FSU Alumna Finds Success in Hollywood

Countless young men and women desire to make it big in Hollywood. They look to the glamorous lifestyles of the rich and famous and aspire to achieve that. Yet, anyone who’s been involved in the entertainment industry can tell you that this is no simple task. The highly competitive and ever-changing nature of Hollywood discourages many from taking their first big steps into the acting world. However, this did not discourage FSU alumna Elly Schaefer from taking a leap of faith and moving to Los Angeles last year.

“Everything takes time, but if you take the biggest step of all, (moving out here), I think that’s the greatest step in the right direction one looking to pursue this career can take,” says Schaefer.

Having only been in Hollywood a little under a year, Schaefer has been amazed by the amount of success she’s obtained. She’s worked on the Adult Swim show, Loiter Squad, and even had a role in a Verizon Wireless commercial. Though her greatest success to date was landing a part in an episode of Criminal Minds.

After a brief, minute-long audition in early March, Schaefer was called the same day, scheduled for a table reading that Friday. She filmed the following week.

“Filming the episode was a dream come true!” The work that goes into a Hollywood set is very fast-paced and strictly organized, but Schaefer adds that this did not stop the cast and crew from being very friendly and supportive.

“I had a scene with Matthew Gray Gubler (who plays Dr. Spencer Reid) and he was the nicest guy. We talked about where we went to school and our hobbies and it was the best.”

While at Florida State, Elly appeared in a variety of student films from the Florida State Film School and Media Production programs.  She attributes this to much of her success. Although, she admits that acting and finding success in Hollywood is all about dedication and optimism.

“I’ve learned that it’s all about focusing on yourself and doing the best you can do. You can’t really control anything else outside of that, so why stress out about it? In the end, producers, directors, casting directors, and everyone else just want to see an actor for who they are. I’ve had the most success by just walking into a room, sticking to my instincts, and being me, and it’s helped me book jobs thus far!”

Be sure to catch her in Criminal Minds on CBS.

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