Where does one start with Victoria Goldblatt, frequent performer and now casting director for Stories on Stage? She’s a Jill of many trades, her steps range from the rungs of the corporate ladder to center stage and she is equally as delightful at both. Commercials, film, voice overs, stand-up comedy, you name it, she’s doing it. Her performances always have a fun flavor to them. Read on, and you’ll see what I mean!
I have had the pleasure of seeing you perform a few stories for Stories On Stage. You are lively and humorous! How long have you been working at your craft?
If I am honest, I would have to say, I started when I was kid. My folks worked all day, and I was a latch key kid. I came home from school, got supper on the table, and would listen to musicals (they used to call them albums). I’d play West Side Story, My Fair Lady, Man of La Mancha, etc. To keep my mind off of feeling lonely, I’d pretend I was Maria, Eliza or Dulcinea and sing to the albums. I acted them out, while I cleaned the house and got supper ready.
What drew you to acting?
In my early 20s, I was involved in community theater, and was working toward my equity status. I was also in corporate building my career. Acting was taking up a lot of my time, and so was moving up the corporate ladder. I decided that acting was too precarious, and stopped completely for many years. In my 30s I was very successful in corporate, but not really happy. I realized I missed singing and acting. I decided that I didn’t have to be a professional actor/singer, I just needed to express that side of myself that enjoys performing. Having that epiphany, I decided to make acting a serious hobby.
You have a lengthy arsenal of roles in your bag: films, commercials, voice overs, standup comedy. What is your “favorite?” (we won’t tell the other roles).
Each of those are all challenging and gives me the opportunity to use a different level of skills. For instance, playing a character in a play is very different then playing the narrator and all the characters in a story that comes to life on stage. Standup is very scary. It’s your material. And yes, I may be a legend in my own mind, and think my jokes are funny, but that doesn’t mean everyone else does. In film, doing a scene over and over again requires patience, and one must draw from that character each time the director says, “Take 10.” In one film I did, I had to cry in a scene. I can usually cry on demand, but after 8 takes, I said to the director, “I hope that was the last take, I am all out of tears.” LOL!
How did you become involved with Stories On Stage? What’s been your favorite part of the experience?
My dear friend Cynthia Mitchell ( who’s an excellent actor and SoS regular) invited me to be a part of the Stories on Stage Cast. I love performing for this type of venue. It’s putting on a one-person show. Great fun to play all the characters, and put my own creative spin on the story and the presentation.
What is the most challenging part of acting an author’s story out?
I spend many hours going over a story before it’s performed. Timing, delivery, tone inflection, tempo, character development. All this takes time. It’s like directing an entire play in my mind. I also interview the writer. I want to get inside her head, and be the vehicle or creative channel to allow her story to magically unfold in the minds of the listeners. The challenge is making it entertaining as well as keeping the integrity of the story from the author’s perspective.
What is the best advice you have ever received, and are willing to pass on, about your craft?
Know your Lines, the character(s), the story, inside and out. PRACTICE, and be prepared. Write a backstory for each character, become them, be them, get to know them. And when you walk on that stage, you are them, and you leave yourself behind.
You are now the Casting Director for Stories On Stage. How did this come about?
Well, Valerie and I were enjoying a nice cup of coffee one afternoon as I interviewed her about one of her stories, and we got to talking about the future of Stories on Stage, and what’s involved in putting a show together. It’s a lot of work, so I offered to take the casting off her hands.
What is the process like? Do you have some actors that you can’t wait to “pull into the crew?”
I audition the actors. This allows me to see if they have the talent to perform stories. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a different set of skills to perform a one person show. Some actors need to play off of other actors. If that’s the case, than this venue will not work for them. On the other hand, some actors just need some insight and coaching/directing on the differences of how one performs a one person show. I can work with those actors. After the audition, if I feel an actor is qualified to do stories, then I take note of their style of performance. When stories come up for future shows, I now go back to my pool of actors and match the story with the actor’s style. It’s really exciting to work with actors and then see them perform!
Sky Sanchez is a native Sacramentan. She writes, blogs, and is always on the lookout for one more job to add to her bursting at the seams schedule. When she is not at her computer or flipping through writer magazines, she is on all fours summoning her unicorn abilities for her three and a half year old or plugging in one half of the ear buds from her thirteen year old son’s IPOD, usually followed by “Ya, I like that, but turn it down”. She shares a partnership, both in business and by law, with her best friend and biggest fan and proofreader. She consistently writes for The Sacramento Book Review and The San Francisco Book Review, and contributes to Sacramento Talent Magazine. She also scribbles out her blogs at epicureanpc.wordpress.com and skysf.wordpress.com