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Rising Stars: Meet Emma Halleen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emma Halleen.

Hi Emma, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Hey! Thanks for having me. So, when I was a kid, I became focused on ballet. At ten, I knew I wanted to be an actor but I had some personal tragedy in my life around the same time. I was already in ballet so I sort of fixated all my energy on becoming a dancer. It became an outlet for a lot of what I was going through but it also isolated me and I felt lonely. When I was 16, I was offered an apprenticeship with Twin Cities Ballet and a contract with Collide Theatrical Jazz Company. They are amazing companies led by kickass female artistic directors, but I ended up refusing both.

I was so burnt out. At that point, I had been dancing all day for seven days a week for two or three years. In the back of my mind I knew I still wanted to be in the film industry. So I went back to regular high school, worked full time and moved out to LA. A year and a half later, we’re 12 months through a global pandemic, I’ve broken up with my first serious boyfriend, I’m a SAG AFTRA member, the Florida Film Festival just accepted a short I’m a lead in, and I started my first ever business, a production company called The Millionth, LLC. It has been a trip — Dude — now I understand why they call life unpredictable. I have also learned that my mother is almost always right. Very annoying lesson.

So for now, as the industry starts to pick up again, I’m rejuvenating myself by writing and producing a couple of projects. I’ve got some writing projects swirling around with incredible artists, two of which I will be producing this year. I’m really excited about it. I can’t wait to be able to tell you more.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Okay, first let me say that I have been extremely fortunate. Early on, I got connected into a solid agency, I love the city of Los Angeles and its people with all my heart, and I became a part of Storyteller’s Conservatory with Charles Carpenter, which has been maybe the biggest blessing of all. I’ve been plugged into a really loving, artistic and hungry part of the LA community. That has made all the difference in the world. That said, doubt has been a significant difficulty. When I was a kid, Ashley Wheater, the artistic director of Joffrey Ballet Chicago, told me that the number one thing a ballerina needs to do to make it is to never lose the love of the craft and the faith that they can do it. Acting, to me, feels the same. If you lose faith in yourself over the countless rejections and walls you run into you’re going to deflate. If you stop loving being on set or the chase of the audition you’re going to deflate. If you can’t find ways to energize yourself it’s going to be a lot of depressing meals over a bowl of microwave ramen all alone in an apartment that’s surprisingly cold because LA is not as warm as you thought it was.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I’ve been professionally pursuing acting a little over a year now. I’ve been a part of, most notably, IN THE GRAY, a short film where I worked alongside AzMarie Livingston and Writer/Director Yolanda Buggs. Another short film, Inka Rusi’s BIND with Tim Cummings and Nick Marini, has been accepted into the Florida Film Festival. The festival starts April 9th and ends the 22nd. Tickets are available March 17th if you’re curious. Anyway, the work I’ve done, they’re the kind of projects I’m really proud to have been a part of. They both twist regular perspectives in a really interesting and meaningful way. I can’t wait for them to premiere for people to see. As for something that sets me apart… I mean, I’m an 18 to play younger, red-headed Midwestern girl of average height, lmao. I guess I have been told that even though I look sweet, I have dangerous eyes. I like to say I’m the girl next door with a secret. I am also a dual citizen of USA and UK. I’d love to explore the London film market one day.

How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
Definitely check me out on my Instagram @emmathemillionth. I post updates about my projects and career. I’m all about win-win situations, so if I can help you and you can help me, I’d love to connect. If you’re interested in learning more about my upcoming Millionth Projects shoot me an email emma@emmahalleen.org and check out my website www.themillionth.com. If you’re interested in me as an actor shoot me an email. All my contact info is on my Instagram or website or check out my IMDB. Oh! And go to the Florida Film Festival and check out BIND – Inka Rusi is a poignant, powerful director and the cast and crew took her vision and ran with it. Definitely worth the watch.

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Image Credits:

David Muller Megan Rach Madison Hine

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