Tori Clay

Tori Clay

Actor in Boston, Massachusetts

About Tori

Well, I hope this is the right place to introduce myself as per request in the email you sent me. I am assuming adding a bio and introducing myself are the same thing. If not, well what actor does not like talking about themselves anyway, I could toot my own horn for eons. To wit:
I was an actor and SAGAFTRA member that had a long and varied resume peppered with famous names because I had done everything an actor can do for the small or large screen, stage, audience, or radio. Credits, acting, directing, producing, coaching, shooting, writing, standup, comedy improv, stunts, stunt driving, precision driving, musician, singer/dancer and more in about 70 films and 24 plays. I played the full spectrum of characters, from leading man to character actor as nice guys and guys you would not want to mess with. That resume had gigs that strangers recognized me on the street for, (although if I got recognized for them now it would be an insult for reasons soon to be apparent), I had hit commercials, near viral videos, and an IMDB Starmeter as low as 33k. I was clocked on the street a lot for being Stavros, the pedophile in prison that had an argument with Ethan Hawk and Mark Ruffalo ending in them beating the crap out of me, shot in a live prison followed by me getting raped by a WWE wrestler. The fight was choreographed by the same guy that did Peter Jackson's fights in the "Lord of the Rings". I played Quaddaffi for laughs in a vid that his family forced Youtube to take down. I had a hit commercial running on ESPN just during the PBA Bowling on Saturday mornings that I starred in and used my comic abilities and my athletic prowess in and the network liked it enough to use it for an interstitial. I toplined a feature-length film and co-starred in others. I played a cat in an award-winning short film and I was transformed into the cat by the FX guy who did it on the Alien films. The whole plaster on the face, breathe through a straw thing followed by hours to apply in all on set. I am writing extemporaneously here so I am sure I will neglect to mention a lot of things.
About 20 months or so ago I wrote long essays on my private and my professional Facebook pages. My pro one being the Vic Clay one and my personal was Victor Campisi. They are now Tori Clay and Victoria Campisi respectively. In them, I finally came out as a transgender female. I did not stop there though, no one was/is ever going to hold anything over my head again. I let the world know that I was an involuntary mental patient, a suicide survivor, a hoarder, a loner who spent about 95% of their life all alone filling that void by replacing people with things as a shopaholic, clinically depressed and extremely lonely in large part due to my bad hearing with forces me to wear 2 hearing aids. A lot of people don't realize that being very hard of hearing is more isolating than even blindness. One develops what they call "skin hunger", and coupled with the other issues, I was just a fake shell of a person, and I sought solace in being other people by acting, as cliche as that sounds. I know it is not a proper way to approach the craft but I truly needed it without even knowing I did. Amazingly, I have never abused any substances. I just did not ever make the mental connection that says, "I feel bad so I have to get high or drunk or whatever to feel better". Surely I would be dead now if I ever did. I have de-hoarded by dumping 9 tons of stuff, I am no longer a shopaholic, I don't feel as lonely now because I have wonderful, loving, friends who have gathered around and supported me. I had so little self-esteem that I could not even conceive of others having it for me as a person and as an actor. I have gone from 2 shrinks a week, plus a group, plus a monthly shrink and a bi-annual one to just 1 shrink every 3 months or so. Living my true life has changed me into a very happy person. I am happy all the time. I mean like sickeningly, crazy, incorrigibly, non-stop happy. I have not lost a single friend or alienated a family member and in fact, I have more of each now. Literally. I got so many messages and emails of love and support and congratulations that I was crying every time I booted up the pc. I have been very happy with the way the hormones have developed curves on my body and it has been pleasant to see my arm muscles atrophy. (not so great for my tennis though)
