Lydia Fiore’s laugh is from the heart, very Buffalo-meets-Manhattan, just like her quick wit.
The Lackawanna native always wanted to be an actress, but her day-job success delayed her dream for a few decades. After rising to a senior vice president position at a women’s fashion company in New York and acting only on the weekends, she left corporate life behind two years ago and is now acting full time.
“I fully immersed myself in my art as an actor with classes, auditions, roles … This was my dream and now I’m living it,” she said.
In a phone interview from her home in New Jersey, Fiore said she was “thrilled” about the hometown screening of her short film “Swiped Right,” a romantic comedy which she executive produced and stars in.
The screening is set for 8 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Buffalo Niagara International Film Festival at the Four Seasons Theaters in Niagara Falls.
She answered additional email questions about her successful career switch at an age — over 35 — when many female actors leave the youth-obsessed world of Hollywood.
Q: Your film short, “Swiped Right” takes a look at dating “after a certain age” in 2017. Why this story? Why a rom-com?
A: I wanted to tell a story that was funny and relevant to women my age. The original idea came from my own dating playbook…then [was] revamped by Dana Marisa Schoenfeld, my very talented business partner and the writer/director.
We wanted to show the truth behind what’s it like to be with a total stranger.
Q: Many actresses "over a certain age" talk about ageism and a dearth of roles. What is your experience?
A: I think my perspective of the industry is different than someone who has grown up in this profession. I’ve been [acting] consistently and it’s been such a fun ride. I know my type and am very comfortable with playing those roles. So my experience so far has been great.
Q: How much of Lackawanna is still in the working actress who lives in New York City?
A: “LA” never leaves you … so 99 percent of me is still Lackawanna and 1 percent is the fast pace of New York City. I grew up learning good values, family, friends, hard work pays off, teamwork, helping your neighbor and socializing. My parents lived here their whole lives. Lackawanna was a true melting pot of nationalities because of the steel plant. It was a great place to call my hometown.
Q: Just this summer Cheektowaga native William Fichtner realized a dream of his, making a movie in Buffalo. Is this on your bucket list?
A: That’s so nice for Bill. Yes, my dream is to take our film “Swiped Right” and make it into a feature. It would be so wonderful to film here in Buffalo. Maybe we can entice another former Buffalo resident Harvey Weinstein to collaborate with us…. now that’s a bucket list item!
Fiore is starring in Season Two of the YouTube comedy series “Lorraine Russo’s Family Diaries,” and in November will perform in the audience interactive improv/scripted comedy spoof show “Housewives of Secaucus,” playing at the Broadway Comedy Club (318 W. 53rd St., NY, NY). For more information on the Buffalo Niagara International Film Festival visit http://thebnff.com/