Charlie Powell: Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy

July 17, 2020
The Australian performer gives us a first-person account of her struggles being stranded in LA during the Covid pandemic.

Growing up in Sydney, Australia I found my love for the sun and the surf and the laidback lifestyle of beachside living. At a young age I also found my passion for the entertainment industry and performing on stage and screen.

This love led me to successfully audition for The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles whose alumni include Paul Rudd, Adam Scott, Sarah Paulson, Danny DeVito and Anne Hathaway. So, at 19, I packed 2 suitcases and I was off to live in Los Angeles all by myself.

Saying goodbye to friends, loved ones and my pets to go chase my dream wasn’t easy, and looking back, I still can’t believe I had the courage to do it. Moving to a huge and competitive city, that I was unfamiliar with, was tricky and it took time to understand how everything worked and came together.

I graduated at the Dolby Theatre (where the Oscars are held), with an Associate Degree in Theatre. Since graduating, it’s definitely been a hustle out here, auditioning with people who look just like you, the constant competition and multitasking my side job with auditions.

Through the hustle I have landed lead and supporting roles in a few short films such as Face off, Just and The Ride. I have also appeared in many TV commercials including Beauty Blender, Liquid IV and Flawless NuRazor where my years of dance training came in handy.

During my three years in Los Angeles, I have learnt to surround myself with good positive people, be careful who you trust in this city and always make sure that you are keeping your safety in mind when auditioning. One of the biggest hurdles in my hustle was securing representation in the USA and I finally found the right fit with Manager, Steven Salisbury as well as commercial and print agency – Sports Lifestyle Limited. Securing representation was my biggest obstacle due to my intensive visa requirements.

Moving forward, I definitely got a lot of rejection, but it motivated me more to achieve my goals. I began going to multiple auditions and castings a week for quality films and productions whilst also attending weekly acting classes at Graham Sheils Studios and dance classes at The Edge Performing Arts.

I was thrilled how everything was moving along and finally falling into place. During this time, I applied for the green card lottery. My expectations were low, as usually the chances are very slim, until I got an email stating that I will be moving to the next round.

Once COVID hit in March 2020, everything changed for me. The industry stopped, the visa processing stopped, everything stopped. It’s been a very difficult time over the past few months. I, like many others was stood down from my part time job at The Montage Beverly Hills. The industry has shut down so I am getting no auditions. I live alone at the moment, so I have felt quite isolated and sadly I have been separated from my family in Australia for the past 8 months. Financially and mentally it has affected my life and my journey to remain in the United Sates.

I am living off my Australian savings in Los Angeles, which is hard with the US dollar being so strong. The hardest thing about living in Los Angeles during the COVID pandemic is just the uncertainty of when and if things will return to normality. It’s like living in limbo but I guess that’s what the whole world is doing at the moment.

As the USCIS is closed, I have no idea if they are going to continue my green card lottery process or extend my OPT visa. Through this tough experience, I have found the positive side of quarantine, focusing on learning new things, reaching out to old and new friends, and never taking anything for granted. I want to make the world a better place, conveying important stories through screen and movement, sharing my powerful female voice to continue fighting for women’s rights and equality. I will continue to keep chasing my Hollywood dream no matter how hard it’s going to be and what obstacles are placed in the way. As the saying goes, “Nothing worth having comes easy”.

For more on Charlie Powell, check out her IMDB page and Instagram.

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