We had the good fortune of connecting with Madi Calhoun and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Madi, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
My career, diverse as it has been, has taught me to say yes to every opportunity. I’ve experienced firsthand that old adage, “Work begets work.” Many of the successes I’ve found have come from the most surprising and unexpected places. And often, they’re complete departures from what I had planned for myself. I began doing hair, wig, and makeup work during a semester in college when I hadn’t been cast in any of our shows. That led to years of employment with the Fort Worth Opera and Texas Ballet Theater. I agreed to live and perform for 2 months in LA with no money in the bank, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I founded my creative agency after feeling complacent with the theatre, something I had trained for my whole life. It’s my proudest accomplishment and things are only looking up. You never know where the next job or opportunity will take you, so you have to say yes.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I come from a musical family and grew up dancing and singing. I found acting when I was about 12 and fell in love with Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams. That set me up for a life of pursuing performance, though it hasn’t always looked the same. Fast forward a few years and I have my degree in Musical Theatre, though I spend most of my time sending in commercial auditions, onstage and in film, and running my own creative agency with my amazing partner. (I also have a couple of “survival jobs” that I love.) It hasn’t been easy. A life in the arts is hardly ever easy. But I know this is where I belong and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If your successes are worth the hardships, then I say you’re doing the right thing!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am a Fort Worth gal, and we have some of the best small businesses around. The museums in the Cultural District- The Modern, Amon Carter, and Kimbell- are all must-sees. After a museum trip, I would recommend going a short distance to the Daybreak Cafe for brunch, a family-owned spot where the prices can’t be beat. Taking a coffee shop tour, I would recommend Arcadia in the Near Southside for its vegan treats, Sons of Liberty for its natural lighting, and Vaquero Coffee downtown for its signature horchata latte. While you’re downtown, you might as well visit Sundance Square. And Magnolia has enough great spots to keep you busy and fed for days- Spice, Gus’s Chicken, Spiral Diner… too many to name. Can’t leave out the bars- West 7th is for the hardcore partiers, and Southside is for the hole-in-the-walls.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Holden Foster, @_h_o__f_o_
Jon Collins, @jontoddcollins