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Rising Star Gianna Lutz: “I would love to come together with certain leaders to design a plan that leaves children with the comfort of knowing they will never go hungry”

When I was about 26 years old, I was a substitute teacher in Elmira, NY. Elmira is known for being one of the move impoverished cities in America. It was recently quoted in USA today that Elmira is one of two towns that are still in recession and “stuck in economic purgatory” in layman’s terms […]


When I was about 26 years old, I was a substitute teacher in Elmira, NY. Elmira is known for being one of the move impoverished cities in America. It was recently quoted in USA today that Elmira is one of two towns that are still in recession and “stuck in economic purgatory” in layman’s terms Elmira is very poor. The people have no money, the houses are falling apart, and children come to and leave school hungry. I would notice kids trying to sneak food from the cafeteria into their backpacks just to have something to eat when they got home. Some kids in the older grades only came to school for food. It broke my heart. Children should never have to go hungry. A movement I would start is to end child hunger. The food waste in America is astronomical. As a mom I could never imagine my daughter going to bed hungry and it breaks my heart to know there are so many kids out there that have no idea when or where their next meal is coming from. I would love to come together with certain leaders to design a plan that leaves children with the comfort of knowing they will never go hungry.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Gianna Lutz. Gianna is an Actor, Writer, Director, and Improv comedian. Raised by a single mother she spent a lot of her life moving around, but that did not keep her creative spirit down. Knowing she wanted to be an Actor she found ways to perform any way she could, from skits in front of her family to every drama club she could find. After High School she kept with family tradition and enlisted in the United States Navy where she served for four years, taking her experiences to her roles in film.


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

Thank you so much for having me. Well, I always knew I wanted to be an Actor, but for so long people would say, “that’s not a real job” or “you’ll never make it” and for a while I guess I let them get to my head. So instead of following and pursuing my passion I started attending college for business and I absolutely hated it! I wasn’t necessarily bad at it; it just wasn’t for me. Finally, one day I sat down, and I asked myself what do I want to do with my life? I would try to come up with any career aside from acting, until I realized there was no real reason acting wasn’t an option except then ones that other people had planted in my mind. I thought to myself, I am talented, and I am creative. So, at 29 years old I decided I was going to be a professional Actor and I’d say I made the right choice.

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

I was filming a movie in Charleston South Carolina and I have some friends who live there. I asked if I could stay with them while we filmed, and they of course said yes. They have three little girls, Sophia 8, Sonja 4, & Emelia 2. Upon learning that I would be staying with them while I was filming a movie, Sophia got so excited she went to school and told her entire class and teacher that a movie star was coming to stay at their house. The entire time I was there the girls only referred to me as movie star, it was very adorable and of course I had to leave an autograph to my biggest fan.

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 first started acting, I was unaware that extra work could not go on a resume. I lived in upstate New York at the time and I would literally drive four hours to New York City and pay for a hotel just to be an unpaid extra in a student film that I wouldn’t even get footage for. So, I guess I learned the hard way to do more research into the business you want to succeed in before you start throwing your time, energy, and money into something that won’t be beneficial to you at all.

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

I just wrapped a film called Slammer. It’s a movie based on real people and real events. I played Lavinia Fisher she is known as America’s first female serial killer. I had such an amazing time filming this movie and playing Lavinia. The film takes place in 1820 so I wasn’t able to call Lavinia up or really see who she was because there really isn’t a lot of history on her, therefore I had to make a lot of character choices for her and who I thought she was and what I thought she might have been like which was really exciting because it felt like I was bringing this woman back to life.

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

Oh boy! This business is full of characters! Pun intended. Every person I meet in this industry is very unique and interesting. But the person who sticks out the most to me is Devin “Egypt” Robinson. He wrote and directed a project I was in and I really loved his energy. He is an actor but, has started to get into the other areas of film making and he just made it very obvious that he wanted success for his fellow actors. His spirit and energy were high for the entire duration of the shoot. He was encouraging and supportive. He had and has a true passion for what he does and because I empathize with that, I really enjoyed being around him and I am looking forward to working with him again.

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

Take days for yourself. Your body and your mind will let you know when you need a break, you have to listen. If one day you wake up and you just can’t seem to find the energy to do anything try to take that as a sign that you need to recharge. Do not beat yourself up for that. Instead, use that time to meditate, go for a walk, or just sit on the couch and veg out. You might find that it’s just what you needed to find the perfect character choice for an audition. You cannot be the best actor you can be if your mind and body aren’t working together.

