Erin Beute is an award-winning American actor, composer and screenwriter. She has become “Mom” to tens of thousands as Elena’s mother, Miranda Gilbert, on The Vampire Diaries. She can also be seen on recent and upcoming T.V. episodes of SHOTS FIRED, OUTCAST, FINDING CARTER, POWERS, DROP DEAD DIVA and more. She starred in the 2019 feature film MIND THE GAP, and most recently, FREEDOM ON OUR MIND, PATSY AND LORETTA FOREVER, THE HAUNTING OF POTTERSFIELD, PENELOPE PRATT and THE BEAUTIFULLY UGLY DOOR and the short film BIRD’S EYE, which she wrote and won BEST ACTRESS at the Rendezvous International Film Festival. She has shared the small and large screen with actors like Stephen Moyer (True Blood), Sharon Gless (Burn Notice), Will Patton (Shots Fired), J.R. Bourne (Arrow), and Larry The Cable Guy (Tooth Fairy 2).
Erin graduated Magna Cum Laude with a conservatory degree in Music and Theatre. Her L.A. studies include Margie Haber, Jack Plotnick, Alchemy Acting and The Groundlings. When she’s not on set, she loves teaching acting classes at Skyra Studios, coaching actors one-on-one and hosting the primetime line-up for the CW18 network. She lives in the southeast with her hubby and 2 lovely daughters.
Exclusive Interview with Erin Beute-Actress, Composer & Screenwriter
NY Glam: What projects are you currently working on?
I’m working on rewrites for the feature-length version of my short film, BIRD’S EYE. As my vision expands for this project, so then, so does the story’s depth and breadth. And so I rewrite…again. J
I’ve also recently submitted an option agreement for story rights for a new screenplay. I’m so excited about this true story—looking forward to bringing it to life. It’s an honor.
And literally just yesterday in the shower, I had an idea for a one-woman show—a comedy. Good heavens, I have no idea when this one will get written. But I know better than to let a compelling idea go to waste. It’ll get done!
NY Glam: What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?
Layers of character unfolding in plot—through characters that we are compelled to care about. That’s so important—that character reveals plot and not the other way around. Also relatability—being able to see ourselves in a character, and to own his story as our own. The character’s journey may not reflect our life story at all, but somehow we know that person we see on the screen. That’s absolutely miraculous. It’s relationship.
I like stories that don’t hide raw truth in its stark, ugly beauty. But I also love to see possibility and hope emerge from these dark places. I happen to believe that’s true in this universe, and I hope that in some way my work reflects that.
I also believe in working with the best that I can find. I know what my gifts are and I also know what they are not. So assembling a team committed to excellence as DP, 1st AD, Script-supervisor, AC etc. deeply matters to me. I am humbled by that team. Every time their brilliance shines in what they do, I thank God this is a team sport. I couldn’t do it alone. Wouldn’t try.
NY Glam: As a screenwriter, what is the most important aspect of building a character?
That they tell the truth—at whatever point of the story we find him or her. In order for that to happen, I can’t protect them. I have to release them to find their way through their world (#parent)—even when that means some really dumb decisions for them.
In the case of DR. MCALLISTER in BIRD’S EYE, it’s to let her feel her way through her flaws. In fact, the more I invite her to explore those places before the “AHA!” moment, the more it gives depth and significance to her ultimate discovery. Her victory has real meaning.
NY Glam: Top 3 favorite projects that you have been involved in?
I’ve loved every minute of BIRD’S EYE. I can’t wait to produce the feature.
Miranda Gilbert on The Vampire Diaries. There was so much sadness for Elena, I loved being a voice of love and wisdom for her.
Tooth Fairy 2. Larry taught me so much about authenticity and grounded-ness, even after his phenomenal success. “Know who you are. Keep being that. Treat people good.” I never forgot it.
NY Glam: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?
I love to teach. I’ve noticed that my process as a human quickly distills through my teaching. Yes, I teach acting and technique and methods, but the hidden ingredient in the secret sauce is, I hope, real life-learned wisdom for real life. But sometimes it just comes out as a ridiculous story, and we laugh, and that’s cool, too.
I also write music. It’s restorative (and possibly therapy) for me. I love to dive into a completely different medium and play around…to make art that lasts only for the second that it resonates in the air. Then if I can capture it onto paper, I have a souvenir. And in the case of our film project, it became the film score!
NY Glam: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking?
Don’t say no. Really. Have an attitude of openness. I’ve found that what’s truly meant for us will find us, and it will usually be in a way we didn’t expect. When an opportunity comes up, and you don’t perceive how this will “fit the master plan,” SAY YES! Just like in creating character, the switchbacks and surprises have gifts for us, too. Don’t say no.
Also, bluntly: Slug your pride in the gut and take those gigs as an assistant’s assistant, gopher, sweeper-upper, etc. There’s more hidden gifts here. From your stealth point of anonymity, watch and study and learn. Be the weirdo that works hard and commits fully. Learn to love the work now, and that love for story will sustain you when there’s much bigger fish to fry.
NY Glam: What can we expect from you in 2020?
BIRD’S EYE has had an incredible festival run with 7 wins and 11 nominations in the last year, alone. We will play a few more festivals (the next at LOVE MY SHORTS FF in Sanford, FL) but our primary goal is investor partnership and production of the feature in 2020.
I’ll also continue to host our evening line-up on The CW, teach classes, team up on more short films, and write the “keep-your-fingers-crossed” project. Oh, and I will continue to raise my children. That will be good, too. J
NY Glam: Where can everyone keep up with you to learn more? …social media…website
FB: @birdseyemovie and Erin Beute Fan page