Our founder, editor David Mills had the great opportunity to interview this up and coming actress about her role as Christina Madison in the movie 'Mono' and more. Below is what she had to say.
When did you start acting?
While growing up in West Palm Beach, Florida as a kid, I started going to theater camp and classes and eventually went to BAK middle school of the arts and Dreyfoos High School of the Arts. After my freshman year, I moved to LA to pursue my dream of acting and graduated from LACHSA majoring in theatre.
Was it your dream to be an actress?
It has always been my dream to do this. When I was about five years old, my sister always practiced her audition monologues to me and as I watched her I realized that is what I wanted to do.
There are definitely some challenges, especially when I was auditioning while in high school. Learning to balance a professional life, a social life and my academics was difficult at times, but the rewards for my dedication always paid off. Even now, I miss certain events with my family and friends, but I so love the work I'm doing that it makes it all worth it. Nothing ever worth having came without sacrifice.
Do you remember your first acting job, tell us about it?
Yes, my first acting job was on a show called Bucket and Skinner on Nickelodeon. It was an amazing experience, there was an elephant on set and someone got a jug of chocolate pour on them. It was shot in front of a live studio audience which was a great transition from theatre and just a lot of fun. I still run into the cast and we always reminisce about it.
You play Christina Madison in the movie 'Mono'. Tell us about your character, Are you like her in real life?
Christina Madison is the queen bee of the school. She's the head of the dance team, loves being in the spotlight and keeping the high school status quo in check. I don't think I act like Christina who tends to be a little bit, or a lot a bit, of a mean girl (haha), however I do love her style which is flashy, bold and fierce.
My castmates are incredible, I couldn't have asked for a better group. Everyone was happy to be there, they were focused on making a great movie and having fun doing it. We had a few night shoots, were we were together from 5pm to 2am, and really bonded from being loopy from lack of sleep.
What do fans have to look forward to seeing in this upcoming movie?
This is a fun film filled with some hilarious characters and a great message. It really shows the difficulties of navigating through high school in this day and age, with bullying, cliques and social media. The fans can look forward to seeing some of their favorite social media stars such as Christian Delgrosso, Eric Ochoa, Brandon Bowen and Jake Paul in a whole new venue. Its a great coming of age high school movie, that everyone will enjoys.
How did the cast get ready for scenes?
We would all hang out together in the makeup room and run lines with each other before heading to set. Also the cast had a great relationship with our director, Jarrett Conaway, he was such a generous and motivating director, who was always available to answer any of our questions or simply to chat.
My advice, as cheesy as it sounds, is to always be yourself. It seems simple, but a lot of people put on a fake attitude to impress and it never works. I talk to my agents, managers and casting as my natural self and let the work speak for itself.
What do you hope your fans can take away from your acting?
I hope the fans can appreciate the characters I develop and can relate to them in some way. I love characters that you love to hate, like Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones, although she is vicious, she is so strong that you have to see what she does next.
It's hard to find free time while busy on projects. When you do, how do you spend it?
I like to spend my free time hanging out with my family, we are all very close. So when I get some time off you'll find me on the couch with my mom, sister and cats watching The Bachelor or maybe some Real Housewives especially O.C. I also love to have some quality time with friends, going out and catching up.
I have very supportive friends and family and I couldn't be more thankful for them. My sister is my acting coach, my mom is my momager, and dad is probably my biggest cheerleader, I love that they want to be involved in what I'm doing it makes everything that much better. My friends are the best, they are always by my side through the highs and lows, they are like family to me.
Who inspires you with your acting?
I really admire Elizabeth Banks and aspire to have a diverse career like hers one day. She is just as brilliant performing comedy as she is drama. Has had great success in both film and T.V, I've loved her since she was on my favorite show “Scrubs”. Along with all of that she's even producing movies, which I think makes for a well rounded artist.
What do you hope to accomplish with your acting?
I hope to just be the best that I can be. I want to continue working on amazing projects and bringing these characters to life. I would love to do action movies, I took stage combat in high school and learned a lot on set of K.C Undercover. I would naturally hope to one day be a series regular on a show so I can connect with the audience on a weekly basis.
Thankfully I don't have a hard time memorizing lines but it came with a lot of practice. I think my memorization skills comes from my theatre training, where you are performing live and there is no second take. I take ever chance I can get to work on that muscle, I read lines with my friends when they have auditions and I'll practice memorizing the role I read.
Do you have any other talents?
I am very passionate about makeup and did it professionally for a little while working on music videos and headshots. I took classes in high school and became the head makeup artist for the theatre department in my senior year. Now I always do my friends and families makeup for different events, I even did my sister and all her bridesmaid's makeup for her wedding.
We want to thank Kara for answering David's questions.
Please follow Kara on Twitter by clicking here.
ALL Photographs Are Credited To Samantha Annis