Professional acting is one of the most difficult fields to be in. It’s up there with professional sports and being an anchor/broadcaster for national TV. Quinn L’Esperance (‘19) has been acting since the age of 11 and plans to continue.
“I was actually really dedicated to figure skating.” She told me, “until I injured my knees when I was 11, so I had to stop competing. Then my mom signed me up for a Broadway summer camp for a couple of weeks. After that I just fell in love with acting and singing.”
Pursuing an acting career while in high school can understandably get very difficult. Especially with trips to LA for lessons and showcases. After that Broadway summer camp, Quinn started doing community theater and the school plays at Gilmour. She got a voice coach and an agent to help her get auditions to book gigs and films. Quinn now has strong connections with agents and a manager in Cleveland. She hopes to also get a manager in LA.
When it comes to work, Quinn has spent most of her time auditioning and being on set. She has done regional film work in Ohio and Michigan. This spring, she most recently booked a horror film locally before going to LA to attend professional acting classes and networking opportunities during the end of pilot season during spring break. In the summer she will be finishing shooting the horror film and start shooting a feature film from a short film she did last summer.
Quinn explained, “Pilot season is from January to mid-April. That’s when studios are casting for new shows and shooting film for the new shows.”
While in LA, she attended acting classes, networked with a lot of people, met with a manager, and visited some colleges. She hopes to move down to LA after she graduates.
Sounds like a vacation right?
Quinn said, “There’s a lot of work that goes into the trip. It does feel great to get out of the Cleveland winter though.”
She also does songwriting and singing as well. Back in Nashville during the summer of 2017, she wrote and recorded a song she called “All Falls in Place.” During her LA trip, she shot the music video for that song. She continues to record in Nashville and plans to release her new songs this summer.
Back to film and acting, I asked Quinn about the size and level of the regional films compared to Hollywood. The markets in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan are what anyone would expect: small markets. It’s a great place to start when trying to make it to New York, LA, or even Atlanta. The local markets don’t have a lot of SAG-AFTRA projects come through, also known as Union work. Most of the work Quinn does is non-Union, but she did work on some Union sets in the past.
She is working and auditioning for roles in bigger films. “As soon as I get an agent and manager out in LA,” she said, “I can audition for bigger films and network TV shows. Typically I’ll shoot a tape of me auditioning for a role for something in LA and send it out to the casting director.” With the help of her acting coaches, with James Madio in Cleveland, and her coach Devon Odessa in LA, Quinn is getting the help she needs for auditioning and becoming a better actress.
Quinn loves singing and acting equally. With the hard work she’s been putting in, Quinn hopes to live in LA full time after graduating from Gilmour Academy.