This week’s Women in Entertainment series focuses on Judy Karman, SAG-AFTRA actress, entrepreneur and a co-producer with Dream Cinema Productions.
If an actor’s strength lies in his or her life’s experiences, then Karman is as strong as Hercules. Growing up second generation in a small San Diego community, where her father was a tailor who became a local icon, Judy and her fraternal twin, Ruthie, were born late in their parents’ lives. Their mom moved to San Diego from New York when she was eight months old and their dad was born and raised in San Diego.
Starting over after raising two other children, Judy’s parents were able to pass on many life experiences, enabling Judy to glimpse a world that she would later embrace as her own – show business. Her dad had spent time in Vaudeville, and after becoming a tailor, worked with many of the greatest names in the business, although as far as he was concerned, they were just everyday people. He passed this same humility on to his daughter. As Karman grew up, she passionately took up tap dance classes, participated in Community Theater, and loved the summer evenings spent with her family in Balboa Park, attending the Starlight Musicals.
Karman always dreamed she’d be up there on stage, performing for other families. That dream has never died. She spent time working in corporate America, serving as a trainer to both small and large groups and paving the way to her dream of performing for an audience. She also spent time as the only female and non-Sicilian on the Board of Directors of a Sicilian Culture Association in San Diego.
What inspires Karman? “Age and passion have no limits to what anyone can accomplish. The power of the passion and the humility of the soul allows your spirit to breath and give air to create a win win for all.”
During the 90′s, she spent time behind the scenes, working with actors and producing movies. She even did a little acting herself and joined AFTRA, but the timing was not right and so she stepped back into her corporate roles. Karman has been a member of AFTRA since 1994, now SAG/AFTRA. Although she has just recently rejoined the world of acting, she has not been idle. She attended workshops and training sessions in San Diego and Hollywood, including 30 hours of intense training with accomplished director Tom Logan.
Karman appeared in independent films, including “The Vision,” which was created as part of the 24 hour Film Festival and later screened at the Portland Film Festival. More recently she was featured in “The Test” which won best comedy feature at the 2013 Fallbrook International Film Festival. She also made a guest appearance on the Marie Osmond Show on the Hallmark Channel. The response to that show prompted the show’s producer to ask her to make a second appearance.
Karman left San Diego and moved to Los Angeles, where she started her own production company, Lady J Entertainment. In addition, she has become a member of The World Networks, a professional networking organization with chapters in the U.S. and shortly, internationally. Karman recently led the launch of the San Diego Chapter and serves on the advisory board. She is also an active member of the American Chinese CE) Society (ACCS). Judy also enjoys being a motivational speaker at seminars. Her most recent engagement was for APS Entertainment. In 2014 she was the recipient of The World Networks entrepreneur award as Honorary Ambassador for involvement and support in the community while embracing entrepreneurship.
Where does she see herself in the future? “In 2015 I will be in front of the camera as well as co-producing my first theatrical film. My first project will be filming in Europe.”
She is proud to have officially joined the team at Dream Cinema Productions in Los Angeles as a co-producer. Dream Cinema is headed up by CEO Rayster Michaels and has movie projects scheduled out through 2018.
For more information on Karman, visit her Facebook or iMDB pages.