We had the good fortune of connecting with Sydney Burger and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sydney, how do you think about risk?
I think taking risks is a vital part of life. I see risks as opportunities to grow and expand. It can definitely be scary to step outside of your comfort zone but getting comfortable in the uncomfortable has been crucial in my journey as a creative. What I have learned and what I still need to remind myself daily is that the real risk is not taking any risks at all because until you push yourself past what is familiar we will never find our greatest potential. Risks have played a huge part in both my life and career. Moving across the country from New Jersey to Los Angeles was definitely an intimidating thought but I knew this is where I had to be to support the career I wanted to have in the entertainment industry. So taking a chance on myself and my dreams and moving so far away from where I grew up was a risk I had to take! I moved here with the intentions of gaining a BFA in Commercial Dance. I am a trained dancer and spent the last 20 years of my life solely dedicated to dance training, but when acting started to find it’s way into my life, I realized that that career path and avenue of storytelling is more aligned with the life I want to create for myself. I had to decide to let dance take a back seat and not feel obligated to stick with it simply because I have always done it and thought that I would pursue it and begin my acting journey. Then when Covid hit and my school format was changing I had to make the decision of wether to stay in school to get the ever so talked about degree, or take my training and career into my own hands by putting in the work it takes without being told what to do as an assignment. It was a scary thought to think that I would be catapulting myself into the real world and not have the format of school that I have had and enjoyed my whole life. But taking the leap has been the most empowering decision so ever could have made and I’m excited to see this risk play out and accomplish all that I set out to do! I truly believe in life we must follow our instincts and be open to possibilities and that is what risks are really all about!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Being a professionally trained dancer moving into acting adds so much to the craft of acting, Just simply having a solid mind-body connection is a big asset in my work as an actress. Also having a background in dance allows me to really understand that doing the work and putting in time each and everyday to hone your craft is none negotiable. I am most proud of having the opportunity to co-create and direct my 1st short film/dance concept video this year, “Consistency of Change” even in the midst of the pandemic and I am excited to continue to create work that is special to me.I am also very proud of the progress as an actress by consistently being in class for over a year now and the confidence I am gaining in my work. I am still ways away from where I want to be in my career an actress and I know the journey will not be an easy one, but by staying committed to the work and honing my skills both in the art and in the business side of this industry I know I will get there. Practicing gratitude and meditation has helped me tremendously throughout my life. While it is important to chase your dreams and always want something better for ourselves it has been a great lesson for me to learn the art of balance. Being present and appreciating where I am now each and everyday is just as important as planning for the future. The Capricorn in me is always pushing and working towards something, but taking a step back and listening to my mind and body serves me tremendously. I think the most important thing about me and my story is that I really just want to help and inspire people in anyway I can and I’m really just a free-spirit with a plan!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Okay, first of all, this question just brings me so much joy. It is one of my favorite things in the world to make an itinerary for a trip. My mom was actually just here last week for her birthday and I planned lots of fun things to do. I’m a huge foodie so most of my fun days revolve around eating amazing food at new restaurants. So I would start off most days with a delicious breakfast burrito or bagel. My 2 favorite breakfast burritos in LA are from Wake and Late in DTLA and Cofax also in LA. While nothing can compare to an east coast bagel I have found some hidden gems like Yeastie Boys, Hanks, and the Brooklyn Bagel Bakery. Then I would head to the beach for the day. Being from the Jersey Shore the beach really just makes me feel at home. There are also so many great hiking spots all around California. I always recommend downloading the app “All Trails.” You can search and find trails anywhere on that app and it gives you a detailed description and directions for each hike. I have done many hikes since living here but my favorites so far would have to be Hermit Falls, Eagle Rock in Topanga, The Hot Springs in Santa Barbara, and every trail in Yosemite! I love and recommend taking day trips to other places outside of LA, I just love seeing and exploring new places near or far! Some wonderful places not too far from LA are San Diego (we just went on the best Tacos and Tortillas History Tour here in Old Town), Santa Barbara, Yosemite (not a day trip but a one night stay in a yurt there is magical), Newport Beach, and Laguna Beach just to name a few! Then, of course, we have to a fabulous dinner every night! Some of my favorite meals are from John & Vinny’s, Elephante, Prince Street Pizza, Joe’s Pizza, El Cholo, Mrs. Fish, Scopa, The Venice Whaler, or The Butcher’s Daughter!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would of course have to thank my mother who has given me copious amounts of support throughout my whole journey, none of this would be possible without her! I would also love to thank my amazing Acting teachers Sal Romeo and Crista Flanagan for really opening my eyes up to this world of acting. Jodie Bentley and her courses have also been a huge help in getting my career off of the ground and of course the book The Artist Way which I read over quarantine changed my life as a creative!
Bella Saville Photography Jared Trevino Walter Watkins