We had the good fortune of connecting with Tessa Markle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tessa, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
The film industry is always risky. Whether you’re a big studio or an independent creative. Of course, making your own indie films is a little scarier of a risk if it’s your own money or that of investors that expect a return. But I didn’t get into this business thinking it was easy or risk free. I like to take calculated risks both in my life and in my career. I believe risk equals reward and living in the present, not worrying about the future, is the best way to be. But I do like to be prepared for various outcomes. That being said, I’m a fan of the pro/con list mentality when deciding if a risk is worth taking. Something else I like to consider is: what do I have to lose if I fail? For instance, if I make a film that doesn’t make back any of the money I put into it. So I’m out some cash, but chances are I now have a product I’m still very proud of, learned a lot, had a blast, and made fantastic business relationships. In my opinion, risk is almost always worth it, just deciding how big of a risk to take is the key.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I began my journey solely as a stage actor, which I’ve been doing for about 20 years. I came to LA in 2014 to pursue on-camera acting and fell in love. While I do miss acting for the stage, I’ve come to enjoy commercial and voice-over acting as well. Two years ago, my production partner, Carolina and I decided to start creating our own content, and from that came our production company, Femme Regard Productions. A year into creating shorts and prepping for bigger projects, we wanted to find a way to both grow our audience as well as give back to our community. That is how Femme Regard Podcast (available on all major platforms and YouTube!) was born. A podcast for underdeveloped indie filmmakers to share in our journey and learn from the industry professionals that we bring on the show. It’s been a long road but I am so excited for the future. I feel like after about 6 years in LA, dabbling in everything from acting, voiceover, and modeling to writing, editing, and producing to podcasting, I finally know what parts of the industry are most appealing to me and how to find my way to success. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in this journey is that you’ve got to define your success. What do you really want? What are your goals? And if you don’t want them with all your heart, do something else instead!
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?
There is so much to do in LA, it’s very hard to choose. I do recommend hitting some of the major tourist spots: hiking to the Hollywood sign, seeing the handprints at TCL Chinese Theatre, and visiting the beach via Santa Monica Pier and Venice Boardwalk. But LA is unique in that each neighborhood has its own personality. Malibu and the surrounding north coast and mountain areas are gorgeous for hikes, quieter beaches and wine tasting. Neighborhoods like Beverly Hills and Bel Air are always fun for a Sunday drive to see the mansions. Abbot Kinney in Venice and the Promenade in Santa Monica are some of my favorite areas for shopping. West Hollywood has got some of the best restaurants and most fun bars in the city. Silverlake, Echo Park, and Los Feliz are great for eclectic shops and cafes and live music. We can’t forget downtown for theatres and clubs. And even up in the valley where I reside, we’ve got a ton of great places to eat and drink in North Hollywood (not to mention we’re only 10-20 minutes away from some of my favorite hikes) and so many fun and eclectic shops in Burbank. That only skims the surface; I’ve been here 6 years and I still have a long list of museums to visit, pop ups to see, restaurants to taste, and neighborhoods within neighborhoods (yes, it’s a thing!) to explore!
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?
I’ve met so many great teachers and mentors since moving to LA. I owe my entertainment business knowledge to Jeffery Brooks of Inner Circle Theatre and Bonnie Gillespie of Self Management for the Actor. As a working actor, I’ve learned so much from Sheryl Lee and Gary Hershberger of The Actor’s Director Workshop, Peter Looney and Julia Huffman of For the Actor Studio, Ryan Glasgow of Audition Therapy, Russel Sams of Actor’s Way In, and Killian McHugh of Killian’s Commercial Workshop, among several other teachers and casting directors. I owe so much gratitude to my professors at Washington and Jefferson College, allowing me to decide to pursue acting as a career, especially Bill Cameron. And the many directors I’ve worked with at the Geyer Performing Arts Center, where I first fell in love with acting to begin with. Last but certainly not least, my partner in crime, Carolina Alvarez, without whom both our production company and podcast would not exist!
Other: www.femmeregard.com Facebook.com/FemmeRegardProductions IG: @femmeregard Twitter: @femme_regard Linked in: https://www.linkedin.com/in/femme-regard-productions-683308184