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Rising Star Rachelle Henry: “My movement would center on teaching people the skills to treat each other with dignity regardless of their circumstances”

My movement would center on teaching people the skills to treat each other with dignity regardless of their circumstances. It’s so easy to get caught up in our own lives, work through our daily problems and drive right by the countless others who are probably working through similar or even worse circumstances. Funny enough, all […]



My movement would center on teaching people the skills to treat each other with dignity regardless of their circumstances. It’s so easy to get caught up in our own lives, work through our daily problems and drive right by the countless others who are probably working through similar or even worse circumstances. Funny enough, all throughout my childhood I wanted to start a thing called the “love and care center.” The idea was to help homeless and impoverished individuals get back on their feet. I designed homes, job training centers, basic medical facilities and resource centers in a little sketchbook I had and set it up in a big dollhouse and used my animals and little people for the story. It seemed like a simple and achievable concept back then, but sometimes I still think, “why not?” Why not challenge people who have achieved their dreams, to help others do the same? The mechanisms are out there. This is what I hope the new generation of leaders can conquer. It’s going to take like-minded people to actually effect change in our governmental institutions, schools and homes and communities.


I had the pleasure to interview actress Rachelle Henry. Rachelle is a professional actress and filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California. She has won awards for her work in multiple categories for acting, producing, writing and directing; most recently being named Best Producer at the 40th Young Artist Academy Awards. Outside of her work objectives and educational goals, she works with programs designed to give back to her community including those benefiting the homeless and those dedicated to mitigating the impacts of childhood cancer.


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

When I was 6 years old, I attended a cheerleading camp sponsored by the local high school. At that camp, I met a couple of girls who told me about a Nickelodeon audition for kids with basic cheerleading skills. I told my parents about it and they politely acknowledged my excitement. When the day of the audition came, they gave me options of going to the zoo, the aquarium, the park…and I replied, “but don’t I have an audition today?” I attended the audition, and although I didn’t get cast, I remember the advice that was given to me like it was yesterday. They told me that if I want to act for a living, I will need to work very hard, for a very long time. I responded, “yes please!” This specific career path is all about the work ethic, and that’s what brought me to the place I am today.

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

There are many stories related to my career. One that comes to mind is related to my intense love for Shakespeare. At a very young age, I was privileged to study with an acting coach and mentor who instilled in me a broad appreciation for storytelling. Although I spend the majority of my time in film and television, I am, and will always be a huge geek for Shakespeare. I got the opportunity to attend Henry IV at the Veterans Shakespeare Center in Los Angeles, where I sat within a few feet of Tom Hanks playing the role of Falstaff. He was incredible and it was fascinating to see how he perfectly blended his comedic timing with moments of vulnerability and pain. One of my goals is to play Hamlet. The role of Hamlet is so complex and is a career challenge I would love to tackle. Shakespeare is something very important to me not only as an actor, writer director, but also as a person.

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?

I was cast as “Oliver” in one of my first big performances. I spent a lot of time learning to “man up” for the role as a boy. But looking back now at the video of the performance, my pointed toes during the dance scene made it rather obvious that I was a trained dancer, and not a mistreated boy who has spent his life in a workhouse. It still makes me laugh. I learned to watch even the smallest of details in order to make my performance even better.

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

I am writing some projects and preparing to pitch them. This is a very exciting part of filmmaking because it is the starting point of a concept that makes its way from my mind, to the page and ultimately to the screen. I have also been auditioning for some roles that I would love the opportunity to play. I have two feature films being released soon, MY SUMMER AS A GOTH and WOODSTOCK OR BUST. I also recently finished filming MARTINGALE which stars Kelly Sullivan from Young and the Restless.

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

I have met several ‘celebrities’ as well as many people who are not as well known, but no less talented and interesting. Stories include meeting Rami Malek shortly before won an Oscar for his portrayal as Freddie Mercury, running across Danny Glover in the airport in Oakland and then seeing him again when he was a keynote speaker at the Young Artist Awards when I fortunate to be one of the winners. I see Jay Leno from time to time since he occasionally drives his fancy cars through my neighborhood and frequents some of the same places I go. He told me that he and I were “neighbors,” which he of course was referring to his famous car garages and his frequent trips around the San Fernando Valley and not to his mansion in Bel Air.

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

The best tips probably come from people who have been around the industry for a while, so I try to encourage people to get a lot of feedback from good sources. Hard work is always the best advice, but also adopting the sense that the rejection that we so often endure as artists is not as personal as it feels. There are a ton of people with the same ambitions; all of them striving for the same thing. We have to recognize that there is always someone out there working harder, wanting it more and putting in the extra effort to achieve their goals. We have to leverage that knowledge and use it as motivation to go the extra mile. But at the same time, we must be able to do our best work all the time and then leave the casting office with the satisfaction that we did our best…and leave it there and go on to the next thing. We must find satisfaction in the craft and not only in the “job.”

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. 🙂

My movement would center on teaching people the skills to treat each other with dignity regardless of their circumstances. It’s so easy to get caught up in our own lives, work through our daily problems and drive right by the countless others who are probably working through similar or even worse circumstances. Funny enough, all throughout my childhood I wanted to start a thing called the “love and care center.” The idea was to help homeless and impoverished individuals get back on their feet. I designed homes, job training centers, basic medical facilities and resource centers in a little sketchbook I had and set it up in a big dollhouse and used my animals and little people for the story. It seemed like a simple and achievable concept back then, but sometimes I still think, “why not?” Why not challenge people who have achieved their dreams, to help others do the same? The mechanisms are out there. This is what I hope the new generation of leaders can conquer. It’s going to take like-minded people to actually effect change in our governmental institutions, schools and homes and communities.

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) You are going to make mistakes. Plenty of them. But that doesn’t make you a failure.

2) Learn from your mistakes and turn them in to achievement.

3) You’re going to have to give somebody advice someday, so make your mistakes count.

4) Don’t focus on other’s mistakes. No one is perfect.

5) Integrity is everything in this business and in this life. Make your mistakes and learn from them. Then show others how to do it better.

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

“Courage is the most important of all virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.” ~Maya Angelou

Some of life just takes pure guts. If you are going to do something, it’s counterproductive to worry about what might go wrong and what others might think. If you want it, you must have the courage to try, then fall, then get up and try again. If you are going to do something, do it with purpose and do it well. If you have the courage to get started, the next steps will follow. For me, this has always been a factor in wanting to be an actor. It wasn’t always popular with my peers and it took courage to do something different than everyone else. In life, I don’t always know how to approach every situation or how to deal with people, but in the end, if I work up the courage to take the first step to overcoming my fear, I can move on to the next step.

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?

Hands down, this is my Grandma. She has been my manager, cheerleader and straight-shooter from the very beginning. It is cliché, but it is true; nothing I have done would be possible without her and her words of wisdom will remain with me for years to come. There are others, of course, who have been supportive throughout my career so far, such as other family members, friends, teachers and peers, but hers has been the most powerful and special influence.

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. 🙂

There are several people I have always looked up to as actors such as Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Benedict Cumberbatch. Any and all of them would be fantastic! I would love to compare notes with Hillary Swank, Keanu Reeves and Oprah Winfrey. I think that Michelle Obama, Greta Thunberg and Katherine Johnson would be such incredible women to meet. They all have faced many challenges and are trailblazers. My list of role models is endless!

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Instagram: @therachellehenry

Facebook: @RachelleHenryActress

Twitter: @RachelleMHenry

LinkedIn: Rachelle Henry

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