We had the good fortune of connecting with Elizabeth von Isser and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Elizabeth, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Over my adult life, people have told me they think I’m a risk taker – that I’m ‘brave’. But I’ve always considered ‘risk taking’ to have a bit of a negative connotation and have never seen myself in that way. I prefer to think of myself as someone who is willing to try something new, try something that excites or interests me — someone who is willing to try and fail, rather than not try at all.

I joke that I live my life by the “bumble bee principle”. Aerodynamically, it doesn’t seem as if bumblebees should be able to fly…their bodies are so big in comparison to their wings — But they don’t know that, and so they fly anyway! Many of my endeavors I have approached without traditional education or training, but I’ve done it anyway. As an engineer, I have a Bachelor of Technology, not a Bachelor of Science degree and was a woman in a decidedly male dominated field in the 80’s. I have gotten gallery representation for my fine art paintings but am completely self-taught. I create copper and sterling silver jewelry without a formal degree. I love pursuing and growing my acting career, first on stage and now via film and voice acting, but don’t have a BFA or MFA.

Has ‘risk taking’, or in my mind ‘trying new things’ always worked out? Usually, but not always. I’m actually quite an introvert, and my attempt at being a salesperson in a multi-level marketing company wasn’t very successful at all – but I did learn something from that experience…I learned that I’m a terrible salesperson! Live and learn!

Every successful endeavor I have tried, has only been so because of the incredible number of encouraging people that I am surrounded by and continue to meet. Their encouragement is what pushes me through those times in my life when I am discouraged and ready to quit. I often battle what is commonly called “imposter syndrome”. I frequently work or associate with people who are much more ‘qualified’ than I am, and I must constantly work to push down the negative self-talk that tells me that I don’t belong, that I’m a fake. It’s an ongoing battle, but one I guess I’m willing to keep fighting…at least until the next time.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
After leaving my engineering career, I enjoyed being able to volunteer more time participating in community theater and church dramas. It was while I was acting as the director of drama at our church that I first fell into film acting. One of my team members was an actress who had been cast in a small role in an independent film being shot in Tucson. Her day job required her to travel, and at the last minute she was called out of town. She convinced the director (and me) that I could step in and take her place. I arrived on set, very nervous because I had never done film before and had not even seen the script. I was given 20 minutes to memorize my paragraph…and then “lights, camera….action!”. It was an adrenaline rush like no other, and I decided right then and there, that I wanted more. I started searching for casting call opportunities within social media platforms and began submitting – with nothing more than community theater credits to my name. Looking back, my first few auditions were disasters – and I chuckle now wondering what the casting agents must have thought. I started seeking out auditioning and film acting classes, reading whatever I could and watching lots of online training videos. Eventually I started getting some small parts and expanding my resume. More classes, more connections, more auditions, more bookings. Once I felt like I had something to offer, I found an agent. Its a never ending cycle: more classes, more connections, more auditions, more bookings. With every step forward sometimes there’s one or two back…but the trick is to keep moving. A quote by Mary Pickford is one of my favorites “…for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down.”

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.
Here are some of my favorite things to do in Tucson when we have guests:

• A day trip to The Desert Museum: A world renowned zoo, natural history museum & botanical garden all in one
• Exploring the local mountains and desert in our off-road vehicle
• Drinks in the bar and an elegant meal at the Arizona Inn
• A guided horseback riding adventure in Saguaro National Monument East
• A sunset champagne picnic at Gates Pass in the Tucson Mountains
• Hanging out on our back porch, taking a dip in the pool, watching the sunset and seeing the city lights twinkle
• Game night with friends at our house

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Julee Cruise for casting me in my very first High School musical theater role, Chuck Williams of Avondale Pictures for giving my my first substantial film role, my agent Katrina Fristoe with South West Artist Group for taking a chance on me, my husband Tony who has always been my biggest fan and supporter and of course my Heavenly Father for guiding my life, even when I was unaware.

Website: www.elizabethvonisser.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/actress.elizabeth.vonisser/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/e_vonisser

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

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWj7yIw0JmWpEX6CgL4zBpw

Image Credits
Paul Van Helden, Byron Medina, Avondale Pictures, UA School of Film & Television, personal, UA School of Film & Television, Martha Lochert

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