Actor Profiles: Jasmine Osborne
I shot Jasmine’s headshots about a year ago. We became fast friends and I was struck by her drive. Not only is her personal story amazing and inspirational, but when she sets her mind to a goal, she is going to get it.
She is currently living and working and San Francisco. We are still in touch and I am elated each time I see a facebook post or get a message telling me of her continued success!
What got you into acting?
My grandmother politely forced me to enroll in ballet class when I was 4. There’s a home video 4-year-old Jasmine that proves ballet wasn’t for me, but I clearly loved making people laugh.
How long have you been acting?
I did my first professional show at Jenny Wiley Theatre in 1998 – Oliver! – when I was 10. Scott Bradley continued to give me opportunities to be on stage, often when he could’ve hired a professional who would’ve done a better job. I am incredibly grateful to him for nurturing me and giving me a chance. He’s now the music director at Derby Dinner Playhouse – go support his work!
What is the hardest part of being an actor?
I’m almost 30 now and the hardest part of being an actor has shifted through the years.
In my 20’s, the hardest part was definitely being myself. I spent a lot of time trying to please agents and casting directors by appearing and being how I imagined they wanted me to be. Now that I have the confidence to actually be ME – short hair and boyish frame and tattoos and all – I’m working a lot more and I am a lot happier.
Now, the biggest challenge is money. I am a type 1 diabetic since age 5 and that is very expensive. Rent in cities that have opportunities for actors is very expensive. Sometimes I imagine just quitting acting and making a shit ton of money because I love nice clothes and having nice things in my home. But I know it would crush my soul.
What brings you the most joy as an actor?
Collaboration is definitely what brings me the most joy – having the opportunity to be in a room with insanely gifted actors and creatives and continuing to learn every day. That’s the bomb. Even being in an audition waiting room and being in the best company, being proud of being considered good enough to audition with these people, is unbelievable. I trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts and a huge part of the program there is learning to understand that you are not the most important person on stage, even if you are the lead part. Good actors know that listening is more important that talking and that relationship with other characters in the show is the basis of telling any story.
What tips would you give other actors on auditioning?
BE YOUR FUCKING SELF. If you sign with agents in NYC or LA, a lot of character breakdowns you will be sent will say things such as: “like Aubrey Plaza” or “like Bernadette Peters”. Fuck that. That means they have no idea what they want and don’t have the budget to hire those people. Always be 15 minutes early, always be over prepared, and ALWAYS BRING YOU. Because no one else can do that. Only you can bring you, and someday you are going to be exactly what they want.
What tips would you give a new actor starting out?
Dear new actor starting out – take karate. Don’t quit piano. Experience life, it ALL MAKES YOU A BETTER ACTOR. Be humble. Remember that you are now a student in the School of Doing. Get a subscription to The Globe’s online shows. Don’t just train in musical theatre or Shakespeare, do both. Ego is only fear, leave it at the door. Represent yourself appropriately aka talk to Ben Marcum if you’re in Louisville. I’m already considering how I can have headshots with a tan made in Louisville when I’m living and working in San Fran
What has been your favorite role and why?
My favorite role ever is Millie in Picnic by William Inge. I grew up in Pikeville, KY and loved Shakespeare – I could absolutely relate to Millie’s experience of being a loner and bullied. I love that the entire show is driven by women. It was also the first show I ever did that I wore ZERO makeup and was not supposed to be pretty or desirable in any way. What liberation that was. Laura Henry directed that show and she is my favorite acting mentor to date. I would LOVE to visit Millie again someday
When not on set, what else is “part of the job”
Other things that are part of the job include taking care of yourself. Book out for a week. Go on a vacation. Treat yourself once a week to your favorite coffee or whatever. Take care of your body because it is your instrument – eat food from the earth and get sweaty occasionally. IF YOU GET A BAD FEELING when someone asks you to do a 5-minute audition tape in your underwear (this happened to me this week) DO NOT DO IT. I know not to do it because I am naked in a Fox film and no one ever saw me in my underwear or naked before we shot that scene. DO NOT COMPROMISE. Also, set specific goals. Not just “I’m happy with anything and I want to be on broadway”. “I want to play Peter Pan on Broadway” Important. Do NOT undervalue yourself or work for free if you have training and experience. EVER.
One more thing…
If you can see yourself doing anything else, do it. If you are an actor and don’t have health insurance GET ON THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT IT IS AMAZING. Find a way to make money while you are getting started that doesn’t destroy you – SAY YES. I am currently choreographing a show at Marin Theatre Company. NEVER would I have thought I was qualified to do that or I would be doing it but I love it. I am in the theatre and making money (way more than they pay me when I act there lol) and it’s better than bartending or working retail. Believe in yourself when no one else does. Surround yourself with people who love you. Maintain your friendships – I’m a shitty shitty friend and hardly ever leave my house, but the older I get the more I appreciate the friends that have stuck by me. Now, I will leave my house (uhh apartment) even when I don’t feel like it to support them…and I never regret it.