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1on1: Ava Cantrell

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Song: Mr. Brightside

Artist: The White Stripes

Book: The Cruel Prince Series l

Movie: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

TV Show: The Queens Gambit and it was phenomenal!

How did you get started in acting?

When I was a little girl, I was a competitive dancer, and my absolute favorite part about it was performing. I was very expressive on stage and liked to story tell in my routines. Apparently, I also had the “it factor”. My parents saw this and thought that acting would be a good fit for me.

What was the first role you ever booked?

I booked two projects at the same time! One was a short called Pals, and the other was a Dell commercial. The Pals short was such a great first role. I played an Android and had to have a full-body casting for the prosthetics. The Dell commercial was such an adventure, we were filming driving around in the desert in an RV. Austin North played my brother, and it was his first job as well. It’s been so cool watching him in Outer Banks on Netflix, he keeps doing great things!

What was the audition process like for LIGHTS OUT?

The audition process was very quick for Lights Out! I actually got the audition the day of and had to rush up to LA. I met with my coach and manager Sharon Lane and she didn’t like the boots and the shirt I was wearing for the audition because she said I needed to have more comfortable clothes to move around in. She gave me one of her shirts and a pair of flip flops three sizes too big and I went to the audition. Sure enough, she was right and I was crawling all over the floor very creature-like in the casting office. I booked it off that first audition. I think what got me the role was my willingness to go out of my comfort zone and act so crazy.

What was set life like on LIGHTS OUT?

The set of Lights Out was awesome. We filmed on location at an old, abandoned hospital. The creepiness was off the charts. We wandered around the whole hospital to find the creepiest places and ended up in a very outdated mental ward. I had hours’ worth of FX makeup on to make me look extra creepy. Filming Lights Out was almost as scary as watching the actual movie. They picked the perfect environment to film my scenes.

Tell us about the time when you worked on YOUNG SHELDON. What was it like working on the hit sitcom?

Reoccurring on Young Sheldon as Molly was a surreal experience! We filmed on the Warner Bros lot, which was a very memorable experience. The history and the size of that lot always amazes me. The best part was I got to work alongside Jason Alexander, Seinfeld, and comedy legend! He plays the drama teacher, and I am his star student, so when they brought back his storyline I got to come back as well. He was so interesting to talk to about karate and acting! Being on the most-watched sitcom on TV is pretty cool to get to add to my resume!

What inspired you to launch your own eye glasses line Zoome?

So much has transferred online now because of quarantine, from my college classes to EcoCast auditions. I’ve also spent a lot of time binging shows and on my electronics. With all of this screen time, I was getting lots of eyestrain, headaches, and my sleep schedule was messed up. I researched this and found that blue-light was to blame, and blue-light blocking glasses were the solution. Instead of buying a pair, I got the idea of starting a business selling them. Then ZOOMe was born! Both of my parents are my partners and we all put in our expertise and skill into the business.

How do you come up with all of the different design ideas?

My mom has a fashion degree, so this is where her expertise comes in. She has a knack for finding the most stylish frames. She also can find something trendy or classic for anyone; kids, teens, adults, readers, you name it. There is no one I trust more than my mom when it comes to fashion!

Any advice you’d give to somebody who wants to get into acting or start their own business?

Get ready for rejection in acting, and trial and error when starting a business. You need to know these are part of the learning process. Don’t get discouraged as soon as you hit your first roadblock. Just keep pushing through and you will see the rewards of your hard work! My job is 95% rejection, and I don’t see it as a bad thing anymore. Auditioning is part of your job, and likely what you will spend the most time doing so it’s important to learn to accept and enjoy the process.

Is there a favorite acting program and/or coach you’d like to recommend other actors should go to/work with?

Of course, I think my manager is the best, but she only works with her clients (feeling lucky!). I would highly recommend Kimberly Crandall. She is also a part of ActorsSite.com. I’m really excited to be working with her on Mission 22, she has so much talent and insight.

Any exciting projects you’d like to announce that are coming up?

I’m thrilled to be working on My Fathers Joy next year where I play the main character, she will be a fun challenge to play. It’s back to my horror roots and a thriller for the first time since Lights Out. It’s also a twisted love story. I seriously can’t wait! Sent from my iPhone

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