16 year old, Hannah Malone, has been going strong in this industry for most of her life. This year, turning out to be the busiest year of all! Hannah took a little break to sit down with us and explains what it's been like growing up in the industry and offers advice to other young, aspiring actors.
Novy Talent Group: Hi Hannah! Let's see, I first started representing you when you were 8 years old! You are 16 now and growing into such a beautiful young woman. When did you first get started in the industry? Do you remember your first project?
Hannah Malone: When I was 8 years old, I was obsessed with the young girls store “Justice” and received a catalog in the mail one day. While browsing through, I looked over to my mom and said, “I want to be in this magazine one day!” That is how it all started! We began researching, attending acting/modeling schools, getting headshots taken, participating in weekly live performance classes along with monthly shows, etc. Then one day a friend of ours, Eric, found out that I was trying to get into the industry and invited me to his office, SunSpots Productions, to record my first demo real. That lead me into the world of Voice Over! I don’t remember my first job, but it was definitely a radio commercial!
NTG: You used to do a lot of pageants as well. What did you start first? Did one really help you succeed in the other?
HM: Two very close family friends, Janae and Sydney, had convinced me to try a pageant with them. Funny, this was also when I was 8 years old. I started acting/modeling and pageants at roughly the same time, They both helped me succeed in the other. Pageantry taught me how to comfortably communicate with adults. I learned to perform in front of large crowds and most of all I grew very confident in myself. I took all of these tools and applied them to my profession, which lead me to fall into the industry with ease.
NTG: You are so goal driven! At 11 years old, you set a goal for yourself in my office to one day be on your favorite show, The Vampire Diaries. Now, at 16 years old, you are doing this interview with us on your break from working on that very show! What was it like when you found out you booked your dream job and how has it been on set (without any spoilers)?
HM: Well, I was ecstatic when I found out that I got the audition to begin with! My older brother had gotten 8 auditions for The Vampire Diaries and The Originals recently, and I have been waiting for a role to come through in hopes of getting my time to get the opportunity. After the initial audition, you contacted be about being asked to send in some additional material from casting. That got my excitement going again. Since it all seemed to be moving so quickly, when we didn’t hear anything for a few days, I was convinced I didn’t book it. Then, my phone rang with you excitingly giving me the news of booking my dream job! It didn’t fully set in until my first day on set for my fitting. I absolutely love the show (#TeamDamon) and it was this series that sparked my passion for film and television. Being a fan of the show, experiencing The Vampire Diaries set, the amazing crew…all of it has been the ride of a lifetime and I have loved every second of it! Especially seeing how it all comes together from behind the scenes. I recognize so many sets from the show, all of the actors are so sweet and personable, the food has been extremely delicious, I could go on for hours about it! I’m trying not to get spoiled but I think it’s too late!
NTG: How was it meeting the cast? Any one really stand out to you that was exciting to meet and work with?
HM: My Co-star, Sydney, and I clicked from the start! Working side by side with new friends is one of the things I love most about this job.
NTG: Do you get nervous? How do you calm your nerves before performing?
HM: I was extremely nervous to even set foot on that set! Ha-Ha! All I could do was be as prepared as possible by making sure all of my lines were memorized and my head was in the game. You can never be fully prepared for something until you've experienced it. The funny thing though, every day that I was on set my nerves gradually diminished.
NTG: Now that you reached this goal, have you set a new one?
HM: Oh yes!! I have been absolutely enthralled by the new Netflix original “Stranger Things”! I binged watched the first season in 2 days!! Ha-Ha! That is my next goal.
NTG: You recently were out in Los Angeles shooting the film, “Howard High”. Even more exciting, Netflix has picked it up to turn it into a new series! How has this experience been? Can you tell us about the series or is it top secret? ;)
HM: This film has been a huge learning experience for me. If I hadn’t been a part of this amazing opportunity, I would not have been anywhere near as mentally prepared for The Vampire Diaries as I was.“Howard High” was one of my favorite sets that I’ve been on. I created lifetime relationships and memories that I will never forget. This role was like no other, I had never played a character like Molly before and thoroughly enjoyed getting to play someone that was so different than myself. Howard High is a musical full of dancing and plot twists and turns so stay tuned!
NTG: You mentioned your character, Molly, was so different than any roles you’ve played before. What was the process like becoming her?
