Although other members of her family have had artistic talents, Sarah Jessica Anfora said she is the first who will try to make a living at it – with strong support from her parents, who, like her, still live in Bayonne.
Actually, her father was born in Long Island and her mother in Jersey City, but both met in Bayonne and soon married. They gave Anfora all the encouragement she needed to pursue a life in the arts.
“Both of them are very supportive,” she said after completing a weekend of performances in which she played parts from “Gypsy” in the role of Louise.
It’s currently the opening for the Actors’ Studio Drama School at Pace University’s 2011 repertory season, which is designed to introduce graduating students to the professional world and the public in fully-professional productions of the work they have created during their three years of study.
“I’m going to start doing a lot of auditions.” -- Sarah Jessica Anfora
Always with a taste for the arts, Anfora did not know that she would be taking to the stage.
At 18, she started her college career not really knowing what major she should pick. Starting out in criminal justice, moving to political science, and finally landing a B.A. in art history with psychology and theatre performance minors, Anfora graduated magna cum laude. Yet she soon realized that she wasn't following her true passion.
So, with so much hope in her heart, she applied to The Actors’ Studio Drama School and received admission. She started at Pace in 2008 – right after college – and will be done in May.
The Pace University Actors’ Studio Drama School is the only MFA theatre program officially sanctioned by the Actors’ Studio. Alone among America’s drama programs, the Actors’ Studio MFA offers its students the privilege of observing the studio’s private sessions, and bestows upon its graduates the status of working finalist at the studio, a privilege that has led to admission to studio life-membership. During her time at the Actors’ Studio, she has been working with some very prominent people in the industry, including Acting Coach and Director Jacqueline Knapp.
When she graduates from the Actors’ Studio, she will have completed her master’s in fine arts, at which point she will seek paying parts.
“I’m going to start doing a lot of auditions,” she said.
When Anfora isn't acting or singing, you can probably find her practicing her “downward facing dog.” She is currently being certified as a yoga instructor from The Bright Spirit Yoga Training at Devotion Yoga in Hoboken. She currently runs the summer program there, and said that she hopes to continue to teach yoga even after leaving the Actors’ Studio.
“Yoga is the other love of my life,” she said.
Sarah believes in giving everyone a chance in life, and loves to give every single new character a chance. She feels honored and blessed for all the opportunities that have come her way.
Some of her favorite roles at ASDS include “Welcome to the Moon” (Shirley), “A Streetcar Named Desire” (Stella), “Hills Like White Elephants” (The Girl), “Summer and Smoke” (Alma), and “Proof” (Catherine). Other favorite roles include “Jesus Christ Superstar” (Mary), “Cabaret” (Sally Bowles), “Godspell” (Jesus), and “Into the Woods” (The Witch).
She considers herself a dedicated and hard worker and has always been involved with performing arts, even if she didn’t always know that was going to be her career path.