Amy Rapp talks about her career, the West coast and the potential for kids
Meet Amy Rapp, a 27-year-old actress who recently moved from Chicago to Los Angeles during the summer of 2015. Amy has been in the industry since she was a teenager working in theater, television/web and film. Amy has traveled to Des Moines to work on the upcoming independent web series, “OUTED,” which found its seed money through an Iowa Arts Council grant.
What triggered the move from Chicago to Los Angeles?
My husband and I both work in the industry. He does standup comedy and also works as a copywriter. We got serious about everything once I was able to support myself entirely with acting. When I was able to quit my day job, I thought it was worth the risk to move west. Coincidently, at the same time, Gray’s Talent Group, the agency that I have been signed to in Chicago, had also just opened up a second office in Los Angeles. So timing worked. A lot of people take that risk early on and just go for it, but my husband and I really had to decide when it was the right time for us.
For decades, the film industry has really just been focused in Los Angeles and New York, but you have been traveling to other states doing commercials and indie projects like “OUTED.” Are you spending more time in L.A. or have you been traveling more?
Since moving to Los Angeles, I have been spending the majority of the time there. “OUTED” is sort of a special situation. I actually traveled more when I lived in Chicago. Most narrative/scripted projects are obviously based in the major hubs like New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta. I am sure there are projects happening all over the country, but currently I am just focusing on getting booked in L.A. Down the road, I might branch more. But since I am new in Los Angeles, I really want to spend the time developing relationships with casting directors and producers. I don’t have the connections in L.A. that I had back in Chicago.
So you traveled more when you worked in Chicago. Was it by chance or because of necessity?
It was gradual. Chicago is a big comedy town. I started doing theater and came up through Second City Chicago. I didn’t just get work out of town, but eventually I started taking gigs in Kentucky, Ohio and Iowa. One of the biggest commercials I worked was for McDonald’s at the Ohio State Arena. Projects do shoot all over, but if something is being shot in a smaller market, a casting director is going to look for talent in the closest larger market. For example, if a casting director is working on a project in Des Moines, they are going to look for SAG talent — if it’s union — in cities like Chicago, Kansas City and Minneapolis.
When you travel for work, does your husband travel with you or do you prefer to go solo?
For work, I prefer to travel solo. If I am going somewhere for fun, I always would want my husband with me so we can share that experience together. But, I will be honest, I love my alone time. I also don’t get a whole lot of time to explore the cities I travel to. On some occasions, I do. When I did that McDonald’s commercial at Ohio State, we wrapped early and my co-star and I had nine hours to kill before our flight. We couldn’t get our tickets moved up. I worked on a show in Minneapolis a couple years ago that shot overnight, and it was raining. We never got to explore the city because of those two things. It was a combination of both extremely fun and slightly depressing. There is no guarantee if I will ever return to some of these places, so I want to try and explore when I can.
Have you explored Des Moines yet?
I am about to have three days off, so I have plans to check out the Science Center of Iowa, The Des Moines Farmers Market, and one of the art house movies theaters (The Fleur Cinema and The Varsity Theater). This has been almost a 30-day shoot, and I started on Day 4 so I am required to have some time off.
By no means is this supposed to be sexist in any way, but do you ever feel concerned about traveling by yourself for these shows, especially independent projects?
It’s not sexist because I would be very ignorant as a woman to not think about those things. But overall I have no issues with it. Part of the deal with traveling is that I am a union actress, which protects me and protects the production. On that same note, this is the time for me to do this type of work. My husband and I eventually want to have kids/start a family. At that point, I will probably just work in the Los Angeles area so I can be close to home. I actually prefer the independent projects over the bigger studio work, so I want to do as much as I can before I decide that I want to settle in.
For more information on Amy Rapp check out her website: www.amyrapp.com. For more information on the “OUTED” web series, visit www.facebook.com/OutedWebSeries/. ♦