Rachel Baker's “Don’t Be So Dramatic”

Rachel Baker's “Don’t Be So Dramatic”

By Osvárt Andrea

October 17, 2022

Podcast excerpt

I've been an actress for nearly 25 years, and I'm now a coach for actors, not coaching the craft of acting but everything else outside of acting. When I was a teenager, I worked a lot in TV commercials, and that's how I got sure that I wanted to be in the motion picture industry. And so I went to acting school, then moved abroad, and had many more opportunities in Western countries outside of Hungary. I lived in Italy for nearly ten years, then moved to LA, where I lived for about three years, and worked there as an actress. But as I said, I now live in Budapest again because I missed Europe and my home, and I realized this is who I am. This is where I belong, and I'm happy here. 

Rachel Baker: I can't even imagine what it was like to grow up in that period under communism. And it's a very interesting picture that you paint, saying everything was gray, but you know, you had these daydreams that essentially manifested what your life is now. How did the modeling come into it? Where did you get the idea that you could be a model? Did someone you know know how to get into the modeling industry? How did that come about?

Andrea Osvart: I lived in a small village with about 10,000 inhabitantsts. One of the shops selling clothes asked us to do a catwalk. That was my first job, which brought me to modeling.

Rachel Baker: The modeling industry is an industry I know little about but is interesting because of its skill set. I admire models because it's a brutal industry. After all, it's all exterior, and you must have thick skin to succeed in that industry. So whenever I speak to models, it's always super interesting. How did you go about being in an industry so exterior-focused? 

Andrea Osvart: I envisioned this could be a way for me to get out of poverty to build a future of abundance. And so I did: I was 22 when I bought my first apartment as a model. So it was worth sacrificing, but it's an industry based on the exteriors only, and I got bored of it. 

Rachel Baker: And through doing commercials as a model, that was kind of your taste of acting that you went. 

Andrea Osvart: I got good feedback from the directors of commercials. They liked my acting. So there was a director who cast me five times for different commercials. So that is how I realized this is a good fit for me. 

Rachel Baker: It's interesting having you on because I have absolutely no concept of how the European industry works. And so, with going to drama school, I have no idea if it's similar to what it would be in Australia. So when you decided to go to drama school, was it like a three-year course where you learned all acting techniques?

Andrea Osvart: We call it university here. You get a master's degree in acting. It's a four-year-long school. But it wasn't my case because I needed to make a living and survive. So since this school is not allowing students to work until they are fully trained actors, t was impossible for me to attend it because I needed to work. So I went to different private workshops and intensive courses. I did a one-year acting workshop in Hungary. And when I moved to Italy, I attended another private school, 

It is my theory, but I, I believe that, that it is like programming that people had for so many years and entire generations. 

Rachel Baker: Yeah. There are whispers of that limiting belief that kind of do find themselves in Australia: “I can't do that. I'm too old. I can't learn a new thing”. Society has told me that by 40 or 50, I'm set for life, and that's it. And that's what I've done. I think in Hungary, it seems like it is a bit more full-on in that respect of that belief. 

Andrea Osvart: The sense of freedom here was not very known as it is probably in your culture, so people don't feel free to realize their dreams. I wasn't able to realize my dreams in my country either. So I had to leave and go abroad, so that's how I could become who I am today. 

Rachel Baker: Yeah. And interestingly, Hungary celebrates you as a successful Hungarian actress, and you are the one that didn't play by the rules and went overseas. 

Andrea Osvart: Exactly. I'm an outsider because I did it my way. And this is also how I started my coaching business because there're so many ways people can get into the acting business or progress in their careers. Sometimes people get stuck and don't see other ways of pursuing their careers or dream. I help actors restructure thoughts and definitions to have clarity, like clearing the fog in front of their eyes to see and reach their goals or even cross the finish line.

Rachel Baker: Yes. Which you talk about in your ebook. I had so many thoughts and these AHA moments when I read it. Thank you. 

Andrea Osvart: Thank you. I'm glad because I just recently published my ebook.

Rachel Baker: It's, it's amazing. It's like everything that is like my thoughts as well. So I'm like, this is what I've been thinking too, which is great. 

Andrea Osvart: Oh, thank you so much. 

Rachel Baker: So when you were in Italy, what was your first big acting job, and how did that come about for you? That's so 

Andrea Osvart: interesting because I remember the first big booking I got was maybe a five or six days role, a co-star role in a mini-series. I thought this was it. I made it, ow my life will change. But it didn't. Nothing changed. So I had to rewire my brain and realize that success is not momentum; Success is a process that happens in a prolonged timeframe. I can only define success in the long term. So my big break was not that role I thought it would be, but maybe three or four years later when I was hosting a huge live TV show. And from that point, everybody knew who I was, so I started to book even more meaningful and bigger parts. 

