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“Appreciate your Crew” 5 Insider Tips with Actress Sophie Reynolds

“This one I learned first from Cameron Boyce when we worked together. Your crew supports you and makes it possible for you to do your job…


“This one I learned first from Cameron Boyce when we worked together. Your crew supports you and makes it possible for you to do your job. They work so hard and showing them gratitude and acknowledging their hard work can really go a long way. Filmmaking is such a collaborative process and there’s nothing worse than an actor who doesn’t respect their crew. We’re all in it together!”

I had the pleasure of interviewing Sophie Reynolds. Known for her role on the Disney XD series “Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything,” Sophie is currently promoting her role as a series regular on the YouTube Red teen dramedy “Youth & Consequences” which premiered on March 7th. Starring YouTube sensation Anna Akana, the series follows it girl ‘Farrah’ as she navigates high school through the lens of social media.

What is your “backstory”?

I grew up near Portland, Oregon and started dance class at the age of 3. I absolutely fell in love with dance and it became my entire life. I have always had such a strong love for performing and at age 15 I found acting and it changed everything. At the age of 15 I booked a Disney show called Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything and my entire family moved to LA. My parents and my brother are incredible and have been so supportive of me throughout this crazy journey. I’ve now been here in LA for nearly four years pursuing my career. 
 
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your acting/directing/performing career?

I’ve been pretty fortunate to work on sets where laughter is a huge part of the environment and we are always having fun. I think one of my favorite on-set memories was a day working on the set of Gamer’s Guide. It was a ridiculously hot day on set and we were working outside that week and ended up having a huge water balloon fight. That’s definitely a top memory for me.


What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I am most excited about my new YouTube Red series, “Youth & Consequences.” The show is a high school dramedy centered around a high school queen bee named Farrah, played by Anna Akana, and her friends. The show is about how we navigate power and social status and how we can use it to affect change. It’s dramatic, but it’s also witty and smart and all about breaking stereotypes. I play “Plain Jane,” one of the girls in Farrah’s crew. Jane is a part of the popular crowd, but she struggles with feeling like she never fully belongs with them. She’s going through the struggle of wanting to fit in and be popular but also wanting to be herself. Getting to play a character who’s trying to find her voice and her strength felt important to me because it’s a struggle that so many people, especially young girls, can relate to. She’s an incredibly loving and complex character and I feel lucky to play her. The main cast is primarily female and every episode of the first season was directed by a woman, so that was also a really great experience for me to be surrounded by so many smart, strong women working together to make something we are so proud of.

Who are some of the most famous people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

I get to meet a lot of cool people with my job but I think my favorite famous story was probably when NBA player Karl-Anthony Towns guest starred on a show I worked on. He was super fun and really excited to work with us because he had dreamt of acting since he was a kid. They had built a half-court as one of the sets, so we all got to shoot around with him for a bit which was really fun.

Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

There are many inspiring historical figures, but a personal inspiration for me is Susan B. Anthony. She was on of the founders of the Woman Suffrage Association and was a true pioneer for women’s rights. Gender equality is something close to my heart and I’m so thankful for all the women who have paved the way for me.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in Hollywood?

I always tell people that you have to fall in love with the process. Auditioning and all the rejection can be so disheartening, but you have to be so in love with what you’re doing that you have no choice but to keep going. At the end of the day, as cliche as this is, it comes down to hard work and just not giving up.

What do you do to “sharpen your craft”? Can you share any stories?

I like to think that I can be a role model to young girls. I want girls to feel like they can do anything, and I want them to be able to see themselves represented on screen. As my career is progressing I’m trying to focus on projects that have a message and a voice that means something to me. That’s one of the reasons I’m so proud to be a part of “Youth & Consequences.” In addition to being a diverse female-lead show, we get to cover so many important topics such as transgender rights, suicide, the strength of female friendship, and gender equality.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I like to think that I can be a role model to young girls. I want girls to feel like they can do anything, and I want them to be able to see themselves represented on screen. As my career is progressing I’m trying to focus on projects that have a message and a voice that means something to me. That’s one of the reasons I’m so proud to be a part of “Youth & Consequences.” In addition to being a diverse female-lead show, we get to cover so many important topics such as transgender rights, suicide, the strength of female friendship, and gender equality.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Don’t be afraid to speak up.

When I first started, I let the fear of being “difficult” and a “diva” stop me from voicing my opinion so often. This is especially for women starting out in the industry because I do think that we are often heard differently than men on set. I learned to speak up the most from watching Anna Akana work. Anna is the executive producer and star of Youth & Consequences and she led us with such grace and strength and always made herself heard in the best possible way.

2. Appreciate your crew.

This one I learned first from Cameron Boyce when we worked together. Your crew supports you and makes it possible for you to do your job. They work so hard and showing them gratitude and acknowledging their hard work can really go a long way. Filmmaking is such a collaborative process and there’s nothing worse than an actor who doesn’t respect their crew. We’re all in it together!

3. Auditioning is just an opportunity to act.

Once I started approaching auditioning this way, it changed everything. I look at it as a fun chance to act with someone new and explore a new character. This way it’s fun and far less scary. It’s less about the end result of booking the job and more about the process and growth along the way.

4. Really take time and enjoy each opportunity while it’s happening.

It really all does go by so fast, so appreciate every opportunity you get. I look back on so many of my experiences working as some of the best times of my life. It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of the job and looking for the next thing, but you have to slow down, be in the moment and have fun.

5. Cherish real relationships.

Family and my true friends are so important to me. This world can be a crazy place, but having those people who you love and trust to always be by your side is so special. This industry is surprisingly small and you meet a lot of people, but when you have your true people in your life, don’t ever let them go.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

I think I’d have to say Meryl Streep. I’d just love to hear about how she’s navigated this industry for so long and all of her stories. She’s an icon with such talent, class and dignity, and I would have so much to learn from her, so I think a lunch with her would be incredible.

Note to our readers: If you appreciated this interview, please click on one of the buttons on the top left to post to your twitter, facebook or pinterest. If 2000 people like you do this, there is a good chance this article may be featured on the homepage. : -)

If you would like to see the entire “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me” Series In Huffpost, ThriveGlobal, and Buzzfeed, click HERE.

Originally published at medium.com

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