HM: Molly is darker and more mysterious than one I've ever played. It has been a thrill to indulge in and become her. I feel like I’ve really expanded my range and even discovered a new vulnerability in becoming her. I owe this role to my older brother, Austin, for his amazing guidance and coaching to help better understand and prepare for this character. Without him, I would not be where I am!
NTG: You’ve been in this industry most of your life. How do you balance this and having a normal life as a 16 year old? Do you ever feel like you are missing out on “normal kid stuff”?
HM: Surprisingly enough, I never wanted to live a “normal kid life”. I’ve always had big aspirations, dreams and lifetime achievements that couldn’t be met if I lived a “normal life”. This crazy life of my is normal to me. Of course every kid feels like they're missing out on something at some point in life, but over all I wouldn’t change a thing about my life!
NTG: What is your favorite part of this industry?
HM: The fact that every job is a different. There’s a new set with new people n new places and I get to create relationships with people from all over the country! One experience is always different from the last. This industry never has a dull moment! I love traveling, so what’s better than a job that’s always on to the next place?
NTG: You are also a singer! Music seems to big a big part of your family. How does music and singing affect your life?
HM: Music is indeed a big part of my life and singing is a passion I've had for as long as i can remember. Sometimes, I don’t even realize I’m singing! In fact, my family gets on me quite often for singing too much! Ha-Ha! My oldest brother, Daniel, is a guitarist/bass player. My older brother, Austin, is a singer, producer, songwriter and dancer. I am a singer, dancer and songwriter as well. Music is intertwined into my family! Austin and I are always working together and we actually wrote an original song called “Bittersweet” that his band CNMA produced. Music is a universal language that can communicate and impact people in ways that words alone cannot. Music not only impacts me in a positive light, but it makes me want to impact others in that very same way.
NTG: Speaking of singing! You recently sang a song for the soundtrack for the Hallmark movie Will to Love. You even got to shoot a music video for it. How was that? Is it similar to being on a film/tv set or different?
HM: This is where preparedness meets opportunity! I was actually in LA shooting as the love interest in another music video when i got a call to fill in for a singer who had lost her voice. I recorded the song that night and shot the music video the next morning! It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before and happened with the snap of a finger!
NTG: You are so busy with your acting and singing. Do you have any other hobbies that you like to do on your free time?
HM: I am an extreme book nerd! You can find me reading a novel, sometimes more than one, at the same time! I love spoiling my dogs, Perry and Olivia, sketching and spending time with my loved ones.
NTG: If you could meet/work with anyone (alive or dead) who would it be? Why?
HM: Angelina Jolie would be my pick! I look up to her not only as an actor but as a person. I love that she has adopted children along with having her own. I plan to do the same thing one day with my family. She isn’t just a phenomenal actor, but director as well! I hope to one day direct also. I would work side-by-side with and learn from her one day in the future.
NTG: What/Who inspires you?
HM: My mom is my main inspiration. Without such an amazing, strong woman in my life, I wouldn’t be the person I am today nor would I be at the place I am in my career. Along with my dad, who has always been supportive of all that I do.
NTG: Again, you’ve grown up in this industry. What advice would you give other kids or teens that are looking to act professionally? How do you stay grounded?
HM: I recommend to any aspiring actor to work behind the camera! Understanding the way a crew works and how hard their job truly is, really gives you insight and appreciation on how much it takes to make a set run. Another tip is to never give up. I’ve been in the industry for almost 9 years now and you just have to learn to let things roll off when it doesn’t go the way you were hoping. Instead, stay determined and don’t let anything teeter you. I have felt like quitting this industry more times than I can count, but I stuck it out and that is why I am where I am. Always expect the worst but hope for the best! This mindset is what keeps me going.
NTG: What do you think is the most important key in the longevity and success of your career?
HM: Always keep learning, always keep growing and if you ever think you know everything, that is when you have truly failed. Stay humble and if you never quit, you will win!
NTG: Lastly, if people want to follow and keep up with all your upcoming projects, what is the best way for them do that?
HM: Yes, they can follow me on my social media! Instagram: Hannahgrac3 and Twitter: Hannahgrac3_99
NTG: Hannah, it’s been such a joy being on this journey with you for so many years. I’ve loved watching you grow and reach the goals you set for yourself. I can’t wait to see what’s next! Thank you for sitting down with us and allowing others to get a glimpse of your journey! Love you, kid!
HM: It was my pleasure! I hope this helps inspire others and helps keep others determined! I love you and appreciate you so much, there isn’t a way i’d be here if it wasn’t for you! #TeamNovy