Student Highlight: Alina Brace

Student Highlight: Alina Brace

Get to know TAS alumni and TASM Talent, from The Fabelmans (in theaters November 23rd!) and Sweet Magnolias (Netflix)

Periodically The Actor’s Scene likes to reach out to students and chronicle their success in the industry. Case and point: Alina Brace. Here’s what Alina has to say…

Hey Alina! We are so excited to speak with you! Let's start at the beginning, tell us what made you want to become an actor?

I was watching a TV show and Disney cartoons and thought how cool would it be to be like them; be a princess like Elsa. I asked my parents, “How do these people get to be on TV?” They explained to me that these are just characters, and there is an actor playing a role or voicing that character. So I asked them if I could do that too… I really wanted to be on TV! 

What do you really love about acting?

I like acting because you can be whatever you want to be. One day you can play a dancer, a hair stylist, a biologist, a doctor or a princess.  It is so much fun! 

What is something that surprised you about working on a set?

I was surprised by how  many people work on a set and how big it can be. I was really impressed that a production I was in (for a GA Lottery commercial) built a whole bedroom for me with a bed and a table, stuffed toys, windows, and all the decorations. It was really big!

What are some of your favorite acting moments?

One of my favorite moments on set was filming an unscripted scene for a movie. We just improvised; said whatever we wanted-  and laughed a lot! It was the most fun I ever had on set.

Another favorite moment was playing a wildlife biologist for a GA Lottery commercial. In the scene, when I drop the book with my drawings, I suddenly become a biologist and my drawings become real things! Jungle animals, trees, flowers and birds flying in the bedroom! It was so cool to see how the special effects and green screens were used for these scenes.

That sounds so cool! So, what did you use from your acting training to help you prepare for these on-set experiences?

I am using everything I have learned in class for all of my auditions and jobs. Focusing exercises and Improv lessons were especially helpful, as they allowed me to react and think quickly on the spot.

I feel most confident when I’m prepared and when I get good marks from my coaches, agents, and casting directors. Nothing is better than hearing “You were great” and “You booked it”!

-Alina Brace on what makes her feel confident

Tell us Alina, what is the best advice you've been given?

My parents and coaches always tell me to:

  1. Have fun 
  2. Be authentically you!

Great advice! So, tell us about your latest project, The Fabelmans.

The Fabelmans is loosely based on Steven Spielberg’s childhood. He co-wrote the script, produced and directed the movie. I got to play one of his younger sisters. During the two months of shooting in LA, we did a lot of fun scenes and I got to meet so many great people and make new friends; some of which I still keep in touch with today. It was truly an honor to be a part of the star studded cast. I can’t wait to see it! 

What would be your dream project?

My dream project would be playing a superhero in a live action movie. Also my favorite cartoon right now is Polly Pocket, so I would love to voice a character on that show. 

Speaking of superheroes: if you could choose just one superpower, what would it be?

I would definitely want the power to levitate! How awesome would it be to fly, make things float, and come to you? 

Finally, what advice do you have for young actors who are just getting started?

Always believe in yourself and have fun 🙂

-PARENTS CORNER-

We are super honored to hear from Alina’s amazing mother, Yelena Brace. We asked Yelena to share some of her best advice for parents of young actors. Here is what she has to say:


 

Hey Yelena, thank you for taking the time to speak with us! What advice do you have for parents of new young actors just getting started?

  1. Don’t be overwhelmed by the shear amount of information and advice you will receive. What maybe works for one child actor doesn’t mean would work for yours, so please do your research follow your instincts and ask questions! 
  2. Connect and network with other parents, follow other young actors, casting directors, coaches, and local agencies on social media. Building your network is key! 
  3. Celebrate their wins. Yes, even getting an audition is already a win! 

Is there any system, tool, or advice that you have found to be especially helpful?

Attending free workshops to learn more about the business side of the industry, such as TAS Business Seminars offered as part of Acting Foundations and Working Year classes. These were so beneficial for me  as you learn about what tools are mostly used by agencies and CDs, what resume template you should follow, industry terms and jargon, headshot information, etc. 

Tell us what makes it all worth it? Why do you keep going, even when things get hard?

The smile on my daughter’s face when she is in her element!

As parents, we always want and strive to provide what is best for our children. We want them to be happy, to learn and grow, to be confident, to chase their dreams and of course to be better than us.

 I know that even though it can be tough (this industry is not easy), there is a lot of rewards waiting, and seeing Alina follow her dreams and knowing that she is doing what she truly loves, makes it all worth it.

You mentioned that you want Alina to be happy, learn and grow. Has that been hard in this industry? In what ways do you work to reinforce her mental health? 

Thankfully Alina is only 6 , so we are able to shield her from a lot of negativity and rejection that comes with the industry. We explain to her that sometimes there are other factors involved that are out of our control and a little bit of luck is needed as well.  

In order to keep her happy and stay motivated,  we try to include her in the positive things she enjoys (sign up for new classes and activities that will broaden her skills). We strive to reward her and celebrate little wins by treating her with a favorite dessert or let her pick out a new book to read. 

 

You can follow Alina!

Check out her:

Actor’s Access

Instagram

imdB

Alina in the GA Lottery Commercial…

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Are you ‘Film-Literate’?

