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Rising Stars: Meet Lisa Panagos

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Panagos.

Hi Lisa, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I was born knowing exactly what I wanted to do. I was a very athletic child and did all sorts of sports including horseback riding. I had several riding accidents and was always begging my parents to put me in dance class. After many riding accidents, they decided to listen and enrolled me in tap dancing, jazz, and ballet. I also became a member of the Modelling Moppets.

An organization that taught me how to model locally in stores, store windows, print, and some runway. I was a natural and began getting local print and runway jobs as a model. I also was a natural at dancing and at 16 was a soloist with the Ballet De Folklorico in Mexico City through an exchange with my ballet teacher. Then I began taking acting lessons, voice lessons, and doing high school plays and musicals.

I usually was the lead in all productions and got lots of press in my hometown of Potomac, Maryland. I auditioned and was accepted into many colleges, and decided to go to Syracuse University, where I got my BFA in Acting, Music, and Dance. After that, I performed locally, in Maryland to gain credits before I moved to NYC to pursue my dreams.

When I moved to NYC, I got spotted in a dance class and got my first job, “Sophisticated Ladies,” starring the Duke Ellington Orchestra with Mercer Ellington conduction. It was an Actors Equity job in Atlantic City, so I got my Union card and understudied the lead role of the Soubrette.

I went on for the role for two months after the person doing the role fell ill. It was an amazing show and a dream come true. Everything fell into place, and after that, I booked multiple Broadway tours, European tours, and Broadway shows. I began writing and recording my own music as well.

I booked a job in Los Angeles to write original music with a publisher in Hollywood, CA., and they flew me to Hollywood to record and write songs. When my contract was up I wound up staying in Hollywood to pursue my dreams. I wrote more original music, released some singles, and albums, and began winning awards for my writing, recordings, albums, and performance ability.

I also landed some acting roles in award-winning TV shows and multi Indie films. I haven’t looked back since, and continue to write, record, produce, executive produce, and act in the film.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
No, it hasn’t been a smooth road at all. There were moments when I was broke, and couldn’t get a job. Moments when I thought it was never going to happen.

I have had to sleep in my car and struggled to the point where I thought I might be homeless. I also survived 9/11 in NYC and recently Covid-19. Both of these were huge setbacks and chunks of time where I wasn’t working and relied on unemployment and or the kindness of friends to get me through until my next big break.

I’ve definitely had to live on the edge, but it’s all been worth it. It wouldn’t change it for the world.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am currently working on my new album, and nothing makes me happier. I am also working on an original screenplay. This is the first time I have attempted to write a film. It’s exciting! I am speaking with many music and film investors, and taking my company, Panagos Global Entertainment, to the next level.

It is a multi-media production and entertainment company. I focus on creating exceptional, top-level music, videos, recordings, film, intellectual property (publishing), merchandise, and live performances. I am currently attached to a few SAG-AFTRA films as an actress and Executive Producer.

I am most proud of my latest albums “Beautiful” and “Inside.” I have won many awards, both in the US and abroad. I feel I have finally found my true voice with these albums and my fans really are amazing. I have grown my fan base exponentially and adore them.

What sets me apart from others is my drive, ambition, and love for what I do, to the point that I never gave up, and found a way to take control of my career by attending to the business side as much as the creative side. At the end of the day, this can be a cutthroat business.

So I’ve had to maintain a tough exterior, and be on top of all aspects of the business while maintaining my artistic side. I have to be able to be vulnerable and open as an artist while at the same time being tough as nails.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
What makes me happy is doing the work. I love creating new material and doing every aspect of the business, from singer/songwriter to actress, producer, executive producer, creator, and more.

There is nothing more satisfying than the creative process and seeing what is in your head come to life. Breathing life into ideas. It’s a miracle when it’s finished and I’m able to share it with the world.

Being in nature also makes me happy. Spending time in nature makes me feel peaceful, calm, and at one with the university. Nature inspires me to write and create.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Brendan Dekora, Shani Gaines Bernard, and Autumn Skibinski

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