Actress lends her experience to hopefuls

sokamoto@ledger-enquirer.comNovember 17, 2013 

After Tamara Curry got married to Cecilio Gill, who works at Aflac, she packed up everything in Los Angeles and moved to Columbus.

Curry spent 15 years in Los Angeles, working as an actor.

Now in Columbus, she's done some acting at the Liberty Theatre. Recently she started a theater company, Shakespeare By the River, and acted in and directed "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in the Chattahoochee Amphitheater. In January, she'll star as Ruth in "A Raisin in the Sun" at the Springer Opera House.

Curry knows what it's like to be a young actor, moving to Los Angeles. She's gone through the highs and lows of being a working actor.

She wants to help young local actors, teaching a theater workshop, "Breaking Into Show Business," that will offer practical advice.

"It's something I've compiled over the years of my experience with 15 years in Los Angeles," Curry said. "I had to learn it first hand through experience and reading books and taking classes. I first mounted the workshop in Washington, D.C.

"I decided to bring it to Columbus."

She wanted to do it before the holidays begin because after the New Year, she'll start rehearsing "A Raisin in the Sun" and she won't have time.

Curry began thinking of the workshop while still living in Los Angeles.

In between acting jobs, she was a substitute teacher.

"When my students found out that I was actor, they started asking questions," she said.

Curry warned them about people who conducted workshops, promising to find them agents and jobs.

She flatly calls them scams.

"You could be discovered in the grocery store or walking down the street," she said. "I was in Los Angeles for 15 years and that never happened to me. I've been working since I was a kid and that never happened."

She tells youngsters that if they want to be dancers, to start out in ballet. If they want to be actors, go to a theater.

"I strongly suggest training," Curry said. In Columbus, she said the Springer Opera House's Theater Academy is a great place for young people to get started.

Her workshop for children and teenagers is from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday and for adults 17 and older is from 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus.

The workshop will teach participants to "find your niche," self-marketing, training, audition dos and don'ts, headshots and resumes and how to tell if a job, class or workshop is legitimate or not.

A Washington, D.C., native, Curry went to Howard University, where she got her acting training.

"I'll give you all the information I have," Curry said. "I think it's very useful and beneficial. I can help you get started in whatever area you want.

"But I'm not going to promise you anything."

She also has an acting class but she's not sure when she'll teach that class.

Curry said before moving here, Gill was telling her what a great place Columbus is.

"It feels good to be in such an artistic community," she said. "Everyone has been so supportive and welcoming and I appreciate it."

Besides teaching the workshop, she's working with several local photographers who will take headshots in a separate session.

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