Actress • Writer • Producer

Trusting in Opportunity – When motherhood meets your career.

Once upon a time I decided to quit a career I’d been working to build for 8 years. I’d just had a baby. My husband was supportive of my choice to be a stay-at-home-mom. And I thought I was ready. I thought it was the right time to take a big risk.

 

In someone else’s storyline, that would be the moment they became an actor. But the career I quit? Was acting.

 

In hindsight, quitting acting wasn’t the right option financially, but more importantly it wasn’t the right option for me as a person. Acting isn’t just something I do; it’s an important part of who I am. And I was disconnected from that part of myself right at the same time I was trying to navigate the role of new mom. It was hard!

 

Eventually I realized that I couldn’t just give up who I was. But there was me, less than a year post-partum, still carrying 20 pounds of baby weight and really disliking myself because of it. On top of all that, I was dealing with an autoimmune disease.  Fitness is very important to me so I stayed diligent with getting out in nature and taking endless bike rides all over the east coast.

 

Now if at any point in all this I was thinking I’d be able to go right back to work like I hadn’t taken a break, the reality of the situation crushed that idea pretty quickly. I was cold calling people I’d worked with in the past, sending them my new headshots and letting them know I was available. I wasn’t making any money, and I was struggling with my self-image in a big way. The callbacks weren’t coming. I was just a little terrified!

But then I had a breakthrough. I realized that if I was going to meet my goals, I had to acknowledge how much I really wanted to be doing TV and film and then I had to be totally serious about it this time. It wasn’t a matter of waiting to land that perfect role; it was about putting in the work and trusting that opportunity would follow.

 

I started taking classes at Kimball Studio with Kelly Kimball and Janine DiTruillo and, not having any material that I felt showcased what I can do, was inspired to write, produce and star in my own short film, Carry On. Thanks to an introduction from a friend (stuntwoman and producer Nikki Tomlinson), I was able to start stunt training very seriously and it was a huge confidence builder.

There I was, a new mom doing these intricate fight sequences and flying on the wire!

 

I’d love to say that it all worked out in the end but there is no ‘end’. I’m still chasing success and at the same time, I’m living my success every day. I’m where I need to be and I’m connecting with the right people as I continue training, auditioning, networking, and building my brand. I’m prepared for any opportunity that comes my way.      

 

That said, I could easily give into the temptation to be angry at my younger self for wasting time. And it would be just as easy to put a smile on my face and pretend that I don’t have any regrets at all. I used to work so hard to make everyone around me think I was okay 100% of the time but I don’t do that anymore. Now I work hard to be honest with people and with myself.

 

I know I’m leading a blessed life, but acknowledging my mistakes openly is allowing me to dive deeper into my craft. I can be present without fear because I’m working hard every day to accomplish my goals. This approach is so different from what I was doing in my 20s when I was coasting along on my talent. Being “a natural” only takes you so far – that’s when you have to step up and start putting in the work.

 

That’s what I’m doing now and I’m seeing the payoff. This week, I booked my first paying job (the lead in a short film) since coming back to acting and it’s a role that I believe will lead to bigger and better things. But more important than that is the fact that I have grown so much this past year – more than I did in my first eight years of acting.

 

 

I can honestly say I have never felt so comfortable in my own skin as I do right now, on and off camera. My ability to understand what a director is asking for and to deliver it is beyond what it ever was. I’m proud of myself because I know that it’s all because of the training I’ve been doing. I have learned to focus on what I can give to a project – to act with generosity. And I actively look for every chance to grow, whether I’m training or working, because I’m once again where I belong.


Is it easy? No, it’s actually one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I’ve been turned away by people saying I’m too green for my age. Finding representation has been a challenge. But if I’m truly dedicated to achieving success in this industry I can’t just wait around for something to happen to me. That’s what I was doing eight years ago and as a strategy, it just doesn’t pay off in the long term. I need to be the one making things happen.

 

 

I like to remind myself that when you really commit to acting, it takes time. And for the first time in my life, I’m truly committed.

