Source: Arcadia Group’s Hope Chest
Interview With Christa Woomer Conducted By Hope Player
Dixiewood’s own, Christa Woomer, who plays Lynn Ette in our series is the Arcadia Group Featured Entrepreneur! Be sure to check out her interview below where she discusses the entertainment business, her career and Dixiewood!
Christa Woomer is an actress, playwright, comedian, and is now also the producer of her own web sitcom, Dixiewood. She performed in the Southeast but chose to leave Roanoke, Virginia and move to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams. She has starred in plays, commercials, and cabarets, and has appeared with Ellen DeGeneres and Billy Bob Thornton.
Hope Player: That’s a pretty impressive resume for a young woman from Southwest Virginia. It’s smart to go where you’ll find opportunities, so what prompted you to go to LA rather than New York City?
Christa Woomer: It was the weather. I hate to be cold. You can’t beat L.A. for sunshine! Also, I’d done so much theatre and I was ready for the challenges of film and tv, which mostly takes place in L.A. It was crazy culture shock at first. I’d never been further west than Houston when I moved out here. And the traffic is mindboggling. I was ahead of my time as a crazy driver in Virginia. Roanoke obviously could not appreciate my driving technique. I fit right in behind the wheel in L.A. I absolutely love it here. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
HP: What were your next steps after you arrived in California? Did you have a business plan?
CW: I definitely did. One piece of advice I received from Stephen Furst (an actor I met doing regional theatre) that was so important was that this is called show “business”. The entertainment industry is the biggest money making industry in the world. Know your business. This industry is not for the whining or the weak. Nobody is going to rush you at the county line and go “Thank God! It’s YOU! We’ve been waiting forever. Hollywood is reborn now that you’re here!” It ain’t gonna happen, bub. I read books and did research on what I would need to succeed. Headshots, agents, managers, casting, networking, workshops, scams, unions, so on and so forth. It was all very overwhelming. I want to be an actor. I want to make people laugh. Fame has never been my goal. I just want to act enough so I don’t have to have a “day job”! But I have to be a businesswoman as well. Working actors are products. You have to understand what your market is and how you, as the product, fit into the market. Do I wish I was Angelina Jolie? Sure. But I’m not and I can’t force myself to be. I am not tall, young, beautiful, glamorous or thin. I am short, curvy, 35 years old and country. But I am cute, funny and talented in my own way. I have to accept who I am and sell my product.
HP: Many folks might not know about your place in Super Bowl history. Tell us about the Planters Peanuts commercial in 2008 when you were the Unibrow Lady.
CW: That was such an incredible time. They say it takes 10 years to find some sort of national success in this industry. I’d been here 4 years when I got this part. It was Planters’ first ever Super Bowl commercial and they’d been auditioning nationwide for the part since May of 2007. I auditioned the day after Christmas in 2007 and started filming on January 5, 2008. I owe it all to the director, Bryan Buckley, for getting me that part. My agent told me the advertisers wanted an “ugly girl. Natural unibrow. Bad teeth. Bad skin. Skinny to the point of bony.” I asked my agent, “Is that what you think of me?!” He told me they don’t know what they want until they see it. So I auditioned and Bryan was able to make them realize that my acting (and 2 hours of make-up) would sell the ad. And he was right. What was supposed to be a one-time airing of that commercial ended up getting regular rotation air play for 13 months, over 3 million internet hits and was in the Top 10 Super Bowl Ads for 2008. I’m so proud of being a part of it. Though if I ever got recognized on the street for that role, I’d make a beeline for the waxing salon!
HP: You’ve launched Dixiewood, a new comedy series on the Internet about two women who left the South and moved to California to find their fame and fortune as actresses. The story has a ring to it, is this art imitating life?
CW: It is. The original story was about me and my mom (who moved out here with me) but then we thought it was funnier if there wasn’t that mom/daughter dynamic. You can put more dirty jokes and innuendos in if you aren’t talking to your mom. It goes back to the basics of play to your strengths, write what you know, sell your product. I’m a country girl trying to make it in the big city. I’ve got a colorful family and even though Dixiewood may be dramatized, it’s all based in reality. I even have a for real Great Uncle Peanut.
HP: The Internet has become a major player in launching talented individuals into the limelight, who is your competition in getting to the top?
CW: I honestly feel my only real competition is myself. I believe we all have our own path and what is meant for somebody else, is not meant for me and vice versa. My philosophy is a bit odd in this business though. In general, actors can be very competitive, aggressive and jealous. We are also self-centered people (that’s why we like to talk about ourselves in interviews so much!). But I want to enjoy the journey. If you spend your whole life waiting to “make it”, then life will pass you by. You only get to go around once. But God bless the internet! It has opened up so many doors. You have to be careful though, because once something is on the internet, it’s out there forever. Thankfully my wild oat-sowing youth took place before cell phone cameras and the internet!
HP: I enjoy the episodes of Dixiewood, what’s next for Lynn Ette and Daphne?
CW: Thank you so much. It is one of the funnest things I’ve done. I love it. There are so many adventures to be had. The next episode is about the girls moving to a new house due to a stalker situation. We have several guest stars coming up as well including world famous director, Terry Gilliam and Verne Troyer (Mini-Me in “Austin Powers”).
HP: What’s next for Christa?
CW: I’m looking forward to trying out some voiceover work. Animation and the like. I’m hoping for another couple of commercials this year. (I hope you’re reading this God…I really want more commercials!) And if Dixiewood got picked up by a network, I think I would die of happiness. Maybe not die, because then I’d miss all the fun. But I’d definitely fall into a short-term coma!