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.
Tell us Alina, what is the best advice you've been given?
My parents and coaches always tell me to:
- Have fun
- 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 🙂
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?
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.
Alina in the GA Lottery Commercial…