Today we’d like to introduce you to Arielle Simonee.
Arielle, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Legend has it (and by legend I mean my mother told me) I got my first dosage of the limelight when I was in Pre-school. A girl forgot the National Anthem and I walked up to the mic and just went for it. Ever since then, I’ve been chasing the limelight. In high school, I was a Chem/Bio major but I took a speech course in 11th grade and my teacher told me I was a natural at speaking in front of people, so I should consider Theatre. That year I auditioned for Readers Theatre and got placed into Children’s Theatre and from there I took off. Funny enough, and I don’t even think my parents know this, but when I applied to colleges, I chose the major Chemistry for the schools I wanted to go to and Theatre Arts for the schools that I didn’t want to go to. Sure enough, I ended up going to Michigan State University on a full ride scholarship (which was not my first choice by a long shot since I was born and raised in Detroit, MI) I studied Theatre Arts because truth be told it was my passion and I was a natural at acting.
But I worked my butt off in that program. I auditioned three different times for the BFA program, being one of the last students accepted into my class as a junior, but I was determined to have those three letters- BFA- on my degree. After graduating with my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, I took two years to gather myself and moved to Los Angeles, CA. My first year in LA I barely stepped foot into the acting realm it took until my third year here to really take the leap and put my confidence and belief in myself, re-enroll in acting classes and take my acting career seriously. Since the end of 2017, I’ve been actively working on music videos, tv shows, movies, commercials, taking acting classes and creating the life I’ve always wanted. Was my journey long, hell yes but it has been so worth it!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Yeah… NO. My road wasn’t smooth for a number of reasons. When you move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting no one gives you a map that says okay do this, go here, meet this person and BOOM you’re in. You have to struggle, bump your head a few good times, struggle some more and hopefully get it right one day. My first struggle was money. When I first arrived, I worked for a non-profit that paid way below a livable wage but somehow I made it work but I was missing out on acting classes, auditions, getting good headshots, workshops/ events all because I just didn’t have the money or time to put into my craft. When money finally wasn’t my struggle I struggled with how do you swiftly enter the entertainment business? The answer is you really don’t. I found an acting class where I thought I could be comfortable and flourish and honestly just being around other actors made a world of a difference. I gained friends/ family, insight, knowledge and a wealth of tidbits to maneuver the industry. I studied, I met the right people, I made it my business to work my way into this industry.
One thing I no longer did was wait around for an opportunity. From there, I was able to be my own manager and book several different roles and recently just signed with new representation all because I took myself seriously and went for all of my blessings. My biggest struggle to date and it’s an ongoing one is myself. As much as I LOVE acting and know that this is my God-given purpose, I sometimes struggle with trying to figure out if I’m a good enough actor, pretty enough, perfect enough for this industry. It’s hard but daily I am reminded through auditions, callbacks, bookings, and opportunities left and right that I have to be my biggest cheerleader and I am here for a reason.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I am an actor and teacher! I have acted in music videos, commercials, films, television shows, viral videos, Theatre and I’ve also modeled. I am most proud of my work in the upcoming 2019 Netflix biography “Dolemite, Is My Name” starring Eddie Murphy. I play a Cali Cocktail Waitress and being on that set surrounded by so many seasoned and amazing actors and being able to gain knowledge and wisdom from them was inspiring and truly life-changing. Modeling wise I am proud to say I am currently a part of the NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop campaign and am the face of color 16.7 Warm Mahogany. It has been really cool getting pictures and calls from family and friends that spot me in there local stores. Currently, I am in production as a lead and reoccurring character for two different short films. I am a rising actor and so far, my roles are setting me up to truly excel and shatter barriers!
What sets me apart is my tenacity and persistence to keep achieving the unthinkable. I’ll never give up on myself, my dreams or my capabilities. Also, I am excited to venture into various businesses to support actors in the Los Angeles area. I am in the process of developing an “Intro to the Industry” course in which I will help new actors transition a little more smoothly into the entertainment than I did. I feel as though if you have a wealth of knowledge, why not share it. I would love to lift as I climb up the entertainment ladder and I’m often asked via email or social media how to get started or what did I do so I thought what better way to share the knowledge than with a class that will get to connect others to each other so we can all be a resource.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I think a positive attitude is the most important quality in my success in the entertainment industry. This industry is brutal. It will tell you no 100 times before you even get a maybe. Having thick skin is one thing, also important, but my positive attitude has afforded me conversations and access to countless opportunities and people I would probably have to otherwise wait months to speak to. Being positive and a ball of energy is what people want to be around so naturally, they will gravitate towards you. I can’t speak for everyone but in my life that has been my biggest blessing. I don’t dwell on the negative and I certainly don’t feed into it.
- Website: Www.iAmArielleSimonee.com
- Email: iAmArielleSimonee@gmail.com
- Instagram: Www.instagram.com/Arielle.Simonee
Jeremy David, Kiwi