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Rising Star Jessica Brandt: “If acting and performing is truly your passion, you will not burn out as long as you keep working hard and have a positive mindset”

Make sure you are in this business for the right reasons. If acting and performing is truly your passion, you will not burn out as long as you keep working hard and have a positive mindset. It is important to always be training and doing what you can to improve. Working on your acting (scenes […]

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Make sure you are in this business for the right reasons. If acting and performing is truly your passion, you will not burn out as long as you keep working hard and have a positive mindset. It is important to always be training and doing what you can to improve. Working on your acting (scenes and monologues), updating headshots, picking up special skills, and things like that is really important. As an actor, there is always something you can be doing to better yourself for your career. I believe if you have the passion, that it can take you very far.


As a part of our interview series with the rising stars in pop culture, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jessica Brandt. Jessica is a 20-year-old actress from Clearwater, Florida. At age 10 she knew she wanted to be in movies and on television and has been training ever since. Jessica is about to graduate from one of Florida’s top universities with a BA in acting.


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

Thank you for having me! When I was about 10 something sparked in me, I just knew I wanted to be an actress. I was obsessed. I think it was probably watching the Disney Channel that gave me the idea. I wanted to be a part of something magical like that. I began taking on-camera acting classes at age 11 and ever since then I have continued acting. It is my passion. There is nothing in this world that I would rather do.

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

I thought I broke my toe on set once! I was filming a shower scene for my film A Fork in the Road. In this scene, a snake (fake one) was thrown into the shower and I was meant to pull down the curtain and run out. Well, when I pulled the curtain down the whole rod came down as well and landed right on my foot and crushed my toe. It was purple and swollen and hurt so bad, but it turns out it wasn’t broken.

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?

The funniest mistake I made was definitely with self-tape auditions. A lot of the time you do not actually audition in a room with casting directors. They’ll instead send you the sides (the audition scene pulled from the script) and you’ll film yourself at home. Now, you are supposed to film yourself in front of a blank wall so that the focus is on you, the actor. When I first started filming my auditions I would make tripods for my phone out of anything I could find (often my bed frame) and just stand in the middle of my room. This was clearly a mistake because the background was very distracting, but I didn’t know! Eventually, I got myself together and now I have a whole professional setup with lights and everything. I learned that research is very important!

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

I am not currently working on any projects, but I am continuing to train and audition. I am looking forward to getting back on set though!

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

I have worked with a lot of actors my age as well as actors and directors a lot older than I am. When it comes to other young actors I love building friendships and sharing helpful knowledge with each other. With social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, it is really easy to stay connected. With the adults that I have worked, it is great to soak up their knowledge. They are so wise and have so much to offer. This business is all about who you know, so making and keeping friends and connections is very important. I am part of a lot of groups on Facebook for actors and they are extremely helpful. One of my favorite directors that I have worked with was Josiah Sampson. He directed the film Hive Mind that I had a supporting role in. He was such a nice guy who had a strong vision and was able to execute it flawlessly. We filmed in a little restaurant and the vibe on the set was amazing. I would love to work with him and his team again one day.

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

Make sure you are in this business for the right reasons. If acting and performing is truly your passion, you will not burn out as long as you keep working hard and have a positive mindset. It is important to always be training and doing what you can to improve. Working on your acting (scenes and monologues), updating headshots, picking up special skills, and things like that is really important. As an actor, there is always something you can be doing to better yourself for your career. I believe if you have the passion, that it can take you very far.

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? Kindly share a story or an example for each.

When it comes to self-care, I would say I do a moderate amount. I take care of my skin by washing my face every morning. I use the Neutrogena Naturals face wash along with a cleaning brush in the shower each morning. I also make sure that I never sleep in my makeup, so I just use basic towelettes at night to remove my makeup. In addition, I make sure I get plenty of sleep each night and drink a lot of water throughout the day. Furthermore, something that is very important to me is keeping a balance of social time and alone time. I make sure that I allot time specifically to be social and hang out with friends and also time for self-reflection and work that needs to be done. In life, I believe that a balance of anything is important.

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. Be confident in yourself. Audition for each role as if you already have the part. If you walk into an audition room and do not believe in yourself, it is going to be harder for the casting directors to believe in you. Show them that you are there to get that role.

2. Patience. The acting industry is all about working hard and making things happen for yourself, but you also have to be patient. I am currently waiting to get new headshots so I am holding off on doing a few things until I get those. You really have to learn that patience is key, but don’t wait for things to come to you.

3. Don’t take yourself too seriously. This business is very much a business of marketing yourself. You have to be professional at times, but also show who you are and that you’re a fun person to work with. I have learned not to be too serious about everything and just make sure that I am always having a good time with what I am doing.

4. Take risks. You don’t always have to fit into a box. When it comes to auditioning or taking headshots, make bold choices. You will get people’s attention this way, you have to be different. I saw a video the other day about “dangerous acting” and how important it is.

5. It is a long process. Things don’t always happen overnight, you have to be willing to work hard for a long time and keep at it until you achieve your goals. I have been at it for 10 years and I still have yet to achieve all of my goals. I have definitely done a lot, but I have a long way to go.

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

The quote “love yourself first” tends to resonate with me. You have to learn to love who you are and be content in yourself primarily. I used to struggle with this concept, and still do occasionally. But when I think of this quote it really helps me to know that I need to be secure in who I am and learn to love everything about who you are. It can be hard, but in the end, it is really important.

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 parents, absolutely. They have always supported me 100% in my ambitions and given me the means to make them happen. When I was younger they would take me to acting classes, they would pay for headshots, and they would drive me to film sets. I would not be where I am now in my career without their help. A lot of the time I would film hours away from my house and my dad would get a hotel for me to be able to do these films, even though I was not even getting paid. My mom and dad truly have done so much to help me pursue my dreams and I am forever grateful for that and them.

You are a person of enormous 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 wouldn’t say I have a lot of influence, but hopefully, readers will learn something from this article. If I could start a movement, it would be about kindness. There needs to be more kindness in this world. People should help one another and bring others up rather than tear them down. Everyone in this world is equal and we all need to treat each other with respect and be nice!

We are very blessed that 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. 🙂

ABSOLUTELY! Selena Gomez! I have been a ginormous fan of hers since I was literally a toddler. If I could meet her it would truly make me so happy! She such an incredible person and she is so inspirational to me and so many other people. I love her so much! She’s my idol for sure.

How can our readers follow you online?

I am on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. My username for all is @ImJessicaBrandt. I would love to connect with more people!

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

Thank you so much for having me!

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