Featured Artist Series: Showcase Winner Michael Palladino

Screen Shot 2016-11-01 at 2.54.04 PMThis week in our featured artist series, I got the scoop on showcase winner Michael Palladino.

Michael grew up in Oaklyn, in the heart of small town New Jersey. Though he studied Psychology at Loyola Marymount University, he says he’s been acting since he was very young. “I would perform anything and anywhere I could, including my star-making turn playing every role in my one man recreation of Titanic in my parents living room at about 10 years old.”

Michael found inspiration through studying his craft.  “My high school had an incredible theatre director who worked at a regional theatre in Philadelphia. He treated and expected us to act like professionals, which was a really great learning experience.” Michael’s early experiences provided a solid launchpad for his educational journey when he moved to LA. He has continued to learn from the greats, naming Brad Fleischer and the Michael Woolson studio as chief among his mentors.

But for Michael, education doesn’t stop at the studio doors. He cites a circle of actor friends as sources of motivation. It was this appreciation for fellowship among colleagues that led Michael to Cast It Talent, where he submitted an audition. Having just purchased a camera, Michael taped the audition on a whim just to see what happened. It payed off in spades, as he went on to become a showcase winner. “What I like most about Cast It Talent is the sense of community that it creates for actors. There is so much information out there, so many scams, that it’s nice to have a forum that is positive and is genuinely interested in helping actors succeed.”

Of course, no story is without conflict. Reflecting on his personal hurdles, Michael says, “The struggle, for most actors, is just the hustle and grind of being in Los Angeles and pursuing a career that so many people are also chasing. To be successful, it requires you to give so much of yourself for each audition and that can be really challenging when they don’t all go your way. But, I do feel grateful for the chance to just be out here, trying to make it happen.”

But Michael isn’t letting the grind get him down. Ever the scholar, he plans to continue to study his craft and keep auditioning. Not content to wait for the approval of others, he also hopes to start producing his own work, having written projects himself.

Michael Palladino’s is a simple enough story: work hard, study harder, try to make something of your own. But it’s important to remember that this is exactly the key to longevity in this business. As actors, we have to commit ourselves to being lifelong students, perpetual self-advocates. To other actors out there, Michael’s advice is “to just continually push yourself; to challenge what you think you are capable of as an actor, and to be kind to yourself!”

I couldn’t have said it any better. Hang in there, friends.


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Rachel Rachel Frawley is an actor living in Atlanta. She holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from Michigan State University (with cognates in Music and Professional Writing) and is an Apprentice Company graduate from the Atlanta Shakespeare Co. She also works as an education artist for local theatres, which have included the Shakespeare Tavern and Aurora Theatre. For more information, visit her website at www.rachelfrawley.com

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