Welcome to another edition of SIX OF THE BEST, the semi regular part of BRWC where we fire six questions at lovely people. This time, we talk to actor, and all round fun gal Erin Cronican.
Hello! What you up to today?
Why, thank you for asking! A bunch of little things. First, I’m producing and starring in a show (THREE SISTERS, with my theater company, The Seeing Place Theater) – I spent the morning firing off emails to patrons encouraging them to come out to the show for our last week. I then went to Mount Sinai Medical School to do a live improv industrial gig, playing a standardized patient so medical students can get tested on their clinical skills. Tonight, I go off to the theater to open up box office and train my volunteer. Then at 7pm I finally get a chance to get into makeup and costume to prepare myself for a 7pm curtain. After the show, I’ll mingle with patrons to develop strong bonds, get their feedback, and unwind a bit. I’ll finish the day doing design work for my day job (as a career coach and marketing designer for actors, through my company, The Actors’ Enterprise) Somewhere in there, I’ll try to eat, sleep and have a beer.
What films/people have influenced your work?
I grew up idolizing dramatic movie musicals, most notably “West Side Story.” It made me want to be an actor, and helped me discover my favorite activity: singing. It also handed me my first real world disappointment — I would not ever play the role of Maria. (cue trumpet cries, wah wah waaaahhhhhhh…)
What are you working on now?
I’m working to balance my day job (coaching/designing), with my two loves:Acting (finishing up a production of “Three Sisters,” singing in a cabaret in May, doing a play in July and shooting a film in August) and Producing (plays with The Seeing Place, musicals with my ACTOR-OWN Musical Theater Collective, and networking with the most awesome networking event in NYC- the NY Actors Tweetup, for which I’m the co-founder.)
I think, though, that one of the things I’m most proud of working on right now is finding a way to be a human being in a city (and industry ) that asks so much of you to work, work, work. I get out to see as much theater and film as I can. I try to support the hobbies and interests of my friends & colleagues, and do the best I can to nurture my relationships on and off the social networks. This might be why Klout feels like I’m influential in Tequila.
What were you doing before acting?
I’ve been acting since the age of nine, so I don’t quite remember doing anything else. But I do know that, as a young person, the professions that inspired me outside of acting were teaching and psychology. I count myself very lucky that I found a way to incorporate these into my daily life as a coach. Let’s see – what else… I was a tennis player with a modicum of talent – I had the opportunity to play at a Top Ten school but opted to stay in the arts instead, much to the chagrin of my mother who was a tennis coach. Oh, and in 7th grade I ran (unsuccessfully) for class president with the slogan, “If anyone can, Croni-can.” (crickets.) You see why being in the arts was really my only choice.
Any advice for any aspiring actors?
Equally balance your acting life with three things: The study of the craft, the study of the business, and the development of your voice as an artist. Too many times, and actor focuses on just one aspect, which makes it very difficult to find peace, passion or success in this industry. Also understand that lasting success is built over time, and one cannot do it alone. You need a strong team of mentors, coaches, and colleagues to help you navigate the waters, and a strong base of friends and family to keep you centered when things get crazy. And if you’re doing your job correctly, things WILL get crazy.
Anything you want to get off your chest right now?
I like Jeanne Bowerman’s idea of listing her pet peeves and inspiring quotes. I’ll do some of that too:
• No, sir… no matter how much you push me from behind, I’m not getting on the subway until all of the passengers have exited.
• “Talk does not cook rice.” – Ancient Chinese Proverb. ‘Nuff said.
• I don’t like the fact that when I drink red wine, everyone knows it. (lip/teeth stains.) Just say yes to white.
• I am NOT a morning person, but if you give me eggs and bacon and potatoes and sausage and french toast and syrup and butter and tater tots and toast… I might be ok.