Bianca Jamotte LeRoux is a mom, award-winning filmmaker, actress and writer, and creator of the series Real Mommy Confessions. She studied acting with Susan Esper at the prestigious William Esper Studio, as well as two years at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Her acting career began in musical theater and quickly turned to commercials, print, and recurring roles in soap operas One Life To Live and As The World Turns upon graduating from Esper. Her notable stage appearances include starring as Fantine in Les Miserables and Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray. Bianca’s most exciting role to date is undoubtedly her job as a mom, which brings on a daily host of challenges and accomplishments, often simultaneously. Most recently Bianca was honored with the Alice Guy-Blaché Women in Cinema Award from the Goldendoor International Film Festival for her work as the writer, director, producer and star of the dramatic short Flush The John.
What first got you interested in acting? Was it something you always wanted to do or was it a passion that evolved later?
I did my first little show when I was in Kindergarten, it was about a family of birds, I can’t for the life of me remember what it was called, but I played the protective big sister bird. At one point during the show, I made the entire audience laugh, and that was it for me. I was hooked. I have always loved the feeling of making other people laugh, cry, think, and feel something. I think actors often feel everything on stage for the people who can’t or don’t want to off stage.
You’ve worked in a wide variety of mediums from soaps to stage to musicals to commercials — do you have a favorite role? Type of production you enjoy most?
I love film and TV; once I started working on camera, I fell in love with how simple a performance could be while still saying and portraying so much. I love stage, but everything needs to be slightly bigger than life while still coming from a truthful place. On camera, an eye movement can tell an entire story. I love that. That being said, my favorite role I’ve ever played was Fantine in Les Miserables. It has been one of my dream roles since I was a little girl, getting to finally sing I Dreamed a Dream on stage was truly a dream come true.
Acting seems like a particularly difficult profession when you’ve got kids (unlike for example design where you can work your living room in crummy pjs) did you feel your relationship to your work changed a lot?
Absolutely! I quickly realized how much time I had given away on auditions or projects that weren’t necessarily a great fit for me because when you’re first starting out in the acting world, you’re encouraged to take any job you can. My time became more valuable once I had my babies, so I only take roles or jobs now that I feel add to my life and career. I’m not a VIP in the acting world yet, but I am very much a VIP to my children, so my time with them is precious.
How did Real Mommy Confessions come to be?
I had decided that auditioning was not a good fit for me while I had little ones, so I was planning to take some time off and focus on my babies. I did, for a while but then the longer I spent out of the city and online seeing all these perfect moms nailing this whole motherhood thing I thought “Bullshit! No one can be that good at this.” So I started posting pictures and updates about what was happening in my home with two toddlers. I called a few of my talented girlfriends/mom-actress friends and pitched Real Mommy Confessions, and they loved it. So I got to work collecting stories from moms all over the world and turning them into scripts. I had missed being on set, creating my own show gave me a chance to do what i love and schedule it around being a mother.
You’re doing more behind the camera work now. How has that changed your perspective?
Actors, don’t have much “power” in the industry until they become celebrities. We often audition and then wait to hear if we got the job. That was never going to be a fit for me ever again once I became a mother. I needed a way to stay creative in a profession and craft I loved but find a way to take back some of the control over when and what I worked on. A lot of actors have started creating their own work and spending time on both sides of the camera, it’s empowering, and I think helping the shift we’re seeing in the entertainment industry.
Do you have suggestions for moms either in creative professions or acting specifically? Any good advice that you’ve received or words that motivate you?
You have to be happy and fulfilled to be a happy and supportive mother. If being creative, writing, acting, singing, painting, whatever makes you feel relevant and human, don’t neglect that part of you. You will always put your children first; I don’t know many mothers who know how not to, but you are important, too so don’t neglect your own happiness.
What upcoming projects are you most excited about?
I have been cast as the lead in the film The Only Woman In The World by Director/Writer Debbi Markowitz of Intention films. Real Mommy Confessions goes into production on its third season later this year with AkyumenEntertainment and KickFannie Media Group, and the pilot I co-wrote with Joy Shatz, Married to the Mobalinos (Everybody Loves Raymond meets the Godfather) is getting some serious interest from production companies. 2018 is going to be a busy year; I’m very excited.