By: Daniel Hoyos | PHOTOS COURTESY Rachelle Henry
- Los Angeles, California
Seattle teen actress Rachelle Henry, looks to take on Hollywood after elevating her acting skills with two award winning short films. Rachelle also discusses attending the Slamdance Film Festival, and the Young Artist Awards cemeteries in Los Angeles.
You started acting at six years old in local productions around the city of Seattle. How did Rachelle get started in the business?
I was always performing: Preschool programs, dance recitals, gymnastic performances. When I was six, I was at a cheerleading camp and heard about auditioning for Nickelodeon. I ended up going to an audition, and through that audition, I started training, auditioning and working in theater and then film.
Congratulations on your performance in Creased, which is about an Asian American girl who wants double-eyelid surgery. Can you tell us more about your character?
I played the role of Syd, who is the best friend of the main character, Kayla. Syd can be brash and insensitive some of the time, especially when she's partying, but she truly has a heart of gold and cares deeply about her best friend. Syd is complex, attempting to hide her own insecurities, and eventually tries to help Kayla with hers. She is the only one in the Kayla's circle of influence who considers the Asian eyelid surgery unnecessary because she thinks her best friend is beautiful just the way she is and that she shouldn't conform to society's vision of how she should look.
Losing It was your last short film about a girl on her prom night which, premiered at Slamdance. What was it was attending the Slamdance Film Festival?
It was an amazing experience. I remember how excited I was when I got the news of the film getting in! I didn't realize that Slamdance is in Park City, UT during the same time period as Sundance! Because of that, producers, directors, actors and industry people can go to both festivals and I got to meet some really great filmmakers and see great films from both festivals! What an exciting place to premiere "Losing It." It was amazing to experience the audience's reaction to what's happening to my character in the film!
We always hear if you want to pursue a career in acting move to Hollywood. Do you think actors can build a successful career outside of Los Angeles?
For me personally, I've been blessed to be able to develop my craft and build a resume, and even been able to learn so many facets of the business by working in a smaller market before joining the Hollywood scene. Being in a smaller market has given me the opportunity to explore my range in acting, and also given me opportunity to begin directing and producing, which brings me full circle to being a better actor. The larger markets like Hollywood and New York offer more opportunities, and the smaller can help prepare before the move.
You recently won two awards at The Young Artists Awards, and Young Entertainer Awards. Can you tell about your experience attending the award ceremonies in Los Angeles?
It's really exciting and such an honor to receive nominations, let alone sitting with my peers and sharing the experience with them. It's surreal to win because it could be any one of the nominees! Thrilling! Something very special was that right as I was leaving the stage at Young Artist Awards is that Danny Glover came out and addressed the future of the young actors in front of him, challenging us to remain true to the craft, reminding us that artists are the gatekeepers of truth, and that we represent the future. Both the Young Artist Awards and the Young Entertainer Awards ceremonies encourage and honor those ideals and the youth are stronger for it! A big THANK YOU to both!
A large part of the audition process is rejection. How does Rachelle personally handle rejection?
The best thing I can do as an actor is to do my very best at every audition. I can't control the other parts of the audition. We all hear that we as actors could be too tall, too short, too dark, too light, smile too much, not friendly enough. I just have to bring the best performance I can, and leave it at that. That being said, some losses are harder than others.
You’re only 16 years old but, If you could look ahead 5 years into the future. Where do you hope to be professionally, in regards to your acting career?
I plan to continue my education. As an actor, of course I hope not only to be working with my A-List idols and developing as an actor, but I look forward to working with the many other talented people that aren't well known yet. What I do know is that I will keep looking for the opportunity to keep creating and doing what I love.