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

Hi Kasia, what is the most important factor behind your success?
If there’s one thing I can say with a great amount of confidence about myself, it’s that I have my “brand” so, so dialed-in! My personal experiences and growth throughout my life allowed me to really understand who I am in every way, from my personality to my visual aesthetics. I curate every single aspect of my life, from my apartment, to my car, to my color scheme on Instagram, even down to the pens I show up with when I hold casting sessions (they are rainbow and furry, of course). Internally, I am extremely aware of who I am and what I believe in and stand for, and externally, I definitely have a very unique, colorful approach to life and it is incredibly obvious to anyone who meets me and probably, hopefully, somewhat memorable. I live in color, completely. I couldn’t live in a place without color. I would probably just shrivel up and die without it. The excitement and inspiration I feel from looking at things that are colorful and pleasing to me is unmatched.  If someone asks another person “do you know Kasia?”, if the second party does in fact know me, they probably have the exact same picture of who I am in their heads. That’s me–that’s my brand–that’s Kasia! When it comes to my work on camera, it’s pretty easy to figure out where I fit in terms of roles and characters and there’s a lot of potential for me to bring something fresh to the table to add to the character with who I am. Keep in mind that not every brand has to have a strong visual aesthetic component like mine does. Finding your voice and what defines you on the inside is JUST as important.  Figuring out exactly who you are from the inside out is so crucial in this business and in any business, not just for creating your “brand” as a person, but for the steps of discovery that come before that and start within.

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 think I answered the first part in my previous answer, so let’s talk a bit about the journey. I came to L.A. from San Francisco when I was 17. Someone was stabbed on the stairs of my first apartment before I left for school one day. My next apartment was infested with cockroaches and had a peephole in the bathroom…seriously! I literally got kidnapped once. I spent Christmases alone, including one with no heat or electricity. I couldn’t have made it to this point without my mom. She has always been my #1 cheerleader and she always believed in me and encouraged me to just keep going and never let me forget that eventually, things wouldn’t be so rough. One of the most important things I learned is that you really can’t JUST be an actor anymore (and that’s OK!) You need to be a human, too! You need to try everything you possibly can and learn as much as you possibly can about everything. You need to create content, come up with ideas, write, and invest time in yourself with your skills. You just can’t sit around and wait for the phone to ring anymore because it probably won’t if you’re not actively doing things to make it ring. The people I know who are the most successful at acting also have another career that they are passionate about. You get a lot of “no’s” and feel a lot of disappointment no matter how talented you are, so having something else that you are good at and that can bring in income for you will make you feel so much more confident and stable, and you really can’t put a price on that. Finding my passion for casting and opening my casting company absolutely saved me. Connecting other kind, hardworking people that I meet with work makes me feel awesome. It’s fun! It is, however, an insane amount of hard work–try to make plans with me during non-Covid times and you will see! I’m sure it has made me a better actress as well. I’m also currently writing my first feature film script inspired by some of my very interesting past that a lot of people don’t know about…yet. You need to be a person before you can be an actor, so try everything, Do everything. And learn exactly who you are! Also, it usually takes at least ten years here in l.A. to get your life together. I wasn’t really booking a lot of on-camera work for a while, probably mostly because I’m a size 12 and somehow, there are a lot of people who just cannot fathom that a person who isn’t stick thin can be an actress and tell a story that isn’t about not being stick-thin. Thankfully, things are starting to change and we are seeing some different shapes and sizes on our screens (*wooooooo!!*). We still have a long way to go, but I’m honored to be a part of change. I’m really proud to say that you can see me on Netflix/Ryan Murphy’s “Hollywood” & the most recent season of “GLOW”. I also had a small role in a movie that is in the Official Selections for Cannes Film Festival 2020 and I am starring in the upcoming incredible feature film, ‘The Influencer,” coming 2021, directed by the most wonderful Meghan Weinstein. I have never been happier than when we filmed that movie. It was the best experience with such fantastic people and I can’t wait for everyone to see it!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First of all, L.A. is completely insane and there are so many fantastic places to check out. If she gets off the plane and she’s hungry, we’re going straight to MEAT LOVE KBBQ. It’s AYCE KBBQ, it’s absolutely incredible, and I eat their radishes by the bowl. I’ve been to a ton of KBBQ spots in L.A. and this one is my favorite. Plus, it’s really affordable! After that, we’re both going to be in food comas and will probably fall asleep by 10pm. That means that the next day, we’re going to be ready to boogie on the early side, so it’s definitely going to be a perfect day for Happy Hour at La Poubelle in Franklin Village. Hopefully it’s a summer weekend and we can go straight to a Cinespia movie screening at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. There’s just nothing like it. Imagine being in the prettiest park in Hollywood in the grass in the dark with a massive screen and the best sound system–and you just so happen to be in an iconic cemetery. Btw, it’s BYOB.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Jamee Ranta! She’s a badass lady producer in L.A. who has worked with the top brands, directors & artists (including the WAP video–iconic! ) Jamee is always working on incredible projects and she puts together stellar teams of the nicest, greatest people who do amazing work. You’ll notice that her teams have a lot of other badass women on them, which is so important. It used to be that when you walked onto a film set, they were always jam-packed with men, but things are changing in a big way and Jamee is one of the glorious people we can thank for that.

Website: harlowecasting.com & hollywoodhotdog.tv
Instagram: instagram.com/kasia
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kasiathehotdog

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.