Article | Fri September 22, 2017, 12:18 AM EST
September 22, 2017 -- Sixteen-year-old, multi-talented actress Natalie Schneider is the epitome of America’s Sweetheart. Schneider is an eleventh-grade National Honor Society student, Captain and Choreographer of the Dance Team for her school’s marching band, and also won Best Musical Score for her work on the independent short film, “The Boy Who Cried Shark.” I was pleasantly surprised that Schneider was so easy-going for such a high achiever - she told me during our conversation that she just “loves going with the flow because everything happens for a reason.”
Natalie Schneider set her sights on an acting career when she was just eleven years old and she saw a booth at a local community event for The Actor’s Focus, an acting school in Wallingford, Philadelphia. She began taking classes and signed with manager, Kenny Jansen, who speaks highly of Schneider’s talents: “I have really high hopes for her,” he says. While with The Actors Focus, Schneider has worked with Brian Fox on Acting for the Camera, and with Jamie Kerezsi on Scene Study. She has also booked several films including: Lana in the independent film, “Two Left Shoes,” Alex in the short film, “Scars,” and Paige in the film, “Goodbye is Not Fair.” In addition to film, she is also active in the theater scene as well - one of her favorite roles was that of a teenage superhero, “Shade,” in the theater production of “Super Heroes Support Group,” where she was able to showcase her comedic talents as well. When not on stage, Natalie can be found behind the scenes on the make-up artistry crew for her high school dramas and musicals.
In between commercial auditions and learning about all aspects of filmmaking at The Actors Focus, Schneider tutors elementary and middle school students. She is involved with many community service projects such as volunteering for the Nether Providence Township Summer Program where she was recently promoted to camp counselor/teacher. While considering post-graduate options, Schneider looks forward to expand her acting industry career.
Ever the compassionate and caring heart, Schneider explains, “I like how acting teaches you things about different people and allows you to step into other people shoes.”
Where are you from originally?
I moved to the Philadelphia area in 2003 when I was two years old. Both of my parents are from the area.
What inspired you to be in the industry?
Growing up, I always felt that I was a little different from the children around me. I remember feeling like I was meant to be somewhere special doing something I loved and I never really knew what that was. As I got older, I found myself watching film and television more and more. I thought it was amazing how the people acting for the camera could entertain individuals all around the world through the screen. I also discovered how amazing it was to be able to step into a character’s shoes for even just a few minutes and see the world through their eyes. This power that every actor has really inspired me to be in the industry.
What are some of the projects you have worked on in the past?
Some of the projects of have worked on in the past include:
-Commercial and Public Service Announcement Auditions
-Two Left Shoes – Independent Film, Written and Directed by: Kenny David Jansen
-Scars – Short Film
-Goodbye Is Not Fair – Film
-Superheroes Support Group – Theater Production – The Actors Focus, Wallingford, PA
-Production of High School Musical - Young Players Theater, Swarthmore, PA
-The Boy Who Cried Shark – Short Film Award – Best Musical Score – Strath Haven Middle School, Wallingford, PA
-Production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown – Strath Haven Middle School, Wallingford, PA
-Broadway Bound Dance Academy – Media, PA
What are your current projects?
Currently, I am working with SDP Career Community on auditioning for a television series, “High Steaks,” as well as general acting skills practice, such as cold reads, monologues, networking, public relations and press kits.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I would like to see myself as a working actor and/or pursuing a college degree in a film related field. The ultimate goal is to love what I do and be happy to go to work and school. I believe everything happens for a reason and I plan to wait and see what the future holds.
How do you feel the industry is changing?
I believe the industry is changing with the times. Personally, I enjoy when filmmakers and television producers think outside the box and tackle tough subjects. For example, the suicide scene in “Thirteen Reasons Why” was controversial to many viewers, but I thought it was very well done. When filmmakers take chances, it becomes more real to the audience. To me, this displays creativity as well as courage, because the directors and producers can only assume how the critics and the public will react to their work. I also think social media plays a much bigger role in today’s industry.
How does it benefit you as an actor?
I believe the evolution of the industry benefits all actors, not just a select few. There is something to be said for old Hollywood glamour, but that was neither reality then; nor is it now. Today’s actors can be anyone from anywhere, classically trained or YouTubers and Bloggers. An individual can be just that without regard to racial background, gender identity, or a certain look, standard, or ideal. Talent is talent, and diversity is embraced, which makes actors more relatable. So maybe there’s hope for a normal teenager like me!
Interview by: Giovannie Espiritu
Article | Fri September 22, 2017, 12:18 AM EST