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Sunset & Vine: Across The Pond


photo 1Hello Ms. In The Biz readers & Welcome to my monthly blog “Sunset & Vine” … Ironically, I am writing this first official one in jolly old England, in London-town, and am a transplant from NYC…err, so perfect!

Alas, for the last five years I have resided at Sunset & Vinehence my blog’s name.

So, I am in a pub right now called The Hereford Arms (natch!) ’people watching’ and let me tell you if there is ever a place for great faces it is London. I really do love it here, so much so that I am marrying a Brit, but in a castle, in Ireland … More global craziness ensues. He is actually a production design who lives also at Sunset & Vine, with me, and we are both Irish & Italian so … Irish Castle here we come!!!! I am over here partially on business and to see said fiancé as he is working on a film over here.

But! Back to ‘the faces’ ~ Ah, as an actress, a big part of my job on a daily basis is to take in humanity with a discerning eye and I love it. Traveling to me is instant knowledge, and the ability to rip myself from my normal daily surroundings is the greatest gift for my money. I did regional theatre for many a year and to step off a bus, plane, train in a town you have never set foot in and just set up shop … it’s pretty phenomenal. So as I sit here, ‘across the pond’, it is almost noon on a Friday and this pub is packed. People are ordering pints and ‘large’ wines as they spill out into the street to smoke, laugh, linger…

The young and old celebrating being alive, drowning their sorrows, or just keep on keepin’ on, perhaps all the above. And the mugs they sport, wowie-wow, have so much great individual history, all of them. Bam! I am in the middle of a great Fellini film. It is a beautiful thing.

The main reason I am in town for this very brief visit, a girl’s gotta get back and pay the bills, is to plan a wedding recce an Ireland. This means, I can’t even believe what is about to come out of my mouth as “getting married” or “planning a wedding” or “being someone’s fiancé” was never my deal, at all. Our wedding recce includes meeting our musicians, DJs, a tasting, a cake baker, florists – wait, WHO IS THIS PERSON! I should be home waiting by the phone, you work so hard, this (whatever ‘this’ is) must come first, you can’t miss any opportunities, you’re being unprofessional, and when you do leave town jobs tend to throw themselves at you. “Book a flight, book a job.” All of this goes through my head every time I leave town not for a specific paying job that furthers my career. However, here I find myself on the adventure of life, life itself, and feel completely fulfilled as a human being (for the moment at least) and that is a direct reflection on my artistic life.

It is one in the same ~ art truly does imitate life and the world is a great stage that we must return to, resurface to – in the ever present here and now – as human beings first and foremost…and it can be really hard sometimes! At least for me. So, I sat down to write this month’s blog and planned on writing about the audition waiting roomin Los Angeles. Obviously, that did not happen. I was just so much more interested in the present, the here-and-now took over. I let it. I welcomed it with pleasure.

As I was taking in all the different breeds of humanity around me (sipping on my own ‘large’ wine) a much older gentlemen across the communal bar table just kept intensely watching me watch other people, and he was not being shy about it. I decided to just let him with ease, you know, cos that’s the kind a girl I am. He eventually leaned in and whispered, “I likes how you live, you drop-in!” I simply replied, “Thanks man, back atcha.” Then he smiled, finished his pint and shuffled away. It made me grin and I wanted to share.

As of late, when I begin to feel anxious and overwhelmed by life for whatever reason I am trying to just drop-in. To be truly, fully present. Be grateful & inspired by the madness surrounding me and it’s own particular brand of beauty.

Today, I want to encourage each and everyone of you to Let Yourself Drop-In!

It’s totally worth it.

Tonya Cornelisse










Until next month,

– Tonya

Tonya Cornelisse

About Tonya Cornelisse

Theatrically, Tonya has worked both on and Off-Broadway honing the stages of The Daryl Roth Theatre, The Cherry Lane, Labyrinth, The Public Theatre, E.S.T., Humana Festival, and many more. In Los Angeles: Sam Shepard's Buried Child at The Whitefire Theatre, IAMA Theatre Company. Tonya is a proud member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, where she can regularly be seen on stage in Los Angeles. Tonya has worked in over 30 films big & small including the upcoming THE VOYAGE OF DOCTOR DOLITTLE with Robert Downey Jr. and LOVE IS NOT LOVE.Other features: BENT, MOPE, GROW HOUSE, Nick Cassavetes’ YELLOW, PELÉ, CRAVE, & THE WOLVES OF SAVIN HILL. She garnered multiple awards from all around the world (including the BFI Award for Best Actress) for her performance in LIMINAL. Television shows include Catastrophe, Trial & Error, How To Get Away With Murder, Scandal, NCIS, Parks & Recreation, ER, Law & Order(s), The Wolfpack of Reseda and the series lead in two of FOX Searchlight’s Digital Webisodes including Crack Whore Galore & The Katie Kooter Show which she also created. In addition to her acting credits, Tonya has penned a number of screenplays, plays and short stories including Dog Lovers, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. She works extensively in Voice Over including Voice of Lexus & Lipton Tea. Tonya is also an award-winning Narrator: TONYA'S NARRATION PROFILE