Timeca Seretti: Austin Actor On The Move

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AMFM Magazine:  You’re on fire Timeca,  booking all sorts of great gigs like The Wonder Years, and Will Smith’s Women Of The Movement.  Congratulations! Tell me about playing the part of Lydia

Timeca Seretti: I get this audition, and its for The Wonder Years, and I was like “hm – ok!” It said 1968. But honestly, they didn’t tell us that much about it because they said they were still building the world. They had already filmed the pilot, so they had the main family, cast already. So I was brought on as the character that would be Winnie. In this iteration she would be Keesha. So I played the part for Keesha’s mom.

They gave me some sides that really had nothing to do with the show, so I just did it.

I’ve gotten to the point now where I just audition, and I let it go. When I was younger in my career, I labored over everything. You know, “Oh my God, I just turned that audition in, I hope I book it!”

But that audition was on a Tuesday, by Thursday my agent called me, by Friday morning I was in Atlanta.

I had a talk with the writer, because my first two episodes I don’t say anything, you know? He said “Just hold on, you’re gonna get some stuff.”

I asked him what he envisioned when he wrote Lydia, and he said “kind of think All In The Family. Edith Bunker but not as ditzy.” She’s the backbone of the family, but she runs everything. But she lets her husband Lucius…he’s a bit of a misogynist, it’s his way or the highway type thing.

I just filmed episode 13, you’re gonna get to see me. This is my third episode – and she’s growing as the season progresses…

AMFM: I wonder if that’s some sort of secret, people early in their careers get so upset and bent out of shape, even despondent, because they think everything they’re doing is going to be “it.” So is the secret to do what you do, be you, and not care – then go on to the next thing? It sounds like a healthy way to approach things.

TS: We’ve got to look at it like…I was looking back this year, because I’ve been so busy, on how many years I’ve been in this business. I started acting in 1996. It was as extra roles, things like that. It’s been a lateral step well, you have to let go and breathe, and trust the process. Earlier on, when I was in my 20s and 30s, I was that person you were talking about.- I was so uptight about it. But then it became about the work. It became about each project, diving into that script, and learning the character, and just trying to be honest on film about it.

AMFM: Acting is tough, it’s hard work, people don’t realize that when they see the finished product – instead they see glitz and glam. Actors have to have a lot of fortitude and persistence.

TS: Early on, some of my friends were like “you need to get a real job,” or “oh, I could do that, it’s easy.” Given the opportunity, if I had to tell them what I do on set, they are just like, “Oh my God, no.”

AMFM : Tell me about the beginning. You were in beauty pageants, you were interested in theater because of your mother, and then…you went into the Navy. That’s such a disciplined world, and so different from acting. Or is it? Did that help or detract from what you are doing now?

TS: Honestly, the discipline helped. It didn’t really detract, I do wish honestly that I’d started theater in high school, but a lot of people don;t know I went through four years of junior ROTC. Honestly I should have let them pay for college and went in as an officer. But I didn’t want to got to college at that time.

So going back as a mother in my 20s, (and I went to school for theater, shout out to Indiana University!) I think it gave me the discipline I needed to be on set doing extra work and still got to class during the day for theater., and do the productions. A lot of kids I was in school with, they were 18, 19. They were partying and having so much fun…I was a single mom, and I was like “no – this is what I’m doing – I’m going THIS way.” So yes, I think it helped me a lot.

AMFM: How did you end up in Austin?

TS: I came to visit a friend. I used to live in Houston when I was married, the late ‘80s, early 90s. When I got divorced I went back to Indiana. When I left I said I was never going back to Texas – ever again!

But a friend of mine came down from Illinois, and when I came to visit Austin it was just so different. So – I had also gone to Purdue for Electrical Engineer Tech. I would have to walk from the math building to the engineer building, and snow and cold – I had icicles hanging from my nose. I had already decided then that this would be my last winter in Indiana, I can’t take it anymore.

So when I came to visit my friend, it was spring. I was on the patio having drinks at Guero’s, a margarita on the rocks. I thought “I love this place!” So I moved here, although I really was on my way to LA, I lived in LA for a year, but I just never left Austin.

AMFM: Nowadays it doesn’t matter where you live. But the scene in Austin has changed. Would you say that it would be easier or harder to get into a project here today? Say you were Timeca, just moving to Austin, present day.

TS: That’s a tough one. Where I am now…I’m actually on my fifth feature film this year alone, but most of them came from me knowing the filmmaker, or word of mouth, or whatever. If I were to come here now, I think it would be easier than it was in 2001, but most of those came because of where I am with connections and knowing people, that’s how I got where I am now. God Bless my new agent Lilly Bankston, she’s working so hard and I love her. It’s almost like I had to uproot myself and move to Atlanta because that’s my true base.

The guy that’s getting me all the tv shows, I moved to Atlanta at the end of 2017, and I got repped in January of 2018. I think since 2018, notwithstanding 2020 (because I didn’t book anything in 2020!) I’ve done about 8 TV shows.

AMFM: And they’re big ones too

TS: And that’s all out of Atlanta.

