Personal injury lawyer turns actress
Brooklyn attorney Lisann Valentin is seeing her dreams of become an actress come true. A personal injury attorney, Valentin started acting while she was in college.
“I continued acting in while at New England School of Law,” Valentin told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. “I was mostly dabbling and never took it seriously.”
The idea of a true acting career became serious when she began taking acting classes.
“I started taking acting classes because I thought that it would help me with my courtroom etiquette,” said Valentin. After hiring a private acting coach, Valentin began going to auditions regularly and started booking roles. “I realized that I can do this, that acting is fun.”
Valentin landed a supporting role in the new Bronx-based series “Pushing Dreams,” a show that she believes will inspire fellow New Yorkers in their own lives. In “Pushing Dreams,” Valentin plays Carla Sanchez, the live-in girlfriend of a rapper, whose passion quickly turns to frustration as she struggles with the notion of losing the love of her life to the pursuit of a record deal.
“The sacrifices [the characters make] while trying to figure out who they are and what they want will resonate with anyone who ever dared to overcome their circumstances and blaze their own trail,” Valentin says of the film.
Valentin is still actively practicing law, but her role as attorney will not last long. “It’s my goal to transition into acting full time, which I think I’m going to do relatively soon. Once I start filming, I won’t be able to do anything other than that,” she says.
A lot of sacrifices were made in order for Valentin to pursue her dreams. “My family, my boyfriend, exercise and health are also important to me so, I really had to sacrifice my personal time,” she noted. “The people around me understand the sacrifices I’ve had to make and that really helps. In the beginning it was harder, but I’m more used to it now.”
Valentin compared her acting journey to that of studying for the New York State Bar Exam. “It was the same when I was in law school and studying for the bar. That was 24/7 so I’m familiar with the hard journey. I must enjoy it on some level,” she said.
The actress does not have any regrets about leaving her legal career for one on the small screen. “In a fast-paced city like New York, you need an unwavering faith that pursuing your dreams will be worth it.”
A screening of the first season of “Pushing Dreams” premieres Tuesday Feb. 5, 2013 at the Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Ave., Manhattan (near 2nd Street) from 7 to 9 p.m.