Martha Byrne has made an amazing career both onstage and in TV/film. Currently, she is now also starring in her own webseries!
Check out her great advice about theatre and beyond!
Q & A With Martha Byrne
BB: Tell us about your Broadway experience…
MB: I started my career in the Broadway show ANNIE. I read about the audition in the paper and went to an open call with 700 girls. After four callbacks it came down to three girls to play Annie. Allison Smith, who had Broadway experience landed the role and I got the role of July and eventually got to understudy the title role. I think the entire auditioning experience forever changed me for the better. I learned how to take direction, learn a dance routine in ten minutes, sing on a Broadway stage and how to deal with rejection. The Broadway run was a dream come true for any girl my age. I was living the dream of being on Broadway in a hit. I savored every moment and made life long friends.
BB: What advice/inspiration do you have for other actors like yourself?
MB: I always encourage young actors to find a local theater company to learn their craft. If your dream is to be a star, theater is not going to make you a house hold name. You have to love it so much, that you eat, breathe and sleep your passion. Truly, that is the real reward. Doing what you love. If success comes from doing what you love, that's icing on the cake.
BB: What made you decide to do a web series and how is this different from stage/tv/film?
MB: When you are doing something on the web, you have full control of your project. In any other medium you work for someone else. That being said, you must learn how to navigate working and helping everyone reach their goals along with your own.
Note: Though the pilot episode was put online, there are many platforms it may wind up on. Check back to our website to see where you can see future episodes. www.Weighttheseries.com.
BB: Do you still study your craft and what do you do to keep yourself in top form for the business?
MB: I am always studying my craft. Life is my craft. Observing people, their behavior, is fascinating to me. Why people can or can't show affection. Why are people afraid to express themselves? Why do they commit crime? As an actor you must blend your life experience with what you learn from life. This is the only way you can be truthful in your work.
BB: Any words of wisdom on the NY scene vs. LA scene.
MB: The LA scene is very much a social animal. Going out, making contacts, finding producing partners, this is a mandatory part of the business in LA. Every coffee shop pitstop is potentially an opportunity because everyone in LA is in the business. In NY there is a bit of that but its more about finding groups, open calls, classes, to get you in the proper circles. You have to work on your craft every day no matter where you are. I've been doing it every day since December 1979.
Martha Byrne is a three-time Emmy winner. She is best known for her more than two decade run on the CBS Daytime Drama As the World Turns where she portrayed the role of Lily Walsh Snyder and her twin sister Rose D'Angelo. Her award collection also includes numerous magazine awards and three National Viewer's Voice Awards. As a singer, Martha has released two CD’s of music that were featured on ATWT . Her career started at the age of ten with a two-year run on the Broadway stage in Annie. Martha's resume also includes over 30 television and film projects. Since As the World Turns, Martha has starred on General Hospital, went back to the stage in Other People's Money, worked as a scriptwriter on the soap opera Bold and Beautiful, and produced the web drama, Gotham. She also guest-starred on the NBC crime thriller, Crisis and has appeared in the films Preying For Mercy by Bill Duke and Bottle in the Smoke. Most recently she premiered online the pilot of her new comedy webseries called Weight, which she produces and stars in as Claire, a mother struggling to keep weight off after losing it on a reality show, at www.WeightTheSeries.com.
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