Are you ‘Film-Literate’?

It’s worth putting the work in.

Hot Take: More actors need to be film-literate. But what does that practically mean?

Smith College said it best- “the aim of Film Studies is to understand the moving image — something that, in its totality, we are very familiar with, and engage with, use to communicate, and are entertained by almost every day. Knowing how to use film is not the same as knowing how it works, and how it works on us — as individuals and as a culture

Credit: Smith College

So how do we go about “knowing how it works”? This is 3-fold. We need to be:

consuming media, discussing media, and creating media.  

What does it mean to “consume media”? Consumption is simply taking something in, which in this case refers to literally watching TV shows and movies. If you’ve never given much thought to the history of American cinema, it might be a good idea to start with the American Film Institute’s “100 Greatest American Movies of All Time” list. This might give you a better understanding of American Film History and how cinema has evolved throughout the years into what it is today!

Coach Sanna at The Actor’s Scene is super big on actors learning from films that have come before them. Check out this awesome quote from her regarding the importance of film literacy for actors!

"Becoming educated in film and film history is quite important for actors. Knowing which films shaped our industry can be a great tool in your artistic tool belt, as inspiration from prior works influences tone, style, and inevitably, performance in contemporary work. If you have an opportunity to take a film theory class, do it. If not, start with the AFI (American Film Institute) 100 - you can begin your education by watching the greats right in your living room." — Sanna Erica

-Coach Sanna Erica

In addition to being educated on film history and how movies and TV have evolved into what we see today, it is especially important for actors to be aware of what is filming in their market. In the United States, the three main filming markets are New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. For Atlanta actors, this means knowing (and watching!) what is filming in the Southeast! From Tyler Perry Studios to Marvel, there are a LOT of projects going on right now. Georgia.org has an ongoing resource you can check out to always know what’s filming in the peach state:

Now Filming in Georgia by Georgia.org

In addition to watching TV and movies, we need to discuss them! That’s why we sat down with TAS student extraordinaire Ashely Baker to discuss her ongoing quest for film knowledge to help her in her acting. To preface this chat, Ashely has taken Coach Sanna’s words to heart, and is working her way through the AFI Top 100 Movies List!

Hey Ashely! We are SO EXCITED that you are taking your acting journey one step further by trying to learn more about film history! What made you decide to take on the challenge of finding and watching these older movies? Why is it important to you?

A. Being an actor I feel like having knowledge about film is important. It adds more to your creative palate and you are able to pull aspects from different characters whether it’s from tv or film. You also can interpret a script better because a lot of movies and shows still incorporate scenes and dialogue from classics.

We totally agree! So what have you learned so far from the movies you’ve watched recently?

A. So far I have learned that a lot of films today are influenced by classic films. You can also see similarities between storylines from movies now and the classics. It’s quite intriguing and it made me dive deep and start comparing movies I’ve watched recently to the classics and it’s so cool being able to pinpoint the similarities.

You’re a rockstar, Ashely! Thank you for your time.

Thank you for allowing me to shed light on this topic and give my insight. I really am finding that I enjoy analyzing film.

My advice for actors seeking to learn more about film history is to do the same thing I did. Go through those movies on the American Film Institute's list and check them off as you watch them. You will learn so much and you might see something that you can add to your creative toolbox. Also being knowledgeable about film history can make you more confident as an actor.

-Ashely Baker

We are so excited for Ashely as she continues her journey into film literacy! It is very helpful to have a place to put your thoughts about what you’ve been loving on film and in TV lately, whether you’re watching the greatest films of all time or catching up with what’s currently filming in Georgia! Letterboxd is a great platform to publish your thoughts, and share with other film enthusiasts! It is “the social network for film lovers”

Check out Letterboxd.com

In addition to letterboxd, it’s helpful to use all of the resources you’re already using for online community (in addition to chatting with real-life friends and family, of course)! Here are some social media communities we think might help you out on your quest for learning more about film and what’s current in Georgia:

Atlanta Actors Collective

Actors Helping Actors

Acting in Atlanta

(Disclaimer: Social media websites like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Letterboxd might have inappropriate content for those under the age of 18. Please proceed with parental guidance if you’re a minor, and general caution if you’re an adult!)

Once you’re discussing and consuming media, you might as well start creating it too! YouTube and TikTok are wonderful platforms (with parental guidance, of course) to start playing around with making skits and films of your own! As actors, we can’t control how much we’ll be on-set, so creating our own content is a fun way to stay acting outside of class in-between bookings! If content creation is something you want to work towards, see about scheduling private and/or career coaching with a TAS Coach to talk about how to get started!

Ready to get started? Reach out today!

TASFRONTDESK@GMAIL.COM

678-313-7798

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About The Author

Molly Pass

Molly Pass is an Atlanta-local actress, acting coach, and wedding videographer who loves to help new and seasoned actors alike find their purpose and passion through performance. She holds her bachelor’s degree in Film and Media Studies from Georgia State University and enjoys discussing movies, shows, and all things new media. Her favorite part of working at The Actor’s Scene is being able to inspire folks to pursue their dreams and helping them to gain confidence in themselves along the way. When she is not acting or working in the digital media realm, she enjoys reading murder mysteries and desperately trying to keep a garden alive. 

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