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EP 184: Sarah Anne Fernandez (autogenerated)
Dane Reis: [00:00:00] You booked it episode 184. Okay, let’s get this started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Sara Ann Fernandez. Are you ready for the Sarah?
[00:00:16] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:00:16] I am ready for this day.
[00:00:18] Dane Reis: [00:00:18] Beautiful. Sarah is a New York based actor, singer and dancer. She was most recently seen flying across the country by broom, as the Elphaba understudy on the Broadway national tour of wicked marking her as one of the youngest girls to Dawn, the green paint and witch hat in the show’s history.
[00:00:39] She’s a proud 2018 graduate of NYU’s Tisha school of the arts, holding a BFA in drama. New York credits include pop punk high off Broadway in the Heights, the Rocky horror show and the Congresswoman. She has also appeared in many concerts at some of New York.
[00:00:56] City’s most prestigious venues, including radio city music hall. Feinstein’s 54 below. And Joe’s. PABA Sarah. 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.
[00:01:17]Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:01:17] Well,
Well, yes. So as you said, I am Sara Fernandez. Um, I’m from long Island, New York, which is where I currently am right now, waiting out the pandemic. Um, and I’ve lived in New York city , uh, as I was attending NYU. Um, and I’ve spent 2019 traveling the country, which was really awesome. Um, but as an artist , um, I, I am primarily a musical theater artist, I suppose.
Um, I really, I really love to sing and I really love to tell stories, so that always felt like the perfect fit for me. Um, but I’m, I’m really passionate about , um, working on shows that , um, Really bringing to light , uh, a flawed and powerful protagonist who , um, you know, is not the. Picture perfect cookie cutter type of character, but as someone who we can really root for and we can really , um, identify with , um, somebody that you don’t always see on a screen , uh, whether that’s what they look like or what they act like.
Um, uh, yeah , that’s, that’s something that I’ve always been really passionate about. So to kick my career off with wicked was , um, a really lotto kind of thing for me. Um, because Elphaba is a, is a really incredible character who does. All of those things, in my opinion. So, yeah, so that’s sort of my, my , uh, I guess, I don’t know, outlook on my artistry and the types of shows that I like to do.
Um, and , uh, really, I just, I just love to tell stories. Um, I love. The way that they inspire audiences. Um, and especially during this pandemic, I would really love to tell a story sometime soon , uh, to, and an audience of people. Uh, any story doesn’t matter, which
[00:02:40] Dane Reis: [00:02:40] you’re right. Anything we’ll do at this point, please.
[00:02:43]Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:02:43]
well, I will play the tree in the background.
[00:02:45] It’s okay.
[00:02:47] Dane Reis: [00:02:47] Yes, rock number four. Beautiful. So good.
Well, let’s move on to this first section here. And Sarah, look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone?
[00:03:03] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:03:03] I have a lot of favorite quotes, but at least lately my favorite quote right now is you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.
[00:03:13]Dane Reis: [00:03:13] Oh, that’s so good. So simple. Can you expand on that a bit on how that’s worked its way into your life and career?
[00:03:21] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:03:21] Yeah,
I I’m in, you know, true woman in my twenties fashion. I found it on Pinterest. Um, just kind of scrolling through Pinterest for , um, recipes to bake during the pandemic, but that came up and I was like, you know what? That’s really great. Um, because you know, I think a lot of times as a perfectionist, I sort of get overwhelmed in starting new projects or.
[00:03:40] Tackling something new, especially in pandemic life, when Broadway is shut down and all the actors are
sort of having to pivot a little bit and find new avenues of work temporarily, I’ve sort taken this time to maybe explore other interests that I’ve had or learn new things that I want to do or work harder at my craft and like make the mistakes and grow.
[00:03:58] And as someone who
sort of always like wants to get it right. It can be daunting for me to try to like find a new thing and not be instantly good at it. So the quote is really good for keeping me in perspective. I actually, I hang it up on my bedroom wall now , um, because I believe that anyone can be great at whatever they set their mind to, but it doesn’t happen unless you start that work.
