I am a professionally working actor for 12+ years, my roots being in Minnesota, then New York, now - and happily - Los Angeles, with experience in theater, film, commercial and modeling. I left the University of Minnesota in 2008, where I'd been continuously acting in college and professional productions for two years and began attending the William Esper Acting Conservatory in New York City full time two year program. Although I was mostly ill for the entire two years of my acting training (put a healthy midwest kid in an NYC apartment between 1st and 2nd ave. on 94th street with occasional rats and then ask them to open up their heart, guts and soul to be a better actor everyday and it's the perfect storm) it was an essential part of my formation as an honest person and thus actor.
In 2010, I trekked back to Minnesota in part to recover but primarily to continuously work with all I had learned in my training. I had the pleasure of always working whether it was theater, film, industrials, commercials and so forth. All infos on my resume. By 2011 I was rejuvenated by the flow of work and ready to throw myself into bigger risks, more acting work and most importantly, surrounding myself with those who wanted the same in their work. I'd never been to Los Angeles but of course had always loved film and was luckily exposed at an early age by my mother who was an artist/ cinephile, I had acted in front of a camera, studied with a film actor and teacher named Clark Middleton who was incredible through and through. Theater acting and film acting are really one in the same just different mediums, literally. And so Los Angeles was all I breathed, slept, ate for a year until I moved here September 2012 and everything I'd gleaned served me better than I could've imagined and was used up within the first 3 weeks of my moving here.
I started learning on my feet there on out. I got my headshots the 3rd day of moving here, got my agent with those headshots about 4 days later, started self submitting the day I arrived and had my first paying acting job in LA before my first week upon moving here was out. I found a stupendous teacher named ROBERT D' AVANZO by way of an article Jenna Fischer wrote about acting which I have, highlighted, crumpled, spilt on and sometimes I fall asleep with. ROBERT D' AVANZO (if I could have a little man run into your room and say his name whilst you read this, I would, he is that special, Robert, not the little man, that is) was instrumental to my initial months here. His perspective, attitude, encyclopedic knowledge, acting prowess, love of teaching are above and beyond what an actor could ask for. I think he was the most important part of my beginnings here, truly.
Now in my almost eight months out here, I've booked a commercial through my agents which actually means I exist (partly joking), have worked with directors who's work I genuinely am interested in and have in some cases worked more than once, will be acting as a lead in a play which I'm also assistant casting, have become SAG eligible and am auditioning every week.
Some people move here and shoot to the stars, get the world, all at once. But when I was studying at Esper, Sam Rockwell came for a big Q&A talk since he was an Esper Alum. I will never forget when he said "some people think they want instant success. That, it would be great to achieve that status to do the kind of work one wanted to do. But I cherish my 10 years of just working, in theater and film, struggling, because it taught me what kind of actor I was with no kind of social context or pressure. Because I had that I think I was able to actually handle my success whereas I've seen others just plunder. It's sad. You've got to have that experience."
For me, it's all relative. It is all about the work and all that comes with THAT. Always.
Name: Anika Reitman
Lives in: Los Angeles, California
Unique traits: Hazel/ Yellow eyes, olive complexion, dancer/ athletic figure.
University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN) BA Degree in History with a minor in Theater
William Esper Acting Conservatory (New York City, NY)
Hunter College (New York City, NY)