Be fearless. Devote yourself to a scene and become a character. Even if something seems weird or odd and you’re embarrassed to do it, try it out.
As a part of our series about Inspirational Women In Hollywood, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Mary Madaline Roe.
Mary Madaline Roe is a 15 year old high school sophomore. They Reach is her first lead in a feature film. Mary Madaline is grateful to the producers/writers for allowing her to have creative input into the role of Jessica. She identified with her character Jessica on many levels. Mary Madaline and They Reach were Main Stage Panel at 2019 ACE Comic Con Seattle. Her short film, “Phoebe & Julie”, won 2017 Best Story at Bleedingham Film Festival. In 2018, her Kirkland All Stars Majors Softball Little League team won their 2nd Washington State title, West Regionals Championship and placed 5th at World Series. In 2020, she was selected by the Athletic Director as the female athlete to represent her high school for King County Athlete Sportsmanship Leadership Team. She is the CFO of her FIRST Robotics High School team. Mary Madaline is an avid reader and enjoys creative writing.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I’m 15 years old, and I live with my parents and two brothers in a suburb outside Seattle. I attended a private Catholic school K-8. My family and I are involved with the Saint Vincent De Paul organization in our community — providing/serving meals at shelters and bringing food to those in need. I love to read and write, and my favorite book series growing up was Harry Potter. I read the whole series 14 times!
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
My mom had a gym friend that was a talent agent, and when I was 10, she had an opening for a photo shoot at the Pacific Science Center, and she asked if I could fill in. I accepted wholeheartedly, and I had so much fun because I really loved science. I would go to the PSC almost every month! When the same talent agent had another open role, I accepted without hesitation. By the end of my second role, I decided that I really enjoyed acting. I got head shots and enrolled in acting classes! From there, my passion only grew.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
When I was 13, I was honored to be on a main stage panel for my movie, THEY REACH at ACE Comic Con. It was a humbling experience to come on stage right after Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner and Don Cheadle, and before Taron Egerton! This was one of the first times that I had spoken in front of an audience, and I was nervous waiting to be called up. However, once I got on stage, I felt at home among my friends (costars and crew of They Reach). I am forever grateful to have had this opportunity.
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?
It’s not exactly a funny mistake, but something that I struggled with was devoting myself to a scene. I started when I was about 10, and I had a hard time saying lines that made me sound goofy or silly because then I would be embarrassed. However, a big part of acting is getting out of your comfort zone and becoming someone else. I learned to break through that barrier and perform any script fearlessly.
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 am immensely grateful towards my Los Angeles acting coach Kimberly Crandall. I started lessons with Kimberly when I was around 11 ½. I was very shy and new to acting. Kimberly helped me break out of my shell, and she taught me pretty much everything I know about acting. Kimberly helped foster my love for acting because when I would get discouraged, she would bring me back up. One thing I love about Kimberly is that she is always positive. She has never said a negative thing about my performances. Kimberly is a phenomenal acting coach, and is like family to me.
You have been blessed with great success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?
There is a lot of rejection in this industry, and many can get discouraged by their lack of booking roles. Because of this, I’ve developed a thick skin in regard to rejection. I’ve learned that more than half of the time it wasn’t something I did, it was things that I couldn’t control, like my skin color, height, or age. Don’t give up just because you’re not booking right now. If acting is something that you genuinely love to do, your time will come.
What drives you to get up everyday and work in TV and Film? What change do you want to see in the industry going forward?
I love everything about acting, from telling a story, becoming another character, and bonding with the cast and crew on set. I really feel that acting is what I am meant to do because I have such passion for it.
You have such impressive work. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Where do you see yourself heading from here?
I look forward to working on future projects. I don’t wish to limit myself, and will audition for TV, film, commercial, as well as drama, comedy, action/adventure, and so much more. Horror was very fun to act in, and I would gladly do it again. However, I see myself being versatile in my roles.
We are very interested in looking at diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture and our youth growing up today?
It is very important to have diversity on screen because then people watching will have representation and feel like they can identify and relate to more characters.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Be fearless. Devote yourself to a scene and become a character. Even if something seems weird or odd and you’re embarrassed to do it, try it out.
- Don’t be afraid to take risks. Try doing the scene different ways. If you do something different it could help make you stand out from the hundreds of other people auditioning for the same role.
- Persevere. Rejection is commonplace in the acting industry. Don’t hang on to the auditions you didn’t get, let those go and focus on what you can do now.
- Get out of your comfort zone. Acting is about becoming another person who is different than yourself. If a character seems like the complete opposite of yourself, try it out! Find ways that you can identify with the character.
- Welcome each opportunity. When you book a role, cherish every moment. Acting is an unpredictable industry, and you never know when your next role will come.
Can you share with our readers any self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Please share a story for each one if you can.
Something that I do to keep physically fit is participate in select and high school softball. To keep myself mentally happy, I hang out with friends, and teach myself how to play instruments. I play a lot of Elton John and other 80’s hits on the piano, and similar music on the guitar.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Hustle beats talent when talent doesn’t hustle.” This quote, which my L.A. acting coach Kimberly Crandall shared with me inspires me to put my best effort into every audition. I never know when my next audition could turn into a role, so I prepare for every audition the best I can.
You are a person of huge influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
If I could inspire a movement, I would bring people to be more aware of climate change. We only have one Earth, and we need to take care of it as best we can.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!
I would love to have lunch with Emma Watson. I grew up reading and watching Harry Potter, and her portrayal of Hermione brought to life the character that I was able to relate so well with and who I idolized. Emma Watson also taught me that I can still pursue my dream of acting while going to college. She is someone who I look to for a source of inspiration, and I would love to talk with her about her life and acting.
Are you on social media? How can our readers follow you online?
You can follow me on Instagram as @marymadalineroe!
This was so informative, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!