[00:04:17] And sometimes it feels daunting to start. If you don’t know where it’s going to go. So
I, I try really hard to keep in mind, like anyone can be great at anything as long as they have the determination to work for it. Um, and so, you know, I just , I, I, it reminds me to start to start the projects that are in my head and not keep them in my head.
[00:04:33]Dane Reis: [00:04:33] Yeah, for sure. There’s definitely that, but I think there’s also the other, I guess
the, the building on that initial, maybe daunting feeling of getting a project started that we live in this world now where everything is. Shared right. And that’s how you communicate with the world. Especially during this pandemic time, it’s Instagram, it’s Tik TOK, it’s YouTube, it’s whatever platform you like to use, if not all of them.
[00:05:00] And when we initially go on there, so many people are already so polished and so good at what they do. And you’re like, Whoa, I want that. You know,
You know, and that’s really difficult. That’s a really hard standard to place on yourself. If you’re trying to do a new project, starting new things, and here’s the deal, you’re not going to be as good as someone who’s been doing this for years and has maybe even a team behind them at some point it’s, but you have to do it.
[00:05:26] And to remind yourself, Hey, I have to start somewhere. And then the refinement will come and getting better will come, but it’s hard. We are so involved with social media, with absorbing content that people are putting out there and really great high quality content, but to try not to let that get in our way, when we’re trying to pursue or create whatever’s in our head,
[00:05:48] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:05:48] You are reading my mind. And I was actually just talking about this exact thing that you brought up with my mom the other day, just,
you know, like sort of being like looking on social media and everything. And , um, I, I have recently joined the tick tock thing to see what it’s all about. And I’m like , these, these, these kids are like putting out this crazy quality content and it’s like, you know, like as someone I’m not.
Uh, very technologically savvy. But, but as, as somebody looking at this, I’m like, I don’t, you know, even, even just looking at that sometimes feels daunting. Looking at people’s highlight reels on social media, you know, like that can feel daunting, especially during a, during a pandemic of feeling, sort of like, you know, um, sort of like, you know, um, maybe I feel like I’m struggling during this time and it looks like other people are still getting work even in a pandemic and other people are still feeling really great and I’m not feeling great.
You know, what does that mean? And all of the comparison and you’re, you’re absolutely right. It is , it’s, it’s such a strange , um, kind of vacuum that we’ve all kind of sealed ourselves into, especially during the pandemic, because we’re not seeing people outside really. Um, you know,
[00:06:42]we’re not going out, we’re only seeing what they’ve decided to show us.
Um, which usually is the polished perfect version. So, So, yeah. So just , um, sort of blocking out that noise and just. Starting somewhere , um, with anything, you know, starting somewhere with, I’m gonna cook this tonight and maybe it’s bad and maybe it’s not maybe next time I make it. It’s better, you know, you know, little things like that , um, which apply to of course the entertainment industry, but also to anything.
Um, and it’s like a sweet little quote, cause it’s, it’s just simple. It’s just, you know, you don’t have to be great to start. You just got to start. And maybe you won’t be great and maybe you won’t be great, but you’re never
[00:07:16] Dane Reis: [00:07:16] You don’t know if you don’t try.
Right. So I completely agree. I love that you brought that up and you know, I can even attest to that with this podcast. This podcast started during the pandemic, the beginning of it. And if you, if you listened to my first few episodes and they’re not very good, you know what I mean? you know what I mean?
[00:07:32]But that’s okay. There’s still great content.
Right. But the, the, the Polishness of going through an interview and interviewing people, it just takes time. No. You’re
[00:07:40] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:07:40] everything takes experience. And so,
[00:07:43] Dane Reis: [00:07:43] exactly right,
[00:07:43] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:07:43] you need,
you need, you
[00:07:44] Dane Reis: [00:07:44] you just gotta do it.
[00:07:45] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:07:45] have those few first kind of fumbles in order to achieve polished quote unquote perfection.
[00:07:51]Dane Reis: [00:07:51] for sure. Well,
Well, let’s get into this next section here. And Sarah, of course you are an entertainer. I’m an entertainer. And I think that you would agree that this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest and personally emotional industries. 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 your having now takes a lot of dedication and hard work.
[00:08:19] And while yes, there is an outrageous amount of fun and excitement doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures. 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.
