We had the good fortune of connecting with Brittney Bertier and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brittney, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
When I moved to New York City to become an actress, fresh BFA in hand; my father said “There are a lot of talented people, just make sure no one works harder than you.” That became my mantra for most of my twenties. That isn’t to say that I didn’t have my share of fun or adventures, but I was largely nose to the grind stone and the relationships I built were those that made the struggle more fun, but were always dotted with conversations about “the business.” How to survive the business, how to THRIVE in the business, what is the one thing we could be doing to set ourselves apart that we just haven’t figured out yet…etc. It was a one way train to success, and I was the first passenger aboard. As that train came around the bend and approached my thirties, I found myself chronically fatigued and blocked creatively. Auditions, submissions, meetings and self promotion were beyond a chore – they were a bore. Was I meant to do something else? Had I lost my lust for the art of acting? Of course I hadn’t. Personally, I don’t think anyone does. Sure, a weary artist can decide that the lifestyle of an entertainer isn’t for them, but the spark of creativity and love for the craft still smolders deep inside. No, I hadn’t turned my back on my passion. I had forgotten why I was doing it, because you see – it is rather hard to tell the truth about life on stage, when you aren’t really out there living it. Today, I take breaks. Daily. I walk around the neighborhood, or beckon the morning with a warm cup of tea and leisurely read a book. I drive somewhere new or call a friend and THAT is what sparks creativity in me. At the end of the day, art isn’t really about ME, now is it? It’s about THEM. I continually strive for balance, but have found the older I get, the more working myself into a brain dead zombie isn’t really an option anymore. Something inside me longs for experience, and that experience always sets me free. If you’re feeling drained, I challenge you to put down your responsibilities and go out there and see something (safely, of course). It will feed your soul, and thereby inform your work – whatever it is that you beautifully do.
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.
I am a stage and screen actress. My story, like many others, has been one of ups and downs. Great highs and great lows. It isn’t nearly the success story I had envisioned for myself at 16 – sometimes I go long lengths of time between truly satisfying roles – or even satisfyingly written auditions! But here is what I think sets me apart, and what can help you set yourself apart, too: – Find what specifically you do best; better than most. For me, it’s comedy! My face was simply made to contort into strange faces as I fail at literally whatever task it is that you have asked me to do. Growing up, it was the way I endeared myself to others, so they would like me. I never wanted to feel threatened or threatening, so I figured out that if I highlighted my faults, others found it charming and safe. Looking back, doing this in excess is certainly not advisable, as one shouldn’t just consider oneself to be a hot mess at all times in order to be liked, but I was 17 and figuring it out. Anyways – comedy has become such a large, comfortable part of me that I tend to lead with it in meetings and auditions. People want to know YOU and what YOU bring to a character. Not to mention, not every actress in LA grew up studying Jennifer Aniston on Friends or Bea Arthur on The Golden Girls. Turns out comedic timing is a rather treasured commodity! – Make your own art. I have been doing this since the beginning, when I began producing holiday concerts at the New York Presbyterian children’s hospital. All an artist needs to be happy, is an outlet. Create your own, don’t wait for someone to come knocking (they rarely come to you). I have co-produced and co-written my own web series which won Best Comedy at the 2019 Indie Boom Fest, and this is probably what I am most proud of! I have co-produced ukulele concerts and been paid to create funny videos for different social media platforms. Go where your gut is leading; it is often for a reason. – Stay sane. The pandemic has been a nightmare realized for our industry, and many other industries across the globe. At all costs. self care and preservation right now is key. Find a routine, lean into your community, and don’t stop hoping for the future. Find whatever creative outlet fulfills you, it may take some experimenting to figure it out. But artists existed far before Broadway and Hollywood. Think outside the box. All you need to feel creative, is to create something.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Pre-Covid LA destination hangs were very different from my mid-pandemic LA suggestions, but here goes! Malibu Creek State Park is gorgeous, and you can camp there! Malibu Pier is sensational for the views and food – and you can be completely outside! The Reel Inn down the PCH is my favorite seafood joint in LA. Skip the Santa Monica pier and hope across town to The Griffith Observatory for the look out over Los Angeles – it’s best at sunset! Republic of Pie in North Hollywood holds the city’s best chai and strongest wifi combination. And the best of the best spots is Point Dume. You may recognize it from numerous films – you can hike to the top or climb carefully across the rocks to a little lagoon area. And when that sun hits at golden hour – it’s crazy dynamite.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Oh my goodness, so many! My representation, Todd Eskin (ATB) and Toni Benson (THE) for believing in me and giving me opportunities! Bruce Kimmel, Doug Haverty, Adryan Russ, and Kerry O’Malley (Kritzerland) for giving me a place to sing in LA for the past 7 years! Carole Linn and Mark Cole for letting me sing for every elderly person in the greater Los Angeles area, and remaining me why I love it. Michael Donovan and Richie Ferris for bringing me in for nearly every Regional job I have booked since 2015, and always rooting for me. Tegan Summer for letting me originate a dream role on the Las Vegas Boulevard, and continually giving me hope. My dear friends and transpLAnts co-producers Sara Baum and Trip Langley – there is no one I would rather create comedy with! Jay Diaz for booking me on my first pilot – a part that nothing could ever compare to in how perfectly it was written for me. Musi-cal at The Rockwell. I mean, this list could go on forever! I wouldn’t have anything without these people.
Other: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5528749/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgP-9dS9Ang