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Meet Heather Grace Hancock

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Grace Hancock.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Heather Grace. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’m one of those few and fortunate who knew at age 0 that I wanted to be in entertainment and I was even more blessed to have parents who supported me in that decision. I don’t think anyone was surprised; I was a hyper-creative and probably very obnoxious child. My sister and my friends were incessantly forced into living room plays, dance recitals, and even poetry readings. There’s this home video of a musical production that was put on in my neighborhood and I played the pianist in some rock band or something insane and I’m literally three years old head-banging and jamming like Elton John is watching and it’s hilarious because I’m right on the beat and hamming it up like crazy and I’m barely two feet tall. My poor parents.

So I started dancing at an early age and eventually progressed into musical theatre and competitive singing, then into straight and classical theatre while I was getting my BFA, then into independent film, and I finally landed in network television. Dancing will always be my first love but television and I sort of chose each other and I’m so enamored with the medium both as an actor and a viewer. It’s definitely my home base.

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?
Dear God, no – is anyone’s? But that’s why you get an A+ support team and lots of anti-aging moisturizers. I’m so grateful for the journey I’ve had and I’m well aware I’ve had an easier path than most, but working in any creative industry is extremely difficult for a lot of reasons and it’s not something you can sugarcoat. It takes a really specific type of personality to be able to pursue something like acting on a day-to-day basis. Finding – and keeping – filler jobs that support your schedule and budget is very hard, finding friends who will forgive you for constantly cancelling and being unavailable because you’re filming is very hard, essentially going on job interviews every day for free – when you’ve already done the job – and hoping that the planets align is very hard. Auditioning requires a ton of time and energy and money and so many things have to go right for a “yes” to come your way and even when you get that call, you’re eventually going to wrap on that project and you’re back at it all over again. It’s a wild way to live. I’m definitely not getting invited to talk at career fairs. But a non-conventional lifestyle really suits me and the only thing worse than acting is not acting.

Even on my darkest days, I’m still very much in love with the art of it all. Watching anything with me is not at all relaxing because I constantly want to talk about the lighting of every shot, every actor’s take on a scene, every piece of stunt choreography. I really am in love with every aspect of the process and the creative geniuses who stitch it all together and I just feel most like myself when I’m on set. All careers have pros and cons and I’m encouraged knowing that this particular one has forced me to grow the most as a person and that’s a very beautiful thought to me. I can’t wait to see where it’ll take me this year and next year and ten years after that.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know? What are you most proud of?
I’m largely known from Collider Video where I co-hosted Collider TV Talk for a long time and I’m also on the Movie Trivia Schmoedown where I play the bad guy which is the best thing ever. This past year I also did NCIS, Criminal Minds, and Pink Collar Crimes on CBS and I’ve done a lot of other network shows like Wicked City, Cooper Barrett’s Guide to Surviving Life, and The Fosters and I have a pilot coming out later this year that I’m really excited about. I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to do a lot of different types of projects and roles but my passion really lies in complicated, gritty dramas and that’s definitely where I’m hoping to live for a while. My reps love me in comedy but I’m dying to play a really eccentric anti-hero where I get to perform all my own stunts and run around all day like a maniac. What a dream! I’m also kept busy with my podcast Grace & Alicia Have Lives that I created with Alicia Gaynor who is also from Collider. We release new episodes each Monday and it’s essentially happy hour with two best friends discussing everything from DM etiquette to mental health and everything in between. We have the best time producing it and the response has been really overwhelming. We’re very lucky ladies and I feel really honored to have the platform to positively affect the lives of those listening. I don’t take that lightly.

What am I most proud of? That’s so hard. I guess my tenacity? I have a really deep-seated fire in my belly that is ever-smoldering and without it, I would’ve crumbled a long time ago.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Wow. That’s a tough question because it’s probably more of a combination of feelings that I remember having rather than one specific event. My childhood was a really lovely time, after that I was a real nightmare, but everything until age nine was pretty smooth sailing. We had an unspoken tradition of always making nachos for lunch on Sundays and I vividly remember these blue plates we had and really looking forward to Sunday nachos on those blue plates. I remember doing my Mom’s exercise videos with her, playing hide and seek with my Dad, and playing this game called the Kitty Game where my sister Dawn and I would pretend to be kittens and we would sneakily spy on my parents. It was pretty hilarious. It was a very warm, active childhood full of playing and reading and gardening. I miss it! Adulting isn’t great. Who knew?

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Image Credit:
Stefanie Marie, Albert L. Ortega, CBS

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