Rachel Baker: Process. Yeah, definitely. And so, when did you decide to move to America and start working in Los Angeles?

Andrea Osvart: In Italy, I felt like they were giving me nice roles in television productions, but I wanted to make movies and feature films, and of course, I had a heartbreak also. I broke up with my boyfriend and thought this was the time; I had to do it now. So I was about 30 years old when I decided to move to Los Angeles, found an agent, and started to network there. After a year and a half -see, things don't happen overnight-I finally got my first job.

Rachel Baker: Wow. Did you find that people were kind of excited about all the work you had done in Italy? Or do they did not care?

Andrea Osvart: I was renowned in Italy, but that was not the point. The card I played was since big productions shoot in Europe a lot. So I had been cast multiple times in huge American films playing movie stars like Robert Redford, Heath Ledger, and Clive Owen. These were day-playing parts, but I put them into my showreel, which impressed the Americans. I think the European market makes sense because, as you said, I would have probably been lost if I were in America in that big pool. But in Europe, which is smaller, not everybody speaks English well, and for certain roles, you know, big productions will not bring actors from overseas. So they just cast local actors. And if you book something like that, it can add something to your resume and your credits. 

I believed so much in the American Dream and Hollywood. So I collected all this work evidence and press clips for the immigration they needed to prove why people should hire me instead of an American. So that was when all those Italian press clips made sense and came in handy because I was on the cover of the magazines a lot, and I was known, and those things helped. But still, even though I got work in America, those productions were shot outside of the US, so by the time I had a movie to be released. I was invited exactly on Late late TV Show with Craig Ferguson, It was a moment when I had to fly back to America for the purpose for work purposes, and that was the invitation from CBS that I attached to my application finally, that there's no one else than can do this job, then can do this interview except me in America, because I am the lead of this movie. Period. So they could not deny my visa application, and I got my working visa. But by that time, after five years of trying, I had already reached the point that it was enough of the Hollywood system. Five years have passed since I first applied, so I was at a different stage in my life, and my perspective changed. Priorities changed, so I didn't see a point in why it is so important to have a working visa in the States because all the shows I've done were not shot in the US anyway. 

Rachel Baker: And it's that classic saying of being careful what you want to manifest because if you're trying to manifest something. Then you grow as a human being and have different priorities, but then that thing can manifest for you. And you know, it's not necessarily negative, but you are over it.

Andrea Osvart: yes. Watch out for what you wish for because you might get it. So I think that's how it goes. And exactly, because I used to think and picture myself in Hollywood, like making it as an actress, being on the red carpet in Hollywood. And I did that, I manifested that, but I found myself. You know, without further goals at that moment. And I said to myself, Oh my God, why didn't I think further? What am I going to do next? Because I just achieved this. I made it, So it happened, but it wasn't exactly the way I wanted it to be.

Rachel Baker: I have felt that as well when I've wanted things, and sometimes we can put those dreams on a pedestal and think it's going to feel a certain way and make us feel a certain way when we get them. But when we do get them, it's kind of like, Oh, this is just so like, it's not mind-blowing like I thought it was going to be.

It's not like; My reality has shifted so enormously that I feel like, you know, crazy good. It's like, oh yeah. Cool. Okay. What's next? What's next? And you know, I know that you also talk about it; I think it might be in your ebook or your blog. I think it's the ebook where you talk about having a purpose other than just I want to be an actor. I want to be on a red carpet. The why is so important to have that purpose, to drive you and continue when you do get on the red carpet, which is fine to want; what is your goal from there? And I found that interesting to read. 

Andrea Osvart: Thank you, and I think it's very helpful.

It would be very helpful for all actors to know their purposes of why they became actors, and what they want to do with this, what they want to achieve by becoming an actor or a successful actor. I, I used to give it a lot of thought. And also is important that purposes change, but one should always have a higher purpose.

I don't know if you learned script analysis, but where I realized there was this term for the character's overall objective. So every scene has its scene objective, but the overall objective is to get to the end of the film.

And this is the same with us in life. Like we have many little objectives, many little goals that bring us forward in life, we eventually have one higher purpose or overall objective in film terminology pulling us towards our destiny. 

Rachel Baker: When did you realize this way of thinking and think about your acting purpose?

Andrea Osvart: I've been putting together a program for actors in the hope that it would help them become more conscious. 

Rachel Baker: Yeah. I agree with that. I often use the Imagery of a little seed being planted, a very common image, and you can never see what's going on below the soil. And so it can be frustrating before the thing sprouts. You're like, is it even growing? Or has it died in the ground?  Like, who am I at this moment? 

