Upon graduating from UCLA’s School of Theatre Film and Television, actress Kira Reed Lorsch landed guest arcs in the likes of ‘’NYPD Blue’’ and “ER”. Her biggest break came when soap ‘’The Bay’’ came calling, signing the Santa Clara-born actress to play Jo Connors, a role that just won her a Daytime Emmy nomination. Now, a chance to see Kira in one of her biggest films to date, ‘’Acts of Desperation’’, a thriller that teams her with legendary actors Paul Sorvino and Jason Gedrick.
First of all, congratulations on The Bay, Kira!
Thanks. I have had a great time working with The Bay family. I came on the show as a guest actress and have so far done 3 seasons. I am not sure what is in store for my storyline. It is up to the creative powers that be, executive producer/director Gregori J. Martin and Wendy Riche, the grand dame of daytime drama. They were so generous as to write “Jo” a juicy Season 3 which garnered me a supporting actress Daytime Emmy nomination. I enjoyed my time as a producer and was honored to be part of the hardworking team that took home Emmys for it. Being a part of The Bay has not only been great for the awards mantle but I’ve made some good friends and got to live my childhood dream of getting to be on a “soap.” I have had the opportunity to act opposite some of my idols like Ronn Moss, Matthew Ashford, Mary Beth Evans, Nicholas Coster, and Patrika Darbo to name a few.
How fun is it playing Jo Connors?
What’s not to love! Jo is a badass vixen. I savour living vicariously through her. She goes after what she wants with tenacity. Even if what she wants is to steal the husband of the princess of Bay City so she can control the criminal underworld. I don’t judge her for her choices. I just revel in getting to act them out.
Is there a lot of her in you?
Well I do not sleep with other people’s husbands and lie under oath in murder trials. However, like Jo, I do tend to go after what I want no holds barred …and get in trouble when I chase bad boys. A lot of her power fashion, Saint Laurent, Chanel, Armani is from my personal closet and that pencil skirt Louboutin heeled look inspired how Jo carries herself with confidence. I think we see my “in real life” vulnerability when Jo breaks down on the stand after questioning and cross examination by the DA, Days Of Our Lives’ Brandon Beemer, and cross examining attorney, Melrose Places’ Thomas Calabro. When you are blessed enough to work with such great actors, you really believe the fictional circumstances, and your authentic truth just seeps through.
How much did winning the Emmy-award do you for you?
Emmys are fantastic! Are you kidding me? They are pretty and shiny and glamorous. I am so grateful to Gregori for including me as a producer and nominating me as an actress. For the rest of my life I get to be Emmy Winner Kira Reed Lorsch. Emmys help validate you in the entertainment business. It is like a stamp of approval. But it is not the end all be all. What matters is doing the work. At this point in my life and career I want to feel good about my work as an actress and producer. I need to genuinely like and respect the people I choose to work along side.
Is it different working on TV to film? How so?
The lines between film and TV and streaming and network and made for TV or big screen movie theatres is all blurred now. The Bay is shot more like a film or hour-long drama series than a traditional in studio daytime set. It is digital dramas like The Bay that are changing the way we make and watch all media.
When did Acts of Desperation come along?
I had just gone through the terrible tragedy of my husband’s death and was, quite frankly, a not-so-hot-mess. I was lost and grief stricken and suffice it say not my best self. So when my long-time friend, actor/producer Vince Lozano sent me this dark, weirdly comedic, emotionally twisted script by Nathan Illsley. I new it was just what I needed. Acting purists may hate me for saying this, but I basically used the film as my own personal therapy session and recovery program. Stepping into the shoes of Morgan, a suicidal, empty vessel or a person, searching for love and purpose in the world, was not a big stretch for me. I was already in a treacherously raw state and just needed a place to put it all so I didn’t self-destruct in real life.
And what, do you believe, Richard Friedman was looking for in the character of Morgan?
I loved working with Richard Friedman. He was no nonsense with a clear vision of who these characters are. He said something so telling about Morgan: that she can never be still because she is so uncomfortable in her skin. I used that as a simple touchstone in the filming process. He let us actors do our thing to bring them to life. It always amazes me how magic happens when making movies. Richard informed me one scene was somehow mysteriously lost and had to be re-shot. At first I was annoyed about it. Then I realized it was an opportunity to try something different. My main acting partner in the film, an astonishingly brave and believable Treva Etienne, and I gave it a go another way. Everyone agreed it better conveyed our characters’ oddball attraction the second time around. It takes the right people coming together at the right time to share truth in the moment and capture it. I don’t think anyone knew how our characters’ relationships would intertwine and evolve. But that’s the fun and the magic.
Did you have a backstory created for Morgan, even if it wasn’t necessarily in the script?
Yep. That’s the secret sauce. A lot of it was my own personal turmoil put into Morgan’s specific situation.
What did you learn from working with vets like Paul Sorvino and Jason Gedrick?
Movie stars are not movie stars by accident. They are successful at what they do, not only because they work hard and have honed their craft, but because have that illusive “it factor ” that draws people in. Jason has that. Paul most certainly has it. Their performances sparkle. Their connection is palpable. I could watch them and play with them all day.
Have to ask, since it was one of your very first roles, “Beverly Hills 90210”- how was that experience? And did you have the pleasure of meeting the late Luke Perry?
90210 gave me my start in acting. At 19 I was a regular background actor on the show working to get my SAG card when I got bumped up to be featured in one of the episodes. What I remember about Luke was, besides being absolutely dreamy of course, was how nice he was to us extras. He would chat with us between takes and make us “little people” feel part of what was becoming the biggest show on television. He helped make my humble beginnings a really fun experience and I will always remember his genuine kindness. Another good one joins the VIP party in heaven.
Morgan, where do you hope to be in ten years?
In ten years I hope to still be making meaningful movies with people I enjoy having in my life …like my Acts Of Desperation cast and crew.
Any advice for any budding actors out there?
1. If you love it — keep doing it.
2. There is only one You. So be You. You have a lot to offer.
3. In movie making, as in life, enjoy the process.