Vinessa Vidotto never saw acting as a possible career until the second semester of her senior year of high school. But five years and 500 miles later, Vidotto is about to make her small-screen debut on a hit television show.
After graduating from the University of Arizona in 2018 with a degree in acting, the 23-year-old moved to Los Angeles and, shortly after, landed a recurring role on the show “Lucifer.”
When her agent called to tell her she got the part, Vidotto said she thought it was a joke.
“I dropped to the ground and cried,” Vidotto said. “Landing the role was surreal, and I feel incredibly thankful for the opportunity. It was a huge contrast from doing theater-focused performances only less than a year ago.”
Vidotto will play the role of Remiel, an angel who is the younger sister of one of the main characters — another angel named Amenadiel. Her entrance as the new character will come during the upcoming fourth season of “Lucifer,” which will stream on Netflix this upcoming spring.
Vidotto said her time as a theater student at the UA helped prepare her for getting this role and for life in Hollywood. She said it taught her consistency in her practice and her business.
“It taught me that you have truly, truly got to work for what you want,” Vidotto said. “And, in reverse, sometimes it takes a little bit of luck. When hard work meets the right people at the right time, you can manifest the coin to flip in your favor.”
For Vidotto, one of those “right people” was UA theater professor Hank Stratton. Vidotto worked with Stratton her junior and senior years at UA and was directed by him in the Arizona Repertory Theatre’s 2017 production of “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
“He allows you to play in the space and vocalize your ideas, which I think is a very important component. Hank just has a great energy about him, which is contagious, and it makes you want to have that same outlook in life,” Vidotto said.
Stratton said it was important to bring in talent agents to watch the 2018 Senior Showcase at UA, which Vidotto and other seniors performed in.
“His connections and relationships played a role in bringing these folks in to see us, which eventually led me to getting signed by Brady McKay at Haven Entertainment in L.A.,” Vidotto said. “He’s so deeply committed to his students, and I don’t know if people realize just how much he cares.”
Stratton said he is excited his former students, such as Vidotto, are going on to succeed after college.
“They’re really high-achieving students. They’re going to bring profile to the university, especially local stories like Vinessa,” Stratton said. “I’m thrilled; they’re all really special to me.”
Tyler Reaser, a UA alumna who moved to Chicago to pursue acting, writing and comedy after graduating in 2017, acted alongside Vidotto at UA. Reaser said she is also thrilled for her former classmate.
“Words can't even express how proud and excited I am for her! Although I'm not shocked at all …Vinessa is extremely talented and just has something about her that is so captivating,” Reaser said. “She's also one of the hardest workers I've ever met.”
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Reaser first met Vidotto in 2014 through a mentorship program in the UA’s theater department. Reaser was a sophomore and took then-freshman Vidotto under her wing when she came to the UA. The two worked together in five shows and played love interests in the ART production of “Twelfth Night” in 2017.
“She's such an amazing scene partner, because she gives so much, and we were able to bounce off of each other so well,” Reaser said. “‘Twelfth Night’ was my senior capstone production, so it was so great to end my time at UA with my mentee as my scene partner.”
As she transitioned from the college stage directly to the small screen, Vidotto said she was anxious to tackle the new endeavor but was ready to start her Hollywood career.
“I knew I’d be okay regardless if I didn’t know everything because there was nothing to lose, only to learn from,” Vidotto said, “ … and boy did I learn.”
You can watch Vidotto on the screen in Lucifer, season 4, airing on Netflix in Spring 2019.
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