The Find Your Grind podcast is a weekly series hosted by our founders, Nick Gross, Natasha Gross, Mike Smith, and Luke “The Dingo” Trembeth. Each week, we speak with special guests on the first 10% of their journey, decisions that led them where they are today, and how they built their ideas from finding their grind. In this week’s episode, Nick and Dingo sat down with actress and director, Alexandra Chando.
Creator and Entertainer, Alexandra Chando, is an actress, producer, and director who got her start at a very young age in the TV industry. As she’s matured and gained seasoned experience, Alexandra has found that identity and self-worth go beyond what you’re currently working on. Leading to her biggest pivot ever, she’s now directing and working towards giving access and opportunities to female filmmakers.
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Last weekend I was given the opportunity to direct a project I truly believe in. For three days I got to live out one of my dreams and I loved every single second of it. I got to see the work I’ve put in up until this moment begin to come to fruition. It was surreal. I am beyond grateful to everyone involved and cannot wait to keep directing. Now, here I go filling your feed with BTS photos for the next week+. shot by the talented @martinspanjers
Growing up in Pennsylvania, Alexandra had a nice childhood with a supportive family who encouraged her to join community theatre at a young age. Always singing and dancing, she was naturally a leader and had a mind for directing. In her sophomore year in high school, she got her start acting professionally and landed her first pilot. This led her to be signed with a manager.
Although Alexandra was already working in the field, it was important for her to attend college which led her to Fordham, New York. Because of her drive, she was able to manage both school and her passion. Alexandra faced a lot of personal challenges including arbitrary casting decisions, but the rejection prepared her and solidified how serious she was towards acting. Acting is such a challenging career path because of all the times you become so close to landing a role and are invested in it, then not chosen because of something so arbitrary like your hair color. Because of this, she knew you had to learn how to endure the highs and lows. Sometimes, you have to have side hustle jobs. Most of the time, people stop chasing after their dreams because they can’t sustain themselves.
I always kinda put my self-worth in my job and in my career. And it took me a really long time to kind of not identify my worth with the fact if I’m on a tv show or not.
Her journey goes from following her love of theatre and acting, starring in a soap opera for 2.5 years, and navigating her identity to her ultimate pivot of directing today. As a woman in the TV and film industry, Alexandra has faced personal challenges in arbitrary casting decisions, age, shaming herself, personal relationships and how it all ties with looking at the greater picture of not attaching what you do to your self-worth. She’s learned not to identify her worth with a TV show or have a sense of shame if not booked. She’s moved beyond proving her identity or correlating age with the success of her career.
Over time, Alexandra has moved in her career to channel her creativity towards directing and producing. Throughout the podcast, she gracefully weaves us through the sequences of auditions and pilots with advice on how to get started and key things to know.
Check out the episode in full and be sure to check out The FYG Podcast on Apple Podcasts and YouTube.
This episode’s references can be found here:
00:30 – Alexandra Chando
01:02 – FYG Lifestyle Assessment
02:59 – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
21:17 – studio test
21:18 – network test
21:23 – WB
21:24 – CW
24.20 – Lion Game
24:39 – Austin, Texas
25.00 – Luke Greenfield
25:02 – Let’s Be Cops
25:02 – Girl Next Door
25:13 – greenlight process
26:47 – HollyShorts Film Festival
30:20 – Her Voice
30:27 – Mammoth Film Fest
30:34 – Jennifer Morrison
30:37 – Laura Lewis
35:51 – Snowfall