We had the good fortune of connecting with Brigitte Williamson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brigitte, what role has risk played in your life or career?

As an actor, there are a huge number of risks I’m constantly evaluating – artistic risks and also business and financial risks. In every audition I’m making artistic choices about how I want to embody a character to tell a story. Since I do this work with limited direction and limited information- maybe I don’t even have the full context or a script!- it’s up to me to take chances in my choices even though they may deviate from the unknown expectations of the filmmakers. Though there may be strategy in how I make artistic choices, at the end of the day I have to follow my intuition and create in a way that fulfills me. And then there are the financial risks! I was raised in a frugal household, and I always avoided spending money when I didn’t know if it would pay off. It’s been helpful to me to change my mindset about this, and to understand that there is inherent risk in investing in my career. But there is an even bigger risk in NOT investing. If I’m not investing in the tools and marketing materials that I truly need for my career, I’m only pushing off those expenses to the future and wasting my own time.

I even wrote a short film about my relationship with risk and perfectionism. I think it’s so important for early-career artists, and people in all industries, to be able to take risks and fail. We’re all going to fail sometimes, and make choices that don’t pan out. That’s why it’s a continual process of dreaming, theorizing, trying new things and taking risks, then reevaluating to see what’s working and what isn’t. I actually think being clear-eyed and discerning in this regard is one of the hardest parts of any pursuit!

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a child I was a huge bookworm and a little bit of an outsider. I cared more about finding out what happened to the people in my books than making a lot of friends at school. I got in trouble for reading too much, and I even would read while walking and hurt myself running into mailboxes. Who knew reading could be dangerous! I’ve always understood the world through story, and it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I realized I could actually LIVE OUT those stories, as an actor, and be a part of the storytelling that I find so important. But it’s certainly been tough, especially when there is so much pressure to find success quickly and early. The truth is, most actors who find success at a young age have been pursuing a career since they were children. It takes time! I’m really proud that with every new challenge I face, I’ve found the tenacity to keep going and the grace to allow myself to change. I want to keep telling the stories of people who feel like outsiders and observers, and to help people grapple with the complexities of finding meaning in this rollercoaster ride we call life.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The number-one thing to do when visiting LA is to do a hike and get up on a hill somewhere. Day or night, you need some views. Or if you’re not a hiker, at least go to the Getty and admire the vistas! As far as eateries go, some recent faves of mine are the vegetarian cafe Jewel and wine bars Covell in Los Feliz and Stanley’s Wet Goods in Culver City. We’d have to go to Teapop for their Maui Wowie kombucha on tap as well. I’ve also been wanting to go to the Museum of Jurassic Technology – I hear it is very cool!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many resources and people that have helped me grow and continue to support me! Jen Krater of Krater Studios, Katie Von Till, Audrey Moore, and everyone at the Experimental Theatre Wing @NYU have helped support me as I find my own voice in my industry. Funnily enough, I really have to thank my former day-job employer, Great Performances Catering. The full name of the company continues “Artists as Waitresses” because one of their founding tenets was to employ women artists and give them flexible income while they pursued their crafts. To honor this legacy, they occasionally give back to their staff through artistic fellowships. I was the recipient of one of these grants, which allowed me to produce my first short film, Sweetie Pie. The world would be a better place if more for-profit companies would respect and aid in the aspirations of their workers.

Website: brigittewilliamson.com

Instagram: @thebigbrig

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