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Actress shares industry advice with students

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Autumn Simon
Staff Writer

Actress Lexy Fridell spoke to students and faculty from the University of La Verne’s theater department about the importance of knowing yourself as an actor Thursday in the Jane Dibbell Cabaret Theatre.

Fridell is known for being a part of the productions of the Tony Award-winning show “Avenue Q” and “The Pee-Wee Herman Show” on Broadway.

Students and faculty were invited by the theater department’s artist-in-resident Alma Martinez to have an opportunity to meet and receive advice from Fridell.

Fridell’s career has been a success based on auditioning and taking roles that fit her personality and child-like persona.

“As an actor you have to think about what you bring when you walk into a room and how you could use those things as an advantage,” Fridell said. “People say I’m adorable, I’m shy and I have a high voice. All of these things are a part of me and I tend to use them as much as I can instead of shoving them under a bus.”

Fridell comes from a family of actors and entertainers. Her father is actor Squire Fridell and her mother is Suzy Fridell, a former professional dancer.

Squire Fridell is known for his portrayal of the “Toyota man” for Toyota commercials and for his portrayal of McDonald’s clown character, Ronald McDonald.

The Fridell family originally lived in Los Angeles, but decided to move to northern California to open a vineyard. Even though Lexy Fridell was away from the lights and cameras, she developed a passion for acting at an early age.

She attended the Idyllwild Arts Academy and then moved to New York to focus on musical theater.
Her first musical gig was performing in the Disney World musical “Finding Nemo” where she played the character Dory.

Fridell’s experience with Disney interested senior theater major Emily Jardell.

“It was really awesome to meet Lexy especially, because I plan on working for the Walt Disney Company’s musical production in the future.”

Fridell realized she wanted to broaden her skills and take a puppeteering class after playing the character Dory.

Learning how to work with puppets got Fridell the role in “Avenue Q” and “The Pee-Wee Herman Show.”

After 10 years of living in New York, Fridell decided to come back to Los Angeles. She received help from Martinez, a family friend to the Fridells.

“I have known Alma since I was a little girl and to me this stresses the importance of networking,” Fridell said. “As an actor, I highly suggest to make friends in the acting world and to support those friendships and goals.”

Fridell decided to move to Los Angeles to shift her focus from musical theater to voice over acting. Fridell’s voice is heard in many read-along books.

“For me, the world of voice acting was something interesting to me and it is interesting to meet someone who is a part of that career,” senior theater major Stefan Celeketic said.

“I am interested in looking into voice acting for video games, and Lexy has given me further insight.”

Fridell explained to the class how stressful it is to be an actor. She said she deals with it by meditating, practicing yoga and reading note cards that have positive sayings on them.

She urged the class to be open to the many opportunities in the entertainment field.

Even though Fridell is an actress, she has her own wine label, Lexy’s Toast, and even wrote, directed and starred in her one woman show, “Brace Yourself! Tales of Braces, Broadway, Dating & Drool.”

Fridell’s love for acting is evident as she loves to work despite the obstacles. She believes in going with her gut when it comes to the roles she picks.

“I made this class to help students pick a role model and research how to strategize their careers based off of what they knew they wanted to do for a long term career,” Martinez said.

“I chose Lexy because she has a passion, a vision, ups and downs; however she still takes class. Lexy is a fully committed artist.”

Autumn Simon can be reached at autumn.simon@laverne.edu.

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