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I'm a young dame working hard for her future in Los Angeles, where I was born and raised. I have an MFA in Acting from UCLA and a BM in Opera from Boston University. Italian-Croatian-Irish.
Two years ago I was overweight, sleeping terribly, and feeling very lousy-- so I decided it was time for a change. I signed up for a cardio-intensive stage combat class, and it changed my life. I lost 30 pounds and fell in love with fitness-- now I can't stop. I practice hot yoga four to five times a week and run bike, and hike in between. I love the way working out makes me feel like I can take over the world, wear the clothes I want to wear, and get a good night's sleep. When you don't find me in yoga pants, you'll find me in shabby chic get-ups curated from some of the vintage shops in my awesome Echo Park neighbourhood, with some Adidas or new balances thrown into the mix.
The rest of the time you can just barely catch me as I'm bolting around the city going on auditions and socializing. In my downtime, I love wandering around my neighbourhood, planning the next step for my DTLA-based experimental theatre company, writing plays, or going to comedy shows. I have gigantic crushes on Issa Rae, Emmy Rossum, and Krysten Ritter. Long term I plan to dive into the female-generated comedic television world. How I'll achieve that is a work in process. Stay tuned, stay positive.
Would you like to complete our full Editorial interview or skip straight to uploading your photos? (12 more interview questions).
Our readers would love to get to know you more Lea. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I have a never-ending passion for art, and I think the artistic expression is what makes life worth living. Shakespeare, Stravinsky, and David Foster Wallace feed my soul-- and I'm also so glad I get to share this passion with my partner, who is a cellist at the LA Opera and loves music and storytelling just as much as I do. None of this can exist in a vacuum; art brings the community and most of my friends I've met working on theatre pieces or at a concert gig. I would so much rather come together with friends to read a new play and the sit around a table and drink another pitcher of bottomless mimosas. Not that I'm against mimosas in any way, shape, or form. :)
Lea, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Model?
The theatre started it all for me; I lived a cliche!!! I played Annie in the 8th grade, and there was no going back. From there, I got into studying opera and then became interested in on-camera work. Modeling is newer for me, not hiding that fact, but I find it thrilling and beautiful.
Who is your inspiration in life Lea? How do you keep inspired?
I find inspiration in so many places. I adore classical music- just last night my boyfriend and I were at the Hollywood Bowl listening to Brahms and Strauss. Plays inspire me- Shakespeare is obvious, but also John Patrick Stanley, Annie Baker, and Martin McDonough. In the film world, Issa Rae and Jessica Chastain inspire me for having their female-generated productions and production companies.
We all make mistakes Lea; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Model; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
In grad school, I was working on a new experimental piece with a group of like-minded classmates; on a particularly heated day of creation, one of my frustrated classmates began crying, and I (shamefully) irritatedly snapped "we don't have time for crying" and offered her little sympathy. I later reminded myself how vulnerable artistic creation is and how unfair it was for me to negate her natural reaction to a difficult endeavour. I later apologized, and we're still friends.
Lea, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Model, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
I can't say I've modelled enough to answer this question, but I had had to prioritize theatre artists' needs when I produced a new play six months ago in DTLA. I had to take each issue one at a time and offer levity with a smile and a deep breathe. Mirror neurons are extremely powerful, and when you converse with someone nervous or stressed out and talk to them with a physically relaxed and positive demeanour, it works wonders.
Please tell us, Lea, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Model?
Time will tell.
Lea, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
I find acting something out for someone always helps so that the other individual can fully comprehend what you are trying to share with them. When I am rehearsing a scene and have an idea, instead of wasting time explaining it, I simply do it instead. Showing is so much more effective than telling.
Lea, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Model. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
As an actor, my proudest moment so far was working with Francis Ford Coppola on a private project of his- it was called "Distant Vision" a live cinema project filmed live in one take amongst 30 cameras on a single sound stage. I was playing a role modelled off of his mother, which was insane to me. I'll never forget the moment Francis pulled out his iPhone and showed me personal pictures of his mother from the 1940s.
Lea, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
Right now I'm working on my first full-length play about women in a topless yoga studio- it's a comedy, whether or that's clear from the pitch. It's always so exciting to self-start on a project with no clear trajectory but to just make art because I want to.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Model?
Unmmmm I'll advise an actor. Stay humble. I can't stress this enough. We are so blessed to be doing what we are doing. But we are not miracle workers or gods. Stay humble.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes! I am looking for photoshoot trades right now for commercial print work.
Now for the best part Lea! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.