“If you want to thrive as an artist, you should not do just one thing” With Actress Chantelle Albers

My advice would be to have more than one craft and more than one skill that you can use to create art. Rather than just doing one thing, try writing, acting, dancing, producing, singing, horseback riding etc. Even if you don’t use that skill in your profession, it will still enhance you as an artist. […]

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My advice would be to have more than one craft and more than one skill that you can use to create art. Rather than just doing one thing, try writing, acting, dancing, producing, singing, horseback riding etc. Even if you don’t use that skill in your profession, it will still enhance you as an artist. The more you enhance yourself by doing fulfilling activities, the more fuel you give yourself to keep going.

I had the pleasure to interview Chantelle Albers. Chantelle has an extensive theatre background that includes musical theatre, summer stock, and straight plays with villainous character roles and quirky physical comedy being her favorite. After getting her BFA in Theatre Performance, she transitioned to film and television and began advancing her skills with stage combat and firearms. Having a passion for film making, Chantelle expanded her skills beyond acting and started producing feature films as well as plays, which is something she now loves and is very dedicated to. At Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood, where she is a producer and company member, you can catch her in a main stage show or a late-night comedy show. Things considered to be luxuries in her life are the ability to create art, singing, horseback riding with whiskey, hula hooping, hiking with a walking stick, live music, and her dogs Marley and Eddie. She’s also an avid reader, tea drinker, and a member of AEA and SAG/AFTRA.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Thank you for having me! The path of acting has always been a deep passion of mine, even as a kid. I remember wanting to act when I was in the hospital after a serious head injury when I was four years old. I fell on the ice with a double concussion that required emergency surgery. I had woken up from a coma a few days before and I was watching TV in my hospital room thinking “How do I get into doing that?” Growing up, my mom and dad always surrounded me with art and music. I saw my first concert when I was six, and it was MC Hammer! My parents would often take us to concerts, live theatre performances, and movies. The more I saw, the more I wanted to act. It reached a point where I would read through the newspaper looking for auditions that I wanted my parents to drive me to! My first audition was when I was seven and it was a singing and dancing group call Kids on Broadway. I stayed active performing, acting, and training throughout my youth and got a BFA in Theatre before I moved to Los Angeles. That is how I got into film.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

The most interesting story would be when I got stabbed in the arm on a film set. From that experience, I am firm about my safety. As actors and performers, we need the full use of our voice and bodies to do our jobs correctly. When that happened, I was a female lead on a movie and we were also in the middle of production for a play, so my understudy had to open for the first couple weeks because I was too injured to perform. Although, it didgive me some street credit for being stabbed.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I have so many stories! It is all about trial and error, then improving upon what you learned. One time, I was auditioning for summer stock as a kid, which are theatrical productions by a repertory company organized for the summer season, and I had my performance package of a monologue and 16 bars of a song. It was a huge cattle call where we had to perform in front of everyone, not just the casting directors. Anyway, my monologue and song went well because they wanted to see more. They asked for another monologue and to hear another song, except I didn’t have anything prepared. I had only come with what was asked of me. From that experience, I learned to always over prepare. Professional acting is almost like the Olympics, you have to train daily and prepare essential parts of honing your craft.

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

  1. I am really excited for people to see my producing/acting debut called The 6th Friend,which is in select theaters and on VOD now. It is a female-driven horror film that is a journey of six best friends who commit a crime and five years later, it comes back to haunt them. It is a cool slasher film with a paranormal aspect to it that will shock you at the end. I find it very fulfilling to work on the production end of filmmaking because it is creatively freeing to develop a project from the ground up and make creative decisions on the final product.
  2. I am in an upcoming movie that is going to be played in London in January 2019 called The Desert and it has already premiered in Sweden at the Lund Film Festival. I played a character named Martha, a housewife living with her husband and son in their suburban mansion, where she sneaks into her son’s virtual reality chamber. Here, he wanders through a desert with extraordinary powers. The virtual reality chamber is meant as a psychotic treatment, but when Martha trespasses into his world it causes havoc in the real world letting the desert spill into their home. The film was inspired by Melodrama films of the 1950’s and it combines feminist heroism with contemporary sci-fi.
  3. Right now, I am working on a film called Promises. I am really excited because I get to sing in the film and the character has a really strong dynamic arch of emotion and drive. My character is a singer, so the film starts off with me performing an acoustic gig of an original song. As the film progresses, we soon find out that my daughter is in the hospital with a life-threatening illness and I am unable to afford her medical care. This film takes us on a journey of a mother’s love and how far she will go for her daughter. It highlights all the scarifies you make as a parent for the survival of your children. I think this is a universal theme that all parents have to deal with and seeing how far one will go to save a loved one.
  4. In January, I started filming on a movie called Waiting which has a strong visual element to the narrative. I love experimenting with the different styles in film through storytelling. The characters in the film are stock characters and the film is stylized in an eerie way that makes the audience question what reality really is. The story is about a seemingly innocent restaurant where a man is waiting for someone to join him, but the increasingly eccentric patrons make the audience question where we really are. I play the role of the mother that begins the film in the restaurant with her baby stroller, and by the end, I join a rioting mob outside.

