…normalize talk about mental health. I would much rather see mental health be considered as important as physical health. I think we need to prescribe more therapy and exercise rather than just push mass amounts of prescriptions on the general public as a quick fix to our issues.
As a part of my series of the rising stars in popular culture, I had the pleasure of interviewing HaleyRae Christian Cannell. HaleyRae is an on-camera-hostess, actress, podcaster, youtuber, influencer, dancer, and model. She’s the queen of side hustles and aspiring entrepreneur. Don’t let her bubbly, friendly exterior fool you, this girl has some serious street cred.
Thank you so much for joining us HaleyRae! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Thank you so very much for having me! I grew up a competitive dancer and after attending university to study dance I worked professionally as a dancer including a stint on Disney Cruise Line where I had my first acting job as a Disney Princess. I loved it so much I naturally wanted to pursue acting and on-camera-hosting further. I had the opportunity to leave Disney Cruise Line to work at Disneyland and that gave me the perfect chance to move to Southern California and try my hand in the LA entertainment industry.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
Honestly I can’t because there’s not just one that tops them all. There have been so many extreme ups and downs as part of living this LA life and pursuing all of my goals and dreams. I go into detail about some of my experiences on my podcast and youtube channels but, to summarize I’ve experienced stalkers, stumbling across 3 dead people, immigrating to America, my car exploding, many hospital visits, gang wars, living in a hoarders’ mansion and drug house, having large amounts of money stolen, a mansion burning down, being stuffed in a trunk, hiding from an active shooter, someone trying to kidnap me, 2 court cases, etc.
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?
Overall, I was just very naive and gullible and I had an agent that tried to take advantage of me. I really had no idea what I was doing because I came here all alone and didn’t have any sort of support system on my side at the time.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Girls Gone Geek is an all female panel talk show that covers all thing geek including; horror, zombies, Disney, superheroes, comic books, Star Wars, Star Trek, technology, etc.
I co-host Stressed Out Podcast with comedians; Matt Jones and David Lucas. We bring on lots of guests and talk about mental health, fitness, nutrition, LA life and the entertainment industry.
I’ve started posting adventure travel vlogs with my boyfriend Adam on our YouTube channel California Couple.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
I’ve worked on a couple projects with Lady Gaga and was blown away by her commitment to character and work ethic. I worked on a gig with Quentin Tarantino and I loved how fun he made the process. My favorite story wasn’t actually on set but was in traffic. I was driving to Equinox with all my windows down and blasting an audio book on my speakers. I was stopped at a red light when out of the corner of my eye I see someone snake out of the window of the SUV next to me and into my passenger window and yell “Where’d you get those pink seats?” (I have custom pink interior with bows on my car) I look over and it’s Adam Sandler! The first thing I blurted out was “Dad!?” because Adam Sandler looks a lot like my Dad and my Dad had just left that morning after visiting me from Canada. I was so embarrassed and star-struck I just started rambling about what a big fan me and my Dad were of his and listing films of his we’d watched together. The light was about to change so he thanked me and asked again about my interior and I explained it had been a gift after my previous car had exploded and I almost died. He then snaked back up out of my window and into his and we both carried on with our day.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
You do you. It’s all about balance. What works for me, or works for someone else may not work for you. We are all unique and on individual paths. I struggle with this a lot myself. I’ve always been a “yes” person and overfill my schedule trying to please everyone and pack as much into every day as possible. I actually just took a big step back in my life and tried to simplify my days because I went through a month of having 2 panic attacks a day and have come to the realization that the human body can only do some much and that I need sleep and rest.
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. 🙂
That movement would be to normalize talk about mental health. I would much rather see mental health be considered as important as physical health. I think we need to prescribe more therapy and exercise rather than just push mass amounts of prescriptions on the general public as a quick fix to our issues.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- Humans NEED sleep. I once went 4 days straight no sleep and ended up crying and shaking in a corner and also nodded off at the wheel on the drive home and almost killed myself.
- Everything happens for a reason. I know this is cliche but it’s so true. I’ve lived through some wild things especially in recent years but I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t.
- Take care of your body. You only get one and it has to last your entire career let alone a lifetime. I’ve definitely sacrificed my health a lot in the name of work.
- Document everything. You never know when you’re going to need that information. It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
- It’s okay to ask questions. Ask lots of questions. Ask ALL the questions! Don’t feel stupid. If something doesn’t seem right or something seems off that’s probably because it is. There are a lot of scammers out there especially in LA and you need to be careful. I’m a risk-taker for sure but it’s definitely gotten me into some tricky situations.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” I worked a LOT of jobs I hated before I moved to California. One day my Grandpa Don passed away and I realized how short life is and how fast it passes you by. That was a big catalyst to me moving to Southern California. I never looked back and I never worked another job I hated again.
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?
There are so many people! I actually just completed a bracelet project where I created 90s style name bracelets made with pony beads and mailed them out to thank hundreds of people who have helped me in the past 28 years. Currently and in the past few years I don’t know how I would survive with out my boyfriend, Adam. He left his career as a US Marine to move to Beverly Hills to live with me and support me in all ways possible including; cooking, cleaning, making the bed, laundry, dusting, taking care of Rocket and Lola and our aquarium, vehicle maintenance, grocery shopping, etc.
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’m a huge fan and follower of Gary Vaynerchuck. A friend of mine actually surprised me with a visit to Vaynermedia in NYC but he wasn’t there at the time. I listen to his podcasts and social media videos and they really inspire me to work hard and hustle and keep going day after day.
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!