Andrea Osvart: We sometimes forget we are also a character that needs character development and are always in another character's shoes. We are always somebody else, but it can go out of balance if you are only focused on your, exclusively on your career. You know, casting calls and being fit, keeping up with the industry news, knowing everyone, and networking. And then where is, where is Rachel? Where is the person, and how about her life, identity, little things, and hobbies as a character? And if, if you. If you lose your character, if you lose yourself, then eventually, it will harm your career as well. Because actors, directors, and casting directors look for characters and not just blank sheets and blank papers with no identity. 

Rachel Baker: Definitely. I've also learned in the last couple of years that whenever I try and bring. As Rachel to a scene, I play it like there are small parts of Rachel in that scene. So I always get a better result, and it took me a long time to figure that out. And so if you're not, yeah, if you're not looking after yourself as a person and all you are is an actor, then you can't bring that to your work.

Andrea Osvart: I agree a hundred percent. Mm. Yeah, so, in the program that I'm preparing for actors, and hopefully it will be ready by the end of the year, I dedicate a lot of thoughts and clarification about the self, the ego, the replicated itself, which is coming from characters we play that are not us, the identity.

True self. It is so interesting that there are so many items and parts inside us; it's sort of schizophrenic. But, still, it's very useful to separate these and understand which one we need or which is functioning and working when we do certain things. So just, let, let me explain.

Then, when you see yourself on a billboard or the cover of a movie poster, you can think it's you, of course, right? Because you see yourself, you see your face, but it is just a perception of you. It is just a constructed image of you. It's not you. You are not only that, so. Feedback on any movie or performance that we make as actors are.

And if you suffer from bad criticism, for example, or bad publicity, it sometimes affects us. A lot more than it should affect us because it goes right into our soul, and we take it personally because it's our person. But I try to teach techniques on how to separate those things and not let negative comments or even, you know, cyberbullying or being targeted on social media have a negative say in affecting our lives so much and how we present ourselves from there to the world. 

Rachel Baker: I guess it's; I don't know if that makes sense. No, it makes complete sense. Yeah. Yeah. And it's also helpful when you are an actor and you're constantly putting yourself out there and putting yourself forward in auditions. You're not getting cast. It's the same thing of, like, it's not me, it's not Rachel that they're saying no. The product that Rachel is an actor, they're saying, isn't suitable. For what they're casting right now. Because you can get into that awful downward spiral of I'm not getting cast anything, and it's me. Yeah. And they don't want me.

Andrea Osvart: Or I'm not good enough, they don't need me, and maybe I should quit. In these moments, it is important to have the right thoughts about how entertainment works and don't take it personally.

Oh yeah, definitely. Another great point I loved reading, you wrote a post about guilt around success. When you succeed, there is guilt because you experience envy for how much you have achieved.

I can relate. When I've had small bits of success, it's almost like I am stepping up. Above is the group of people you think you've been comrades with, and you've all been in the trenches together. So when you get a little bit of success, you're like, Oh, I feel so guilty that I've gotten this and they haven't, and how do I navigate that?

So I wonder if you could speak on your experience and try to navigate that feeling of guilt. 

Andrea Osvart: It's one of my most popular blog posts. I got a lot of feedback on it. It's helped others to understand similar feelings in them because I think it happens to everyone that success comes at different moments for them or their siblings, relatives, or friends. And yeah, it's just, it's probably like how we people grow apart. From one union, from one community, let it be a family or let it be on like classmates, a classroom that we eventually end up being individuals who have to create their realities, their futures, their own families. So it happened at different times, and I am now at quite peace because all my siblings became successful. Now, but it wasn't always the case 10 years ago. So I sort of had to help them out financially, for example, and I thought that would also help my sense of guilt to, you know, be released and not feel so guilty because I was kind of rich compared to them. But that has changed by now. So everything.

On a spectrum, everything depends on the perspective you look at because people saw me as successful, but as I told you, I wasn't completely happy about my roles or my results because I wanted something else. And I sacrificed and paid a high price for my success that people didn't. So you used the metaphor of a plant. I used the analogy of an iceberg that people used to see only the tip of it, the end of the iceberg, but they didn't see all the loneliness, all the sacrifices, and missing appointments. For example, the wedding of my best friend I couldn't attend because I was shooting overseas. So success is relative. Also, it's not necessarily the complete picture like what people see. It's not; it's not necessarily the whole truth. 

Rachel Baker: Mm. I had a great conversation with another actor today, and she was talking to me about how she was down because she's probably going to listen to this, but I won't say her name.

