The flair q&A

Sunny Edelman

Her name alone brings a ray of sunshine. Sunny Edelman is a multi-talent in arts & entertainment. Taking her many specialties and carving out a unique career is her north star. An actress, festival host and casting associate (to name a few), she is firmly in the creative-arts scene.

Tell me about your business or specialty.

It’s difficult to narrow down what my specialty is! After many years of acting, I find myself now primarily working as a film festival programmer/host for multiple festivals and a casting associate for Hudson Valley Casting. I am also serving as the current president of UPWIFT (Upstate NY Women in Film and Television), an organization that promotes the contributions of women in the film and television industry.

How'd you get to where you are now?

After graduating from SUNY New Paltz with both a theater and an education degree, I began acting in the newly emerging film and television industry throughout the Hudson Valley in New York State. As the industry began to grow, I grew along with it, meeting people and making connections along the way. One of my first connections was with Heidi Eklund of Hudson Valley Casting. She took me in and trained me as an associate casting director. Since then, I have had the experience of providing extras casting for a number of films including Mob Town, The Dead Don’t Die, What we Found and I’m Thinking of Ending Things. The first film festival I worked on was the Hudson Valley International Film Festival. I met the director of the film festival, Charles Marinaro, while I was working as an extra and jumped at the chance to work on his film festival. Other film festivals I’ve worked on include the East by Northeast, Catskill, New York State and Lake Placid International Film Festivals.

How has the Covid crisis affected your work or business? Any new ideas or approaches…or lessons learned so far?

During the Covid crisis, I had to transition to work remotely. We went from meeting together at live events and auditions to everything virtual, and even had to cancel the UPWIFT Oscars viewing party, my favorite event of the year. Although it did help me to get a grip on current technology, I still missed seeing everyone in person. It looks like casting will see a lasting change from this, in that most of our casting is done online now through casting services like Actors Access (where actors can just submit auditions instead of going to a casting call).

What surprises you in your work, now or in the past?

It always surprises me that no matter how big the project or event is, I always seem to get things done. Although, there have been many days, in the thick of it, that I had my doubts.

What drives you crazy?

One of the most annoying things to me is when people avoid the work and then expect to be promoted. "Opportunity is missed by most people because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

Who inspires you? (it can be anybody you know, or don't know)

Well, pretty much any woman who is doing what they love and living their best life. Off the top of my head, Debby Goedeke of the Albany Film Commission and Summer Crockett-Moore of UMBRA Studios/Choice Films stand out.

You're a trailblazer - what are some highlights in your career to date?

Two of my recent projects include casting all the background actors for the film Stay Awake starring Chrissy Metz of This is Us and working with NYWIFT (New York Women in Film & Television) to put together and host the "Women in Comedy" panel and mixer at the Lake Placid Film Festival.

Words of wisdom or thoughts?

I have always found that the best advice for the film and TV industry is to always be open to new ideas and new collaborators - and to be available to help. Never forget who you worked with and always be kind to everyone. You never know who your next boss will be or how someone might be able to help you in the future.


Classically trained in acting, Sunny Edelman has directed and performed roles from Shakespeare to Disney, working in regional, Off Broadway theaters, as well as in an Emmy winning television program and numerous Indie films. She received a B.A. in Theatre Arts and Elementary Education from S.U.N.Y New Paltz and studied acting with Iza Itkin, Robert Castle, Bob Luke and Peter Sklar. Sunny also took classes at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. In addition to acting, Sunny also teaches sixth grade science and math at Twin Towers Middle School in Middletown, NY and has directed many school drama productions. She enjoys working with local Indie filmmakers both as an actor and as an associate casting director for Hudson Valley Casting. Sunny also works as a programmer/host for many local film festivals, including the Hudson Valley , Catskill, New York State, East by Northeast and Lake Placid International Film Festivals. She continues to advocate for women in film and currently serves as President for UPWIFT (Upstate Women in Film and Television).

(published 2021)