Theater alum shares success with students
Published: Monday, March 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 18, 2013 23:03
Lindsay Hollister, Miami University class of 1999, is among the theater alumni who have made a name for themselves in the film and television industry. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, she graduated from Miami with a BFA.
Hollister immediately moved to Los Angeles and began auditioning, landing a guest role on Boston Public. Other notable guest roles have been on Law and Order: SVU, Desperate Housewives, Cold Case and most recently Necessary Roughness.
She has worked both on independent films such as Walk a Mile in My Pradas and major studio movies such as Get Smart. She gained significant recognition for her work on the spoof film Blubberella as the title character.
Hollister discussed her visit to her alma mater, why she thinks alumni should visit their homestead and why Miami was the right choice for her.
This will be Hollister’s second visit to Miami. The first was in the fall of 2010, and she said she hopes to structure her visit in the same way.
“I definitely want to do a workshop again,” Hollister said. “Get out some sides, some current material…I want to work with actors on the difference between camera and the stage. I was really impressed last time with the students I worked with. They adjusted really well, because for theater you have to be able to make sure the people in the back row can see you and hear you, but they did such a good job of bringing it down to a more conversational level.”
Hollister plans to do an acting workshop, holding a pizza Q & A lunch and visiting some classes. She fully advocates alumni returning to their alma maters because their experience in the field can help prepare current students.
“Why I’m coming now rather than the fall is because of the Professional Practices class,” Hollister said. “I think it’s a really great addition because it’s helping to prepare students for the professional world…It’s important to bring in someone who knows what really is the state of the film and TV business. Since I’ve done it myself, I can help people figure out what steps to take when moving to a film city – and it’s not just LA anymore. Atlanta is now huge in film.”
Hollister is a big believer in getting trained before starting out in the industry.
“It’s the exact same process [for an actor] but in a different medium,” Hollister said. “I think most of the best actors are theatrically trained. Voice, movement, character work, sense memory—if you don’t have a way to develop character, you can’t produce work on the same level. It’s really taking the time when I get an audition. I get the sides and I break down the script. With good writers, there are always beats, and if you can’t find them, you don’t get the job.”
One of the things Hollister feels prepared her so much was her education at Miami.
“Miami had a sense of community in the [theater] department but not in the same way as a conservatory,” Hollister said. “Your friends you have [at Miami] will be your friends for the rest of your life. As long as you’re around people who are passionate about their craft you’re going to have a good experience.”
Miami also gave Hollister a preview of how tough the ‘real world’ can be in her profession.
“Getting on stage is very important, but another important thing I learned at Miami was how to handle disappointment,” Hollister said. “When you look at the callboard and don’t see your name on the cast list, I could tell you how hot those tears were rolling down my face, but it is a really good way to prepare you for the professional world. You’re not always going to get the role you want but you learn to deal.”
Hollister is currently auditioning for TV pilots. She is also supporting an independent film she was recently in at festivals around the country.
“It’s pilot season, we’re all running around and auditioning,” Hollister said. “I’ve also launched a web series. There’s a big thing right now about creating your own work. Casting directors are looking at if you can create your own stuff.”