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Beautiful, Talented and Smart

© Kristen McCoy

Kristen McCoy is That Girl, that fresh faced and unassuming ingénue walking along La Cienega in Tyler Ramsey TOMS wedges or in the checkout line buying red seedless grapes at RALPHS on the weekend, who stops you dead in your tracks. After a third and final confirmation glance, you slowly draw your IPhone out of your purse and point. You ignore the incoming text from your boyfriend and forward the photograph to your very best girlfriend with-depending on the angle – the subject heading “Amy Adams!” or “Avril Lavigne! No Brody L”. What you didn’t realize is Kristin McCoy is not just a celebrity doppelganger; the Los Angeles based actress and spokesmodel for Xecute Athletic Wear is steadily racking up prime time credits with small roles on “How I Met Your Mother”, “CSI” and just completed a guest spot on the newly debuted super hero comic web series “Generic Girl”.

Interviewed by Dora Emerson

OpenBeast: Kristin, what is something that you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting out as an actor?

Hard Work!

I thought work would just come to me! “I’m beautiful, talented and smart,” I thought… but so is Every Other Actress in Hollywood! What sets each one apart? Luck perhaps, or just plain hard work mixed with passion.

Never think your Agent/Manager is working just for you. They’ve got PLENTY of other clients! If you’re fortunate enough to have an Agent/Manager, get them to notice you. Book some projects on your own while you’re working your way to the top, and let them know! Invite them to acting showcases, send them an invitation to the webisode you starred in, and most of all be in communication. Not everyday, but maybe once a week or a couple times a month. You should be hearing from them more often then you are contacting them.

Which movie title would best depict your life story? Why?

I don’t believe my life has been depicted quite yet, nor has any book been written about it.

What is the strangest thing a role required you to do?

When I worked on Drake and Josh, we had to roll around in buttered popcorn 10 times! It’s the episode at the movie theatre when the popcorn machine goes haywire and popcorn goes flying all over the place tripping people left and right. Needless to say you can’t shoot that in one take! I don’t know why, but Props didn’t buy plain popcorn, so after we all smelled like butter! Talk about a skin breakout (smiles)!

Is there a particular role that got away?

Yes, but not because I didn’t try.

A couple years back, I went in to audition with this “semi famous” actor, Ashton Kutcher in his next film. Joseph Middleton, the casting director, loved me and thought I looked perfect to be Kutcher’s little sister. As long as I cut and dyed my hair within two days, I could go straight to the “directors cut”. I did as I was told. This was an opportunity not to pass up! Two days later at the call back, it was me and another girl. After we both auditioned, they had us stand side by side. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you why I did or didn’t get the part. She didn’t look “just like me”, so it means the other girl just looked or read exactly as they envisioned the role to be. I was told later by Mr. Middleton that the reason they chose her over me was only because she had a more recent credit on her resume than I did.

I’ll always remember that case in particular, though similar stories happen all the time in my business.

Which celebrity do you most get mistaken for?

Does that work for or against you when auditioning for roles? A lot of people think I look like Amy Adams, a young Nicole Kidman, or Avril Lavigne. Sometimes it’s cool because random people will come up to me and want to take a picture just because I look like their favorite celebrity… other times a casting director might look at me and “type cast” me. Up until recently, Amy Adams was known only for playing sweet roles, but luckily for both her career and mine she’s been able to prove to the world that she is capable of much more! I actually look up to her and her acting! I recently met her one day randomly out in Hollywood (smiles). Very nice and sweet lady! I hope to meet Nicole Kidman one day too!

You’re credited as “Sophie’s Friend” on an episode of Gene Simmons Family Jewels, and were cast alongside Kristen Cavallari in 2009’s Wild Cherry. Elaborate on your experiences with Reality Television and its stars.

Sophie and her “Family Jewels” are a very nice group. Last month I ran into her brother and he remembered me. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. Ha, ha! But really, being able to hang out with the Simmons family was a lot of fun! I know I was cast to be Sophie’s friend, but being with them for the day I felt like I was part of the Fam!

I worked more with Dana Lustig than anyone. Before Wild Cherry was made into a full-length film, we shot the trailer out in Venice Beach, CA. It was only a concept at the time, as many movies are before they get investors. I am happy to be part of the credits on IMDB (smiles).

The reality world can be a tricky place for an aspiring actor. I’ve had advice from all ends of the spectrum when it comes to Reality, but from my own personal experience, here’s what I’d say. Do it, in small increments. You don’t want to be known as someone who only does Reality. And don’t place it all over your demo reel! Only a second or two of you being funny, or if it’s something somebody would remember you in a good light from. It usually pays well though, not gonna lie. Do what you feel is right though. If you want your career to be short lived in this town, but are just looking for a buck, then go ahead and show it all! You’ll make plenty of money, but not many people will take you seriously. So just use discretion (smiles).

You’re a seasoned traveler. When did you first travel by airplane and where?

I LOVE TRAVELING! I don’t think I can travel enough. I’ve been to Western Europe, and all over the US. When I was younger I used my credit cards to get me there, and now I’m still paying them down, but once I get in the black I’ll be traveling all over again! I hope to cover most of the world before I’m too old.

The first time I traveled was when I was 6 months old in the back seat of my mom’s minivan to the Grand Canyon. I don’t remember ANY of it, but I know from photos. Apparently I’ve always been a good traveler. My mom says that when I would become fussy, she’s put on some music and I’d drift off to sleep. It’s still how I travel today on long journeys!

The first time I flew in an actual airplane was six months later. My whole family flew to visit both sides of my grandparents in Indiana and Pennsylvania. I’ve flown almost every year since then!

If you are not doing anything what are you most likely to think about?

What I need to do! It seems I always have a very long list of things that need to get done, or projects I am working on the side. When I allow myself to rest and just take the day off, you can find me having fun!!! I love taking day trips to Disneyland or the mountains to go Snowboarding!

You baked a delicious looking, albeit closed-top pie for your brother Tim’s birthday. What was the filling inside? Would you open your own bake shop if you weren’t pursuing an acting career?

I wish you could try my pies! I always tell myself if I decide to quit acting, I should open my own Pie Shop! I never knew I had it in me, but apparently I am a pretty good pie baker! Maybe before I wasn’t, but when I came back from Europe I just had it in me! I think Europe’s baked items are a lot better than here in the States. My piecrust is a family secret recipe… but the fillings I use are just from an old edition Betty Crocker cookbook! On the particular occasion you are speaking of, I baked 2 closed top Apple Pies, and one latticed Apple-Cranberry.

You’ve dabbled in casting. What did you learn being on the opposite side of the table at an audition?

I think doing some sort of behind the scenes work in this industry is key. I’m always thinking about what the grip is up to, or how the DP is envisioning the shot. I never show up on set just as the Actor. I think taking others into consideration is a very useful skill to have, including casting as you mentioned.

The biggest thing I learned is to return the Casting Director’s emails, especially if you’re the one that submitted to the posting. Secondly, it comes down to your look, and thirdly how well you can act, especially in the niche role that I was in charge of. The final key wasn’t left up to me. From the people I brought to the director, he chose the one that made him laugh. But each Director is different; each and every one makes that final choice on a different basis.

My advice for every actor, myself included, is just to do your best, and don’t worry why you didn’t get the role. If you did get it, be happy because you beat out anywhere between 100-5,000 people for the part!

Final question: How come you play at a recital, but recite at a play?

They are interchangeable: You can Play at a Play, or Recite at a Recital (laughs)!

Thank you Kristen.

To learn more about Kristen McCoy’s projects visit www.KristinMcCoy.com and http://www.KristinMcCoyFanSite.com

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