We had the good fortune of connecting with Sonya Macari and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sonya, so before we jump into specifics about your story and work, let’s start higher level. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
I have learned many lessons throughout my journey as an actor here in LA. It hasn’t been a smooth road at all, believe me. As an actor you have very little control over certain outcomes, that’s just the way it is. However if you surrender to what you can control, and that is putting your best work out there whenever possible, and you try letting go of wanting the job, which is tricky, because naturally every actor desperately wants that job, then there is great satisfaction in at least being able to do that. I also believe that If you don’t get a decent amount of rejection as an actor then what are you drawing in from ? You know? It’s very easy to negative about being in LA as an actor, anyone who dips their toe into the water out here will tell you that there is no path to becoming an actor, no clear path in having a lasting career as an actor. I have been so close to roles that would have been an absolute game changer, they would have changed my entire career trajectory, but I learned to move on. I’m very good at letting go, lol, what choice do I have? There’s a huge amount of freedom when you don’t take it personally, huge! I now enjoy it a lot more too, I will tell you that. Since I became a mother to my sweet children Evie & Leo my main focus has been on them, and anytime I’ve had an opportunity to act I have found myself enjoying it a lot. I’m a lot more free. I think as an actor you become better with age, so who knows, maybe my best work is ahead of me (laughs) .. I’ve learned so much at this point in my life, what can I say? I’m excited for the future. Having taken a break from acting to have my kids and experience other things, It has allowed me to live a meaningful, fulfilling, interesting and challenging life. I feel I have so much to share, which in turn is wonderful well to draw from as an actor. Even now as we are experience this lockdown during these unprecedented times, life keeps going, life is never stagnant, its constant movement as well as change, you have to keep moving forward, trying new things, thats how you grow and improve. Actors go inside and explore so many parts of themselves and to be vulnerable in a way, is very empowering. Sadly we’re judged, and criticized and rejected and objectified, but you know, I have learned that the most important belief is the one you have in yourself, you can’t wait for others to validate you or your work. So don’t let rejection get you down, a large part of life will be spent getting rejected for random reasons, and while you wait for the right opportunity to come along, train yourself to see the positive in every situation, I really believe in that.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started working in commercials at a very young age, and my proper acting debut was on an Irish hit TV show “ The Clinic”. Then I moved to New York at the age of 19. NYC was a huge awakening for me. I developed a serious love & respect for the art and craft of acting, and I started studying at the HB Studios, I absolutely loved it there! After New York I moved back to Dublin to work on a recurring role on Showtime’s ‘The Tudors,” for which I also appeared in the global print campaign for the show. Seeing my face on a billboard on Sunset Blvd was bizarre and amazing all at the same time, and I believe the same one was up on Times Square. Since then I have had the pleasure to work on the ten time Oscar nominated silent movie ‘The Artist’, ‘Chuck’ on NBC, House the for Fox Network, to name a few. Having taken a pretty long break from acting to have my kids, It has allowed me to embrace life in a different way. I did promise myself that when both kids were in school I would get back into acting full time. The start to 2020 was very promising, I have a wonderful agent Mariko Ballentine who is incredibly hardworking and believes in me wholeheartedly. I went to producers/creators on 2 different shows for major networks, I had gotten some wonderful new snaps done, signed with a new management company, booked a lead in a film which I was due to shoot in Ireland end of April, playing the role of therapist. Instead, now sadly with this pandemic, I’m indoors baking bread playing the role of a teacher. Oh well! 🙂 However, we are safe and healthy which is what matters most. But luckily, during the lockdown, I have also been doing some voice over work and book narrating which has been fantastic. I will also be on the Billy Wilder Stage this Bloomsday ( James Joyce) which I’m very much looking forward to, only my performance, as well as the other wonderful actor’s scenes, will be zoomed live our homes with a big tech involvement from The Hammer, which is exciting. I’m also about to embark on a new project, where I will be the voice of an exciting forthcoming 3D animation SCI-FI project called ‘The Rise Of The Atlantis’.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
LA has such variety, there are so many places to choose from, these would be some of my favorite things to do. There are some fantastic hikes throughout LA with wow-worthy views at the top. Sandstone Peak, the tallest peak in Santa Monica is a challenge but a favorite, and a drive up the pacific coast highway through Malibu is a thing of beauty. My favorite thing to shop for is food 🙂 The Farmers Market in Hollywood or Santa Monica is a must for me, above anything else. To scope out the best stands, try some samples, is always fun. LA has wonderful Mexican and Japanese restaurants also, and a few of my favorites would be Mexicali DTLA, they have some of the best tacos in town. Yamashiro is also a favorite of mine, delicious sushi with incredible views of Hollywood below. We like to explore the Getty Museum, it’s impressive art exhibits are worth seeing and you can maybe have a little picnic on their beautiful gardens! A walk down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is always fun, so dedicating an hour or so cruising through 90210 always makes for a good-for-gawking stop! A walk through the Venice canals is gorgeous, they are tucked between the Venice boardwalk and the trendy Abbot Kinney, They are a series of small canals that run through the beachfront neighborhood, very charming. Afternoon Tea at The Huntington Library and Gardens in Pasadena is a lovely thing to do! This library is historic and the gardens are breathtaking. I would hunt for antiques at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, its a colossal flea market held the second Sunday of each month. If you’ve never sung Karaoke in Korea-town, well, you’ve never experienced real karaoke lol, and their disco-esque private rooms are so much fun!
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?
Over the years I have had many wonderful acting coaches here in LA. I was very fortunate to experience an intimate masterclass with Sir. Anthony Hopkins which was incredible. He has an incredible ability to navigate you as actor with such wonderful enthusiasm, and he was also very intuitive with his work towards each student which I had never experienced before. He was very complimentary towards me which I’ll never forget. It was such a memorable time and really good fun! I’m incredibly grateful for my agent Mariko from Minc talent here in LA, she’s incredibly supportive and works damn hard! I’m excited for our future together. I’d also like to give a shout out to my Irish agent Annette Walsh from Castannttenow, who also works very hard for me on the other side of the pond! And it goes without saying, my husband Colin whom has always been incredibly encouraging, he is the very definition of unconditional love and support. Whatever challenges we face, we face them together. Colin is an incredible musician and also a Grammy nominated songwriter. We have two children, Evie and Leo who are the most incredible human beings and my greatest blessing. 🙂