The Student News Site of Ballard High School



Follow Us on Instagram

Motivated senior strongly asserting herself in the acting industry

Student shows that motivation, passion and confidence is all you need

Claude Brun, Staff Reporter
Originally published February 2, 2018

(Courtesy of Brendan Hickey)

Senior Hanna Uselding portraying “Kris with a K” in junior Brendan Hickey’s upcoming short film “The Midnight Criminals.”

It seems like these days everybody dreams of being an actor at some point in their life. Few have the bravado to actually take a shot at it, and fewer yet have the commitment to stick to it when it starts to get serious, but that’s just what senior Hanna Uselding is doing.

Uselding started acting when she was just 6 years old, but stayed primarily on the stage. When she realized she wanted to make a career out of it, she started looking for on screen roles, as she knew that’s where the real money is.

“I want to be 100% dedicated to acting, it’s what I want to do,” Uselding said.

After years of prioritizing her passion over all else, she’s finally starting to see some pay off. With her first role in a big budget feature, it seems like she might finally be on the road to success, and she might actually be able to rely on this for an income. Sounds better than pushing carts at QFC, doesn’t it?

“I was working in retail and I hated it. If I hate something, I’m not gonna do it, so I quit that,” Uselding said. This should be a mindset that is admirable to any teen. How many people would quit their day job, their only source of income and hedge their bets on something as uncertain as a career in acting?

“It’s a really stressful way to make money,” Uselding said, and she’s not wrong. The life of a working actor consists of countless casting calls, meetings with producers and networking whenever you get the chance. It’s a full time job if you want to succeed , but all of this hard work doesn’t even come with a guaranteed paycheck, and much less a guarantee of success.

That’s what strays most people away from it: they’re willing to give up on their passion in the face of such uncertainty, but Uselding shows an amazing sense of dedication and optimism. She knows the odds are statistically stacked against her– after all, there are hundreds of thousands of aspiring big screen actresses of her age across the country, but we all know how few end up on the red carpet. Still, this doesn’t seem to sway her at all, as there’s not a thought in her mind about giving up in the face of these odds.

There’s only one thing that could possibly be driving her impressively positive attitude: a true passion for what she’s doing. For her, acting isn’t just a path to fame and success, it’s what she really wants to do with her life. Hearing her talk about the films she’s been in, it’s clear that she has a true passion for not only acting, but everything that goes into putting those actors on the silver screen. She’s met with producers, directors, cinematographers, and says she can imagine herself in that role. She says directing is all about knowing your actor and how they can best fit a role, which is something only some of the best directors really know. “Everybody has a type cast. Everybody has a role they fit.”

It’s details and little bits of knowledge like this that really set Uselding apart. I felt like I could have been speaking to Hollywood’s next big actor-director as she tells me this.

While a director should know their actor, the actor should know themselves better than anybody else can.

“Somebody had mentioned that this movie was casting in LA and Seattle and they told me I should try and audition for it, so I sent in my video audition and at the exact same time I fired my agent,” said Uselding. Next thing she knew, she had a supporting role in a feature film with a $350k budget, and she’d done it without help of an agent.

“All the work I was getting, I was getting on my own, so I decided to fire her,” This was a bold move, as few actors work without an agent, especially at a time as important as this in their careers. Still, Uselding seems confident: she knows herself better than any agent could, and her calm and confident demeanor are all she needs to continue to snatch up roles on her own.

Despite the success she’s starting to see, Uselding still faces the same challenges that every aspiring actress does. Finding work in the film industry can be difficult when there’s so many actors and actresses vying for the coveted lead role. “They tell you to accept everything, accept every role, But I can’t accept roles I’m not getting offered.”

With a few acting checks being sent her way, she’s doing well for herself, but as a senior, she’ll be graduating next year and entering the real world. “I’m still in high school so I don’t have to pay for an apartment or anything, but next year it’s gonna be real, I’m gonna have to push it more,” said Uselding.

However, things aren’t looking too bad for Uselding. With plans to study at Santa Monica Community college and an upcoming supporting lead role in an Amazon web series (that she couldn’t tell me anything about, sadly,) it seems like she has the next few years planned out, and you shouldn’t be surprised to see her on the silver screen sometime in the not too distant future.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Talisman

Your donation will support the student journalists of Ballard High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Talisman

Comments (0)

All Talisman Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Motivated senior strongly asserting herself in the acting industry