[00:08:41]Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:08:41]
well, this is sort of hinges on the same thing that I shared with my quote sort of, um, sort of, um, but just my, my, my key challenge that I’ve always had as an actor is battling perfectionism, which in turn has resulted in just a ton of self doubt and anxiety in a, in a lot of moments. I mean, especially , um, I really saw this come to light in the beginning of my time at wicked.
Um, because a role as I kind of like as Elphaba has, I mean, daunting on its own, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s this huge thing it’s been around for now 17 years. Um, but coming into a show like wicked at having just turned 22 years old a month before , um, and having never done a professional show before and just like jumping into this really big thing , um, most of the time it felt.
[00:09:23] Really overwhelming.
I mean, it was, it was overwhelming in terms of like, I’m so excited. I can’t believe I’m here. I can’t believe I’m this lucky. This is what I’ve always wanted. And then at the same time, it’s like, okay, how am I going to pull this off? You know? You know? Um, and I always wanted to be doing my best and turning out like perfect rehearsals and perfect performances and never making a mistake.
[00:09:42] And one thing I got a little stuck on was. Comparison which looking back
, like, of course I got stuck on that because I’d hear these like unbelievable women , uh, singing the role of alphabet every night. And I just kept thinking to myself , well, I want to sound like that. You know, like instead of just feeling secure in what Sarah’s alphabet sounded like, you know, just being so inspired by the people around, around, around me and hearing that every night and being like, okay, well maybe , um, maybe I.
[00:10:05] Sound better if I sounded more like Jackie or like Marianne
, um, when these two women had been doing these roles, this role now for on and off for like like eight or nine years. And I had not yet even done one year in the same industry, let alone doing that role. And , um, I started to just really doubt myself and I started to want to sound perfect all the time and , um, you know, I realized that for a while, it was a real struggle for me for a little bit of likegetting in my head and comparing myself and beating myself up.
[00:10:35] Sometimes there came a point on tour when I really, I had to learn to let go of that and realize that. The notes, weren’t going to be perfect every time. And that sometimes I wouldn’t be perfect. And
that, that was actually okay. And that, that was human. And more than anything else, it was authentic, which is the whole point of who also is, is, is just a very authentic, flawed human being.
[00:10:55] Who’s trying to get through it and do what she believes is right. And is getting nailed for it at every turn.
Um, and that whatever I did and whatever I sounded like was unique to me. And that’s what made it special. And that, that was a really. Hard lesson to learn when you sort of get like a well-worn path in your mind of a self-criticism and tough industry.
Um, but I really needed to learn it. Um, and I’m glad that I learned it early on in a really difficult show in my first show, because then I was able to bring a lot more joy and confidence back into the times that I did get to rehearse and play alphabet. You know, my alphabet completely changed. I wasn’t.
[00:11:32] Terrified anymore.
Um, I was more confident. I mean, I mean, this role, which I’ve set up a whole bunch of times all over on social media and to everyone I’ve ever met. But , um, playing Elphaba has been my career and goal since I was like 10 years old. That was all I’ve wanted out of my career. All I’ve wanted out of my life.
It’s it’s. Everybody knew me growing up as like that girl who really liked wicked. So getting to be a part of the show and getting to play the role that made me want to pursue this business of of course, a scary and exciting and wonderful thing. And I knew how lucky I was, and I didn’t want to keep tarnishing it by being worried about it.
You know, like I felt like I just had so many more important things to think about. There was so it’s a hard role. There’s so many things you have to be doing. I don’t need. To be taking up space in my brain, thinking about, is it going to be good enough? Um, and , uh, you know, while I haven’t had too many opportunities to now apply this to jobs outside of wicked because you know, the pandemic , um, I, I do feel like it’s a lesson that really changed my life, you know, to sort stop worrying so much to stop setting unrealistic and inhuman standards for myself and to let the things that I can’t control go.
[00:12:40] And that’s not to say.
You know, don’t work hard and be like , well, whatever happens happens happens, you know, there’s, there’s still a ton of work involved in it, but it’s sort of like, don’t, don’t go the extra mile and beating yourself up, go the extra mile in the joy and the excitement and the being present and authentic.
