“As a society we should all learn love, acceptance, and togetherness. We all bleed the same blood and are on the same earth living in the same world, so why not just realize we are all one in the same and that we should build each other up instead of tearing each other down and making us compare ourselves to one another. We should also learn to put our phones down and enjoy the time we are spending with our friends and family. Life is too short to have our noses stuck in a phone.”
I had the pleasure to interview Actress, Singer, Songwriter Gabi Stewart
Thank you so much for joining us! What is your “backstory”?
Well I grew up in a little town outside of Dallas, Tx called Richardson, Tx and I’ve honestly been performing since I can remember. My Grandma said she recalls after every family dinner, when I was three, I would stand behind the window curtains and emerge and begin my performance comprised of singing, dancing, and just being the most. — ok she didn’t say that last bit lol. I attended everything from dance class to voice lessons to musical theatre classes(what even is that). I attended catholic private school my entire life and an all girls catholic private school called Ursuline academy where Melinda gates actually attended as well! (& I got to meet her when she came to visit the school which was truly inspirational) I then came out to California and graduated from AMDA: College & I Conservatory for the Performing Arts with my BFA in performing arts. I now audition and film every single day!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I just wrapped a voiceover project with the really cool animated short film about a girl that gets super powers and now I’m starting to film a independent film called “cherry chapstick” about two girls in high school that fall in love but one of the girl’s parents doesn’t approve
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
What’s funny is I’ve met more celebrities at my job at a hotel( I won’t say which one to protect the hotel and people that stay there ) then I have in my actual acting career. I’ve met Paul McCartney, Tina Fey, Molly Shannon-who actually gave me some acting advice when I asked her, Owen Wilson, Chris Hemsworth, 50 cent,Tom holland, Tom Hiddleston, and Peter Dinklage to name a few.
Tom Holland and Tom Hiddleston were some of my favorite guests we had at the pool. They are both just two little kids at heart. They were playing truth or dare and daring each other to do the funniest things around the pool like recite shakespeare for everyone at the pool. And they were the sweetest guys too boot!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- To learn Spanish
Im learning now!! But I’m Latina, and I definitely don’t look Latina which makes it really hard for me to convince people and more importantly casting directors when I can’t fluently speak the language.
- Don’t go in for every audition feeling like you need the role
When I started to care a bit less about getting certain roles and relax during auditions I started to land more and more roles. Casting Directors can smell when you want a role really badly and you also tend to get in your head and overthink it as well.
- Get use to hearing “no”
In this industry you definitely need backbone. I know a handful of people who have given up on their dreams of acting because they started to let the no’s affect them, and they even started to believe that they weren’t good enough. You need to push past all of that and realize everyone is different and you can offer something to a role that nobody else in the world can, you just need to wait for the right role and the right time, but you 100% cannot give up.
- Stop comparing yourself to other girls
I did this all the time when I was first starting off and it destroyed me, but it’s so hard not to do this in the industry I chose to be a part of. I know now though how dumb that was and how special I am. We are all unique and offer our own special magic to everything we work on. I also realized that I’m made in God’s image so I’m incredibly special and definitely don’t need to compare myself to anyone else.
- Learn guitar/piano/how to read music
I’m also a singer/songwriter and I wish I put a little more time and effort into learning to play guitar and piano in college, as well as, learning how to read music. That would have helped tremendously in my songwriting and music career.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Everything happens for a reason. This has been my life lesson quote for as long as I can remember. In my life I’ve realized that every opportunity that hasn’t worked out for me was just leading me to a better opportunity down the road! I’m also extremely religious so I believe that God has a plan for me on this earth and that all the no’s are just future yes’.
Who do you consider to be your role model for the way in which you have molded your career? What can you share about that person?
My career role model would have to be either Rachel McAdams, Anne Hathaway, or Amanda Seyfried. My dream is to be in a movie musical because it combines my love for acting and singing, and Anne & Amanda were both in musicals. I would also love to be in period pieces and do a bit of voiceover work which Rachel and Anne have both done.
Where were you in your career 5 years ago? What do you believe has changed in that time frame (personal, with the world, and/or with your profession)?
I was still in college 5 years ago, and I was actually told by the school to not go out and audition yet because I wasn’t ready, but I went out and did it anyways. That’s the main reason I have so much experience with auditions and being on set to this day. I’ve definitely grown as a person. I know exactly what I was with my life( to be make some amazing art as an actress/singer, make young girls feel good/confident about themselves, to help those people in the world that can’t help themselves). I also recently got engaged and couldn’t be more excited about spending the rest of my life with my fiancé! And I’ve learned the tips and tricks of the industry and how to get my foot in the door.
We always hear about the best advice we have been given. Tell our readers the worst advice you ever received.
To have a backup plan for my acting career. If you have a dream and you’ve found a profession that makes you happier than anything else, you don’t need a backup plan.
What are you currently reading that might be something I should try to read as well? Why?
I just finished reading Anna Kendrick’s Book “Scrappy Little Nobody” and it was actually very relatable and hilarious. Highly recommend.
When you have the time, what do you binge watch?
When I have time I binge watch Handmaids Tale (the best show ever!), America’s Next Top Model, and Reign
Where have you travelled that has given you inspiration personally or professionally?
Honestly I’ve never been out of the country, but I NEED to! The most interesting places i’ve visited has been New York and different parts of California.
What would you say we need to know as a society to “move forward”?
As a society we should all learn love, acceptance, and togetherness. We all bleed the same blood and are on the same earth living in the same world, so why not just realize we are all one in the same and that we should build each other up instead of tearing each other down and making us compare ourselves to one another.
We should also learn to put our phones down and enjoy the time we are spending with our friends and family. Life is too short to have our noses stuck in a phone.
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?
My mom is definitely that person for me. She’s always pushed me to follow my dreams and to not be afraid of putting myself out there. She would, on multiple occasions, force me to stand up from the table at a crowded restaurant and tell me to sing for everyone. It was definitely hard and incredibly embarrassing at the time, but it made me courageous and the strong person I am today.
Originally published at medium.com