Hi Marissa please tell us a little about you?

I’m originally from Pittsburgh, PA but have lived in Los Angeles for 10 years. I dance, act, and sing and am incredibly passionate about all three. I have had so many different experiences that have shaped me into the woman I am today and I am so beyond grateful. I am always trying to stay motivated and inspired and I always try my best to radiate love and light.

So how did it all begin?

I stepped foot into my first dance class when I had just turned three and I completely fell in love. From there, acting found its way into my life and I found a completely new kind of love! I had the opportunity to perform on Star Search when I was 9, and that was when I had my first taste of Los Angeles. After that was when I realized that in order for me to achieve the dreams and goals that I had set for myself.. I had to move to LA and make them happen.

Tell us about your character Tara in “Breaking Through”?

I play Tara, who is the younger sister of the group. Tara is very similar to who I am as a person, so I really connected with her in that aspect. She’s very happy and energetic and is full of love. What really drew me to her, though, was the darker scenes that she has in the film. I really wanted to challenge myself and connect with Tara on a deeper level.

How did you got involved in this project?

My manager had sent me the character breakdown, the sides, and the script about a week before the audition. I remember reading the script multiple times and really trying to understand my character so I could genuinely and honestly become her. I auditioned the following week and got a callback on the spot! From there.. I had dance auditions, acting callbacks, and chemistry reads until I finally received the call that I booked it!

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Loving. Motivated. Unique.

Who is your favorite Actor/Actress? And why?

My favorite actress is Cameron Diaz. I love her because she is so free and careless with her work. I strive to be the kind of actress she is someday.

When did you started dancing?

I started dancing when I had just turned three! I completely fell in love and haven’t stopped since.

Did you took dancing classes?

Yes! I took dance classes basically everyday! I remember getting picked up early from school and heading straight to dance class when I was younger! My life pretty much revolved around dance.

What type of dance do you like best?

Honestly, it’s hard to pick just one! Each different style of dance is so different and I experience different emotions with each style.

Any loves other than acting and dancing?

I love yoga so much!! I practice every day and I don’t feel myself if I’m not able to practice that day. I sing as well which is another passion of mine!

How is a normal day in your life?

I normally wake up and have my morning cup of coffee! Then I take care of any business I have for that day and head straight to yoga afterwards. Once I’m done practicing, I come home and cook a really healthy and yummy breakfast. I normally head to a dance or acting studio and take a class or two if my schedule allows! Being a dancer and actress, every day brings different opportunities and experiences so you never really have a set schedule! I take it day by day.

What’s the best part of being an actress?

The best part of being an actress would have to be exploring different parts of yourself and connecting to different characters. You discover various things about yourself while rehearsing and performing and it is incredibly rewarding.

Something people don’t know about you?

I am a contortionist!! It’s something I have done since I was little and I absolutely love it. It’s not something you would normally think when you first look at me, but it’s something I love and truly cherish.

Who has made the biggest impact on your life so far, and why?

So many different people have impacted my life! But my mom and dad have been my biggest influences and inspirations! They have always and forever supported me and honestly changed their entire life to help me reach my dreams!! I love them unconditionally and am forever grateful for them. I’m the luckiest girl in the world.

Best advice ever given?

“No matter what you do in life, make sure it makes you happy.” My mama has told me that since I was little and it is something I will always carry with me. I believe that if you are genuinely and honestly happy, that you can handle anything in life.

Headshot photo: FlyGirl Photography
Red background photo: Photographer: Birdie Thompson and Makeup: Nathalie Romero