, um, yeah, that, I mean, you know, it’s not an overnight fix. There are certainly moments that , uh,that pops up again, but , um, I’m glad to have. Tackled most of that obstacle in the beginning of my career. And to know that I can take it with me.
[00:13:09]Dane Reis: [00:13:09] Yeah, that’s so fantastic that you’ve had such an incredible experience
, uh, in the very beginning of your career. And I love how you said you didn’t want to tarnish this experience by getting in your head It’s so hard to do, especially like a role, like Alphabet’s such an iconic show, as you’ve said.
[00:13:27] And I don’t think there’s a, there’s not a woman that has played Elphaba. It’s like,
like, yep. Nailing
[00:13:32] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:13:32] Right.
[00:13:32]Dane Reis: [00:13:32] percent going to be the best person in the world. Everyone it’s such an Epic role,
right. That. Everyone would have that experience right. On some level. And it’s amazing that you’ve come to that realization that you’re like, I need to be just me, my authentic self.
[00:13:48] And that idea of being your authentic self, bringing what you bring to the table. Yes. Drawing inspiration from what other people are doing or have done before you is great. But that there is that knife’s edge of the comparison game where you can really go down. That negative rabbit hole. And like you said, tarnished the entire experience because you’re in your head about it.
[00:14:09]being your authentic self is such a through line through so many different interviews on this podcast that it’s clearly become,
you know, a real true fundamental of what makes a successful career in this industry. And it’s a big reason why. This podcast has become such a fantastic resource and so important for professionals or aspiring professionals in this industry, because we’re discovering like, look , this, this fundamental through line of being your authentic self is huge for everybody when they go into your careers.
[00:14:43] So Yes. Thank you for bringing that up and sharing that entire experience.
[00:14:47] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:14:47] course. Yeah.
I mean, you know, it’s, it’s funny, you know, something like alphabet is , um, there’s, there’s a lot of expectation. I mean, you know, like you go onto YouTube and there’s all of those videos, like those like 30 minute videos where they’re like, who had the best no good deed riff. And it’s just like, Like a hundred women singing the same, like 20 seconds over and over again.
[00:15:05] And then in the comments, everybody’s like this one, wasn’t good. That one was good, this and that, whatever. And it’s
like, you know, like reading, reading that stuff and being a part of that stuff, you know, like if you let yourself get in your head about those kinds of things, where people expect so much from this character, and whoever’s playing this character after, you know, 17 years of amazing people who have done it and because of it.
[00:15:24] Is so accessible after 17 years
, um, can be tricky. But you know, the thing, when I was there, I interacted with them and worked with a whole bunch of seasoned alphabet. And the biggest advice that I got from everybody was don’t let it ruin you, you know, don’t, don’t get in your head. You can absolutely let it destroy you for no reason at all.
[00:15:43] And there’s
like, there, there’s just no reason to do that to yourself. You have to just. Trust yourself and that’s it. And that’s, and that’s advice for Elphaba. Sure. But that’s advice for like, like you said, that’s advice for this whole industry. I mean, I think the thing that makes the entertainment industry and , um, the theater industry , so, um, successful is , uh, being able to identify with the authenticity and the individuality in each actor, within all of their performances, you know, um, watching any, any type of art is really about. The human experience. And so finding parts of your human experience and another human who’s portraying, another human is like, sort of like a meta thing, but it’s , but, but it is what it is. I mean, that’s, that’s why it is what it is, you know, like that’s why we do turn to art in hard times. Um, and so the best advice for any actor I think is total true authenticity.
I mean, people know when you’re faking it. Um, and so being. Totally true to that. No matter how hard that feels sometimes.
[00:16:35]Dane Reis: [00:16:35] yeah, a hundred percent. Thank you. 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.
[00:16:57] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:16:57] Gotcha.
Well, so I, I kind of kind of have. Two. Um, so my first one was when I was two years old and I watched the little mermaid for the first time. And , um, that was that’s the first movie I remember seeing. Um, and I immediately wanted to be. Just like Ariel, I want it to be a mermaid, but I realized that that gig doesn’t pay well.
