Community//

Amanda Powell: “Let go of the audition when you leave the room”

Let go of the audition when you leave the room. Someone definitely told me this, but I wish I had actually learned it earlier. And stick up for yourself! An actor has so little power and it’s easy to get taken advantage of. If you’re on a project and someone with power is bullying or […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Let go of the audition when you leave the room. Someone definitely told me this, but I wish I had actually learned it earlier. And stick up for yourself! An actor has so little power and it’s easy to get taken advantage of. If you’re on a project and someone with power is bullying or harassing or abusive, speak up and get away from them.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Actress Amanda Powell who grew up in Florida, where she fronted school plays like “Cats”. After a successful career on stage, Powell transitioned to TV, appearing in the likes of “Chicago P.D” And “Utopia”. In her latest role, Powell plays the adopted mother of a child who is mislabeled to have violent tendencies. That film, “Rain Beau’s End” is now available on streaming platform LesFlicks.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

No problem! I’m happy to! I grew up in Gainesville, Florida. We lived in a place called Flamingo Hammock, which is the woods, and I spent a lot of time outside. We also spent a year in Istanbul, Turkey when I was growing up, which was wonderful. I went to college at DePaul University in Chicago, and now I live in Atlanta with my partner.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

We did the play Cats when I was in fourth grade. I don’t know if I had a proper part in the play. I might have just been roaming around the stage dressed up as a cat, but it was so much fun I became an actor.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I was in Ike Holter’s excellent play Red Rex at the same time we were filming Rain Beau’s End. The play shows a white director who steals the tragic true story of a Black family and puts it up on stage as her own work. It was very interesting to feel how uncomfortable many white audience members became as they slowly realized that they weren’t watching the story of a white woman properly representing the community she moved her theater company into, but a racist white woman stealing from, harming, and trying to dominate Black people under the guise of diversity and inclusion. Some white audience members rejected the possibility that someone like her, a dedicated liberal theater artist, would be so evil, and they may have left with their beliefs about where racism starts and stops intact, but the truth about racism’s pervasive reach is much more uncomfortable than many people choose to believe.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I auditioned for Rent, and the callback was singing 525,600 minutes. I have a low voice and couldn’t sing the song in the key it was written, so I thought it would be okay just to sing it a whole octave lower. I didn’t get the part!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

My partner and I just moved to Atlanta. So I’m in a brand-new big market with lots of opportunities, and I’m very excited to be here!

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

The film industry has been not diverse for so long — it has misrepresented the world. It is hugely important for viewers and storytellers both to see true cultural representation and to have it done non-stereotypically. We’re a nation of widely diverse race, culture, gender identity, and sexuality, and exclusivity in representation in media and storytelling is obviously harmful. Seeing and understanding the cultures we live among is crucial, the onus should not be on people of color to point out the importance of diversity, and it is and has been well beyond time for filmmakers to showcase diverse cultural representation.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Let go of the audition when you leave the room. Someone definitely told me this, but I wish I had actually learned it earlier. And stick up for yourself! An actor has so little power and it’s easy to get taken advantage of. If you’re on a project and someone with power is bullying or harassing or abusive, speak up and get away from them.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Things changed positively for me once I started making ‘check avail’ my goal. It’s a stage where you’re very close to getting the part and your tape is being reviewed by people that weren’t in the audition room. For many years I would disregard ‘check avail’ and wait to celebrate until I got the booking — and I never got the booking. When I started celebrating how great it was that I had gotten so far as ‘check avail,’ I started booking.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

You must have me confused with someone else 😊 But I can answer this: Stop buying single-use plastic!!! It is a product of the oil and gas industry, and it is not actually being recycled!! When I really want something in plastic, I ask myself, is my drinking or eating this worth this package ending up in the ocean?

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My next-door neighbor, very close friend, and phenomenal actor, Susaan Jamshidi. For many, many years as we were figuring out how to audition, she would come over and run my material with me no matter many times I wanted to do it. She always had a new way to try to get my performance to where we wanted it to be, and she never ran out of patience.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“If you love something, let it go.” I think we’re taught that if we want something, there should be nothing stopping us from going out and getting it. But I feel this intense focus somehow creates harsh energy and actually builds barriers between you and the things you want. I have found more peace by not insisting on specifics and maintaining openness to what comes my way.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

The songwriters Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. Their lyrics are so evocative and truthful, and their music is so beautifully arranged. I’m amazed at how many gorgeous songs they have recorded and continue to record that speak so precisely to the experience of living.

How can our readers follow you online?

I have (almost all) my clips from films, television, and commercials on Vimeo under Amanda Dahl Powell. Some are edited into reels, and some are just clips pulled from various projects. My IMDB page is also updated with all my latest work!

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Adreanna Spezzaferro, Robyn Dillon & Amanda Barnhart: “Be Flexible and open to suggestions”

by Ben Ari
Community//

Rising Star Amanda Woodhouse: “Help others, you may be competing with one other, but it is not a cutthroat industry if you don’t let it be”

by Yitzi Weiner
Community//

“You are the captain of this ship.”, With Ming Zhao & Amanda Viola

by Ming S. Zhao

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.