Alyvia Bush on Developing Projects and Skillsets

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Atlanta-based actor and writer, Alyvia Bush, recently signed with TalentDirect Agency, and is currently producing three projects: two features and one short film.

For our readers who don’t know you, where would you say you are in your career at the moment? 

So far, I have had the pleasure of working with and learning from many great actors and directors who have helped me understand the in’s and out’s of the industry. In doing so, it has opened an interest in working behind the camera just as much as working in front of it. So, I have been gaining experience on both sides, which has allowed a different perspective for me as an actor. 

What led you to pursue a career in acting? Are there any actors who inspire you?

I started acting as a child in local community plays, as well as performing as a dancer until I was in my early teens. Entertaining people was what made me happy. I never lost the passion to act on screen and bring written stories to life. Being able to finally have the opportunity to do that now, I can say that I am truly fulfilling my dream.

There are many great actors who inspire and have continued to inspire me, but one, in particular, is Samuel L. Jackson. I had the pleasure of watching his MasterClass course, and his mentality toward acting is so refreshing. The biggest quality of his that I admire is his ability to take a character on a piece of paper and bring it to life through research and meticulous attention to detail. He makes his characters come to life in his own unique way; this is a technique that I try to implement in each role that I take on. 

What has been the most difficult part of being an actor thus far? Have there been any periods or experiences that were particularly challenging?

Acting is a challenging career in many different aspects, though the most difficult part of being an actor for myself is a lack of auditions or not being chosen for parts. This is where a lot of actors, including myself, struggle with this at first, and even begin to question their own abilities as professional actors. On the other hand, this is beneficial because it helps you develop mental toughness and persistence. I think actors, especially in the beginning, have to practice building mental toughness in order to remain focused on where they are going and not allow slow periods or a lack of work to alter their mindset regarding their abilities. In this business, you go through many different periods of self-doubt, being rejected more than being accepted, and the list goes on. But again, all of these things are necessary for a person to develop the qualities needed to flourish as an actor.

Are there any projects you’ve worked on that have stood out to you as particularly influential, enlightening, or exciting?

I have worked on multiple projects thus far, from background work to speaking roles. I think I have taken something from each project and applied it to current or upcoming projects. The one project that I resonate with the most is a television movie in which I played a background actor in a courtroom. The main actress (I will leave her unnamed) had an incredible talent of being able to cry on cue. As soon as the scene cut, she would come out of her character, and then, when we were rolling again, she had the ability to pick up where she left off. This was fascinating to me because you have so many people who conform to method acting these days rather than learning how to apply certain techniques. I would rather learn how to come in and out of character than stay in character all day. I think actors who possess the ability to transition in and out of roles seamlessly are exceptionally talented.

Now, you’re also a writer with an exciting project in development. Fill us in! 

Writing has always been something that I love to do. I would say that I am equally as passionate a writer as I am an actress. Writing allows you to clear your mind of clutter and get all those beautiful ideas out of your head and into the world. So, that is what I have decided to do with the projects that I have been developing for quite some time.

I currently have three projects that I am in the process of completing: two features and one short film. The short film will be the first project this year that will be filmed and ready for distribution by early fall. It is a lighthearted comedy about two best friends who always find themselves getting into some sort of predicament and trying to figure out a way to get out of it. It will star myself, while introducing some new actors who are extraordinarily talented.

What are the next steps for you in your career? And what are your long-term goals?

I recently signed with TalentDirect Agency in Atlanta, and hope to start getting work on larger projects; however, until that time, I will continue to develop and complete my own.

With regard to long-term goals, there are many things that I aspire to achieve in my career. For starters, I plan to submit my short film to shorts.tv in hopes of it being nominated for an Oscar. I also plan to complete my feature films within the next two years, have them shown in theaters around the United States (and possibly internationally), and finally, book a lead in a feature that is not my own.

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you?

I am originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and prior to my career in acting I was an optician. I also have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.