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Rising Star Emily Chapman: “I want to be a warrior for the arts”

I would want to be a warrior for the arts. Whatever my pedestal might be, I would hope I could reach a vast coalition of different demographics. In 2019, I hate seeing so little importance being placed on creativity in the classroom or in extracurriculars. We have no room to flourish, for self-expression, or to […]

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I would want to be a warrior for the arts. Whatever my pedestal might be, I would hope I could reach a vast coalition of different demographics. In 2019, I hate seeing so little importance being placed on creativity in the classroom or in extracurriculars. We have no room to flourish, for self-expression, or to really come to terms with the things that set our souls on fire, more or less for the simplest reason that we’re just not being exposed to it. I would stand firmly behind a movement that places an immense importance on the arts and allowing people of all ages and backgrounds to find themselves in whatever medium works for them.


I had the pleasure to interview Emily Chapman. Emily was born and raised in Winfield, West Virginia. She began her career as a dancer and began touring at the age of 16. In college she began taking acting classes and fell in love with the craft, especially after being cast in a production of Hair!. She has a BFA in Theater Performance with a minor in Visual Art/Photography from Marshall University. After college Emily ran away to Italy for the summer where she continued taking classes in Florence. After returning to the States, she moved to New York where she lived, studied and worked for a few years before settling in Los Angeles. She has been involved in both theater and film/television ever since and is looking forward to the exciting new projects she has coming up. In her spare time she stays busy singing, taking boxing classes, practicing the banjo, baking, film photography and talking to her mom.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

I don’t think I could pick one moment. There have been a thousand interesting moments. Some monumental and some seemingly trivial, but it’s often the seemingly insignificant moments that can end up having the strongest impact. I am also an artist, and I think most artist tend to feel very deeply and find sentimental meaning in what others my find mundane.

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?

When I started out in New York, I was in an audition and asked to do a series of different accents, kind of switch in between a bunch. I was super nervous, and I got fixated on what I thought was a Brittish accent. It slowly began to transform itself into appalachian, maybe even cockney? There was a camera on me, and I just kept talking, hoping the accents would rectify themselves. They didn’t, but I wasn’t going to let them see me sweat. My biggest takeaway from this experience was simply that you’ve got to roll with the punches. You’re going to be asked to do things that maybe you feel uncomfortable doing, but you make the best of it.

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

Currently, I’m working on a self-produced project very dear to my heart. We’ve titled it Philotimo, which is basically a Greek word that cannot be translated because it encompasses all good virtue. The short is an ode to silent film, and really an incredible exercise in body language and conveying raw emotion without words. It’s been a challenge, but also one of the most fulfilling projects of my career.

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

When first moved to Los Angeles, I met these two wonderful older gentlemen named Dave and Buster. I learned that one of them is an artist, the other a composer. We had a creative background in common, and somehow we gravitated towards building a friendship. Little did I know that these acquaintances would soon turn into some of the best mentors I’ve ever had out here. Every Sunday, we meet at 8am for pancakes and storytelling. Both born and raised in Los Angeles, they both have some pretty amazing stories! Buster once told me he stood a few feet away from Walt Disney when Disneyland first opened. Can you believe that? What a moment in history to be present for. It truly exemplifies the life they’ve lived and the monumental events they’ve witnessed in this ever changing town and industry. I’m grateful to have their insight and guidance.

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

First and foremost, the most important thing is to love what you do. This can’t just be a phase or something you tried one time for the hell of it. The key to success in this industry is for acting to be undeniably, and irrevocably your calling. Secondly, put yourself in class. I can’t emphasize how important it is to exercise your skills like any muscle. Being in class not only gives you an opportunity to hone your skills, but also to create a support system. Having people in your corner is essential to your success. More so, it’s being surrounded by people who have a similar drive. You feed off each other, and never let each other waver in your goals.

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 would want to be a warrior for the arts. Whatever my pedestal might be, I would hope I could reach a vast coalition of different demographics. In 2019, I hate seeing so little importance being placed on creativity in the classroom or in extracurriculars. We have no room to flourish, for self-expression, or to really come to terms with the things that set our souls on fire, more or less for the simplest reason that we’re just not being exposed to it. I would stand firmly behind a movement that places an immense importance on the arts and allowing people of all ages and backgrounds to find themselves in whatever medium works for them.

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 can’t stress this enough — Get in a class. You build a community and support system of peers and mentors who come together for a common goal. I study at Beverly Hills Playhouse and it has changed my life in so many ways.

2.Maybe more imperative than that, is to understand you’re not going to be good at first. You have to work at it everyday, and from there you’ll only get better. Practice, work hard, take risks, and learn from your mistakes.

3.Next, I would say be your most authentic self because no one likes a jaded asshole who is trying too hard. Bring yourself to the character. Meryl Streep even said, “Acting is not about being someone different. It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding myself in there.”

4. Be genuine and kind! Sometimes when we are young we think we have to appear “tough,” or people will take advantage of us. People respect people who are authentic and approachable. And if someone does try to take advantage of that kindness, then hold your ground. Don’t take any crap from anybody either.

5.Enjoy the ride. It’s going to be a long journey with some high highs and some low lows. Know that, mentally prepare as best you can for that and enjoy the incredible ride that it is.

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

I have two!

“We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity; more than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.” -Charlie Chaplin

“I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink your tea. How you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How your writing looks. And the way you feel. Life is art.” -Helena Bonham Carter

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?

So many people obviously, but my mother is my biggest inspiration. She is the strongest person I know. She balances kindness and compassion perfectly with fire and strength. She is not impressed by money or power but by good character and hard work. She shows her compassion and love for her community and others not in her words, but in her daily actions. She is amazing.

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. 🙂

Our veterans.I know that’s not specific, but I am so in awe of anyone who has gone overseas to fight for our country. It is truly the greatest sacrifice a person can make. I can’t even wrap my head around every thing our military women and men have to give up, put on hold and risk to protect us. Thank you thank you thank you to all of you!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

I am on Instagram: emjchappie

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

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