Natalia Livingston Talks Her New Movie Full Count, General Hospital, Other Projects & More!
We had the pleasure of speaking to Daytime Award Emmy Winner actor, producer, entrepreneur, Natalia Livingston. We discussed with Natalia her background, her courageous start in the industry, her soap history, her upcoming movie Full Count and more. Natalia is super sweet. She is also enterprising, bold and a go-getter. We gleaned a lot.
Natalia was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in Macon, Georgia and spent her childhood summers in Mexico, the country of her mom's birth. In college, she majored in Sociology at Emory University. And it was in college where she was introduced to the craft of acting when she began taking acting classes. She was bitten by the acting bug however Natalia continued to pursue and received her degree in Sociology. "At the time it seemed more realistic and grounded to pursue my degree in Sociology than acting. After I graduated, I worked in my field of study in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and in a Social Work Department. I loved the experience and it taught me a lot. But after a year I knew that if I wanted to pursue acting, now was the time."
Natalia without knowing anyone in the industry, in fact with only knowing a handful of people that she went to college with who lived in L.A.; packed her bags and moved there to follow her dreams. "I got a job, enrolled in every acting class I could and hired a manager who sent me out on auditions. I booked the role of Emily Quartermaine on General Hospital (2003) which was my first big role and my first job as a paid actor." Not bad for a first gig, right? What a wonderful beginning and there were many more wonderful things to come.
Natalia was on contract for about four years and then she and General Hospital mutually parted ways. She appeared as "ghost" Emily periodically through 2008. Then in 2009, she returned to General Hospital for almost a year in the new role of Rebecca Shaw. From there she was briefly cast as Nicole Walker on Days of our Lives.
Natalia has also appeared on the big screen in feature films such as; Popstar, West of Brooklyn, and Rough Hustle. Natalia's most recent movie, Full Count, a faith-based sports drama is set to be released on October 25. Full Count tells the story of a young baseball star Milton Young (John Paul Kakos), who due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, is forced to give up his dreams of playing college baseball and return to his family farm. He returns despite the fact that his family farm is the very place he did everything he could to run away from. Natalia plays Katherine, Milton's mom. "I play Katherine in the movie. She's the heart of the family. She is a farm wife and I play opposite Jason Landon (Ted Young), who is fantastic to work with. Katherine guides Milton in a steady, kind and loving way in the hopes that he will make the best decisions for his life to bring him closer to God."
Natalia talked about how great it was working on the film. "This was truly one of my best experiences I have had as an actor. It was great working with John Paul Kakos, E. Roger Mitchell, Rick Hearst (also worked with at General Hospital), Jason London, Victoria Staley and everyone on set. The movie was filmed right outside of Athens on a lovely farm. And the director of the film created such a warm environment. It was a really beautiful and awesome experience."
We shifted our discussion from acting to other facets of Natalia's career. After her earlier career in soaps, she was ready to embark on a new phase in her career. Just like her desire to pursue acting propelled Natalia to move to L.A.; this time a new phase included moving from L.A. to New York. The new phase also included her desire to produce her own projects. Her manager had set up a meeting for her with the V.P. of Development for National Geographic, Lisa Blake, to discuss the possibility of Natalia hosting a show. But bold and go-getting Natalia had other ideas. "I went to the appointment to talk about being a host. But when I got there, I said, 'Listen, I really don't want to be a host. I would be a terrible host.' Laughter. 'But you know what? I want to be a producer and to produce my own show.' "She might have thought I was nuts." Laughter. "But she said, 'Alright I'll give you 2 weeks. Right now we are interested in shows about Alaska. Research everything and anything you can find and come back and pitch me some ideas.'"
For the next few weeks, Natalia talked to everybody she knew and anybody she met. She found out about a group of fishermen who were also a part of Old Believer, a religious branch of the Russian Orthodox church in Nikolai, Alaska. Natalia pitched the story to Lisa. She loved it. And before Natalia knew it she was traveling back and forth from New York to Alaska producing her own show. What an amazing story! What a story about being true to one's self. "It was an incredible opportunity and a leap of faith. I hope that it will inspire others to believe that dreams really do come true." It inspired me.
Natalia's newest project she produced is In Their Shoes. The Boston based documentary follows a group of men who became addicted to drugs and turned to a life of crime to satisfy those addictions. The men ended up in prison. The documentary, which is all about their post-prison journey, follows the men for about a year after being released. It is a story about reentry and recovery. In Their Shoes just recently premiered at the Boston Film Festival on September 22. This is Natalia's first time doing the film festival circuit and she's super excited. Yea Natalia! You can find out more about the documentary at www.intheirshoesfilm.com.
About five years ago Natalia made another move and moved from New York to Atlanta to be closer to family. Natalia keeps "it" moving! She started and currently runs her own acting school, Actor Boutique. Meet enterprising Natalie.
Fun facts: Rick Hearst Natalie's, former co-star from General Hospital and Full Count, teaches at the school. John Paul her former co-star from the movie Full Count attends the school. So cool!
Natalia will continue to produce documentaries, act, run her acting school and as Natalia told us, will continue with her most important job; "Being a Mom." The best job in the world!
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, Natalia!
Okay, family, you know the drill. We must support our own!
Check out www.intheirshoesfilm.com as well as support Natalia's future projects.
Go see Full Count which premieres October 25! Check out the trailer below!
I AM KP Smith