We had the good fortune of connecting with Elizabeth Regal and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elizabeth, what matters most to you?
I find this a most intriguing question and rarely discussed in the industry. I have had many interviews that cover the usual, as my background, my projects, what inspires me, etc. However, in an industry with vast controversy and questionable ethics in many arrays, do principles and values co-exist for creatives in Hollywood? ABSOLUTELY! I find the common premise “be yourself” consistently cliche and over-stated. Embracing the title of actor or actress requires a certain precision, a most technical science most rarely understand or even ponder on. “Be Yourself” was never one of those personal mottos for me, unless off-camera, and even then, certain expectations by the industry are forthright, One is constantly told to be themselves, but we spend a lifetime being someone else. Think about that one for a second. It is our duty and entire career to embody the mind, heart, soul, and deepest essence of the character while separating out own identity to not bleed over into the material unless there is necessary overlap in the material to do so for the actor. I live by many mottos, but that particular principle is a conflict to the true authenticity of the job and essence of our portrayal that character. It is a well-expectation to “Always be in Character.” I find this more intriguing to the audience to keep others guessing, Humans are naturally driven by mystery and the unknown, why not continue the enigma, Another beautiful quote I find that calls true to my heart is “to handle yourself, use your head: to handle others, use your heart.” by Eleanor D. Roosevelt. Too often I find myself in my head in most situations. Being an INTJ personality type, my world is highly analytical, intellectual, and inner reflective. According to most world religions as dating back to Hindu and Buddhist philosophy, the heart chakra is the key to the universe. Love holds everything together. Even the greatest scientists on the planet may agree. It is the basis to all of humanity, and now is the time more than ever to activate what we do best…LOVE…
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I had a very humble upbringing in the south and northeastern area of the United States. I was born in Chicago, Illinois and lived there until I was 6 years old and then moved to Knoxville, Tennessee after that due to the harsh winters and hustle and bustle of the city. My maternal grandfather and grandmother, and aunts lived there, and my parents wanted a better life with less crime and winters with better morals and stability. In the south, we never had much money, but that never seemed to matter in that part of the country. Materialism and status were not something most people sought after. Most people went to high-school, college, and then married and had children not questioning life too much beyond that. Rarely did people leave or have high expectations of big dreams and goals. Being in the bible belt in strict Christianity, show business and the big city were mostly frowned upon. I was told over and over that Los Angeles and NYC were a dwelling place of bad people and I would not go to heaven if I pursued this dream of acting and filmmaking. However, I realize now being in a place of more advanced awareness and intellect that is definitely not true. The principle of the person inside and their heart and soul are what makes the foundation of a good person. I would spend the summers at Tremont, a small camp in Tennessee in the relaxing wilderness. sometimes with my friends, go to the mall with my cousin and play outside with simple pleasures like hide and go seek and duck-duck-goose. My parents would frequently have garage sales on my grandmother’s lawn for extra money and I would sell glasses of lemonade for extra cash. I learned early on the value of money as we did not have much. I got discounted lunches at school, a humble weekly allowance, and hand me downs for clothes when we could not afford new clothes. I frequently participated in the school fundraisers going door-to-door selling chocolate candy bars to raise money for summer camp every year. After summer camp, my parents would take me and my sister that’s 7 years younger to Orlando Florida and Daytona Beach. We always looked forward to this luxury as they saved up all year for. We would have the time of our lives at Disneyland, Universal Studios, and MGM. We lived in a humble two-bedroom apartment in Knoxville, Tennessee and then moved into a trailer when my parents grew tired of apartment living. When I was about 22 years old, after dad working at the same hospital for 12-hour days for 20 years they finally bought a luxurious 2 story 4-bedroom home with a pool on an acre of land. My parents worked hard the honest way. My father was a respiratory therapist and my mother was a registered nurse. She stayed home with us a great deal showing us how to cook, do crafts and creative projects, road trip to the mall and grandma’s house, and the local swimming pool we were a member of. I got my first job at 16 years old as a cashier at Food City in Knoxville, Tennessee and was so proud to make my own money on the weekends and be able to go out with friends, buy clothes, go to concerts, and