We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Krusche-Bruck and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
“If you’d be happy doing anything else other than acting – don’t act.”
I’m pretty sure every actor has heard this ad nauseam in their lives. From directors and acting coaches growing up, to college professors, to successful actors on podcasts I’ve been hearing this for the last 14 years and it’s always rubbed me the wrong way. It’s made me question my place in the business. It’s made me question my love for acting. It’s, for whatever reason, really gotten to me over the years. I think it took two years out here fully pursuing acting and the last year in “quarantine” focusing more on writing and creating for me to fully come to terms with the fact that I don’t agree with it at all. I’d be happy doing a lot of things – continuing my education in psychology and becoming a psychologist, working in the food industry, being a teacher, etc. – and that doesn’t make me any less worthy or motivated to be an actor and be in LA pursuing this career. I get the sentiment. This business is hard. It takes a ton of work, self motivation, financial investment, dedication, etc. and there’s no set outcome. Investing all of the above does not mean you are going to make a living off of it or that you are going to “make it” (whatever that may mean to you), and even if you do “make it” it’s hard work and you have no job security or set future in front of you. That’s scary. But you shouldn’t give up your place in this business because you have other passions or interests. This business needs unique voices and perspectives to grow and become more diverse and influential . I wouldn’t be the artist I am without my education in and passion for psychology. It’s at the forefront of every role I play, piece I write, song I sing, and play I direct. How much I care about it shouldn’t be my sign to give up my creative career but instead should be my motivation to pursue it because of the voice it allows me to have. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with deciding to pursue something else other than acting/a creative career if you are passionate about something else because that’s great and for all I know will be a decision I make one day. I just think it’s unfair, unhealthy and unhelpful to continue to perpetuate the idea that if acting isn’t the only thing that will make you happy then you shouldn’t do it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m primarily an actor – that’s where I’m most at home and happy and that is most definitely what fuels my fire out here. The two most influential aspects of my life and personality that influence my acting are 1. my psychology background – I love psychology, research, mental health awareness, etc. and all of that is very important to me when researching and preparing for a character. And 2. I care very deeply about humans/humanity and about understanding people who are in different circumstances than I am or have different backgrounds or world views or whatever it may be. My love for psychology and understanding different perspectives pushes me to do do extensive research on characters and their backgrounds, make connections within my own life and experiences and really try as hard as I can to put myself into their shoes, story, and perspective. I love the process of preparing to act (almost) as much as I love the actual act of it which allows me to connect with characters on a deep level and I think is probably what I’m most proud of when I watch my work.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of my favorite places in all of LA is Stories in Echo Park. It’s a book store/coffee shop with a wonderful collection of books, local grocery items, amazing coffee, snacks, etc. They have a wonderful outdoor patio in back and the most special thing about it is (pre-pandemic) they had events each night ranging from stand-up to spoken word performances to local bands, I mean the list goes on and on. I went a few times a week just to check out new local artists in the area and it was so special. If you’re in the market for a good pizza (who isn’t) check out Hail Mary in Atwater Village – truly incredible. My favorite Sunday morning activity is getting some amazing fresh produce at a local farmer’s market (Atwater, Hollywood, etc.). Concerts at Hotel Cafe (it’s a classic for a reason). Sunset and Vinyl – speakeasy in Hollywood that has an amazing vinyl selection. All Time in Los Feliz – you truly can’t go wrong with anything on the menu it’s absurd how good it is. Courage Bagels – the NYT was right they are the best. I love food…a lot…so I could go on and on but those are top the priority.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My biggest support system has been and always will be my family – my mom, sister, dad, and all of my grandparents. My mom is single handedly responsible for getting me cast in my first musical in 5th grade and has continued to love and support me and my dreams ever since. My sister FaceTimes with me at all hours of the day and helps me with self tapes and puts up with my attitude and frustration as I do them. My grandparents drove me all around the city growing up taking me from rehearsal to rehearsal. My dad continues to push me to pursue my dreams and follow my first love that led me to this business – music. I could go on and on – I’m very lucky to have family that not only supports but highly encourages me to chase my dreams no matter where they lead me or what they may look like. I’m also lucky to have so many friends both in and out of the business who have put up with my wild schedule, requests, stories and dreams over the years. I’ll forever be grateful for my peers and mentors at American University and all of the experiences I got to share with them. I’ve said it about 8 times already but I truly feel so lucky to have always felt support and love and encouragement in pretty much all areas of my life. I’ve definitely questioned whether or not to pursue this career but no one else in my life has and that’s very special.
Leah Huebner (Headshots).