Be grateful. Whatever you actually have, someone wishes they had. People say I have a beautiful singing voice. And I am grateful for that. There are people dying as they try to get into the US. And I was born here, my parents were born here, and 3 of my grandparents were born here. (One grandpa came from Europe as a very small child.) A friend once told me “Be grateful for this (bad situation). You’ll be able to use it in your acting!” And maybe she’s right! Maybe the “artist’s path” is crazy and side-ways and upside-down because we create and communicate universal experiences. They say “you only use 10% of your preparation, but you never know which 10% it will be” — so you prepare 100%
As a part of our interview series with the rising stars in pop culture, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sádia Carone.
Sadia is truly one-of-a-kind. She speaks French, Spanish, and Portuguese and has performed on stage and on screen. She writes, sings, dances, and does comedy.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Well, once you decide to “embrace the artist” within you, you choose UNCERTAINTY. A lawyer goes to law school. A doctor goes to med school. Me? I’ve done stand-up comedy. I did a bit of runway modeling. I compose music. I sing! I studied Shakespeare. “Walk through the open door” is my motto.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
When I lived in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) I went salsa dancing at this little club in Copacabana. One of my favorite dance partners was this guy who looked like Ricky Martin! Well one day this guy called me, saying that his friend got cast in this HUGE play about Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. This friend needed help learning the lyrics of Nirvana’s songs.
So I show up for our first “English lesson”. The play was in Portuguese (that’s what they speak there) but the songs were in English.
After an hour or so, this guy looks at me a little funny and pulls out the script for the play. He has me read the “female lead” role while he goes over his lines. (Again, the play is in PORTUGUESE.) After about 10 minutes, he says “I have a rehearsal and I want you to come with me and meet the Director.” Okay, sure!
We show up at rehearsal and the Director is so curious about me! Yes, I’m American. Yes, I’m an actor from New York. Then there’s some “where did you find her” and “Just wait, you’ve got to hear her read!” So Alex (my student, the star of the play) and I read 5 or 10 pages of the script.
The director looks very happy. He asks me what size clothes I wear (shirt, pants, shoes) and congratulates Alex. Then the director informs me that the next rehearsal is Thursday at 2PM in the same location. Can I make it? (Yes of course!)
Alex and I leave the building and I ask “What’s going on? We’ll study the songs at this building from now on?”
He smiles at me and says “We have been looking for the female lead for weeks! Your accent is perfect, you were perfect. You’ve got the part!!
Wait, WHAT? We go make a copy of his script so I can start studying. I have some 150 lines, this play is at one of the top theaters in Rio, and our director has a successful TV show.
They had auditioned between 500 and 1,000 girls for that part. The play was a success. We got reviewed in the biggest newspaper in Rio, and I was interviewed on TV as well!
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 got cast in my first play back in Washington, DC. I was standing outside a coffee house explaining the Medea myth to a friend (Jason, golden fleece, all of that). A guy walked up to us and invited me to see his play “because I was talking about theater”. (“Medea” is a famous Greek tragedy.)
Okay, sure! So that weekend I went to the theater with him. His play was cool! He offered me a part in his next play! At that point, I had done a lot of poetry readings but hadn’t done any real theater outside of junior high school!
Mistakes I made in that first play were later echoed by Alex in Rio!! Alex was a musician and a good one, but he (like me at the time) had no acting experience.
One mistake I made was wearing my “character clothes” both before and after the show! My “costume” in Washington, DC was my own clothes (specifically chosen clothes, but from my own closet nonetheless). So I would walk into the theater wearing my costume. That’s a big No-No. And I’d walk home afterwards in it, too! Another No-No. The stage is a special place! We don’t want to disrespect it or confuse the audience by wearing our “character’s clothes” in our real life!
Fortunately the other actors straightened me out pretty quickly. It was a rookie mistake, for sure.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Well there are a few! I have been taking a lot of “desert photos” here in Las Vegas and people around the world really like them! So I am looking into either publishing a book and/or arranging an exhibit of my photos.
I am also learning Russian and Arabic. Yes it gets confusing! My Hindi is good enough to learn a Bollywood song and sing it. I have enough of an idea of the language and sounds to speak some and understand a lot! My goal is to learn enough Russian to be able to sing in it. And it’s the same thing with Arabic.
It’s important to break down barriers and communicate with other cultures. We can all learn so much from each other!
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
Wow what a great question.
When I lived in New York City, I danced salsa. A lot of salsa. You start to recognize people at the different clubs and social. One dance friend swam the Rio Grande with his family to get into this country. One dance friend was a Vice President at American Express. One was a veterinarian from Peru. And one friend, Shay, was a kosher chef from Israel. He owned a restaurant and used to make special meals just for me! We were dancing one night at the Copa (in New York, it’s a club. In Rio, it’s a neighborhood!) well Shay and I were dancing at the Copa one night and this camera crew from SPAIN was there! Shay and I danced really well together because we studied at the same school. (Yes in New York we go to school to learn how to have fun!) So the Israeli (him) and the American (me) were featured on Spanish TV, dancing salsa. 🙂
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
As I said earlier, you “embrace the artist within”. Some things are poems, others are plays, or song lyrics. Some feelings you have to “dance out”, or express through a drawing.
Always be open to what’s new and delightful. Trust other people. I started doing stand-up in New York because I had a temp job with an actual stand-up comic. He told me which clubs to go to and helped me with my material. He came to my first ever comedy open mike!!! I got on stage around 2AM and performed in front of other comics. He assured me that I did really well and got some laughs. “Comics are the toughest crowd and you did great!” That’s what he told me.
