Linda Collins is an actor, performer, and former musician who needless to say has been riding high for the last couple of years – with no signs of slowing down. The Covid-19 pandemic and all its related, or otherwise associated aftereffects have shaken up the traditional milieus of industry. This is particularly pertinent when it comes to the arts.
The field of entertainment, particularly when it comes to the release of major motion pictures from Hollywood studios, had its exclusivity to theater chains forever disrupted with the arrival of ‘Simultaneous Release’ on HBOMax and Paramount+. Indeed, with this so-called ‘disruption’, accessibility and visibility has been changed on a frankly inter-dimensional field for all time. It especially has been beneficial for independent film performers like Collins, who while turning in excellent work both in front of and behind the camera, previously were sidelined by those with big money and big advertising campaigns. Not anymore.
In the spirit of this cultural observation, Collins’ personal passion projects take especial note. Both navigating their way through the extensive, film festival circuit and by way of online streaming via platforms like Amazon Prime – Collins is currently the star and producer of such works as Three for the Road, Mary Jane’s Tribulations, Cutter, and Perception to name a few. Her career has spanned both the traditional film circuit, as well as that of television and the more post-modernist web television.
Collins is an example of how the modern day entertainment field has been thoroughly democratized, how box office stardom is no longer the calling card nor the currency ensuring there is an audience for one’s work as performer. There’s something modest and refreshingly unpretentious about Collins’ work. It’s about humanity, about holding up a mirror. The topicality of her projects, particularly films like Mary Jane’s Tribulations, call back the kind of distinctive social commentary of Cassavete’s A Woman Under the Influence, or even the juxtaposing black comedy of writer/director/actor Lena Dunham’s debut Tiny Furniture.
Collins’ considerable trajectory as an actor and producer is complimented by her decorated resume. A graduate of the stalwart institutions University of Alabama, Duquesne University, and Northern Illinois University, she possesses a Master of Music degree, was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, and received a BM from the second former summa cum laude. Initially Collins’ plan was to become a musician, but the acting bug caught her unexpectedly and led her to pursue a different path.
There’s still a sense with the multilayered nature of her performative abilities she’s a jack of many trades, and a master of all. When Collins acquires a certain part, or finds herself entwined with a certain project both in front of and behind the camera, you have the feeling she’s all in. It recalls a quote Tom Cruise of all people said when regarding his craft as a Hollywood performer: “The thing about filmmaking is I give it everything, that’s why I work so hard. I always tell young actors to take charge. It’s not that hard. Sign your own checks, be responsible.”