L.A. here I come!

It’s been a long time coming…

I grew up in Seattle, making yearly trips to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, attending shows at the Seattle Children’s Theatre, Taproot Theatre and the Bathhouse. I fell in love with Shakespeare at an early age and was easily grasping the language and playing characters by age 9. By Jr High, it was a given that I would be an actor, in the theatre, of course! I grew up a THEATRE snob.

Following my college graduation with my THEATRE degree, I’m visiting a college friend who moved to LA to pursue her dreams. We’re sitting in a sushi restaurant across the table from her fiancé. First thing he asks, “When are you moving to LA?”  I laugh and dismiss the question. “LA isn’t for me. I am not for it,” I declare.

Fast forward a few years.  I was invited by a fellow theatre actor to be a part of the 48 Film Project, where groups compete to make the best short film, all in 48 hours. I have never done anything like this before! We met on Friday night at 7pm, just before this crazy event began. Within the hour the writers were soon typing away. We actors were on-call, with a promise to be contacted by midnight if we were cast. Midnight came and went. I went to bed, thinking I can have a calm and relaxing Saturday, only to be woken up at 4:30 am. “You are the lead! Can you be on set at 10am? Bring x, y, and z for costume pieces.” OK! Being my first time on camera, I was thrilled and simultaneously frightened. But there’s no time to panic. There’s only time to do! I went to set. We filmed my first scene. Changed location. Filmed second scene. Changed location. Filmed last few scenes. And by 7pm I was done! The director spent the next 24 hours editing and reediting the film. Finally, with minutes to spare, we got our masterpiece, ‘The Belgian Pretzel” in on-time!

About a week later, the 48 hour Film Project hosts a screening in a real movie theater and then the awards are given out. As soon as I saw my face I wanted to point and scream, “That’s me!” while at the same time crawl into a ball, just in case someone heard me. The awards…“And Best Acting goes to… ‘The Belgian Pretzel.’” WHAT?! “And finally, the one we have all been waiting for… Best Film goes to…’The Belgian Pretzel!’” Out of 52 groups, we won 5 of the 16 awards!(See complete list here.)

What an incredible experience! I didn’t realize until later just how lucky I was to be in a group of such talented and organized artists who were just at the beginning of successful careers. As for me, I would never be the same. Once you’ve experienced the magic of excellent film-making, you can never go back!

Shortly after that, I landed an audition, which gave me the lead in a short film and a co-staring role in a web series. Since then, my appetite for camera work has only grown and LA started calling my name. About the same time I fell in love and married a wonderfully talented musician who moved to Seattle to be with me. We kept saying, “We’re moving to LA in a couple months.” A few months went by. “We’re still thinking about it.” Another couple months went by. “The time just isn’t right.” Pretty soon, a couple months turned into a couple years. I will spare you all the details, but essentially, my husband turned to me a couple months ago and said, “I don’t want us to get 10 years down the road and you never got the chance you deserve. Now is the time!” And so, I quit my job. My loving and supportive husband sold a guitar, a 1960 Fender Jazzmaster mind you, to help pay for the trip and…. I’m going!

Dear LA,

I don’t know what you have for me, but I’m giving you a shot. I’ve heard you can be cruel and ruthless, but I’m hoping you’ll be kind. I will work hard and give my all, because I know you’d expect nothing less. Here I come!

Charissa J Adams


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