Vicky Jeudy plays Janae Watson in Netflix’s Orange is the New Black
NYCDA: What’s it like working on “Orange is the New Black” and celebrating 5 seasons?
Jeudy: It’s so much fun and challenging at the same time. I am blessed to be working with such a talented cast. Over the years, you get to know everyone so well that it feels like a slumber party on set. Who could ask for anything more.
NYCDA: What do you feel you can improve upon in yourself and as an actor?
Jeudy: You can never stop learning. I’m always practicing my craft whether it be through taking classes and working with different coaches. My advice to my fellow actors is to approach the craft like an athlete. Always look for ways to enhance your performance, delivery and nail that audition.
NYCDA: What advice did you receive that you wish you hadn’t ignored?
Jeudy: I think about the teachings from Richard Omar and how he stressed the importance of speech and voice. I’ve noticed that Jenji Kohan (creator of Orange is the New Black) while on set listens to the actors and how the scene plays out at the end of the day.
NYCDA: Have you experienced typecasting?
Jeudy: I haven’t experienced any type-casting. Right now I’m not limited. We are in a generation where there are so many opportunities. If my agents send me something that is similar to what I’ve already done, I turn it down.
NYCDA: Do you have any mentors?
Jeudy: Yes, my manager, whom I recently started working with. He’s very informative and has been in the business for over 20 years. My pastor represents my mentorship for life. It can’t just all be about the industry. I need that balance of spirituality and harmony in my life. It’s important to have a mentor because the acting journey is full of ups and downs.
NYCDA: What advice do you have for current students and new graduates?
Jeudy: Get out there and start working! It’s important to have a reel and headshot that you’re proud of. It’s your first introduction to the business. Target MFA Film program students working on their projects to get your face out there. Be creative and use social media to your advantage, original content is always needed.
Don’t just sign with anyone starting out and before you sign any contracts, make sure your attorney looks over everything. You can use the VLA (Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts) as an additional resource.
Last, don’t be afraid of rejection. Be bold, persistent, resilient and follow your intuition.