Yvette Gregory is always searching. Not in a restless, lost type of way but in a, “I wonder what would happen if I tried this?” type of way. Moving around with her family as a child gave her the self-reliance to depend on herself for amusement and interest. Her mother exposed her early on to the entertainment world and Yvette took to it instinctually. Yvette’s mother was a model and had all three of her daughters into modeling and acting before they could even crawl. The only sibling who stuck with acting, Yvette refers to herself as the redheaded “ginger sheep” of the family. She recalls, “I was always a performer and had a big cheeky personality. When I wasn’t at school or on set I was on stage dancing (Yvette’s other passion). I’ve been dancing since I was about three years-old. I trained in Classical Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop, and even Celtic Tap! I love to perform and tell a story. Being on stage is where I’ve always felt like I was supposed to be.”
Yvette’s talent and perseverance paid off. While she was well educated, successful, and earning a very nice living in Australia, restlessness made her wonder what could happen if she tried to take things to the next level. Inspired by the greats like Meryl Streep, she wanted to reinvent and challenge herself to delve even deeper into what she might be capable of achieving. The obvious spot would be Los Angeles, California. It didn’t hurt that one of Gregory’s many talents is a flawless American accent which allowed her to camouflage as needed; not that it was. A number of successful productions to her credit; film, TV, Web series…Yvette is as embracing of opportunities and success as she is of the SoCal lifestyle.
Merging a typical facet of Californian life and her profession, Gregory portrayed Beatriz Jones in Wine Tasting. This film about a group of friends who endeavor to become Sommeliers has won multiple awards including: Premios Latino Film Festival, Evolution and Mallorca International Film Festival, Beverly Hills Film Festival, Sunscreen Film Festival, in addition to being an Official Selection to the San Rafael Film Festival. The role required extensive improv, about which Yvette states, “I love Improv! I have studied at the likes of Groundlings and Upright Citizens Brigade. Although I wouldn’t say it comes easy for me, it’s definitely a muscle that needs to be consistently worked. It’s so fun! You really need to bring your A game for improv. I think the best way to tackle it when filming is to have done all of your inner work so your character really lives within you; that way you have artistic freedom to play with the improv without losing your character.”
Performing as Jill in Lifetimes’ “My Crazy Ex” gave Gregory a chance to inhabit a real life character that was much more controlling when it comes to relationships than the actress herself. Currently in its fifth season, “My Crazy Ex” has become a favorite of the network’s fan base. While the character Jill is very intense about her romantic endeavors, Yvette prefers to exorcize this on camera. She notes, “. I think relationships can be far too serious and emotional and we really just need a good laugh every now and then. When we see the extremes that these characters go through from episode to episode it can help us to laugh at ourselves. It certainly does with me.”
Amazon’s “Private Sales” has received mass acclaim, as has Gregory’s role as a high priced escort on the production. Producer Sean King affirms, “Yvette has the unique gift of being able to display both strength and vulnerability at the same time. Her ability to inject so much depth into her character with nothing more than simple physical gestures is amazing. While we saw many actresses audition for the lead role of Stephanie, Yvette was the only one able to communicate so much with such little effort.” Beyond the accolades, Gregory was able to mark a few things off of the bucket list when “Private Sales” made its first public debut at the infamous Chinese Theatre in Hollywood in April 2016. The moment was reassuring but not what this actress was focused on. In a moment of empathy with her character she reveals, “At the end of the day, it’s about the work you put in. I think people can sometimes get lazy and forget the work that has to go into creating and developing a character. Obviously, when you can quickly relate to a character this is going to come a little easier. When it came to Stephanie; I got her, I empathized with her, I wanted her to win. As an actress in LA I am always hustling. And this, really, when you break it down is what Stephanie was doing just in a different field.”
Having abandoned established success and now having recreated it here in Hollywood, she communicates that none of it was easy but it was well worth the risk. Gregory concedes, “I’ve had to sacrifice a lot. This is not a 9-5 job where you have set pay, work days, or holidays. Sometimes it seems there are no holidays and the work never ends. It’s important to set boundaries in this profession or you can really get sucked in. I’m still working on that one. Those things pale in comparison to me when I consider that I am able to spend my life doing something I love more than anything. Even more than that, I am in the place where those I admire the most are part of the same profession. Merryl Streep is such an inspiration. To be able to flow so effortlessly between drama and comedy at the highest level…. she is probably what most of us actors aspire to be.” Maybe one day, an actress will be interviewed in an article very much like this one and making these comments about Yvette Gregory.