YEDaily: Andrea Eisen

After much hard work and dedication, Andrea Eisen has finally broken into the Film industry, but for different reasons than the average person. Andrea, who loves to teach young actors around their complex schedules, created “Lights! Camera! Study!”, has met celebrities like Julia Roberts and Steven Spielberg, has taught young stars such as Hayden Panetierre, who have also taught her a lot in return in today’s YEDaily…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I am a teacher for young actors on movie and television sets who are unable to go to “real” school because the shooting hours overlap with their school hours. My company is called “Lights! Camera! Study!” and when the city gets busy with a variety of shows that have kids in them, I hire other teachers to help me.

What was the inspiration for this career route?  
I had been working as a supply teacher in the Toronto District School Board and was bored of waiting to be hired full time. I was considering doing a complete career change when I happened to bump into an old High School friend, the much notable Harley Pasternak, who is a personal trainer for A-list stars. When I told him my predicament he suggested I try switching to teaching on set. I took his advice, he hooked me up, and as they say, the rest is history.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part? 
The best part of my job is that everyday is a new adventure for me. I arrive at work and never know what to expect. I love that! The unpredictability of the days is exciting and a total rush for me. The people I have met and the kids I have had the opportunity to teach have been life changing. One just never knows when Julia Roberts or Steven Spielberg might show up on set (both have happened). The most challenging part is actually the same as the best part. Since the days are so unforeseeable, it is hard to plan ahead and stick to a routine. I’ve learned to become a very spontaneous, flexible and chilled out person. It would be hard to survive in this industry otherwise.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
A big milestone for me has been making a name for myself in the Toronto Film Industry. My field was tough to get into at first. I was working for another company and the owner was less than thrilled when I branched off on my own. To this day she still haunts me but I’m at the point where I’ve formed really good relationships with production managers and coordinators and it makes me feel so good when I’m requested for jobs.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 
I think that survival is all about moving forward, but it’s still too ambitious for me to see that far into the future. I don’t make lists and I’m not a great planner. I mean I can barely commit to plans for the weekend. Life is constantly changing and full of surprises, so I decided a long time ago to just go with the flow and let things lie. However, I can confidently say that wherever I am and whatever I’m doing in five years, I will definitely be enjoying it.

What does success look like to you?
In the industry I work in there’s a saying “fake it till you make it.” In other words, hold your head up with poise and confidence and don’t let them see you sweat. This can apply anywhere. There’s a big difference between fame and success and this confuses people. I’ve seen with my own eyes the transition where people have come out of nowhere and shot to superstardom in a very short time. It can be overwhelming. I believe that success is the ability to build on opportunities that come your way. Although this may sound cliché, I also think that in order to experience the great feeling of success, you have to also know what its like to fail.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Don’t think of it as a rat race. He who has the most toys does not always win. Happiness is a big part of it and you have to love what you do or work is going to feel like a jail sentence. I’d rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate. I can’t stress enough how important it is to be nice to everyone. Don’t be a snob or think you’re better than anyone. The receptionist that you snubbed on your way into the interview just might be married to the boss. Also, when networking always carry gum. You’ll be a hero, trust me.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I strongly believe in paying it forward and that charity isn’t just about writing a check. I’m a big advocate for animal rights and children’s charities and am mostly inspired by anyone who is passionate about his or her cause. A few years ago one of my former students, Hayden Panetierre, made headlines by jumping into Japanese waters and swimming out to The Cove to save dolphins from being slaughtered. That’s exactly what I’m like. I have a bit of a superhero complex and foolishly believe I can singlehandedly save the world.

What is Notable to you?
To me notable is someone who inspires others. Someone who is important and has the ability to make others around them feel like they are equally important as well. A notable person just “gets it” and understands that we are all in this together. They extend their kindness out to others, to animals, to the environment and they have a spark that shines a little brighter to help make the world a better place. We live in such a disposable society where we just throw things away once we think we have achieved something better. In doing this, people have lost their sense of loyalty. I think a notable person is someone who stays loyal to themselves and their community.



Follow Andrea on Twitter @andreadanaeisen