Meet Tabatha Visutskie, she is an actress, published writer, screenwriter and filmmaker.
Her latest short film, 5 THE BEGINNING, has been screened at a few International film festivals around the world. The film is a semi-finalist and finalist. The film has also attracted a distribution company.
The screenplay is based on Tabatha’s true story about being a twin, abuse, addiction,healing and having the gift of vision. It gives a glimpse into the world of being a twin; the telepathic language and physical sensations they feel between them. It was first produced as a short film, for proof of concept. Tabatha’s goal is to produce it as a feature, and is currently working with her editor on revisions.
We had the chance to ask Tabatha some questions about her career.
AS A CHILD, DID YOU WANT TO BE AN ACTOR, OR DID IT FALL INTO PLACE THROUGH OTHER ACTIVITIES?
As a child as early as three years old, I loved to entertain with my dancing and singing especially when my father would play the fiddle. When I moved to another town; I was introduced in grade school to theatre, I fell in love. One day, I came across a calendar with a beautiful naked woman draped on a red, silk sheet. Her porcelain skin, red lips and those beautiful big eyes. I felt a sense of freedom and confidence that she expressed through her smile and I wanted that. I found out later that the lady on the calendar was Marilyn Monroe. My twin sister Robin and I would write plays and perform with our friends in them. We played the acts out in our backyard throughout the summer break. Neighbors would come and watch us and it soon became a popular event. I was also the director. We had a brilliant idea, “lets charge for our plays” and so we did. The audience grew bigger so did my passion for the arts.
WHO INSPIRED YOU TO FOLLOW YOUR DREAM TO PURSUE ACTING?
Who inspired me was seeing John Travolta and Olivia Newton John perform in the movie, Grease. I made a decision right there that I wanted to be an actor and told my twin. She responded, “Yeah, I know. You were meant to be an actor, you love it.” Robin has always been an inspiration in my acting, writing and filmmaking career.
WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY? WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST REWARDING EXPERIENCE?
The challenges that I faced in the entertainment industry was keeping my days open for auditions and to hold a job at the same time. To pursue my acting career and to be employed was and can be very tricky.
I won a scholarship to Van Mar Academy in LA. One day, while on route to class, I got into an accident. The incident forced me to leave LA for medical reasons, my heart was broken.
The most rewarding experience is that I discovered that I loved writing and filmmaking. I wanted to express truth through story and film so I decided to tell my own journey. I produced under my production company, Twin Visutskie Films a short film, 5 the beginning.
It has been accepted to numerous film festivals around the world being both a semi-finalist and finalist four times. It has also attracted distributors. The short film is adapted from my full length screenplay; it is a calling card for investors and a proof of concept.
My goal is to produce it as a feature. Throughout it all I was asked to be an international film festival judge for, Stairway International Film Festival and Warsaw Independent Film Festival. That was a tremendous opportunity for me to grow as an actor, screenwriter and filmmaker to view other talent around the world who shared the same passion.
The second rewarding experience came to me as an actor. After the LA accident it was a while before I got back into acting. I saw this casting call for actors so I thought, “Maybe it’s time.” My audition was for a small role in the film. As I was auditioning the director, writer, producers stopped me in mid-performance. They asked if I could do an improvisation of a new character they were creating. The film was already a heavy topic dealing with abuse and religion. The role was about a wife who battled her own demon, married to a man who abused children and murdered them. I booked the leading role on the spot in the movie, Forgive Me Father. The producers and director gave me the best actress award in the film. That inspired me to keep on, keep on.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TYPE OF CHARACTER TO PLAY?
A role that is challenging that provokes tragedy and a possible solution and stands up for a just cause. To play a historical character, for example the movie, Passion of the Christ. The characters have depth, heart wrenching story and huge obstacles and choices to decide.
Comedy roles are exciting and one needs a quick response with perfect timing to achieving the ultimate goal, laughter. I accept both with open arms.
WHAT MARKET DO YOU CURRENTLY WORK IN? ARE THERE OTHER AREAS YOU WOULD LIKE TO WORK?
I currently work as an actor, screenwriter and an aspiring filmmaker. As a filmmaker, I have produced five short films, five short plays. As a screenwriter, a few scripts and I am a published writer.
My creative writing partner and I are marketing our full length comedy script, Threes’ A Crowd.
We are currently looking for an agent. I work with a recording artist as a co-songwriter. The artist proposed an opportunity for me to direct his music video. It was an amazing adventure and I welcome the prospect of directing other film projects.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE NEW TRYING TO MAKE IT IN THE ACTING INDUSTRY?
1. Stay focus
2. Know your vision
3. Have faith in yourself
4. Surround yourself with uplifting people
5. Think of your present success, not what you don’t have
9. Observe people, situations, place, time, climate, listening
10. Be a student every day in life, be open to learning
WHAT FUELS YOUR PASSION?
Life fuels my passion when sometimes I find it hard to find the passion in me. Observation, listening are successful methods of building my humanness and humility to understand others as well as myself. These techniques help me as :
As an actor, I observe others and truly listen, to experience my surroundings, smells, tastes, to read between the lines of the script, that’s where the magic is, the story begins.
As a writer, I have inspirational pictures, letters, posters, vision board, many things that inspire me all over my house to help me create scripts, plays, writing.
As a filmmaker, I get involved creating with other filmmakers being a director, assistant director, casting director, whatever is needed to produce a film or stage plays. I accept work that would enhance my education, experience behind the lens and engage in artistic collaboration. Sometimes I play one of the characters in their films. A movie poster for a feature film that I plan to produce is on my cell phone and that keeps my vision alive.
WHAT IS SOMETHING ABOUT YOU THAT MOST PEOPLE WOULD NEVER GUESS?
That I am identical twin.
In high school and into my twenties, I was a lead singer in a rock band with Robin. My love for singing has called me back; I compose, write songs and in the near future will record them. It is also my intention to use my music in my films.
IF YOU WERE TO DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN, WOULD YOU DO THINGS EXACTLY THE SAME? DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS? SUCCESSES THAT MAKE YOU PROUD?
I would have continued my studies to get a degree in criminology to have back up in regards to making money. However, I also knew the risks of being in the entertainment industry and not pursuing my dream was not an option. My love for acting outweighed the conventional means of realistic goals when in reality there was no guarantee with any career choice one makes. I incorporate everything that I have studied combined with life experience into my roles, writing and filmmaking.
The greatest successes that makes me proud is that I am acting, I am writing, I am producing both films and plays. Recently someone told me that I am one of the lucky ones that no matter how big the obstacles I continue to pursue my artistic endeavors. They wish that they could have followed their dreams however due to obligations and fear of losing their security stops them from pursuing it.
I am very blessed and so grateful that I have the opportunity to live my dream.
Tabatha is currently seeking an agent to represent her for screenwriting and filmmaking!
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