Acting, Writing, // April 14, 2014
Whitney Devlin – ACTOR
Who are you and what do you do?
The question, “who am I?” is not so easily answered. Lately, my reply has always been that I am a Sicilian woman who was born in Brooklyn with a full head of curly hair which the new me wears straight. I have an outgoing personality, a sense of humor and the gift of gab! I am an older woman whose look is youthful and edgy. I’ve taped cooking shows for cable TV and interviews on the radio. I’ve also done cooking and food demonstrations throughout Westchester county. I’ve dabbled in song and dance. I’ve made TV commercials that also appeared nationally and in print.
Recently I played the Fortune Teller in Justin Timberlake’s new music video, Mirrors. I appeared on TV and in movies as a Background Actor. I’ve done corporate voice overs. I’ve been told that my voice is “hypnotic. . .” When I actually stopped to think of how I answered the question, I realize that it is mostly about what I’ve done, not who I am. I come from humble lineage, to put it kindly, where there was nothing more important than family—that about says it all. As in most Italian families of that day, our get-togethers always involved a large table covered with food that took all day to prepare, and was made with love. That’s what made it all so special, the love.
What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an actor and why acting?
I have wanted to be an actor for as far back as I can remember. At a very early age, I always enjoyed the world of make believe. It afforded me opportunity to escape… don’t get me wrong I loved my life as simple as it was, but I always wanted more. I believe my love of family and acting took me to the world of cooking. I started a catering business which not only allowed me to cook, but to perform. I taught and demonstrated all food related topics. My comfort area was cooking… and working in this field allowed me the opportunity to perform, practice for the future that I never thought would be a reality.
What are the best responses you have had to your work, and what advice would you give to other actors?
Everyone in my life, including people who have crossed my path briefly, have been very supportive and enthusiastic about my acting. It seems as though someone who starts a new career, especially in acting, late in life is to be admired. I’ve been told by younger women that I am an inspiration. It seems that my age and positive attitude about my new career has taught them never to give up. It may have taken me 50 years to achieve my childhood dream, but I made it! Anyone can if they believe strong enough. It’s so important to have faith in yourself especially when you’re young and most vulnerable. That’s when you need it the most.
What do you like about your work?
I’ve played upscale ladies who lunch and go to the theater; prisoners; seedy street characters; art collectors; a fortune teller; an evil witch; and tourists. I love it all. Even when I sit in holding for 12 hours and never get on set that day… it’s exciting. Meeting actors that I’ve admired, and seeing behind the scenes of what makes a movie or a TV show is best of all.
Where do you see yourself in future years?
Hopefully, I’ll be acting until life makes it impossible to do so! I have finally found what I was always meant to be… an actor.