AMFM: Yep, Texas lost TXMPA incentives a while back. So was Atlanta a turning point?

TS: Definitely. I know that the people that I’ve worked with this year on all these shows – and two of them I played the lead in – that they are very much watching my trajectory. I use social media, and I let them know, boom, I’ve booked it! They know I’m a hard worker.

AMFM: So was it 2018 when you turned a corner and said, I am going to do this, I want to do this, because I love to do this?

TS: Well, in 2018 it was still a bumpy road where you have the doubt, and “yeah, I did this show, yeah I did that show,” but I’m going to honestly say that this year has my head in a spin. Five feature films, two TV shows, one short film, and that’s in addition to my music stuff. But this year, I’m just like…

AMFM: When it rains it pours?

TS: Yes

AMFM: I think it’s the law of attraction. You can either attract the negative things or you can attract the positive things. I think it’s up to the core individual and how you respond to things that are coming your way. I’ve seen people have opportunities thrown at them and pass them by, because they didn’t realize they were opportunities. That old intersection of opportunity and luck and being ready. Yet they didn’t see it right in front of them. So it’s not an easy business is it.

TS: It’s not. One of the biggest things that works for me is I’m a hype woman. If I meet somebody and they’re talking about being a filmmaker, I tell them “hey, I’m an actress, and if you need someone…” Also, I call myself “the blacktress…if you need a blacktress, I’m here.” And I’m always telling people “I’ll come and work.” I am SAG, and it is about following their rules, and the money, but sometimes I think “we can work this out.” In the beginning especially, it’s not about the money. It’s about the work, and getting in there and doing it, and then getting my footage.

But now I’m starting to track things, so my goal on IMDB is I wanted to hit 50 credits. And I did. Everything else is icing on the cake.

But a lot of things that I think some actors don’t think about is your mental stability and your spirti. I try to keep all of that aligned. I have a vision board, I write down goals…hitting 50 credits, becoming a lead in a movie… I write all this stuff down, and I meditate and I visualize. That in addition to me moving to Atlanta, getting a great agent in Atlanta, )shout out to Alexander White!) and also putting in the work. Nothing beats the work.

AMFM: Fantastic. So what’s going on with your music now? I see film is taking precedence, but it all really goes together, doesn’t it.

TS: I have to admit that music is my first love. I always thought that I’d be a singer, because that was me in my bedroom with a hairbrush singing Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. But after seeing my mom on the stage, I fell into this love of acting. To me, music is just a form of performing. You have to emote, and get people to feel the song, and feel what you’re feeling while you’re singing it. I love doing that.

So I have a band, a local Austin band – shout out to Blue Vibe – you’re getting lots of shout outs today (laughs). If you come across the bass player, me and her are the only females in the band . We used to play in an all female blues band together, Blue Gardenia. She used to work at IBM.

All of these guys used to work at IBM and they created the band to play functions for IBM. They needed a singer, and Becky asked if I would like to join them. I’ve been with them about four or five years. We play blues ,soul, and classic rock. Because they are working people and they have other bands, gigging is not our main thing. So we just schedule whenever we can get it.

AMFM: That makes it more enjoyable.

TS: Yes, it’s low pressure. But I will be releasing in 2022. I have started making beats, and I’ve recorded four songs. The video release you saw was “Silk’s Funk Factory.” That was a funky jam I wrote for my Mom. So it’s taken a turn, kind of electronica soul.

AMFM: What have you got coming up, that you can talk about?

TS: The biggest one next to The Wonder Years is Women Of The Movement, and it’s an ABC show that premieres January 6th. It’s about Emmet Till. This show is about his trial and his mother, and strength it took to do what she did. I’m in episode 5. I play Shirley Kittrelll, and she is a woman who owns a beauty salon. So when the women ocme in (you know how we gossip and stuff) I have a really big chunk of information that the reporters who come to town looking for information on the story need to hear, so they seek me out. Also, I’ve already booked my first feature film for 2022, it’s part two of Jo & The Reaper, which is a feature film from a Dallas filmmaker, M. Legend Brown.

AMFM: You are certainly an inspiration Timeca.

About Timeca Seretti

Timeca’s 20+ years as an actor, writer and director have contributed to her unique understanding of performance, communication and improv; Her skilled perspective has led to a diverse portfolio and prominent voice in the realm of
entertainment.

As a three-time award-winning film maker, Timeca has performed on film, tv and experiential projects for platforms such as SHO, NBC, ABC, Netflix, Amazon Prime, AspireTV and HBO.

Timeca has grown her acting abilities into a skillset that includes producing, writing, directing and filmmaking. She has headed up “Dames in Film”, a group of women advocating for women’s voices while addressing challenging topics such as the award-winning film “The Closet”, acknowledging domestic abuse. She also has a love of music. She is a vocalist, singer, songwriter and music producer. She is the lead singer of the indie Blues/Rock band ‘Blue Vibe’.

Timeca hopes to bring a perspective that inspires and provides insight for all women and especially those of color on how to conquer the entertainment business.

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