Anna Fill Interviews
Interview with: Carlease Burke
The Riviera Woman takes a trip across the pond to speak to American actress and comedian Carlease Burke. Carlease is an inspiration, charming, warm and very funny. This is a lady who is passionate about her work, her beliefs and extremely focused. It was a pleasure to put the following questions to her and this is how she replied...
1) Where were you born Carlease and where do you now call home?
I was born and raised in New York City. I moved to Los Angeles to pursue my acting career in 1985.
2) How and when did life as an actress begin? You've performed in Film, on TV and on Stage as well as doing your own Stand Up comedy shows – do you have a preference in what you like to do and is there a particular role you would like to portray?
I have always been interested in performing, since I was a little girl. I used to pretend that the actors I saw on TV were my friends. Being an only child, I developed an extremely vivid imagination to keep myself entertained. Having a flair for the dramatic, I was drawn to activities that involved skits, dance, getting up in front of people and making them laugh. My parents didn’t really support this type of “behavior” so I wasn’t able to really go after my dreams until graduating from college with a B.A. in Pre –Law. I am grateful for my education, it’s provided many skills necessary to enhance my acting career. I got my professional start on stage in New York and moved on to do more film and TV in Hollywood. In 1990, I added stand-up comedy to my resume. I love the workout I get from theater: creating and building a character, telling a story from beginning to end and the immediate gratification of having the audience right there on the journey with you. Film and television is a completely different animal: projects are shot out of order over long periods of time and later the story is edited into cohesiveness. There are many times you may not even see other actors in the same show until you seen them on screen in the final cut. I appreciate the longevity of film and TV projects, it’s how I get to leave my legacy. I enjoy the variety of roles I am able to portray, particularly the ones that are not glamorous and go through some sort of transformation.
3) What makes you smile?
Music makes me smile! Also, silly movies and anything funny.
4) What or who inspires you?
I am inspired by authentic, intelligent, fun loving, positive people who enjoy life.
5) I hear you are taking part in a marathon for a particular cause, what is it and why is this cause so important to you? Are you in training for the marathon?
I am currently training to ride my bicycle in the Long Beach Marathon in October 2014. I am participating with Team AWBW (A Window Between Worlds) whose mission is to use art as a healing tool to empower individuals and transform communities impacted by violence and trauma. This cause is important to me because I personally know what it’s like to feel unsupported and undervalued. It leads to extreme cases of low self esteem. Physical abuse can be seen. Verbal abuse leaves deep invisible scars. Both can create a lifetime of pain. The workshops and programs at AWBW foster growth in the individuals there as we begin to see ourselves as worthy, beautiful and deserving respect.
6) In your recent visit to Europe – where did you go and what were the highlights? From the places you visited were you able to embrace the different cultures easily?
I have had quite a year of travel. Last fall I flew to Rome for a cruise to the Mediterranean. I literally tried to see Rome in a day. I had always been a bit fearful about traveling to Europe alone but I did OK. I got around town and saw all the highlights. I knew the next day I would be joining my group as we sailed to Greece, Turkey and other parts of Italy. It was a beautiful trip. The energy of Istanbul was a little overwhelming but I would like to go back for a longer stay. The men there make me laugh. They think they are so macho, but I can break them down! This year I went on a culinary tour to the South of France and that was equally amazing. Two of my favorite things, food and travel. Cooking, eating and shopping there was delightful! And the highlight of this whole experience was a visit to Julia Child’s home!! What would a true French culinary tour be without that? As an actress I was delighted to visit Cannes even if it was the week before the film festival. It was fun to watch the preparations.
7) Do you believe in gut instincts?
I’m working on tapping in and trusting mine more.
8) Your three essential things if you were stuck on a desert island would be what?
A desert island? Then I guess that would have to be chocolate, chocolate and chocolate!!! (hahahaha)
9) If you are planning a day/night out, what do you enjoy doing the most?
I tend to be rather spontaneous. I’m not good with routines, I get bored easily with the same old thing so I can easily go with the flow. I enjoy a variety of activities and I’m always open to something new!