Empowerment Stories

Wendy Hartman: Living Life to the Fullest through Acting

Acting has opened me to myself. Over the years, acting has given me the opportunities to experience life to the fullest.

Wendy Hartman

Actors are some of the luckiest persons in the world, as they get to play all their life and at the same time, to live so many lives in one. They experience so many feelings and explore the depths of the human mind and soul.

Wendy Hartman is one of these lucky and amazing super humans. Brilliant and sophisticated, Wendy has won the Outstanding Leading Actress Award at LAWEBfest for her lead role in the award-winning web series Family Problems and has been part of some amazing projects. I am so happy and honored to have met her and share her story and insights on TEYXO Style.

Have you always wanted to be an actress?

Wendy:  As a child I was painfully shy. In seventh grade at a small private school they were holding auditions for the school play… They needed to cast three witches with long hair and asked me to try out. I was paralyzed with fear, unable to utter a sound, turning bright red. They cast me anyway. (It was a really small school.) I remember being on stage looking out through the witch papier mâché mask I was hiding behind and seeing the audience reaction. I could embody vocal and physical characteristics I never dreamed I could (or would) possess. I became someone else-my crippling shyness was taken over by my character’s traits. I found a way to express a part of me that was dormant. 

Not being a particularly open person, acting has opened me to myself. Over the years, acting has given me the opportunities to experience life to the fullest. Actors generally get to do things you can’t really do in real life. Being a bit of an emotional junkie, I crave that. It has taken me to the darkest places in my soul and to unfathomable highs. I have loved, suffered terminal illness, grieved my children, fought crime, killed, been cheated on, died.… It has been quite the ride!

As women’s voices are being heard louder than ever before, I hope to see more film and TV reflect this through powerful and heroic female characters. Art imitates life. Let’s continue to inspire and educate and make a difference with the stories we tell.

Wendy
Family Problems (photo courtesy of Angelwood Pictures)

What was the most challenging role?

Wendy: The most challenging role I’ve done was in the award-winning web series Family Problems. For its five season run, I played Rebecca Ellison at different stages in her life from age 24 through 74 (with flashbacks). She was a villainous character but I couldn’t see her as a villain. I needed her to be human and determine why she did the things she did. She was motivated by the same things we all are… fear, hopes, dreams, ambition, past, relationships,  loves and losses. And to play her through various stages of her life I needed to consider how she had changed over the years. Naturally, she is not the same person at 74 that she was at 24. This role gave me a chance to explore the full life of a character’s development and not just a moment in time. 

Assassin Behind the Glass, film (photo courtesy of Broadway Pictures Entertainment)

How do you prepare for a role?

Wendy: When preparing for a role, I analyze the script and all of the facts I am given about the character. Next I flesh out the character’s past, and their relationships and finally add emotions. I imagine all of the character’s fears, hopes, dreams, motives, pain, and past experiences as a filter through which all outside stimuli must pass before landing truthfully on me as the character.

Psychotica, film (photo courtesy of Shape-Shifter Productions)

If you could have a superpower what would it be?

Wendy: I don’t want to walk through walls, be invisible, or fly. I see real life superheroes when I witness an act of kindness. I think it would be super if we all use our power to be kind, empathic and humble. Now that would be powerful! 

Lungs, series (photo courtesy of Angelwood Pictures)

How do you feel about empowerment and women’s roles today?

Wendy: Film and TV play an influential role in shaping the world in which we live. Its purpose is to entertain of course but also it is a vehicle to educate, inspire, open our hearts and minds to healing, forgiveness, and hope.

As women’s voices are being heard louder than ever before, I hope to see more film and TV reflect this through powerful and heroic female characters. Art imitates life. Let’s continue to inspire and educate and make a difference with the stories we tell. 

Wendy Hartman / Photo credit: Dina K Photography

I think it would be super if we all use our power to be kind, empathic and humble. Now that would be powerful!

Wendy

What advice would you give to any young actor?

Wendy: Study, read, train, practice. LISTEN. Hear and see what is going on around you. React truthfully. Live life fully so you have more to pull from. Be kind… to Everyone. Be humble. Be present.

Winning Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series at LAWebfest 2015 for Family Problems

Thank you for the amazing inspiration! Follow Wendy on IMDb to see all her exciting projects

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