"I'm determined to wring out every drop—pursue all my dreams and passions full out!"
We love Paula Rossman—and think you will, too!
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I'm creative, yet entirely reliable, straight-laced, but still goofy, steely, with a deeply vulnerable core.
I've always been an adventurous person. Being raised by parents who enjoyed serving as volunteers within their community, I acquired a desire to “give back” early on.
I'm also an information sponge. Learning about the people and world around me, and discovering ways I can serve whatever community I'm living in, has always been a passion of mine.
Since my teen years, I've been blessed to to travel and live in many different locations—both in the U.S. and around the world.
Whether living with a family in France, the Middle East, or on a kibbutz in Israel—I've always sought out ways to serve, impact, and interact with the community around me.
Immediately after college, I spent years living and working all over North America. The only state I have not visited at all is Hawaii… it's on my bucket list!
Once I “settled” back in my hometown of Orlando (thanks to a sweet performance contract with Disney,) I was still able to indulge in my passion for travel. I spent time working and exploring the U.S., returning to Europe, and beginning some explorations of Asia in Thailand and Indonesia!
I've swum with sharks several times (never intentionally… thank God, safely!), shared mutually understood interspecies communication with Silverback gorillas, watched Balinese shamans perform true miracles and seen spinning mandalas in the sky! It's been a full, exciting life… and I'm not ready to throw in the towel yet!
I'm determined to wring out every drop, and pursue all my dreams and passions full out, for as long as I am able to do so. Recently, I have begun to pick up some continuing education classes at S.V.A. in filmmaking, and am excited to see what new paths and journeys it will lead me to discover!
What are you currently working on or towards?
At the top of August, I have two performance opportunities I am very excited about.
The first is an improv show on August 2nd at Upright Citizens Brigade. I've been studying at U.C.B. since 2012, and am working towards making it on a regular team. This show is another step in that direction.
On August 5th, I'm in a fantastic two-person production: SALT, by Peter Turo, produced by Wide Eyed Productions. We're a part of the 40th Annual Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival. I love working on new play development; it's something I've been actively involved in (as both an actor and director) for about twenty years. I've been involved with SALT since its first reading last year, and am so thrilled to be involved in its first full production!
I'm also busy working with some voiceover and film producers on finishing up my V.O. demo and film reel (to add to my newly revised and launched website). Performance wise, my sights are set very specifically on ramping up film and TV auditions. Currently, I have my sights set on auditioning for (and booking!) a role on my favorite show, Orange Is The New Black. The many indie film and television possibilities here in the Northeast are my primary focus. However, I am open, free and ready to travel anywhere to continue the pursuit of my dreams!
Additionally, I spend at least a part of every week in service to my community. I do this through organizations (such as NYCares, BookPALS, and local food kitchens) as well as on my own—reading to kids, helping seniors and anyone needing help in my neighborhood, Hell's Kitchen.
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you from social media?
My favorite aspect of social media is the ability to create and sustain relationships; both new ones and those that are already many years in the making. The networking capabilities that social media sustains is both remarkable (to someone born in the mid 20th century) and thrilling.
My network extends from childhood friends to teachers and mentors—from theatrical and casting professionals I've met through business and networking events to former students of mine. I'm also connected to many classmates from my schooling (years ago) through my current studies at U.C.B. and S.V.A.
Social media is a terrific tool for sharing the news and announcements that mean the most to me. It also allows me to keep up with what everyone else in my world is doing. It's helped me sustain relationships, (personal and professional) to reach out, and (my favorite) to find ways to constantly be in service to those that are in need.
What's your advice to aspiring artists?
Never ever give up on your dream. Everyone’s road is different—and every step of your own personal journey is important and has value.
While it can be hard at times, remember everyone is exactly where they are supposed to be at any given moment. Instead of being hard on yourself, give yourself time each day to breathe deeply, meditate, and focus on loving who you are, what your heart truly desires, and where you are at each moment.
If you cannot give yourself that kind of space, trust and love… how can you expect anyone else to do so? Work diligently, and celebrate yourself and your achievements daily. Constantly reach out in service to others—give fully of yourself and your gifts.
Why did you choose CSM to build your website?
Very simply, I was feeling frustrated with the first website I had built (a DIY site.) The folks who hosted, ran and did tech support for the site were terrific—but they had never worked with actors before. Frankly, I became really disillusioned by how flat and “scrapbook-y” my site was looking. I stopped updating it, because it was too frustrating.
One day, I came across a friend’s posting that she was having a new website created, and I clicked on the link to the designer's site. I was so impressed by the fluidity and sharpness of the sites that were created by CSM, that I immediately called to get information. Tony and his team are fantastic and made the process so easy and lots of fun. I really feel like my website reflects who I am. I’m thrilled with the result!
What responses have you received from your new website?
Everyone who's checked it out has been exceedingly complimentary. Both friends, colleagues, and other website professionals have commented, saying things like, “highly professional,” “edgy,” “awesome,” “fantastic,” “impressive,” and “sharp and well laid out.” I am looking forward to ultimately adding more media (the mentioned V.O. demo and film reel) and seeing what sort of response it will generate!
Tony Howell is a digital strategist dedicated to helping you design your future—creating offline success from your online presence.