then eventually clubs. My parents were not too thrilled at having me hangout at dance clubs, but as I went to college, I found my way into the party scene and a sorority, Pi Beta Phi at The University of Tennessee. I got caught up in the party scene in Knoxville and eventually Atlanta in the rave scene. The rave and underground warehouse scene in kicky funky beats techno EDM music, no sleep, 2-day LSD trips I am not so proud of now that I am older. Those days of being a kid, a youth with no structure, extreme creativity, and all-night partying was a destructive short-term path that taught me a great lesson. I had never experience so many weird things, people, and places in that time between 18-22 years old. I was sowing my oats and felt I would be young forever. Then life got serious as I failed out of school at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville and was discharged from my sorority and had to tell my parents. I then signed up to join the military, the Army National Guard to pay for school, but got injured and did not adjust well to military life as I failed at that as well. I got a full-time job at Kinko’s and loved it as there were many artistic and open-minded people there. I stayed for 2 years and went into real estate and escrow. I never stayed at a job very long in the field and found myself at a loss again in my humble studio apartment for $400 a month with no kitchen. I felt my life was a downward spiral in Knoxville, Tennessee. My friends pushed me to move ahead in my artistic endeavors as they said I was a free spirit. I finally packed up my stuff at 25 years old, and as many thousands of hopeful others I went to Hollywood to seek that big break overnight. Little did I know that it would not even come close to happening that way… Hollywood has always been known for double standards since the rapid uproar of the studio system in the 1940’s. Women age faster in Hollywood. I mean 35 for women is a career near ending in the film industry; however, since the “Me Too” campaign and the new aeon of gender balance there has been a rapid transition in mindset. Many high executives and producers have fallen from power forcing the industry to change. Gender is a touchy subject nowadays, especially in Hollywood being that there are more than the classic two genders of male and female. There are Non-Binary, Transgender, Cisgender, Transsexual, Bigender, Polygender, Genderfluid, Demigender, Novigender, and the list goes on. It is said there are over 81 genders now worldwide. It is not a matter of male and female imbalance, inequality, and the issue is by far more company than that. This subject in infinite in opinion, challenges, lawsuits, discrimination, and you name it! Casting directors, casting websites, producers, actors, and the entire community are becoming at a loss as to how to identify someone without getting sued or excluding some category without getting heat for being politically incorrect. There are some celebrities that have really supported equal pay for women in Hollywood. I highly respect Benedict Cumberbatch in his stand for equal for for women in Hollywood, as he refuses to take on a project without his female co-stars getting equal pay as he. Gender inequality has consistently been an issue since I started years ago. I have been faced with my share of unprofessionalism. Yes, I have had a road through the tough trenches out here, as many aspiring actors but I have managed to live in LA and stay in the game a great deal longer than most. 18 years in LA is like 3 lifetimes anywhere else. Yes, I have experienced some strange auditions, scams, jealousy, money issues, unstable living situations, lack of a support system and family, and my challenges in finding a suitable stable romantic partner. Los Angeles is the most treacherous city I have ever lived in under the vast illusions of its outer beauty that can be misleading. There is something about the vortex of LA that has keeps drawing me back. There is an upspoken intense energy that the eye cannot see. There is more going on under the surface that what most people know. I mean the industry of media, movies, television, and news are created for a reason. They are created for a means of propaganda to change the way we think to move us forward into a direction we are unaware. There have been many instances of hidden symbolism in television and movies that drop hints to the audience of what is it to come. One can ponder upon the legendary movies as Total Recall, Blade Runner, They Live, The Matrix Trilogies, and Metropolis. It is a brilliant way to inform society and bring us to a higher awareness and make us think outside the box. I truly feel the influence in the media has changed humanity in increasing intelligence, values, attention spans, life spans, so many elements. Being opened to this awareness at a young age was quite a challenge to accept in that having to say yes to everything in order have a profitable career. It seems actors have very little creative control at all at their careers in order to work and have success. I soon realized early on it was not about me. I am a product and just like any product we are developed, trained, molded, and shaped to whatever the demands of the industry needs. That’s a touch reality, not to mention facing over 80+ auditions a year and