keep, do a cabaret or just keep doing it Uh, also looking at auditions as opportunities to practice that that really that’s really it.

[00:18:46] Dane Reis: [00:18:46] Yeah, great mindset on that. And the fourth question, what is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video, maybe a podcast or a piece of technology that you found is helping your career right now.

[00:19:02]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:19:02] Well, all of the social media, because right now we have to stay connected to our tribes and our, our theater world and our acting buddies. And. Uh, staying connected is really, is really the main thing right now. So social media helps us do that.

[00:19:16] Dane Reis: [00:19:16] Yes. And the fifth question, if you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry, what would you do or not do? Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?

[00:19:33]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:19:33] I would take more risks and not worry what other people think.

[00:19:37]Dane Reis: [00:19:37] Yes. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry? You’d like to leave with everyone.

[00:19:49]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:19:49] Uh, that it will happen when it’s supposed to happen. Trust the timing.

[00:19:52]Dane Reis: [00:19:52] Great. And to wrap up this interview, Michelle, it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?

[00:20:05]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:20:05] I would love for people to check out my yoga pages. Um, yoga totally changed my life and it. Made me want to help other people change theirs. So find live well with Michelle on Instagram and Facebook and it’s live dot well dot w dot Michelle on both platforms. 

[00:20:24]And if you, for exclusive, for our listeners here on you booked it. If you mentioned the discount code, you booked it. I will give $10 off a private lesson, a custom group class, or a semi-private lesson, any of my services. And I would love to have you.

[00:20:40]Dane Reis: [00:20:40] Brilliant. So that’s right, everyone just head over to you. Booked it. podcast.com forward slash yoga. And that’ll take you straight to Michelle, so you can get in contact with her mentioned that code. You booked it and get yourself $10 off whatever class, whatever lesson she’s offering 

[00:21:01]I’ve also put the links to all the social media profiles. Michelle just said in that the description of this episode, Michelle, thank you so much for taking your time to be here. It’s been a pleasure to have you on

[00:21:13]Michelle Oppedisano: [00:21:13] Yeah, thank you for having me.