Please introduce yourself. What do you do? Why? What do you want people to know about you?
Hey there. My name is Megan Corse and I’m an actor.
Storytelling is a powerful art form, and I don’t remember a time where I didn’t love it and surround myself with it through movies, TV shows, animation, music, books, writing, photography, modeling, acting…you name it. If I could create something out of thin air that entertained and moved people, I would find a way to do it.
Having grown up in small-town Wisconsin, I didn’t have a clue how to make this love of storytelling a career.
At 18, I took my first acting class my freshman year of college and fell in love with it. I even told my mom I wanted to leave school, move out to L.A., and be an actor. It was the first time I’d ever voiced that dream out loud. But having done just a handful of plays in school, it no doubt came out of left field for her. She advised me to finish college and then move out to L.A., if that was what I still wanted.
I was 24 and living in Chicago before I took another acting class; that surge of purpose, passion and creative fulfillment returned like a long-lost love. I haven’t stopped acting since.
What qualities make you different and unique from everyone else in the industry?
I think an important aspect of acting is empathy. We must have empathy for the characters we play and the stories we’re telling.
Growing up, I learned to have a deep understanding of empathy. My mom worked with children with developmental disabilities, and often brought me along to visit them, and even cared for them in our home. It was the best education I could have received on the human condition. I learned how beautiful our differences make us and how deeply our humanity connects us.
I also grew up mostly around my mom’s family. My great-grandmother, Rubie Bond, came up to Wisconsin from Mississippi during the Great Migration. She broke many barriers for people of color and is even featured in the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. This knowledge of being a mostly “white” woman within a multicultural family is something that seems increasingly important to talk about as our country continues to grapple with its troubled history. Being in a family that’s full of love and all shades of beautiful, I try to be a constant voice for equality and representation in this industry.
Describe THAT moment when you realized you’re doing what you were born to do.
I don’t recall one moment where I realized being an actor was what I was meant to do, but many moments. Whether it was the first time I came off the stage and saw that I’d moved my mom to tears and my dad to near-speechlessness, or when I portrayed a “mean” girl in a play about teenage bullying and a young audience member said to me, “I don’t like you!”, or the sheer joy of performing my big “number” in a musical theatre production, or every time I made people laugh. One of the greatest joys in this profession is hearing your audience laugh, whether it’s from the stage in front of a live audience, or at a screening where the entire theater erupts at a line said by YOU…it’s one of the most awe-inspiring feelings. I feel in those moments that this is what I’m meant to do.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve had to go through and how did you grow through it?
My biggest career challenge has been giving up the need to care what others think of me and just believe in myself. I know that I have the drive and passion to pursue an acting career, but can I be successful at it? You must be resilient to persevere through the rejection and the droughts in the work, because they are an inevitable part of the industry. But even bigger than that, is believing that I WILL SUCCEED. I’ve had to overcome a great deal of self-doubt and just work on being a better actor and human. I highly recommend taking classes to keep your technique sharp, to utilize business/life coaching and therapy, and to have a spiritual practice. This kind of self-improvement has been incredibly valuable to my work and my life. Actors can be perceived as self-involved, but that doesn’t serve you when your job is telling stories about PEOPLE. We must be open and embracing of our own self-worth and the worth of others, which makes for incredibly authentic and truthful storytelling. Embrace life to its fullest and put all of it into your artistic expression. You won’t regret it.
Who are the TOP 3 people you’d want to meet that could elevate your career or business? Why these specific individuals?
I would love to meet Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes and Tina Fey. I am an awe of women who change the game, and all of three of these extraordinary producers/actors/creators have done that.
Reese is not only an incredible actor, but she’s produced two of my favorite shows of the last few years, Big Little Lies and The Morning Show. Being in her next project would be a dream come true for me.
Everything Shonda Rhimes touches turns to gold. How can you not love her slew of hits and the amazing female characters that carry each one of those stories? Again, would love to be in anything she creates.
Tina Fey. I would probably just fangirl at her and then have to pull myself together…I mean, her work on SNL, Mean Girls and 30 Rock is perfection. Her memoir is so funny and moving. And I’ve been lucky to have performed on the same improv stages she did at iO (formerly Improv Olympic) in Chicago, and even acted in a film for Second City’s Harold Ramis Film School. I’m not an extensive student of improv, but I love funny people and have been told I have a knack for it…so I know we’d hit it off and she’d ask me to be in her next TV show, no question.
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