Maintain and foster your relationships: make an effort to stay in touch with people who might connect you with work. — Gigi Bermingham
I’m thrilled to welcome Gigi to the show! She’s an actress and singer whom I first saw onstage in a LA production of Tartuffe and I’ve since been fortunate to work with her onstage in a few productions.
Just a bit of what we cover:
- Growing up in rural Northern California with an artistic, French mother
- Living and working in New York
- Dealing with exhaustion and a food addiction
- Why she created her solo show
- Her career in real estate and how that influenced her acting career
- How she balances the emotion and toughness that acting requires
- How she prepared to play Maria Callas
I’m always hoping for an honest telling of what it was like, both the ups and downs, and even joke that tears are optional. Well, in my chat with Gigi, things did get a bit emotional; to me, it’s such a beautiful moment, and she is able to articulate so clearly the challenges of being an artist—this is one of the most vulnerable, authentic, and special times that has happened in the interviews.
I’m honored that first, such a conversation can take place in this format, and second, that Gigi was open to sharing this. So thank you again, Gigi!
About the guest
Gigi Bermingham has over 30 credits on IMDb, and recent appearances include Agents of SHIELD, Adam Ruins Everything (a show I love!), and the two web series Kittens in a Cage and The Britishes.
She has worked in theatres around Southern California, including The Old Globe, La Mirada, International City Theatre, the Pasadena Playhouse, the Rubicon, and in a number of productions and readings with the Antaeus Company
Gigi has received an L.A. Ovation Award for her portrayal of Maria Callas in Master Class, and her solo comedy Non-Vital Organs won the an L.A.Drama Critics Circle Award and a Ovation Award for Solo Performance.
Nearly every December, she and her husband Matthew Goldsby perform Cabaret Noel, an evening of holiday songs in both French and English. She studied theatre at the University California Berkeley and acting at HB Studio in New York.
Please enjoy my chat with Gigi Bermingham!
Total Running Time: 1:29:50
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as/save link as”.
Want to hear more from another actor who worked for years without getting the results she wanted? Check out my talk with Nike Doukas, an actor, director, teacher, and dialect coach.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let us know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
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Gigi Bermingham around the web
- What influenced her to become an actor
- The song she wrote for a high school talent contest
- The impact changing schools had on her and her trajectory
- Her first experience of the “method” working on Helen Keller in high school
- Feeling like an outsider and being picked on because of her interests
- Where her comedic timing came from
- Why she decided to major in PolySci at UC Berkeley
- How she transitioned to graduating in dramatic arts
- Going to San Francisco after college and dealing with exhaustion
- A singing gig with a dishonorable, blind man in Washington DC
- Struggling with auditions, getting work, her weight, and her type
- Getting cast in a star-studded production of Twelfth Night
- Booking her first TV job in LA during a visit with a friend
- Getting a job at Breakdown Services and how helpful it was to learn about the business
- How her solo performance play helped her gain recognition in LA theatre
- Her general process on approaching a character and for playing real people, like Maria Callas
- The frustration with much of the theatre she sees
- Why it’s easier playing extreme characters and misfits
- Going after roles, doing the preparation, and nailing the audition—and still not getting it
- Why it pays artistically and professionally to go after roles with everything you have
- The thing to do for your career once you graduate college
- How to talk to yourself in terms of the kind of work to do
- What she would tell her 25-year-old self
Selected People and Items Mentioned
- Lou Bermingham, her brother and an artist
- ACT theatre and conservatory
- UC Berkeley theatre, dance, and performance studies
- HB Studio
- Hines-Hatchett Dance Studio (now Broadway Dance Center)
- Backstage magazine
- Actors Equity
- “Hip pocketed” by agent
- New York Shakespeare Festival
- Twelfth Night cast with Michelle Pfeiffer, Andre Braugher, Stephen Collins, Gregory Hines, Jeff Goldblum, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Fisher Stevens, Rainn Wilson, and Charlayne Woodard
- Ensemble Studio Theatre
- Get a Life with Chris Elliot
- John Lehne, acting teacher
- Breakdown Services
- Matthew Goldsby, her husband
- Non-Vital Organs, her solo show
- Hudson Theatre in LA
- Odyssey Theatre
- Ovation Awards
- Master Class play
- Rehearsal app
- New American Theatre (formerly Circus Theatricals)
- Adam Ruins Everything
- Big Breakfast production company
Gigi on Adam Ruins Everything
Copy and share: bit.ly/waj-gigi
Photo credit: Suzanne Mapes / International City Theatre, Long Beach Performing Arts Center