All that music (from salsa dancing) put songs in my heart. I started writing “melody and lyrics”. Well I went to party and met this guy who needed help writing a play. One of my plays had been chosen for a “summer reading series” in New York, so I felt confident I could help this guy.
We exchanged numbers and met a few times before he had to go back to LA. I had started leaving my new songs as my outgoing message (lol) “You’ve reached Sadia. Please leave a message. And here’s a new song I’m writing….”
Well right before he goes back to LA, this guy tells me “I am sick of hearing #1 songs on your answering machine!” He had a sense of humor like that. I explained that I *wrote* those songs, they weren’t #1 anywhere! He said “Do you know who I am?” And I said “You’re Shadow, the guy who needs help writing a play!” He smiled and said “Well yes that’s true. But I am actually SHADOW MORTON and I’m a music producer. Those songs aren’t #1 hits yet, but trust me, they will be.”
And yes he was a famous music producer! With the help of a friend, I got a demo together. Then Shadow was back in LA. He loved my songs, but I sort of fell through the cracks. Shadow got my music to Ahmet Ertegun (before he passed away) and he liked my music — just wanted to hear more of it! Well I had close to 100 songs but like I said, my music sort of fell through the cracks.
Can you share with our readers any self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.
It’s important to stretch your body each day. I like doing Hatha Yoga.
I also follow the Blood Type Diet. It changed my life!
Spending time in nature is very important to me.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
Wow, 5 things? Okay, let’s go!
- Bad people will bring bad things. Back in LA I was part of a 20 million dollar deal. Players from the LA Clippers wanted to invest in a film studio. I was brought into the project by someone I should not have trusted. Without giving too many details, the deal fell through in the end. Part of the adventure was cool — I went to meetings at Universal Studios, and went to parties in Montecito. I almost met a billionaire! He got delayed buying a bank in Europe (!!) but still had the party we got invited to. The house was amazing and I met some interesting people. But the “friend” who opened all these doors was a bad person and a jerk. It’s easy to get star-struck. He had a famous last name. And I really wanted this to work, so I overlooked some obvious red flags. “Bad people bring bad things” so stay away. Or at least demand cash up front!
- Take good care of your health. I worked as a karaoke DJ at the top place in Vegas — fun times for sure! I loved that job and did really well at it. But I once worked almost 2 weeks straight because they had no one to replace me on my nights off. And later I spent a lot lot lot of time straightening out our digital library. Someone who made way more money that I did had really screwed things up. And I fixed it, because I’m a team player! I stayed late so many nights fixing that. So after my 8 hour shift I stayed and did 2 or 3 or 4 hours of work. Was it worth it?? Well I wouldn’t do it again. Take good care of your health. Don’t let someone else’s mistake become your responsibility.
- Respect the journey. It’s okay to not know where you’re going. Just be true to yourself and do your best. After that huge deal fell through in LA, I had to get out. I was so disappointed, there had been so much back-stabbing and betrayal. So I hopped on a bus and came to Vegas with 35 dollar. Or maybe only 20 dollar.
- If you see someone prettier or wealthier or more successful, try to help them if you can. Don’t hate people who seem more successful than you. In LA, I did a lot of work on TV shows as an “extra”, first as non-union and then as union talent. Some of these girls must be *swimming* in money based on their cars and clothes. My dad never bought me an apartment building or an Audi or a super-expensive handbag. But there is room for everyone! Once you get to know the person, you’ll see that we all have a lot in common. Unless you meet a douchebag. They exist. Just politely excuse yourself and get far away. You’ll never fix them.
- Be grateful. Whatever you actually have, someone wishes they had. People say I have a beautiful singing voice. And I am grateful for that. There are people dying as they try to get into the US. And I was born here, my parents were born here, and 3 of my grandparents were born here. (One grandpa came from Europe as a very small child.) A friend once told me “Be grateful for this (bad situation). You’ll be able to use it in your acting!” And maybe she’s right! Maybe the “artist’s path” is crazy and side-ways and upside-down because we create and communicate universal experiences. They say “you only use 10% of your preparation, but you never know which 10% it will be” — so you prepare 100%
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Good question ! My answer is “I’m still here.” Why? Because where there is breath, there is hope. I am not done yet and I’m not gone yet. Five years ago I had no idea that I would here today. And five years from now, my life will be very different. That’s the glory, and the terror, of an artist’s life
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?
I have a few!!
Michelle Swan — from “Morgan and Michelle”. She first encouraged me to get on stage and perform! I was her loudest fan, and she saw that my energy needed to be on stage.
Kimberly Skyrme — for showing me how women work in film! Kimberly cast me in some of my very first gigs in Washington, DC.
Julie Goldman — for believing in me! Las Vegas actors love her, and for so many good reasons!
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start 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. 🙂
I would like to see solar panels on every school, hospital, police station, and firehouse. Vegas gets sun 360 days a year. With enough solar batteries and a distribution network, a small patch of the southwestern US could power the whole country, 365 days a year
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. 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 see this. 🙂
Well there are a few!
- Celine Dion. Shadow Morton said one of my original songs is perfect for her.
- Elon Musk. Solar panels and electric cars are the future!
- Pope Francis. My Spanish is very good and I can sing in Italian! I would love to sing a Carlos Gardel song for Pope Francis.
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!
It was my pleasure!