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. 🙂

When I was about 26 years old, I was a substitute teacher in Elmira, NY. Elmira is known for being one of the move impoverished cities in America. It was recently quoted in USA today that Elmira is one of two towns that are still in recession and “stuck in economic purgatory” in layman’s terms Elmira is very poor. The people have no money, the houses are falling apart, and children come to and leave school hungry. I would notice kids trying to sneak food from the cafeteria into their backpacks just to have something to eat when they got home. Some kids in the older grades only came to school for food. It broke my heart. Children should never have to go hungry. A movement I would start is to end child hunger. The food waste in America is astronomical. As a mom I could never imagine my daughter going to bed hungry and it breaks my heart to know there are so many kids out there that have no idea when or where their next meal is coming from. I would love to come together with certain leaders to design a plan that leaves children with the comfort of knowing they will never go hungry.

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

Follow your heart — The entertainment business is a very competitive world and because of that people will often tell you, you are wasting your time and you will never go anywhere. Don’t listen to any of it. Believe in yourself because if you don’t believe in yourself, then no one else will believe in you either. People told me I needed to choose a different career they didn’t believe I could make it. Now I am climbing to the top and everyone leaves me comments saying you are amazing. Good for you for following your passion. You are so brave. People only believe in you if they see you believing in yourself.

Be patient — Even the greats started somewhere. Everyone has their day one. I remember when I first started and I thought to myself, “why haven’t I been discovered?” or “why don’t I have an agent yet?” But the truth is I wasn’t ready. I still needed to work on my skills. When I look back at the monologues I would perform when I first started to what I deliver now I see so many mistakes and so much improvement, Acting is like a sport if you don’t practice, you can’t get better.

Rejection is not personal — This industry is full of rejection and you cannot take it personal, if you do, you will not survive. Sometimes it feels like all you do is audition after audition and you start to think to yourself, is it me? Am I not good enough? I think we’ve all had these negative thoughts run through our heads at one time or another. It’s important to remember that rejection is not necessarily indicative of you or your acting, but most likely everything to do with the wants and needs of the producers. So, keep moving forward. Your time is coming!

Have patience — I can’t believe I am actually telling someone to have patience, me, the most impatient human alive. I will say this, if you need to be taught patience this is the business for you! At the beginning of my career after every audition I would obsess about when or if I would hear back. Did I get the part or not? You cannot do that to yourself. You have to go into your auditions with confidence and know that you gave your best performance and then, move on to the next project. Most of the time you won’t hear back unless you did get the part so there is no point in waiting around for a call that is never coming. As long as you know you were great that is all you can do.

If it’s too good to be true, it probably is — there are a lot of scam artists around this business and people looking to make a buck. The truth is if you have no experience, you’re probably not going to get an agent or the lead role in a multi-million-dollar production. It takes time. If you’ve been in this business for a week and someone calls you or e-mails you saying they would like to represent you, but you have no material to show them such as a demo reel, its most likely a scam so run away as fast as you can. As much as it can be annoying to wait around to be in movies the training is important because when you get to a big set you’ll actually know what you’re doing.

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

Thoughts become things. If you see it in your mind you will hold it in your hand. -Bob Proctor

I am a big believer in manifestation. I believe that anything you truly believe will be yours, will. The only limit to one’s success is themselves. Anything I want in my life I imagine myself as already having it. I release it into the universe and the universe never lets me down, it has always delivered. Anytime I read a script that I absolutely fall in love with and decide I want to be a part of, I speak it into existence, and it comes to fruition. The biggest part of it all is believing.

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?

That’s an easy one. My husband, aka the love of my life. He always encourages me and makes me feel like the most famous person alive. When I decided to pursue acting full time, he supported me from jump street. Never once did he doubt me or question me. There have been countless lines run and self-tape auditions filmed and through all of them he has been there to read with me. It wasn’t too long ago that I remember finishing up a video audition and stopping what I was doing to look up and say thank you to him for always helping me and always being there for me. When I have to leave town to film, he stays home and takes care of our daughter and tells me not to worry about anything at home so I can be focused on giving the best performance possible. So, if anyone ever comes across one of my self-taped auditions the man’s voice is my husbands. (He likes to pretend he’s the star of the show).

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. 🙂

Ashley Graham. I look up to her so much. All of my life I have struggled with my weight I constantly have to watch what I eat and maintain a regular gym schedule. When Ashley Graham became famous for her curves in modeling, she really projected the message to love yourself and be confident. I watched an interview of her once saying every morning she affirms, “I am bold, I am confident, I am fierce, and I am beautiful.” Ever since I saw that video, I make those same affirmations daily and I am in a much better place mentally and emotionally. So, Ashley, if you see this, thank you and I would love to have brunch!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Facebook:

@thegiannalutz

Instagram:

@thegiannalutz

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

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