Behind the Wheel - Sasha Calle on Working the Angles and Getting the Big Break on “The Young & the Restless”
August 27, 2019 - Alumni
This article was originally published in the Winter 2018-19 Edition of AMDA Magazine.
Success in the arts is often a combination of talent, luck, persistence and hard work, qualities AMDA Los Angeles alumna Sasha Calle has in abundance. Immediately following graduation in 2017, Calle began an all-out pursuit of her dreams of acting, singing and songwriting. Her determination led to work in commericals, recording sessions, the miniseries “Socially Awkward,” and a contract role on the venerated CBS daytime soap, “The Young and the Restless.”
From the moment you graduated, you were working on different sides of your career: acting, music, social media, etc. How do you think this contributed to landing the role on “The Young and the Restless” (“Y&R”)?
Working a multitude of angles was always a part of the strategy. I think that’s the whole point of being an artist, that we’re able to tap into many outlets of expression and creativity. It’s a blessing and we should use it. AMDA also emphasizes this. They teach us the importance of hustle and variety. They prepare us to be versatile. Because once you graduate, it’s you against this grand, big monster of an industry.You really have to acquire patience and you have to focus. You’ll have to pick up side jobs you may not like. You’ll go through many frustrations, tears. Heck, you might get a big break quick, who knows. But I had a whole year and a half of constant rejection and over 100 auditions before I booked “Y&R.” You can’t take anything personally and you have to move, move, move.Music was up and down for me. Money was low. My living situation wasn’t consistent. There was a lot of stress in my life. But I knew the goal and I knew I had to continue. I truly believe showing up is one of the most important factors to success in this business. Show up.After many auditions, many failed promises, many tears, many collaborations that had fueled my soul, many lessons learned, on a regular day, “Y&R” calls (two months after the audition) to see if I’d like to test for a contract role. I took it with a grain of salt and showed up. It was another audition. I had gotten far so many times. This was just another opportunity to show a group of people what I loved and what I did best. To my surprise — 40 minutes later — “Y&R” called and offered me the job.The same week I found my music producer! A kind, loving soul who listens and is on the same musical wavelength as me. All I ever wanted. It still feels surreal. I have now been on the show for three months and am currently working on my first EP.
How does it feel to join a show with a 45-year history and generations of fans? How does that affect your approach to the role?
It’s an honor. I am so grateful to “Y&R,” CBS, Sony Pictures Television and Executive Producer/Head Writer Mal Young for blessing me with the immense opportunity to originate the role of Lola.Knowing that “Y&R” has been on the air for 45 years only encourages me to become a better performer. I walk on set every day and I’m immediately surrounded by knowledge, respect and history. It’s inspiring. There’s always a new lesson, a new laugh, a new name, a new experience.
You were brought on to “Y&R” not just as a Latina actress (and character), but to be a part of an onscreen Latino family. How do you feel you and your castmates can contribute to representation on the show and TV in general?
The Rosales family is adding to the “Y&R” canvas by being honest, hardworking and loving. We are so thankful for the opportunity to represent our Latin American community through this platform. We don’t take it lightly; we truly hope to inspire. We all grew up in Latin American households. Now it’s our opportunity to proudly share that with the world. We hope you see the love, respect and appreciation we have for our culture.
Given the plot twists central to the world of soaps, has anything caught you by surprise yet? Any “whoa, didn’t see that coming!” moments?
This one is more of an on-set moment, but I never saw the “one-take wonders” coming. The soap world moves so quick and it is jaw-droppingly amazing! We film an hour-long episode a day, five episodes a week, year-round. It is a nonstop moving machine, insanity at its finest. Highest respect. I’m having a great time playing Lola and introducing her to the “Y&R” audience. As for story line, I look forward to you tuning in.
You can watch Sasha Calle on “The Young and the Restless” weekdays on CBS.