Tamara Clatterbuck recently made a headline-grabbing return as The Young and the Restless' rough-around-the-edges character Alice Johnson. And while she's long gone from the canvas for now, she leaves behind some extremely valuable career advice for anyone who wishes to become an actor.
During an interview with soapcentral.com, Clatterbuck touched on her hallmark voice -- a rough and throaty sound that doesn't exactly match her girl-next-door appearance -- and how it has led her to several roles as grimy hookers or crack addicts.
“When I started out in the business, I came out here as this blonde, blue-eyed girl from Ohio, so you're expecting that I'm going to get those girl-next-door roles, but the only problem was, I opened my mouth and I spoke!” she says with a laugh. “The minute I spoke at any audition, it was like, ‘Wait a minute. That voice isn't matching the rest.' And I just started getting these grungy roles. I was going in for your typical girl-next-door characters, and they'd go, ‘Okay, let's have her read for this instead.' And it was always those characters, kind of gritty, kind of interesting, like the hooker with the heart of gold characters. For example, in The Bridge, I was a heroin junkie. And I think it's the voice, definitely, that put that on the map for me.”
While some performers would get frustrated over such type-casting, Clatterbuck reveals that she embraced her difference and used it to her advantage: "The beauty of being a character actress is you can act forever. So instead of being the prostitute, I can now be the madame! But I embrace these roles now. And when people say I'm being typecast, you know what I say? If you can make a living as an actor, then you've been blessed. And if you are typecast, then embrace that, because then you've got the power. I'm okay with it. When I first moved to Hollywood, they said, 'You've got to change that voice and change that last name.' And I said, 'Okay, I think I'm going to change nothing.'"
She continues, "That's always the advice I give actors. Stay true to who you are and whatever it is that is unique and makes you you. Be confident and embrace that, because there are a million of us here trying to make it, so why do you want to lose what's different about you? It's not always easy in the beginning -- you'll get a lot of rejection and a lot of noes, and people are going to tell you to change this or change that or get rid of this or get rid of that -- and I just try to tell actors to worry about your work and stay true to you. It's better to just keep that part of you, being who you've been all your life. I stuck with it, and it paid off!"
What do you think about Clatterbuck’s advice? Is there anything about yourself that you’ve ever wanted to change? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.