We had the good fortune of connecting with Yasmin Le Comte and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yasmin, how do you think about risk?
Choosing a career in acting means taking a lot of risk. Of course, every profession has it’s own risks, but acting is known to be one of the most uncertain jobs out there. When I was 14 and started thinking about acting school I immediately thought about the risky future of actors. So many people told me to not do it. “It’s too uncertain, it doesn’t pay well, you’ll never get a permanent contract, you won’t be able get a mortgage”, etc. I remember I had a talk with my dean in high school, and when I told him I wanted to become an actress and move to LA, he started laughing and said: “I am here to help with the more realistic options”. When I told him I wasn’t joking he said:” Then I guess we are done here”. As a professional actress I try not to worry too much about the risks I’ve taken. If I start worrying about my career choice I get anxious, stressed out and insecure. But that’s also because I just got out of acting school, I have little to no credits, I don’t have any representation yet, we are currently dealing with a pandemic and I am not allowed back into the US. Not the greatest position to be in. I have to just accept the struggle, and keep moving forward. That’s hard, and I am by no means a master in this. I also find it very difficult to not plan ahead too much, freak out about my student loan, or worry my future. But that’s the risk you take when choosing this profession. You have zero certainty. I’ve thought many times about going to a Dutch university and study something like economics or law, so that I’ll have a big chance of ending up with a steady job, good paycheck and nice house. But that’s really not what I want. I need to do what I love most, and if that means I have to take a lot of risks, I’ll do it. Life is a big risk anyway. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life doing something I don’t enjoy, just because it gives me security. Life is too short and fun for that. Whatever I do, I know I’ll always figure it out in the end. I am also very blessed with my family who is super supportive of my career, and they do everything they can to help me make my goals reality.
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 most proud of myself for following my dreams. For not caring what others think, but doing my own thing. I am excited about my future as an actress and working on amazing projects. I look back to every show and project I’ve worked on with a lot of fun memories, and I hope to live my whole life doing what I love and sharing my art and creativity with others. A few weeks ago I also started a production company with some of my close actor friends. We want to create our own work, and not have to wait around for an audition to showcase ourselves. We help actors and creatives in LA with getting their toolbox together, and I am very proud of myself for taking this step and owning a real company with my friends! Along the way I learned that most times you should just do things, and not think too much about them. Spending time thinking about everything and worrying doesn’t do anything good for you, I think. One of my favorite quotes is by Nelson Mandela. He says ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done’. I really live by this quote. When you think too much about something, It always becomes more difficult and frightening in your head than it actually is, and eventually it’ll keep you from doing it. I try to just do something, even though it seems impossible and scary. Afterwards I’m always like: “See, that wasn’t too bad!”. Going to LA seemed impossible, and I’ve done it. Doing my first paid acting gig was terrifying, and I did it, and it turned out great. Becoming a professional actress seemed undoable, and here I am, graduated from the oldest acting school in the English speaking world. Doing things that you are afraid of helps to put things into perspective, and it makes you smarter and more experienced. What’s the worst thing that can happen? You fail, and you learn from that even more!
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I have had so many family and friends visit me already in Los Angeles! I usually take them all to the same spots, but hey, why not? I have some go to restaurants like ‘Akuma’ in West Hollywood, which is the best sushi for the best prize. My mom usually doesn’t like sushi, but ever since I took her there, she’ll sometimes randomly send me a text that she is craving sushi from ‘Akuma’! My boyfriend is Italian, and he discovered the best Italian pizzeria in Hollywood called ‘l’antica pizzeria da Michele’. It’s the restaurant in Naples where Julia Roberts eats in ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and they opened a new restaurant in LA, and I am so happy they did. My boyfriend and I always feel like we’re back in Europe when we go there. A neighborhood I also like to take my guests is Los Feliz. My studio is in Los Feliz, so it’s an easy bike ride to the cutest restaurants, shops and cafe’s! When my sister and one of my best friends visited me last year, we did the coolest things like horseback riding to the Hollywood sign, staying one night in a super fancy hotel and drive around LA on our bikes to go eat at places like Panda Express, Krispy Kreme and In-n-out burger. I spend a lot of money and gained a lot of kilo’s that week, but we had the best time ever! I also like to go to Palm Springs with my friends and family when I have the time and budget. I don’t have a car, so it’s not that easy for me to do a spontaneous weekend trip, but when I know I am going, I can look forward to it for months. It’s a nice, sunny, relaxed getaway from the busy and dirty city. Palm Springs never lets me down haha. The next destinations I want to take my friends is Las Vegas! I just turned 21, and the last time I was there I was 17, so I would love to go again with my friends and show them around!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First of all, I need to thank my family. My parents raised me and my sister with a lot of love and freedom. They never told us what to do in and after school and they always gave us the freedom to explore our own interests and passions. If they wouldn’t have given me this freedom and confidence to explore and do whatever I like, I never would’ve made the choice to study acting. My acting school was incredibly expensive, and after I got accepted and we found out the costs we all freaked out. But instead of saying: “Yasmin, this is impossible, go do something else!” They said: “We’ll figure this out and make it possible. You are going to LA no matter what.” I am so thankful for that. Without them I really couldn’t have done this. I also want to thank all the people around me that do believe in me and my career. When I couldn’t afford to go to LA, we started a crowdfunding page after friends and family said they wanted to help make my dream reality. I got donations from so many people, some of them I barely knew. I was blown away by the support and love, and it feels so good to know I have a whole crowd of people cheering for me in The Netherlands. Whenever I am back in the Netherlands, I try to visit as many friends, family and acquaintances as possible. They are always so curious, engaged and happy for me. And seeing them be proud and excited for me really gives me the biggest boost in the world! Every time I see them again they say: “And you still talk Dutch with an Amsterdam accent!” Hahaha I could go on forever about the support I’ve gotten. When people receive their Oscar, they always thank so many people. But it’s true when they say “without you I couldn’t have done this”. I have so many people I couldn’t have this without. My teachers and mentors in The Netherlands: Jori Hermsen, Jessica Zeylmaker and all the other teachers at the AJTS, all my teachers at The Academy in LA, my best friends in Amsterdam, VandenEnde Foundation in Amsterdam who gave me a scholarship for my studies, my boyfriend Alessandro De Gennaro, and the people who trusted me and my work and hired me even though I didn’t have any credits outside school. They all helped me to get me to where I am today. And I am so grateful for that.
Joshua Opper, The American Academy of Dramatic Arts