She was talking to me about how she was down because she just recently had an amazing acting opportunity, and she knew there was someone. But unfortunately, speaking ill of her created a lot of negative talk among other people about her. And I said, I'd been pondering on this morning that, you know, this life that we're creating.

Which is being an actor, but I think, you know, you and I share the kind of manifestation beliefs and beliefs in the universe. But, that can also be incredibly lonely because as you start seeing that success, I've found for myself as I keep going down my path, I really kind of move away from the people that don't align with me anymore. And in a way, good because you need to create space for more inspiring, more aligned people to come in better things for you. But it can feel lonely, and it is very lonely, I think. Yeah. Yeah. It's that interesting thing of, like, I do want all these things, but it's very hard when you are going through that and are kind of being ridiculed by other people or, you know, people you thought were your friends.

You're kind of like, Why are we moving apart? Why can't you come along on my journey to my dreams? But it's, you know, such a learning lesson when you get older and continue down that road, I think. 

Andrea Osvart: Yes, because normal people can't imagine how it is to work. As professional actors, we are always living in standby and uncertainty.

We hop on a job, then we get dismissed and don't know what's next. So it is tough, and as you said, it's, it's, it is lonely even though people think. Making movies is a collective art form. We are all in together and fighting for the same goal. And it's a great feeling of, you know, a sense of belonging that we are together in this, but eventually, every project ends before or after.

And then lose this sense of belonging and your goal because it's finished. So it's a sort of similar to a grief process, I think that you have to. Detach yourself from that crew, detach yourself from those people, and find yourself again. And then eventually go on a new adventure with new people again. So it is psychologically and mentally quite challenging, I think. And that's why a lot of people have difficulty. But, on the other hand, living this lifestyle is very understandable. 

Rachel Baker: Yeah. I think that that is also why in more recent times, we've been such pioneers to say, You need to get mental help.

Therapy is great for actors. It's really important. And doing that, that internal work also includes asking for help and going, you know, I, I think it's like, so I guess you cannot be an actor without a great support system. 

Andrea Osvart: I, Oh, thank you for saying that. Because this is what I always tell people that, you know, you don't have to feel sick or mentally unstable.

You don't have a mental illness. It's not that, Absolutely not. But in these moments when we are in our heads, Sometimes it's just not enough to do a meditation. It's not enough to attend a yoga class; you need to talk to someone because actors need just a little bit, maybe more attention than other people do, and There is a reason why we chose this path of wanting to be in, in the be in the attentive gaze of others.

We need attention. We can't deny that. So when you don't have the attention that you are dreaming about the find, find a way, reach out. I'm doing this exactly like you can reach out and pay attention to yourself. I mean, I offer. Free a free call, a free first session to everyone. A coaching session, about 45 minutes, and I pay attention to you, and hopefully, you will feel much better by the end of that session.

And you will feel if you need this in the long term and someone on your side, you can, someone with who you can always talk. 

Rachel Baker: I wonder, what made you realize that this was a great purpose of your career, Was to create these guides and create this service for other actors? It 

Andrea Osvart: it was also a journey because I used to blog anonymously in Hungarian because I was afraid to put out my thoughts publicly.

Mm. I wonder why it probably had to do much with my image as an actress. And a completely different private person. And then, the difficulties that I went through, I didn't want the press talking about it, for example. I've been blogging for about seven years but to another audience. I realized my blog is so popular I could do something similar for actors because I could help them.

So, this year I started to, to, to do this adventure, and I try, and I think I re I do help actors who have Some, some fog is, be before their eyes and, and I just allow them to have clarity, new directions and, and a little bit of a support system because agents don't provide that. Service managers don't offer that service, so publicists don't provide that service. So, I think it's something to pay attention to because also self-disruption is a way for actors; they can hurt themselves and make bad decisions. So before you do that, just find someone you can talk to, and just by, and just by talking, you can; it's therapeutic. Get out all those negative feelings and maybe rewire your brain, and that's, or that in itself already can, can push you forward. 

Rachel Baker: And it's funny in those moments as well, how I know I certainly, every time I kind of have doubts and have those negative thoughts coming in, I always feel so alone that it's funny that I can guarantee you are like, I have thought every thought that you are feeling as well, it's like a shared experience of actors that you just forget is shared when you're going through it. 

Andrea Osvart: Thank you so much for having me, and I hope I could spark some thoughts within your listeners. If you want to get on a call with me, I offer a complimentary coaching session online. May be something going on in your life as a performer; I'm more than happy to hear from you.

Don't miss a frame!


© All rights reserved. Made with love and coffee by WEBOLUTION.