 

 

 

Try It! Beets Delight

As you might know, healthy eating is one of my passions for a lot of different reasons! Just for fun, I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes with you. It’s not just delicious (and pretty to look at) – it’s also autoimmune protocol friendly, super good for you, and can even be vegan if that’s what you need!

I’m also proud to say it was recently published and sold as part of an amazing book bundle produced by Autoimmune Wellness! Give it a try, and I bet you’ll love this recipe as much as I do.

Prep Time: 10 min
Total Time: 40 min
Servings: 2

Ingredients:

● 1 Red Beet cut
julienne into thin slices
● 1 Golden Beet cut
julienne into thin slices
● 2 cloves of garlic
minced
● 2 tbsp cooking fat
● 1 tsp sea salt
● 1 tsp garlic powder
● 1 tsp onion powder

Directions:

1. In a saucepan bring water to a boil, over high heat. When you see steam emerging from the
pot, it’s ready for the veggies. First, steam the golden beets for 5 minutes and remove. Then in the
same pot, steam the red beets for 5 minute and remove.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the onion and garlic powder over the red and golden beets to coat them
evenly.
3. Heat your cooking fat in a large skillet on medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the minced
garlic. Once you smell the aroma of the garlic, add the beets to the pan. Turn the beets occasionally
until they are blackened a bit on edges.

Enjoy!

Carry On Is Screening at the 2017 Greenwich Village Film Festival!

I’m so excited to announce that Carry On will be screening at the Greenwich Village Film Festival on October 27, 2017!

The Greenwich Village Film Festival celebrates the creative state of mind that gathers like-minded people together to stimulate individual and collaborative artistic expression. Though the festival continues to be inspired by its namesake – this NYC neighborhood hosts the highest number of film productions in New York City – it receives submissions from all over the world.

That’s why it’s such an honor to be chosen as an official selection in this particular festival!

For those who don’t know, Carry On – a New York Short Film Festival official selection and IndieFEST Film Awards winner – is based on the story of my own experiences trying to make it in acting while struggling with an autoimmune disease and gluten allergy – before most people even knew what gluten was.

What began with a trailer created with the help of friends and family and became a fully-formed short after a successful crowdfunding campaign. I was supported along the way by talented people like actress, stuntwoman, and producer Nikki Tomlinson and producer, actor, and director Andy Kelso, among others.

Carry On has screened at the New York Short Film Festival, the First Friday Film Festival, and Snob Film Fest, the NOVA Fest, The short film also won an Award of Merit in the prestigious IndieFEST Film Awards.

I can’t wait to see where it will screen next!

Carry On, the movie screened at the NOVE FEST in March.

 

 

The award-winning short will be shown at the 14-day international film and music festival in Virginia.

The creators of Carry On, a short film about the life of a love-sick New Yorker dealing with a chronic illness and a seriously ill-timed blind date, recently announced that the film will screen at The NOVA Fest on Tuesday, April 11th. The NOVA Fest celebrates artistically and culturally significant films, filmmakers, screenwriters, and musicians.

“I’m just so thrilled more people will have the opportunity to see the film,” said Carry On screenwriter and lead actress Pearl Thomas. “And it’s such an honor to be selected for a festival that really respects and highlights filmmakers’ contributions to the arts.”

Carry On – a New York Short Film Festival official selection and IndieFEST Film Awards winner – is based on the story of Thomas’ own experiences trying to make it in acting while struggling with an autoimmune disease and gluten allergy – before most people knew what gluten was.

The end result is a film that began with a trailer created with the help of friends and family and became a fully-formed short after a successful crowdfunding campaign. She was supported along the way by talented people like actress, stuntwoman, and producer Nikki Tomlinson and producer, actor, and director Andy Kelso, among others.

Carry On has screened at the New York Short Film Festival, the First Friday Film Festival, and New England Indie Fest. The short film also won an Award of Merit in the prestigious IndieFEST Film Awards.

“Pearl has created something that speaks to people on a lot of different levels,” said actress Kirsten Louise Lewis, who plays Kara in the film. “But it’s packaged as a comedy, which is perfect because we all need humor as we figure this stuff out.”

About Carry On

Carry On is the short film written by New York based actress, writer and producer Pearl Thomas. Find out more at http://carryonthefilm.com/ .