only booking 10% of what I audition for. This is the average norm of rejection and booking ratio for most working SAG/AFTRA talent. Every audition is gift, an opportunity to be seen, but takes an overwhelming amount of energy to always be prepared, memorize lines, and polish what skills I need for that particular role. It is said less that 2% of the population of actors make a living at it and 1% become stars, out of over 500,000 actors in Los Angeles. Statistically, 70% fail within 3 years. My old agent when I first came to LA told me this. I did not believe at first. I was first certain my prom queen looks, rigorous formal training at the Lees Strasberg Theater and Film Institute, and intelligence would carry me to the top overnight…little did I know that was anything but the truth. I have been told everything in the book, that I would never survive here and would be back home in a year, I was too fat, too ethnic, too old to start an acting career, not blonde, not rich, a number out here and to wait in line, your over the hill over 35. I have heard it all and very little was actually true. Until, I learn to believe in myself and not seek validation from others I would never last out here. The transition to stardom was not something someone gives you, an opportunity out of nowhere, a free ride. It’s a charisma that is developed from within over time, and on average over many years of strive and persistence. It is a readiness and confidence that radiates throughout the Universe that others see in you, that is when the Universe responds. It is not by means of desire by ego, but by means of preparation. There is a vast difference between an egotistical desire and a readiness to succeed and give back to the community. I was the one of many that came unprepared with no enough money, no strategy, very little contacts or relationships, lack of a business plan, and not enough mainstream credits. It was a rude awakening to walk through the trenches of Hollywood. But amongst all the hardships I have learned to find the meaning in them. The higher we go, the harder we fall…
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, honestly I am such into esoterics, ancient wisdom, and magick that my tastes are a bit “Hollyweird” and unusual for societal norms. I love esoteric lectures, gatherings, and events are Masonic lodges, as I myself am into the fine craft of Freemasonry and Charity. Anything dealing with Ancient Egypt and the ancient Sciences is a die-hard passion of mine. I love going on a wild goose hunt for unusual books that are classics and hard to find esoteric works. The legendary LAST BOOKSTORE is a MUST for anyone who is visiting or super new to LA. It has a great deal of history and very eclectic. Museums are a passion of mine, as I grew up falling head over heels with The Metropolitan Museum of Arts in NYC…my home away from home. Vegan and healthy type food places are a place you will find me. Miley Cyrus opened her new healthy eclectic restaurant in LA I would LOOOOOVE to try as soon as COVID-19 settles down.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The laundry list of those to thank runs far and long being in Hollywood for 20+ years. As the Oscar speech would prompt. I would love to thank………LOL… Well, let’s see. I am truly inspired by some that are close to me and some are distant mentors I have little contact. Inspiration can come in many forms. I would love to thank my dear friend, Percy Leon, filmmaker and YouTube Creator that cast me in a short film “The Hybrid” that was filmed with intellectual property by 20th Century Fox; The Dream Machine International Film Festival for awarding me “Best Director” for my film I wrote, produced, and directed “Seductive Shadows; Los Angeles City College for my degree in Filmmaking and being awarded more than one scholarship to make things happen; The Hollywood Weekly for published a 2-page article in their magazine and having me as a red carpet panelist guest for their film festival I definitey will never forget David Heavener, legendary independent filmmaker, and writer for taking me under his wing and teaching most of what I know about the industry when I was new to Hollywood; The Indie Night Film Festival for making my childhood dream come true with screening my film at the legendary TCL Theater on Hollywood Blvd; Dr. Laura Kristen Wilhelm, journalist to the Hollywood Times and panel judge to the French Rivera Film Festival for writing a lovely review of my film “Seductive Shadows” in the Hollywood Times; my lovely friends and family for standing next to me and believing in me pursing my goals and dreams, and also God my higher power for making everything possible on this planet.
Other: https://www.thehollywoodtimes.today/seductive-shadows-screens-at-indie-night/ http://voyagela.com/interview/meet-elizabeth-regal-envision-motion-pictures-downtown-los-angeles/ https://www.nsaen.com/elizabeth-regal-performer-many-talents/ https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/video/elizabeth-regal-talks-about-her-latest-projects-and-news-footage/1006624256 https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2513386/
Gloria Placencia – Black and White photo with Hat and Indian/Egyptian Bride photo Lisa Lex – Black and White photos with hair down D.W. Kim – Neon blue photo with high fashion makeup