Creative Artist Spotlight on Leslie Connelly

by Kim on August 23, 2010

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A childhood of growing up in Detroit, Michigan fuels Leslie Connelly with raw energy, real-life grit and keen survival skills.  As an actor, she draws on her excellent training, including a BA in performance from Western Michigan and MFA in performance from UCLA.

On TV, Leslie had the pleasure of working along side Bradley Whitford in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.  She currently thrives in the independent film world.

Leslie regularly returns to the live stage to keep her performance tools and craft sharp.  She has performed on stage at the Geffen Playhouse and Laguna Playhouse.  Leslie also performs stand up comedy at the prestigious Comedy Store and The Improv. Also a solo performance artist, audiences anticipate the opening of her new one-woman show Girl in the Trunk, premiering in Australia in 2012.

Kim: Thank you for sharing a part of your creative journey with us, Leslie. Let’s begin with when you realized that you wanted to pursue your creative talents professionally?

Leslie: I always knew I wanted to be an actress. I always loved plays and movies, and I knew I wanted to be on the big screen.  I would lock myself away in my room and create stories and act them out.

Kim: Tell us about your formal training.

Leslie: I received my B.A. in Theater Performance from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Then I went on to get my Master of Fine Arts in Theater from UCLA.  I believe there is always more to learn and I love being a student. I currently study with the wonderful Jack Stehlin in his master class, part of the Circus Theatricals Theatre Company.

Kim: I love that you love being a student! I believe in keeping on top of your chosen craft for personal and professional growth. It’s something everyone can benefit from.

What would you say has been your biggest obstacle to success?

Leslie: Finding my “niche”—trying to figure out my type and where I fit in, here in Hollywood. Lately, I have turned my focus to creating my own work and letting Hollywood come after me for a change.

Kim: How do you overcome challenges and de-stress?

Leslie: Yoga is a huge part of my life.  I practice it every day and it keeps me grounded, centered and ready for anything.

Kim: Yoga is fantastic. Balancing life and work is vital to success. Do you have any favorite hobbies outside your creative endeavors?

Leslie: I love to travel and experience the culture and cuisine of other countries. I lived in Germany for 1 year in high school and it was life changing. I love learning foreign languages. I am fluent in German and am currently learning Spanish.

Kim: What advice do you have for people just starting out?

Leslie: Try to have a healthy outlook about rejection.  It is important to understand that rejection is a huge part of this career path and you can’t take it personally.  There are many factors in play when you are auditioning for a part.  Sometimes things like your height are factors—things that are beyond your control.  Just do your best and don’t give it up.

Kim: What’s up next for you?

Leslie: I am currently working on a new one-woman stage show, called Girl in the Trunk, to be performed in Los Angeles, as well as the Melbourne Comedy Festival in 2011.  I am also co-writing a screenplay at the moment with Daniel J. Pico, the fabulous writer / director of I Want Him Dead. I starred in the movie and it is heading to various film festivals this year.

Kim: Look forward to www.LeslieConnelly.com in the coming months. In the meantime, check out her recent work at www.iwanthimdead.com and follow Leslie’s career as she continues to live her dreams through commitment and dedication to her craft.

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Jeremy Johnson August 25, 2010 at 6:05 pm

I enjoyed reading this and loved learning that you went to school at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. That is my home town!

Keep up your good work Leslie. You have the right mindset and attitude to find success.
Jeremy Johnson´s last blog post ..Serve The Many

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Kim August 26, 2010 at 9:14 am

Great to see you, Jeremy. You’ve been missed.

I love the way Leslie’s success is evidence in her action and determination. And, I’m enjoying sharing inspiration through and with others. Thank you for your comment Jeremy!

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