[00:17:18] So I decided to be an actor instead, but
, um, but mostly I was really just, I was very entranced by the music. I was entranced by the story. And as, as Disney movies go, I mean the little mermaid’s music is ridiculous. So I, that, from that point on, I. Say around my house and dance around my house and replay the movie over and over until I’m sure my parents wanted to burn the VHS tape.
Um, and , uh, you know, I, I sang along and dance to Disney songs and nineties, Brittany Spears, to literally anyone who would listen to me, anyone who would watch me , um, there are tons of childhood videos of like me being like, I have a show to put on for everybody. Um, and so, you know, from that point on, it was very clear to me that I want it to be.
[00:17:58] An entertainer of some sort. That was where all of my joy came from.
Um, when I was in preschool , um,whenever my mom would come to pick me up, I, this is my mom’s favorite story ever. Um, I wouldn’t be in my classroom because they would take me around to the different classrooms and build me a makeshift stage.
[00:18:17] And I would be singing Britney Spears to the other kids as like.
like. As like recess or like entertainment, I guess. Um, and my mom was like, that’s lovely. Um, we pay for her learn. I’m not sure what’s happening here. Um, like I know she wants to be singing, but it is, you know, everybody else is doing work. Um, so, you know, it was, it was very clear, which is funny because a lot of people in nobody in my family really is.
I mean, my mom is a doctor. My dad is an accountant. You know, they, they didn’t expect , uh,anyone to really love performing, but so that was my first like real moment of this is what I need to do. And then when I was 10 , um, because I love to sing and dance and put on shows for everybody , uh, my cousins. Bought tickets for us to go see wicked when it first opened on Broadway, because they were like, we heard this as a new cool show and Sarah likes to sing. So let’s go bring her to see that. And , um, Elphaba flew into the air and saying defying gravity. And I was like, you know what, that’s it, that’s what I need to do with the rest of my life.
[00:19:12] I like to sing. I like to dance. I like to be like a little bit dramatic. This is it.
You know, this is. This is zip for me. Like, I didn’t realize that it was that there was one career where all of it sort of combined , um, and the real icing on top of that story is the alphabet at that particular performance happened to be.
[00:19:29] Eden Espinosa who’s phenomenal. She was a standby at the time. And
, um, she later became my professor at NYU, which was amazing because not only did I get to meet her and learn from her, but I actually got the opportunity to thank her for giving me my spotlight. I need to do this moment. Um, so, Um, so, Oh yeah, that was, that was a real full circle thing.
[00:19:50] And from that wicked performance,
you know, I spent. My day is belting, defying gravity in my living room and hoping for the chance to be in wicked. So when I did have the chance to do that, and when I did get to exit the stage door on the nights that I got to play off of that and see little girls that were like me that same day, it was , um,it was everything.
I mean, that’s, that’s everything I’ve ever wanted out of my career. So, um, So, um, yeah it’s, it’s a, , it’s, it’s a, it’s a really special spotlight moment story
[00:20:14] Dane Reis: [00:20:14] Yeah, I would say so.
[00:20:16] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:20:16] it turned itself all the way around, back to the beginning.
[00:20:19] Dane Reis: [00:20:19] Yeah. Yeah.
Well, let’s piggyback on that and let’s talk about your number one book. Didn’t moment. Walk us through that 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.
[00:20:36]Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:20:36]
Well, you know, it seems you’ve got a theme going here today, but my number one booked at moment is obviously with wicked. Um, I mean, at that point in my life, I was about four months out of NYU and , um, you know, silly perfectionist. Sarah was like, So distraught that she had not yet like booked her Magnum Opus project , um, which is so it’s four months out of college.
Um, but you know, I mean, I, I, I had been auditioning a ton and I had been in sort of a place where. I was getting a lot of callbacks, which I should have been so proud of. And I was making it very far in a lot of circumstances. And then just losing out the role at the last second being like, what am I doing wrong?
[00:21:15] What is going on? What’s happening with me when looking at back at that in hindsight, I’m like, Oh my God, Sarah was four months.
Um, you know, like, and you were doing great job. Um, but you know, it’s , um, I, I really do believe at least in this industry, but in a lot of life, I think. Everything does happen for a reason and what you’re meant to do, you will do.
