Sidney Flanigan is a 24-year-old multidisciplinary artist from Buffalo who switches between acting needs for income and a passion for music.
Her band Starjuice, whose motto is “community over competition,” released a three-track EP titled “Sign Language” in May, following last year’s debut album. Flanigan, who is also the guitar player in the band, began his career as an actor several years ago. Her debut film won the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress Flanigan for her starring role in Never, Rarely, Sometime, Always, which has become the 2020 Drama and Sundance Official Selection.
This was Flanigan’s first time acting. Since then, she has worked on several feature films, short films and music videos, most recently her 2023 Horror Her Thriller and her SXSW official selection ‘Onrisa’ which includes the song Starjuice in the credits. Starred in Good Survive. Now, she makes money from her acting, but music is still her number one priority, and when filming ends she goes home to work on her band. Starjuice is embarking on a regional tour next month, starting July 18 at Timeless Babes (87 She’s Allen St. in Allentown).
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Q: How old were you when you started playing music and when did you start acting?
aanswer: I’ve always been surrounded by music growing up, so I’ve always wanted to play music. I started playing the violin when I was in junior high school, and then went on to college. [Buffalo] Performing arts from grades 7-12. She picked up a guitar when she was in high school and started writing her own songs, so she started doing shows around the age of 17.
When I was about 20, I wasn’t particularly aiming to become an actor. My first film was directed by Eliza Hinton, a filmmaker from New York. [“Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always”]. It’s kind of a long story about how we met and it’s all out there on the internet, but the short story is she met by chance and she added me to her Facebook. . She contacted me when I was 20 and she said she was filming this movie and was interested in auditioning. I had never acted before, so I was a little skeptical at first. She persuaded me to at least try, so she read her script and she felt so powerful and beautiful and attracted to her. The next time she found out, she got the part. It was such a transformative experience that I decided I wanted to continue doing this myself.
Q: Did you expect ‘Never, Rarely, Simply, Always’ to succeed, especially considering this was your introduction to acting?
answer: After reading the script, I had a gut feeling that this was going to be an important movie. Reception was great and everything went very quickly. At the same time, the film’s release coincided with the beginning of the pandemic, so it was a daunting task to grapple with and deal with. I had a lot of impostor syndrome because I got into the role with no experience, so maybe my first break role was a fluke or something. But eventually, I took the next role and things started to improve and solve the problem as a whole.
Q: Do you have any passionate projects in music, film, or other fields that you would like to accomplish someday?
answer: The band is what I’m most focused on right now, and it’s always been a dream of mine to join a touring band and record music with them. Even though I’m losing money, I’m still very happy with what I’m doing. I’ve always thought that maybe in the future it would be fun to create a label and manage the venue.
Q: How do you feel about being an artist in Buffalo?
answer: Growing up in Buffalo, I think there was always a very rich musical culture, both above and below ground. My father was in a punk band, so I grew up with a lot of behind-the-scenes music. I remember a touring band colliding on the living room floor. There were always guys in weird Mohawk leather jackets at home, and I loved the sense of community there, it felt like such a big thing. extended family. The Buffalo music and art scene has always been like a second family to me, and I find myself very inspired by the people around me who are making things and putting themselves out there as well. You don’t have to go to a big city to find it, I think it’s everywhere.
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