We had the good fortune of connecting with Grace Everett and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Grace, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
My philosophy is that every creative needs two things: a whole lotta confidence and a whole lotta hustle. It took me years of hard work in this industry to feel like I’m not a *complete* impostor, and even so, I deal with impostor syndrome on a fairly regular basis, ha! All this goes to say, feeling like a fraud is, unfortunately, a very real part of being an artist, and in order to find the necessary confidence to start building my personal brand, I’ve had to deconstruct those feelings so that I can actively unlearn them. It’s still a very growth-heavy process, and it’s not easy, but getting started is the biggest hurdle.

Once you’ve built up that confidence, it’s SO much easier to really get started in the industry. So much of my success has come from my nonstop drive and the seriousness with which I approach all networking opportunities. Networking is VITAL to the success of any creative, especially within the theatre/film industries. I’ve put so much time and energy into growing an active following on my social media (specifically Instagram), and that’s helped me find quite a few of my breakthrough opportunities. That, and countless cold emails. I can’t even count the amount of play festivals I’ve submitted for or theatre/film companies I’ve reached out to.

Hard work is critical, but it’s definitely more important to do the necessary work on *yourself* before you can focus on your success as an artist. Once you have a solid foundation (self-confidence, healthy coping skills, maybe an awesome therapist…?), you’ll be able to use every bit of your personal experience in your creative outlet.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Oh, where to start!? My biggest passion and the thing that inspires me most as a creator is making a space for artists in other marginalized communities to find their voices. I’m autistic, and I was diagnosed very late (age 18) because my autistic traits present very differently than what doctors usually look for. I was always an outsider growing up, and I struggle to make friends because I read social cues and understand interpersonal relationships differently than most. Even though this has led to some difficulties in my everyday life, it gives me a completely new perspective as an actor and playwright.

Autism has taught me a lot about how the world works. Because I’ve spent my whole life watching and mimicking how people socialize, I’m skilled at taking on new behaviors and stepping into and out of character with ease. As a writer, I’ve also benefited from all that people-watching, because now I have a repertoire of countless personalities, behaviors, and idiosyncrasies that I can incorporate into my writing. Growing up, writing was my escape, and I always felt so much safer with my words than with my peers. My passion exists in every aspect of my art because for so long, I preferred my art over people.

Career-wise, some of the things I’m proudest of include winning the 2019 Texas Thespian Festival’s PLAYWORKS competition for new plays (with my script, ‘The Last Sunrise of August 1973’, which also happens to be the first play I’d ever written). I’ve also had plays produced nationwide, including several virtual productions with NextStage Company, some school productions/staged readings, and I am in talks with a director about a debut production of one of my other plays, which, if all goes as planned, would *easily* be the biggest production of any of my plays to date.

I also just started college (what?! how does time move so fast? it seems like last year, I was 10 years old- haha!) at DePaul University in Chicago, and though I’ll be there for a few months, Dallas will always be my home. I’m studying playwriting at The Theatre School, a nationally renowned conservatory, and the playwriting cohort usually only accepts 5-7 students per year! The Theatre School also hosts a new works showcase called Wrights of Spring each year, and though I’m not entirely sure what I plan to showcase, I know that I’m so excited to put my work in front of a life audience again. Live theatre is back and better than ever, baby!!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If anyone’s going on a trip with me, it’s safe to assume there will be theatre involved. I definitely recommend Dallas Summer Musicals and Music Hall at Fair Park if you’re looking to see some amazing touring shows. For local theatre, check out Dallas Theatre Center, Casa Manana, The Firehouse Theatre, and obviously the many fabulous performances by students at my alma mater, Ovation Academy of Performing Arts in McKinney. I’m a vegetarian, so my food recommendations are very heavily based on what places have yummy meat-free foods. We’ll definitely be checking out Torchy’s Tacos in Allen (since apparently those don’t exist everywhere?!), 1418 Coffeehouse in Plano, Filterd Coffee in McKinney, and Emporium Pies because I love some good key lime pie.
For places to hang out and enjoy nature, I’m all about Celebration Park in Allen, Bonnie Wenk Park in McKinney, and Klyde Warren Park in the heart of Dallas. I’m also a huge fan of the Perot museum and the Dallas Arboretum. There’s plenty more, but those are just my top recommendations.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to give a shoutout to my family, obviously– my parents, my sister, my Grandma, Nana, and two dogs– for being so incredibly supportive of all my creative endeavors thus far. I also definitely have to give some credit to Ovation Academy of Performing Arts for being my artistic home for the past two and a half years. Through them, I learned so much about how to network, give back to the community, make meaningful and important art, and most importantly, stay true to myself. Ovation is also how I discovered my love for playwriting (which I’m now studying in college!) and met one of my longstanding mentors, Mrs. Linda Eicher. Mrs. Linda helped me write my first play and has guided me through revising countless others, so I absolutely have to give her a MASSIVE round of applause.

Website: GraceEverett.org

Instagram: @GraceActs

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/grace-everett-00b915202/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGraceEverett/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnUMd6Vw7hfulJNhJcpcB_A

Image Credits
Udo Spreitzenbarth, CA Taylor, Fred Mahusay, Nick Thomsen

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