Judith Hoag clearly wanted to be an actress from a very early age. It was a positive outlet, a way to channel all of that energy. Her 4th grade music teacher said she was "given to histrionics". Her mother called her "Sarah Heartburn".
Judith started doing theater at a small theater in Newburyport Massachusetts. She was only 13 when she started skipping school to go hang out at the theater. Something had to be done so she was enrolled in a Private Performing Arts High School in Natick Mass., called Walnut Hill School of Performing Arts. It was a very positive experience in spite of being "asked to leave". Judith moved to Cambridge Mass. where she became involved in local theater. Finally, it was time to get serious. It was time to move to New York and find out if she could actually make a career out of this. Her mother summed it up one day by asking her "You might be afraid to go, but aren't you more afraid to stay?"
New York was just what she needed. Her first job came to her about a month after she arrived. She was approached by a playwright about doing his new play "The Times & Appetites of Toulouse Lautrec" . Shortly thereafter she was offered the part of Lotty Bates on the soap opera "Loving". Doing a soap was like entering a very strange world; the polar opposite of theater. The work was very challenging. Acting on the small screen was much more internal and subtle. Coming from a theater background where you project to the back of the house, the challenge was to learn a new way to work. Lots of words to memorize each day, lots of blocking and few rehearsals. She recalls her learning curve as being awkward; "yeah I was pretty awful in the beginning..." Her contract ended after a year and a half. Next she decided to try commercials. That proved to be a successful endeavor. Judith has since done dozens of commercials. "Commercials are a really great way to earn money to keep you going in between the film and television jobs. They can also be a lot of fun as it usually involves a lot of improvisation. I've had directors tell me to just play and do whatever I want. That's made this process really appealing. I think commercials get a bad rap, that there's no creativity to them, but I haven't found that to be entirely true. The process of auditioning for them can be tedious but actually doing them can be really fun."
Her film work was beginning to come along. She made her first film "A Matter of Degrees" which also starred Tom Sizemore and Arye Gross . Her next film was "Cadillac Man" in which she co-starred with Robin Williams and Tim Robbins. It was during this time that she read for the movie "Teenage Ninja Turtles". "I got this movie while I was still shooting "Cadillac Man" and had to fly off to North Carolina on the weekends. Everyone wondered what kind of strange movie I was off doing. Only Robin had heard of the Ninja Turtles. He had collected all of the comic books and couldn't wait to see the movie. He brought his kids to the premiere and surprised me. The movie ended up being a big hit. I still have a hard time watching that movie... I was never satisfied with how it came out. It lost a lot of it's soul. Elias Koteas, however was brilliant."
"Teenage Ninja Turtles" opened a lot of doors for Judith and for that she was very grateful. Judith began living bi-coastally around this time and finally the work in Los Angeles outweighed the work in New York so she moved to the west coast.
Judith began to shoot a series of Television Pilots. "I've shot eight so far. I am an optimist. I believe that one day I will do a pilot that will actually go!" In the meantime she stays very busy shooting guest starring roles in episodic television. One of her more recent parts was on the "X-Files" where she was nearly devoured by a cannibalistic mutant. "This work is never boring. I can go from pretending to live one kind of life to another to another to another. It's like a big game of dress- up and make believe. The longer I do this the more fun it gets and the freer I allow myself to be creatively." Judith has also done several Mini-Series and Movies Of The Week.
"Bad City Blues" and "Armageddon" exemplify two of her more memorable movies and they couldn't be more diametrically opposed. In "Bad City Blues" Judith played an ex-junkie turned society wife (opposite Dennis Hopper) who pulls off a bank heist and runs off with $5,000,000 in cash. In "Armageddon" she played a single mother whose dead beat husband (Will Patton) flies off into space and saves the world from a deadly asteroid, "These two movies were so different. "Armageddon" had a huge budget and was filled with stars and giant trailers. The challenge on that movie was to ignore all of the hierarchy and just get down to the business of telling a story. That's what kept me focused and I think that's why the performance resonated with audiences. With "Bad City" Blues we had a very small budget. It was a lot of fun for me to be able to be such a wild woman. I'd been playing a lot of mothers and while I was a mother in this story as well, I got to rob banks, jump off of balconies and shoot guns...all while wearing leather!" Judith has studied acting with Diana Castle for the past several years. She calls it her "Anti-Acting" class. "Being in class gives me the opportunity to always be working on something. Musicians practice their instruments every day. An actors instrument is their imagination and it must be played with everyday or else it grows weak"
My life has been very full. I am blessed with two beautiful children. I make a good living in a very tough profession and I am grateful everyday that I get to do this. Some actors see it as a grind but I don't. It's your attitude that shapes your life... and your belief. I believe the best is yet to come and I'll be ready for it when it does and in the meantime I am going to enjoy the process.
My advice to new actors is:
Don't be lazy, Go after what you desire. Don't heed the common place advice that is meant to discourage you. If you want it go and get it. Be willing to work hard and be patient Be kind to yourself.
My two favorite quotes are:
Whatever you think you can do or think you can't do - you're right"
~ Henry Ford
"What lies before you and what lies behind you are tiny matters compared to what lies within you."
Talent Agency (Theatrical)
6300 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 1430
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Representatives: Amy Abell-Rosenfield, *David Shaul, Sarabeth Schedeen
Talent Agency (Commercial)
Lillian (Studio Head's Wife)
Medical Resident (uncredited)
Dr. Raine Van Aiken
Gwen Cromwell Piper
Gwen Cromwell Piper
Gwen Cromwell Piper
Gail Reese / Captain Angela Wiley
Gwen Cromwell Piper
Denise, Chick's Ex-Wife
Segment From the Agency
Dr. Meredith Schrager
Nancy Godfrey / Gretchen Price
Kathy Marie O'Malley / Katherine Porter
Dr. Annie Falk
Melissa Shaw Elliott
Charlotte Bates Alden
* © 1990 - Newline Cinema
** Mark Levine - © 2014 American Broadcasting Company