I like working in this industry because it’s a unique hobby, and not everyone does it. I like it because it’s fun to act. Ever since I was a kid, I would always watch movies and say, “I want to be in a movie one day.” I like all the imagining that goes into movies. When I see movies I like, I’ll say, “This would be the most fun scene to do!” (like most of the scenes in Goonies would have been!) I wish I could have gone down the water mudslide in that movie. Sometimes while reading good books I’ll think, if this was a movie, I wish I could play the main character. I just finished reading Land of Stories, and I think if they turn that into a movie it would be the best. Playing Sophie would be the coolest thing ever. So honestly, the wishing and hoping is something I like about the profession. Oh, I can’t forget I actually really like all the food on the sets, so that is kind of a big thing in my opinion.
Some noteworthy projects I have participated in the past were getting to perform with the San Francisco Opera for a season when they did It’s a Wonderful Life, and voicing the lead Lucy for the VR story Wolves in the Walls. For the San Francisco Opera I got to be in their rendition of It’s a Wonderful Life, which is such a classic movie, and to see it turned into an Opera was amazing! It was my first experience in an opera, and to be able to perform at one of the best Opera houses in the United States, it was incredible. It sounds funny that I didn’t sing at an opera, it was acting, because the kids didn’t sing our lines like the adults, but still very fun. My mom actually tried to talk me out of the job! She told me, “You don’t want to be driving into the city six days a week near Christmas time!” and I told her, “I do!” I listen to my mom a lot but I'm glad I didn’t listen to her this time.
Wolves in the Walls, was a highlight because it was such a fun character to play. When I saw the finished product and got to play the VR with the Oculus headset, it was really cool. It was so real and I felt connected with the character ... but it was my voice I was connecting with, so it was crazy! It was also cool to be in something that accomplished actors (Noah Schnapp, Jeffrey Wright, Elizabeth Carena) were in, as it gives me extra motivation to work hard even when this business can be frustrating. It didn’t hurt that it won an Emmy too!
What was eye-opening to me about the socially distanced parts of the industry is that there was both some good and some bad. The self-tapes were great because I'm from Northern California and I didn’t have to fly to LA as often since everything was self tapes. So that was kind of a nice break. But sometimes with the self tapes, having my mom run the camera could be a little crazy. She’s an actor herself so sometimes behind the camera she couldn’t help but give me some sign language-like motions. If you hear a gasp or noise behind the camera, that’s probably my mom! But she’s my number one fan so I don’t mind.
What keeps me grounded while working in the Entertainment business number one is my mom. She likes to remind me that this is a really hard business and not to get frustrated when I don’t get jobs. She likes to read me quotes and stories from different actors talking about how many auditions they went on before getting a job, and stuff like that. She makes sure I do other things, like my sports, so I have other things in my life besides acting. My manager and agent also help me stay grounded. My manager keeps everything positive for me and reminds me not to give up. She reminds me that even getting an audition for some of these big jobs is a huge accomplishment by itself. I remember when I first signed with my agent he told me about this famous actor that went on 100 auditions before he booked his first job so it was his way of letting me know not to get frustrated and that it takes time. My acting coaches also help, because they’re positive and kind and funny and it makes taking classes fun. So luckily I'm surrounded by good people.
Although I do love acting, I realize that the chance of being able to make this a full-time job is really hard. So I keep that in mind, and put things into perspective and concentrate on lots of things I like. I like to play soccer, tennis, and lacrosse. I love drawing, reading and writing stories. I love my black Labrador. I don’t like math at all and it gets me in a bad mood when i’m doing it. Science is not much better. When I'm at home, I get hangry if I'm hungry, but I always apologize when I get the first bit of food in me. I love giraffes and my dream is to get to see them run in the wild. I want to get my ear double-pierced but my mom said I can’t until I'm older. I’m from San Mateo and actors William Lipton and Alicia Silverstone went to our local San Mateo High, so I'm hoping I can follow in their footsteps as a San Mateo actor. That’s a lot about me!
Business Advice: The best business advice I have received is probably from one of my acting coaches, Giovannie Espiritu. She reminded me that you have to love the process, because the process is what you’re going to be doing most of the time. And that is the training, the auditioning, the call back, and then a lot of the time not getting the job and doing it over again. So if you love the training, and auditioning, and all that stuff you’re going to be okay. I also like that she would tell me if I didn’t feel comfortable auditioning for something, then I shouldn’t. I remember one time I had a script and it was for something scary and I was younger and I didn’t want to do it, and she said, “Then you shouldn’t.” So she is pretty great to have in my life in this business. My voice acting coach, Robin Reed, always tells me to “have fun with it, play around with it” and that advice always helps me.
Networking Tip: I usually leave that stuff up to my manager and agent. But I do know that by working hard and being kind and helpful and knowing your lines and being ready to go will help you.
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