Um, obviously that takes hard work, but you know, you have to, I think it all comes to us when we’re ready. And , um, so when I got the initial appointment , The, the audition appointment , um, for the Elphaba cover, it was like some point it made November ish, I think of 2018. Um, and I was very cautiously excited.
[00:21:50] I, I really, I didn’t think anything would come of it other than just getting my foot in the door and letting them see my work and hoping that it would someday lead to a future casting.
That was, that was all my brain could sort of process at the moment. I was like, look, this is my end goal job. So. We’ll start it here and we’ll see what happens.
Um, and I had my first audition at the Telsey and co casting building in New York city in the middle of a blizzard. I was so worried about the snow. Like it was truly. If, if you go back and look at the news, this was that random freak blizzard in the middle of a November, where I guess nobody thought there was going to be a blizzard.
[00:22:25] And then everybody was stuck on like the Brooklyn bridge that night.
Um, so I. Was really freaked out about it. I ended up leaving my house like three hours before my audition, just in case there were any delays. And I just sat in the lobby of the TLC building for about two hours. Um, cause I was like, it’s weird if I sit up there for two hours.
Um, and then in the audition I sang the music from the packet that they gave me , um, which was the alphabet packet and included. Um, the wizard and I define gravity and I’m not that girl and a couple of scenes from the show and it went well. And then I went home, took a million years to get home because of a blizzard.
[00:22:58] And then I waited.
Um, and a few weeks later , uh, my agent called me to tell me that I had a callback. For wicked, right. As I was about to go into a different audition, which I I’m pretty sure I, I bombed that audition because I was so excited about wicked. That I’m, that my mind was like shot. I was like, I don’t even know what show this is anymore.
[00:23:13] What’s happened.
I, I don’t know. I’m just, I’m pumped. Um, so whatever show that was, I’m sorry, I could have done better, but I just, it wasn’t the time. Um, and , uh, I did the same material in the call back , uh, but this time it was for the entire creative team. And it was a, it was a pretty long callback, which , um, made me both nervous and excited.
[00:23:30] I was like, you guys either really like me, or you’re just not seeing what you want to see.
Um, I mean, I’m probably saying to sign gravity, like four or five times in a row , uh, which doesn’t happen thankfully in the show that only is a one hit wonder. Um, and then about an hour after the call back, I was told that I had.
[00:23:44] Dance call the next day. And so that day I learned a combination from the show with the associate choreographer and casting was there. And there was one other girl in the room who did it with me, just the two of us, which was definitely a bit nerve wracking because I think they picked like the biggest room.
[00:24:02] They could find a Pearl studios for two girls. Um,
Um, and I, and I was just sitting outside the door and I was like, nobody’s here. Like, do I have the wrong place? Whatever. So we did the combination. Um, and then I went home and a couple hours later, I got the call that I booked it. And then I cried on my kitchen floor for a couple hours.
[00:24:23] And then a few weeks later I was on a plane. Well,
Well, and then it was Christmas. And then right after Christmas, I was on a plane to Los Angeles and I went to go and learn the show in the basement of the Pantageous theater, right on Hollywood Boulevard. I mean like, I mean like, are you kidding? That was crazy.
[00:24:39] Dane Reis: [00:24:39] Wow. So
[00:24:41] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:24:41] I mean
[00:24:41] Dane Reis: [00:24:41]
[00:24:41] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:24:41]
I mean the whole thing, honestly, still feels like a dream.
Like there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not incredibly grateful for the opportunity that I had and for how the AR how the audition process went so smoothly. Like I remember when I got the call, I was like, no, Like really , like, I’ve never done anything. Like how could you, how, what, but it, it happened , um, I guess they took a chance on me and it is one of the most grateful chances I have ever been extended.
, uh, you know, getting to start in LA was also super, super cool. I’d never been before. Um, yeah, so that was, that was that whole pro it was. It took a couple of weeks, took maybe about a month and a half, I guess the whole thing from start to finish. But , um, compared to other audition processes, that was a whirlwind
[00:25:25] Dane Reis: [00:25:25] Yeah, for sure. That’s a whirlwind. Yeah.
[00:25:29]Oh, so good. I really loved that story and, Oh, let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And
like, we’ve talked about a little bit, we’re amidst this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?
