NYCDA Alum Carolina Ravassa, Sombra from Overwatch
NYCDA: What was the tipping point in your career – that moment where everything changed?
Ravassa: Has it happened??! I don’t know! People talk about breakout roles, and I think that’s not always the case. We have peaks, and I think one thing leads to another, and every day you just get a little bit closer to achieving your dream. It started for me when I got a principal role on “Step Up 3D” and that got me into SAG. Then I did my first feature film, “Maybe Tomorrow”, which I was so proud of. Then recurring on “The Affair” was my first TV gig and each time you’re doing better work. I think when “Overwatch” (Voice Actress for character Sombra) came out, I got a lot of new followers and social media attention, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a tipping point. I will say I’ve used the fans to share more of my work with them, like my web series Hispanglosaxon. And that’s what I ultimately want – to share my work. So I guess it all goes hand in hand.
NYCDA: What advice do you have for current New York Conservatory students?
Ravassa: Enjoy taking classes, suck as much as you can out of those amazing teachers (I remember nuggets of advice from every single teacher at NYCDA), listen to the ones who are still acting because they understand the business as it is today, and have patience. I think the one thing we have to remember is that it takes years to get our careers started and then even longer to really dig in. So it’s about patience and perseverance because it doesn’t happen overnight.
NYCDA: When did the acting bug bite?
Ravassa: When I was about four and a half. I did “The Sound of Music” at that age and I simply loved being on stage. Since then, I knew I had to continue. I never stopped.
NYCDA: What do you dislike about the industry? What do you like most about the industry?
Ravassa: Dislike. Our lack of control. It’s never about us. So many factors are involved and even if we nail an audition, it’s about our co-star, our looks, our height, the director’s friend, the ex-lover, etc. We never know why we didn’t get that job.
Love. The fact that one day we don’t have a gig, and the next day it all changes. All it takes is that one phone call and you have a great job or great opportunity. I also love the people I meet on every job – so many wonderful, talented, and giving human beings. And that’s when I remember why I do it. When I’m on set, finally, working with wonderfully talented people.
NYCDA: What advice did you receive that you wish you hadn’t ignored?
Ravassa: To not care so much or try so hard. (That doesn’t mean don’t prepare) We are told to do the work, go into the audition and have fun, and then forget about it. And I’m starting to understand that concept, but it’s hard to “try to not care.” They say a casting director can feel your desperation and we think we are being cool but we really want that damn job! So it’s about being confident enough but chill enough too. It’s not that I ignored the advice, I think I couldn’t quite process it till now. But I think the older I get, the more auditions I do, the more I understand it.
NYCDA: Name an unexpected aspect of your training.
Ravassa: Doing Theatre of the Oppressed in Brazil. I worked with prisoners, house maids, mentally ill patients and public school teachers doing theatre and it was an incredible life changing experience.
NYCDA: Have you experienced any typecasting and how did you deal with that?
Ravassa: Ironically it’s been the opposite. I don’t get typecast because I don’t look “Latina enough” for those roles. However, I do get those auditions because I speak Spanish. So I don’t get typecast, I just don’t get cast. That’s what my web series is about! Not booking stuff cause I’m “too white to play Latina, and too ethnic to play white”. I decided to shoot my experiences playing all of the characters. In the end, I realised I was turning my problem into my creation. It feels amazing.
NYCDA: What project are you currently working on? What project would you like to work on?
Ravassa: I’ll still be voicing Sombra on and off whenever they need me. I also have a film offer in Italy in the summer. I’d love to work on “Orange is the New Black”, “Blindspot”, “Blacklist”, so many shows in NY! the list goes on…