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Rising Stars: Meet Amy Simon

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Simon.

Hi Amy, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I started modeling professionally when I was 19 in Cincinnati, Oh with Heyman Talent Agency. I really had no clue what I was doing and had very little self-esteem. I was shy and nervous in front of others and in front of clients. But, I knew I wanted to model and act. Around 22, I moved to South Florida. Two years later, I had my daughter, Hanna, and two years after that, as a (broke) single mom I took an acting workshop. It was expensive but I saved the money to take it. It was in that workshop that I had to face my fear of being in front of people and speaking. I was terrified to the point that the lady doing the workshop told me she’d give me a full refund and I didn’t need to return. I went home that night and prayed. I knew I wanted to act and model so I had to be better. I had to push through. I went back the following day to the workshop. I performed the “fake commercial” with the script she had given me and the Linda, the instructor said, “what happened to you? you are the most improved student I have EVER had!”. I told her, “I want to be here, I want to do this.”

At that workshop, I met Bobby and he introduced me to my first agent in Miami. I am still with them today almost 20 years later. I was working on films and tv shows like CSI Miami as a stand-in. Then I started going on more auditions in Miami, Orlando, and Tampa and was booking commercials, car commercials, infomercials, I was booking photoshoots for amazing resorts all over the country and Caribbean, I was on packaging in stores like Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, on signs in Walmart, and then I landed and amazing job hosting a show for Carnival and Princess Cruise lines that only aired on the ship. That job took me all through the Caribbean and Alaska for almost a year. And, coincidentally the “fake commercial” I did in that workshop was for Hyundai, I ended up being a spokesperson for Hyundai, doing many commercials for them, was in ads and on over 20 billboards. Sometimes I still can’t believe all of the amazing jobs I have gotten to do. All because I faced my fear. I am very grateful to Linda, Bobby, and the many agents, casting directors and other actors and models that have helped me get jobs over the years. About eight years ago, my daughter and I packed up a moving truck and moved to Apex, NC. I had to start all over. I didn’t know anyone. I moved here because I thought it would be better for Hanna. And she loves it! She’s now a junior at App State. We are so glad we made the move to NC.

I have been fortunate enough to have worked with the tops agencies here in NC and again have had many wonderful opportunities. My first shoot here in NC was for the Grove Park Inn. Not a bad way to start my career here!

But, instead of waiting around to be hired for jobs, I figured I should start creating my own. So, I started writing and producing videos for local and national businesses. It was a leap of faith. I had never done it before but I figured I’ve been in 100s of commercials and ads, so why not create them myself? I’m happy to say I just got hired to shoot for the 4th time with my friend Michele. She is also a local business owner. It’s so great to get repeat clients that almost always turn into friends. This industry has been so good to me. I feel blessed so I wanted to start helping others. A lot of moms reach out to me asking how to get their kids into the industry. So, I started offering in person coaching. How to get an agent, how to book jobs, what websites to be on and all the basics of the industry. Then I started offering modeling workshops. I shoot with a local photographer in their studio. I show the girls how to get digitals to submit to agencies and I show them how to pose and move and feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera. I also help them with wardrobe selection. They are so happy with their photos and I can see their confidence grow and to me that is the most important thing. It’s not about modeling or looks it’s about learning something new and gaining confidence.

I am happy to say most of my students do get with an agency and nothing makes me prouder and happier than getting that excited call from a mom or student telling me the good news. It’s truly rewarding and amazing. I love helping others. I love guiding them and mentoring them. I never had that so I am happy to offer it to others. And by the way, I have guys that take my workshops too! They are for anyone, Kids to adults. I always say it’s never too late to try something new. I had a 60 years old retired man reach out to me. We met several times and within weeks, he had an agent and was so thankful. I’m telling you, it just feels awesome to help others pursue their dreams! But the modeling workshops aren’t just for aspiring models and actors. If someone just wants some fabulous photos, get their hair and makeup done, and just feels amazing for a few hours…we can do that too! I am happy to help people how I can while also still working as a full-time model, actress, spokesperson, writer and producer. It’s truly a dream come true. Go after what you want in life and help others along the way and never forget those that helped you. Paying it forward is the best way to live. In my opinion. I am grateful to NC because It made me to try new things. Doing something new can be scary but you’ll never know what could happen unless you try.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
The modeling and acting industry can be very challenging. You have to deal with lots of rejection and you can go weeks or months without work. So, you have to be smart about how you spend your money. A lot of people do this as a side hobby but it’s been my full-time career for over 15 years now. You definitely have to want to do this and be persistent. I was also a young single mom. I had people telling me to get a “real job” and quit wasting my time. Interestingly enough those people weren’t paying my bills and those people never had a movie on Amazon Prime. Be careful who you listen to. Thankfully, I had a few good agents and casting directors who encouraged me to keep going. I also wanted to prove to my daughter that she should follow her dreams. You can create your own life. Is it hard? Sure, at times. But what isn’t hard? Is it worth it? YES!

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a model, actress, spokesperson, voice-over talent, writer and video producer. I am proud of the videos I have created for clients that help their businesses grow. I am also proud of all of the work I have done over the years. Being in some videos for Walt Disney World as a spokesperson was pretty cool. Seeing myself on a billboard, that’s kinda neat. What sets me apart? I think clients like me because they know I’m going to do my best job. I show up prepared and thankful for the opportunity. I am a team player. I like helping the crew get the shots they need and you won’t ever hear me complain on a set. I am just too happy to be there!

Not a lot of people have made this a career while raising a daughter alone. In fact, I have other actor friends reach out and say, “how do you do it?”. My response is, you just do what you have to.

I am most proud that I never missed a school function, a class party, a field trip, a practice or game. Being a mom is my priority and my favorite role.

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
Being persistent, being reliable, Being easy to work with and having a good attitude. The shoot days can be very long so maintaining good energy is important to me and helps everyone on set.

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