Celebrity, Music

Exclusive Interview with Diane Foster

Welcome Diane Foster. We are so excited to chat with you. To start, tell us a little about yourself!

I grew up the youngest of six children in New Jersey and my parents are still married after 60 years. When I was eight years old, I won the “Little Miss Union” talent contest, and my journey into entertainment began. At 12, I was acting and dancing around the country and started to train professionally in New York City. I won the Rising Star Award for Best Actress in New Jersey, given by the world-renowned PaperMill Playhouse for my role as Princess Winifred in the musical “Once Upon A Mattress” and not long after moved to the City of Angels to pursue film. I just celebrated my 20 year anniversary of being in LA! I am a proud mother of two teenagers and am a Director, Producer, Actor, Singer, and Dancer.  In 2018 I started my production company, WallyBird Productions, and am just getting started on taking the world by storm!

 Many find it difficult to break into the entertainment industry. How did you start WallyBird Productions? 

I had been freelance producing for years and acting in lots of different independent films. I went through a divorce and spent the next few years rebuilding my life as a single mother to two children. I was working all the time doing other jobs that were not my passion to pay the bills. Then, in 2018, my only brother Wally, passed away tragically and it debilitated me. My family is very close and my siblings and my mother and father are my best friends, so losing my brother was the hardest challenge we went through. It was a long period of grieving, and still is to this day, but I got a source of inspiration from him when I decided that same year to start my own production company and do more than I was as a freelancer. Like a spark, the name of my company came to me! I asked my parents, since it was a childhood nickname we called my brother, and if they would be ok with it. They said Wally would be honored and they are too. WallyBird Productions was born that day!

I will forever honor my brother’s life that was cut way too short, and also make an impact with the films and projects we are involved with. Sometimes through the hardest points of life comes a lighthouse and I am using that light for good. So, here we are 4 years later, and the momentum is building. I am excited about the future of WallyBird Productions and know that forever, my brother is with me cheering me on.

We would love to hear more about your production company. What has been your favorite film/project to work on?

That makes me laugh because it’s like asking which of your children is your favorite? I couldn’t possibly choose a favorite because they are all so special to me in their own unique ways. I have learned so much on each

You’ve had an incredible journey in the film industry, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. How are the two different? 

They are very different in almost every way. Being in front of the camera is about the visual representation of the character that was written and fully embodying that vision.  Or for lack of a better word, being a person! Being behind the camera depending on what capacity you are, director and producer are also different. The Director is leading the way in charge of the complete vision of the project and the Producer is facilitating making it happen putting all the logistics and team making the film a reality together. There is so much that goes into it and that’s just a very, very shortened version of the overall dynamic of being in front and behind the camera. My plan is actually creating a course eventually to assist filmmakers that want to DIY and share my knowledge from my experiences.

What has been the one film that has had the biggest impact on your life and career and why? 

The film Easter, Bloody Easter that I am now in post-production on. It was immensely challenging because I Directed and Starred in the movie as well as Executive Produced. Wearing so many hats for me is something I really enjoy but time management skills are a must. I know that this film is extremely special and it’s just a matter of time before I can share it with the world. I truly grew as a person and creator during the process and now I know so much more about things I would do again or differently, people I would hire again or not, things I will need when I make the next film, etc. Making films is a tedious process and you really have to love it or I would suggest doing something else. You have to really stick with it and see it through and be patient. Film is forever so the ultimate goal is to really entertain and move people.

Tell us your dream project to create. 

I have a few really amazing ideas that I am in development on and can’t say much but I can say one is Sci-fi, another a movie musical, and another a Noir film. I am not tied to one genre and love creating places and times that take you away. I would also love to make a superhero movie and a set of very badass female action films someday.

Any charities or movements you are passionate about? 

Yes I have several through WallyBird Productions that we are grateful to support! We strive to make an impact as well as entertain! Projects that have made an impact for communities that we are extremely passionate about include:

Being a sponsor to the “Building Black Leaders Scholarship”, for JUNO’s Guitar Bootcamp that gives free guitar lessons and music education to Black creators and community. Our “I Am America” documentary, that was awarded a 15K grant to give back to the Immigration Center for Women and Children for underprivileged & undocumented youth as part of the Women Excel Project and our film “Dissonance”, that donated a percentage of our film fundraising to “The Trevor Project”, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ young people under 25. It is important to me to give back and be proactive at changing the landscape of the film industry and I am continually looking for things I can be involved in that are for the greater good of humankind.

You’ve had an incredible journey in the film industry, both in front of the camera and behind the scenes. How are the two different? 

They are very different in almost every way. Being in front of the camera is about the visual representation of the character that was written and fully embodying that vision.  Or for lack of a better word, being a person! Being behind the camera depending on what capacity you are, director and producer are also different. The Director is leading the way in charge of the complete vision of the project and the Producer is facilitating making it happen putting all the logistics and team making the film a reality together. There is so much that goes into it and that’s just a very, very shortened version of the overall dynamic of being in front and behind the camera. My plan is actually creating a course eventually to assist filmmakers that want to DIY and share my knowledge from my experiences.

In a world where there is a lot of competition, especially in acting, what advice do you have for young women about how we treat each other in today’s world where women are more than ever trying to make their mark?

We must empower each other and understand there is room for everyone. When women come together there is so much that can be done for good! Recognize how unique we all are and that everyone has something different and special to offer. Rooting for one another and lifting each other up has never been more important and when we can honestly come together to say we are here for and with each other, I think more will happen in the world that can shape the next generation of women. Believing in each other and recognizing the strengths of others can give perspective and make you learn about yourself in the process. We are at a time in history that is ushering in firsts for many positions for Women. I think we can make that no longer an unusual or celebratory occurrence and create lasting change if we back each other up like the most badass team on the planet. Feeling threatened by other women is so unproductive and uncool. It is time to lift each other up and cheer on our earth sisters even if that means someone else gets the role or job. There is something even better around the corner for you. I have been through a lot in my life and will continue to share more of my own personal story, but just know now that you have to keep going-I promise everything in time gets better. Keep your head high and, most importantly, know that you are worthy and deserving. Share your light because love always wins!

Share with us where to keep up with you on social media and check out your latest work.

Diane Foster  IG x FB x IMDb x Twitter

WallyBird Productions  IG x Official site

End of Interview

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