[00:25:48]Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:25:48]
Well, sure. I mean, we’re definitely in the middle of a pandemic. Um, uh, well, these days is Broadway and most of the entertainment industry is shuts down. I am sort of living in the land of create your own opportunity. Um, Which is scary, but it’s also very exciting. Um, I just, right before the holidays, I just produced a concert with my friend Lauren.
, um, we put that out there and we did a live concert on YouTube, and now we’re working on and releasing some more music in 2021, which is fun. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. And I’ve never. Um, really done. Um, again, I think that’s my other thing for the pandemic is like, things I’ve always wanted to do that I’ve never had time to do.
[00:26:23] So now I’m like, I might as well do them.
Um, outside of the entertainment industry , I, I, it’s a small little thing, but I opened up my own local online bakery, which again is something I’ve always wanted to do, but I never had the time to really devote to, but I’ve always loved to bake and I’ve always wanted to own a bakery.
[00:26:41] So it’s a tiny thing.
You know, I just fake cupcakes and cookies for the people that live near my parents’ house, but it’s nice. And it’s wonderful. Um, and I spend my days teaching. I’m actually I’m teaching at my former middle and high school , uh, in their drama department. Um, at NYU, a double major in education as my sort of like,just in case since I do love kids and I love teaching.
[00:27:00] And so during the pandemic times that has really worked out for me, it’s been a great pivot while I wait for Broadway to return and for my acting career to start up again. And I’m teaching what I love to kids who were just like me in the exact same school that I grew up in
, um, is really cool and really great, and getting to see what the future of theater is going to , um, Be like, and getting to sort of cultivate their little minds and voices is very exciting.
Um, and , uh, you know, it’s as for the entertainment industry today, I mean, it is also up in the air, but what I, what I do believe though, is that post pandemic that we’re going to see an experience, such an incredible artistic Renaissance. I mean, we’ve had all these artists in quarantine with time, too.
[00:27:44] Really just think and create and marinate on the things around them. And historically after every pandemic or plate or tragedy, we’ve always seen an artistic Renaissance,
right. Because the need for storytelling and escapism and hope is at an all time high during those times. So while I don’t know exactly when that will be, I mean, you know, however, we locked down this virus, especially in the U S I’m, I’m excited for that time, because I know that.
Um, we’re all going to be excitedly creating as if it was the first time all over again, you know, because in a way it, it will be a first for everyone, from people that are first time actors to people that are seasoned pros. And , um, I really hope that we’ve all taken this time to come back into a more.
[00:28:24] Revitalized excited, ever creative and very inclusive entertainment industry.
Uh, it takes all the things we’ve learned , um, and use that to do what we do best, which is make people happy. You know, um, if there’s anything that this time off has shown us, it is the areas in which we need improvement in the areas in which we’re inspired by.
Um, and I, and I hope that when we do come back that. We can see those changes and we can see a different industry that everyone can be a part of and everyone can feel like their voices and their ideas are heard. Um, that’s something I’m very excited about in the
[00:29:01] future also to work again.
[00:29:02] Dane Reis: [00:29:02] sure. Yes, yes,
Yes, yes, yes. Of course. To work for sure. Uh, but yeah, I really like and appreciate your, your outlook and I think you’re right. you tied it up really nicely in a beautiful bow there and it was, I think It really includes all of the things that we’ve learned throughout this last year.
[00:29:17] And I think you’re spot on time will tell of course, but let’s see, I’m looking forward to it.
[00:29:23] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:29:23] Me too.
I think, I think we need it
[00:29:25] Dane Reis: [00:29:25] Yeah, absolutely. And it is time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightning around. 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.
[00:29:43] Are you ready?
[00:29:45] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:29:45] I am ready.
[00:29:47] Dane Reis: [00:29:47] All right. First question then what was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?
[00:29:53] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:29:53] Fear of not being good enough or of not succeeding.
[00:29:56]Dane Reis: [00:29:56] There you go. Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
[00:30:01]Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:30:01]
Um, it was from my voice teacher, Karen, and she always tells me it ain’t over till it’s over. So never give up essentially.
[00:30:07] Dane Reis: [00:30:07] yes. 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.