My only negatives have been the death of my career and being dropped by an agent. In fact, in the 20 months or so since I changed my SAGAFTRA card from Vic Clay to Tori Clay, my only gig of substance was some award-winning theatre work last summer. I spent a glorious month on stage at the prestigious Boston Center for the Arts as part of a tiny ensemble cast in a tiny show that the Boston Globe rated in the Top Ten Best of Boston Theatre for 2016! We had to beat huge names and huge shows to be on that list. Personally, I know I had the audience in my hand, under my control every single night. This was even proven when, upon reaching the part in my lengthy monologue, under the spotlight with the stage to myself, wherein I started to fight breaking down in tears, the crowd yelled "WE LOVE YOU, TORI" to cheer me up!! They shattered the "wall", totally forgetting I was in character and acting to entertain them. Until I got that gig, I was feeling like an actor that lost their mojo. I had a couple other theatre auditions since then and both have resulted in the directors sending pages long emails of compliments. One of the auditions I crashed. They were kind enough to give me slot from a cancellation. The other actors had weeks to work on the script. I had minutes. I read for a man and for a woman in totally different voices and mannerisms and styles. They said they were amazed by me grasping the emotions of the characters so quickly and loads of other compliments in a pages long email to me. Of course, I cried. Now, I have been made to feel like I am regarded as unhirable for work in front of a camera and have only had a couple of stage auditions. I choose my words carefully and I mean it feels like I could not get a half day of union background work if I promised to wear a hat, and a hoodie with the hood up, to stay away from craft service and not take any breaks, appear as a male, and to keep my back to the camera at all times! Nogo, nuh uh. Very recently, I heard from an acquaintance who was talking with a close friend of mine that has a Masters in film and theatre etc., who told me that he told him that I am one of the best actors he has seen. I had no idea and of course it made me cry.
I have done some things in that time frame that will never be seen on my resume even though it is non-existent as it only has the one theatre gig as I am trying very hard to leave the old one behind and not trade on it. It was not me. It hurts to even go there now. Like I did a celebrity judge thing for a beach costume contest for example. Now, I have a live show I do. It is called "Surreal Soiree" and it is a multimedia, rock, and rap, opera with animation, dance, film, live kickass original rock music and more. I am co-director and the acting coach, and I sing and dance in the chorus with the other women. We have only performed it sporadically a half dozen times or so in all different places. We do always get a fantastic audience response though. The guitarist in it is a real shredder and he has approached me to start a band with him too. I wrote some stuff for it but we have not been able to jam enough to get it going yet. Amazingly, I have even had a couple legit modeling auditions in the last couple months. I never, ever, thought that would be a possibility. Obviously it was for the type of gig that uses bodies of all shapes and sizes.
Like I said at the top of this, I can go on for eons, but I will say a bit about my personal life now. As one can see from the numbers here, I am lucky enough to be shorter and thin with long hair and some cheekbones. Also lucky to live in Boston, Ma where trans is no big deal. Of course my trans sisters and I realize that for most of us, it is just a matter of time before some knuckle dragger takes exception to us breathing the same air as he does, thus feeling allowed and empowered to demonstrate how to kick someone's head in. I enjoy most cultural events, cooking, tv, movies, socializing, magazines, I played tennis at an advanced level, (although shrunken arms means no more 100mph serves ever again but I feel compensated by the ability to wear tennis dresses), and riding my collection of motorscooters ranging from small ones for the city to ones to cruise the interstates. I am a caregiver and a landlord. Past occupations included, Real Estate broker, usps worker and union steward, retail and road sales for heavy equipment and photography, assembly lines, and a couple I won't put in print.
I am very seriously considering leaving SAGAFTRA as it is making less and less sense to be paying dues when I can't get a gig. I realize that I am starting over from square one and I am willing to do small stuff with no compensation as long as the work will get out there.


Name: Tori Clay

Lives in: Boston, Massachusetts

Occupation: Actor

Unique traits: see above but briefly, a transgender female union actress with a ton of experience and talent. Physically small and thin and I go anywhere I want, anytime I want, wearing what I want with no issues ever. Have done it all on both sides of the camera. I am also the first ever transgender female life model signed to an agency contract, maybe ever. There is not even another on google. As a life model, I pose for artists at studios and art classes in the nude.

Awards

  • Boston Globe Top Ten Best of Boston Theatre for '16 I was an actress in the small ensemble cast
    (2016)

Tori's Profile Statistics

  • Since: December 2011
  • Last online: > 2 weeks ago
  • Invites sent: 0

Tori's network

Rob Jones
Harri-Pekka Virkki
Blaq Deen
Lennon River
Mae Ocie Riley
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