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

Someone that I enjoyed meeting was Mac Miller. He was creative, with a talent-driven soul. I had a friend that performed with him once and after the show we did some behind the scenes footage. A guy came up and told him a joke about Reese Witherspoon stabbing someone WitherKNIFE, and it made the cut on MTV. The punchline was edited to slow motion with Mac laughing hysterically at the joke. You never know how short life can be, he was loved and admired by so many people because he had a creative gift to share.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

My advice would be to have more than one craft and more than one skill that you can use to create art. Rather than just doing one thing, try writing, acting, dancing, producing, singing, horseback riding etc. Even if you don’t use that skill in your profession, it will still enhance you as an artist. The more you enhance yourself by doing fulfilling activities, the more fuel you give yourself to keep going.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I think there is a huge issue with the food industry and how food is rationed out across the world. In some places we are throwing food away and wasting it because there is so much of it, and in other parts of the world, there are starving and malnourished individuals. Throwing food away not only wastes, but I see it as a tax on the earth. The earth had to produce the food and it added more labor for the farmers who grew the produce and with meat, each animal dies for a meal. When you throw meat away, it’s like the animal died in vain. Throwing food away only adds to the demand and over production in one area. I would love to help distribute food more evenly across the world and have an influence on eliminating food waste.

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. I wish I would have realized all the skills it takes to get into acting, and how your added skills help you in your craft. For example, playing piano, taking dance classes, voice lessons, movement classes, martial arts are all related to acting and the performing arts. They all are skills that can help you as an actor with rhythm, pentameter, vocally, and with balance. I studied music and vocals when I was younger and then stopped for a while because I was so focused on acting, but when I went back to it years later, I realized that sharpening my skills with piano, voice lessons, dance, and movement all catered to my acting in the end. As actors, our bodies are instruments and you have to sharpen them with a variety of skills that can create freedom within. I believe that an actor’s freedom is where their best skills lie.
  2. Let the bad experiences in life help you in your acting work so you can find the joy in your sorrow. I think drawing from real-life experiences and pain fuels so many people into creating some of their best work. It makes the pain we go through in life more freeing, especially when you can use it for a character in a story. There is a cathartic sense to it when it is released creatively. There are so many times when I was going through heartache and got to go to rehearsal or perform, which was the perfect remedy for me.
  3. Find out who you really are as a person and be conscious of your actions and behaviors to create your own self-awareness. Through knowing this, it has helped me find characters that I am called to play. People often try to put you in a category and they want to keep you in that box because that is what sells. I like going all over the map with the characters that I play. I have gotten something from being a villain, killer, housewife, detective, the victim, a ghost, to being a sassy British lady and I love being able to morph into a different person every time. I believe that by having keen self-awareness and awareness of others, that in itself helps you to understand the variation of personalities.
  4. No one ever told me about the business of acting and how technical you have to be as an actor in this day in age. As an actor, you are the business, so you have to oversee all the details and make sure that it is represented and created for your business. As actors, we tend to be creative and use our right brain, but you also have to know how to be tech and business savvy which is the left brain. I didn’t realize this when I was a kid, but as an actor you need to be: creative, tech savvy, and make smart business decisions.
  5. Do not wait for the right moment, create the right moment. Currently, a lot of people are catching onto this phenomenon with social media platforms and having accessible equipment to create their own projects. A lot of people are creating amazing content that can go viral and I think it is wonderful to see that kind of creativity being spread and shared. I love producing live theatre and feature films because you are able to create a story and be a part of it, which is much more freeing than waiting for a story or a role to come to you. After I produced my first feature film The 6th Friend and the Main Stage play The Whiskey Maiden, I felt like I had so much creative freedom because I had conceptualized and executed them into actual projects.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Life beats you down and crushes the soul, and art reminds you that you have one.” — Stella Adler.

This quote really resonates with me because life can be pretty difficult at times, and as actors we are constantly drawing upon our emotions, specific experiences, and learning how to do new things. When life beats you down you can use your art to remind yourself that you are alive. An actor’s playground is the set or the stage and you can use life’s beatings to create a magical story through acting.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I have had a lot of mentors, teachers, and friends along the way that I owe an enormous amount of gratitude to. I have had some amazing teachers during my educational journey and am fortunate to have had them in my life. Some people who are really special, are a fellow actor named Carmen Argenziano and a producer named Michael Klawitter. They have both been so influential and nurturing during my acting career and they are reliant people. Carmen is a wonderfully talented and skilled actor with such a charming and loving demeanor. He always answers me with “Yes baby, we’ll make it happen” or something in the midst of positive, upward thinking. I have confided in him on multiple occasions and cannot thank him enough. Michael has been someone that I constantly rely on. I have gone to him for producing advice and he has always been there for me as a mentor and friend. He is close to my whole family, so there is a strong trust between us. I greatly value his opinion and guidance. He is one of the most loyal people and I am blessed to have him in my life.

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 would love to sit down with Bernie Sanders because I have always admired his core values and his willingness to stand up for what he believes in. He is an incredibly hard-working person with a voice that seems to be for the good of the people and he is not afraid to take action. I can only imagine all the crazy stories he has to tell from all his years in politics, especially during the Civil Rights movement in the 60’s. I would love to hear his ideas for the future of America and mankind.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Catch me on Instagram and Twitter: @chantellealbers. I’m also on Facebook at

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