Ursula, you have been an actress and performer for many years, winning awards including the best actress award for one of your projects, and been in the entertainment business in the US as well as in Europe for many years – how did the 2020 Pandemic change things?
Ursula: “2020 has changed everything. For a long time the industry was completely shut down, meaning no auditions or projects whatsoever. I was in LA and you weren’t allowed to leave the house. Complete lockdown. Then, auditions slowly started coming back, but no in person auditions, it’s all self tapes now. Meaning you have to record everything and just send the videos. It’s tricky because you have to find someone to be your reader, and you can’t get any input on how to do your reading differently, which you could if you were able to perform your scenes in person. But there has been a trend towards self tapes before the pandemic already. I did have in person auditions since the pandemic, but only for callbacks. Other than that, there’s a strict covid protocol on shoots and testing is mandatory. You can’t grab your own snacks at craft services, you aren’t allowed to touch anything. Cast members have to stay apart from each other and masks have to be worn anytime you’re not filming.”
Sounds like a lot of things have changed. What are you looking forward to when it comes to the next year?
Ursula: “I am excited for new projects, I have some great ones lined up. I am hoping for a year of no lockdowns, lots of work and am in talks to sign with a new agency, which would be phenomenal.”
What are some things you have worked on recently?
Last year I had the chance to work with plenty of outstanding talent, including Willie Gault, Affion Crockett, Jessica Moore, Tommy Davidson, Julian Jackson and Stacy Lyles and many, many more.
I have been flown to Nevada to work on a film that highlights the accomplishments of phenomenal women throughout history and I have been shooting videos for a big athletic brand, but I am not allowed to talk about that.
What does it take to get cast in projects?
I wish I could say it’s just talent, discipline and how bad you want it, but a lot depends on luck and being in the right place at the right time. Unfortunately, nepotism is a big problem in the industry, people casting their children, friends or relatives all over the place. It is understandable, who wouldn’t want to help their kids and keep it in the family, but it’s sad for everyone trying hard for years and years only to lose against the ones with the right last name. It can be really disheartening. But I know that me booking things, winning awards at film festivals and having been signed by an agency for many years solely happened because of the effort I put in.
What’s something to remember when pursuing a career in entertainment?