BY MARK CIMILUCA
Naomi Grossman, who plays the character Pepper in FX’s television series “American Horror Story.” Pepper in FX’s television series “American Horror Story.”, offered students some unique advice about life and choosing a career on Wednesday night as students packed Holloway’s Great Hall to hear Grossman speak.
SOAP, who sponsored the event, is always looking for ways to entertain students at Salisbury.
“I am constantly looking for new forms of entertainment that all students can enjoy,” SOAP Late Night Exectutive Chair Erin Sless said. “I know that ‘American Horror Story’ has a wide audience of mostly college-aged viewers. In fact, many students who attended did so because they were fans of “American Horror Story.”
However, the event was more than a lecture and offered students much more than just a chance to meet someone famous. Grossman shared her unique path, and tips for being successful in life.
Grossman wanted to offer more to students. She said at the very least “You get to meet Pepper,” but really wanted students to take away more from the event. She wanted to offer life advice to aspiring actors and actresses, and other college students hoping to be successful.
Everyone’s path to success is unique, and cannot be micromanaged. Grossman learned this from working at Groundlings, the famous comedy club in Los Angeles. Grossman described it as “An SNL factory.” Actors, such as, Will Ferrell and Lisa Kudrow worked at Groundlings before their acting debuts.
Grossman thought working at Groundlings was her ticket to fame. It was not. She was cut from Groundlings, and had to pursue her career in a new way. Grossman loves to write comedy skit show and is incredibly creative. To get her name back in the market, Grossman made a YouTube channel.
“I literally had to battle cats for views,” Grossman said.
She provided several pieces of helpful advice. Perhaps, the most prominent piece of advice was “Do what you love,” and always devote full attention to your passion. She also advised on not picking a profession because of fame or money. Those will not make one’s career fulfilling. This is sound advice for anyone, not just aspiring actors and actresses.
Another piece of advice she offered, she considers controversial.
“Do not have a plan B,” she said.
Grossman feels that having a plan B is preparing to fail. She also encouraged students to do what they love until it is no longer fun.
Following her speech, Grossman took questions from audience members about many topics, including her favorite color, and working with Jessica Lange.
Grossman provided invaluable life advice and created a fun, interactive environment. She says that this is just the beginning for her. She hopes to continue to the upward trajectory of her career.
As for SOAP, this was only one of the many events planned for the semester. Future speakers include Joy Baldridge (motivational speaker), and Herman Boone (The coach portrayed in “Remember The Titans.”). SOAP is also open to suggestions from students.