[00:30:17]Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:30:17]
uh, what’s working for me right now is singing every day for joy and not just for technique or for work singing for joy.
[00:30:24] Dane Reis: [00:30:24] so great. 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 you found is helping your career right now?
[00:30:38]Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:30:38]
Uh, respect for acting by Huda Haagen is my Bible. Um, I learned something new from that every time. And I. Every time I feel uninspired. That’s my thing. But , um, also I listened to a lot of this Sunday in the park with George original cast recording. Um, it’s, it’s, it’s really good for like a good cry inspiration.
[00:30:57] Dane Reis: [00:30:57] it’s great music. So there
[00:30:58] you are. Beautiful. 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?
[00:31:16] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:31:16] I wouldn’t worry so much. I spent so much time worrying in college.
Like if I’d ever measure up, if I’d be good enough to achieve my dreams. And that was so silly, it was such a waste of my time. Having confidence in myself and the work that I do is not easy. It’s something I’m still always working on, but if I could do it all over again, I would tell myself not to worry so much and trust my instincts
[00:31:33]because I know what I’m doing.
[00:31:36] Dane Reis: [00:31:36] Yes. Yes. Obviously not worrying is easier said than done right when you’re
in the, in the throws of it. But. If you really think about it, worrying doesn’t change circumstance. It just gets in the way
[00:31:52] of what you’re trying to do. It doesn’t make anything better. It may make you think that you’re being productive by worrying, but it’s not productive in the slightest.
[00:32:00] It’s completely hindering you.
[00:32:02] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:32:02] Exactly. So no worrying.
[00:32:04]Dane Reis: [00:32:04] No worrying. I love that. 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 our listeners.
[00:32:16]Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:32:16]
Well, okay. This one might not be very grease lightening, but I will try it. And it is too to never stop learning. There is literally never a point in your career when you can just wash your hands with being a student and decide, you know, you know, everything. If you want it to be a successful career. In my opinion, I mean, there will always be a class to take.
[00:32:32] There will always be a concept to learn. There will always be a problem area to work on and knowledge is. Power as we know, and in this industry, I think it is the key to success and creativity. I think being a perpetual student, learning everything you can from every experience and every person that you meet is key.
I mean, as actors, we’re essentially students of human behavior. So I believe that the key to becoming a successful actor is to never stop. Studying all that you can broadening your horizons, introducing yourself to new ideas. I mean, I was, I was told this on my first day of college and I believe that wholeheartedly is just never stopped learning the student of human behavior, be a student of life and you will always be working and moving towards something.
[00:33:13]Dane Reis: [00:33:13] I could not agree. More always be learning. Absolutely. And to wrap up this interview, Sarah, 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?
[00:33:30] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:33:30] Well,
Well, I’m on all of the usual pages at Sarah Anne with two ease, because apparently there was another person who had the same idea as me. So at Sarah and with two E’s 17 on Instagram, Twitter, and that’s right. Even tick talk. I am. Moving on up with the youths of the world. Um, and you can also find me at my website, which is www.sarahandfernandez.com.
[00:33:55] And the thing that I want to promote is wearing a mask, especially to my friends in the U S who are listening to this podcast, we would all love to collectively get back to
, um, nationwide and global health and us artists would love to get back to work. So that’s step one to doing that.
[00:34:14] Dane Reis: [00:34:14] yes, love it. And for everyone listening out there, I have put all the links to everything that Sarah just said into the description of this episode. You can easily
[00:34:25] connect with her. There you are. And also be sure to share this podcast with your fellow entertainers, coaches, teachers, arts, and entertainment educators, and anyone, you know,
you know, aspiring to create a career in this industry.
[00:34:41] You booked. It is the number one resource of expertise on how to actually create a successful entertainment career. It is integral to helping them succeed and helping you create a better, more fulfilling career in this crazy industry that we all love so much. If you enjoyed this episode, hit that subscribe button.
[00:34:58] So you don’t miss the next one. Sarah. Thank you so much for being here. I’m so glad to have you, Juan. Thank you for sharing everything
[00:35:05] Sarah Anne Fernandez: [00:35:05] you so much for having me and thank you to everybody for listening. This has been so fun.