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Rising Stars: Meet Sydney Benjamin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sydney Benjamin.

Hi Sydney, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I grew up knowing I wanted to be an Actor. It is every little girl’s dream, but I never let it go. Thankfully my parents were very supportive. While they would not allow me to pursue acting professionally until I could drive, they allowed to me take acting classes join theater, and they drove me to every rehearsal. Once I turned 16, they allowed me to seek out representation, and I was very lucky to sign with an amazing Talent manager who is still my manager to this day. I took a brief hiatus from acting to attend college, and once I graduated, I auditioned for and signed with an agent and re-signed with my manager. I began taking acting classes again, and I had a fantastic teacher tell me “As actors, we need to create our own work.” I took that to heart and began writing and creating. Since then, I have written and produced two short films, co-written a short series, and filmed the pilot episode, and I have written a feature-length film that I am in the beginning stages of bringing to life. Content creation has become a big part of my life. I have found success on TikTok, which yes I am a millennial who fell in love with the app as a result of being laid off due to the pandemic. My first viral video was me trying on a bridesmaid dress and realizing it did not fit thanks to my quarantine 15. I then took TikTok on the journey of fitting into my dress in 43 days (Spoiler… it fit). In one month, I went from 190 followers to over 300,000, it was absolutely insane and so fun. I have gotten to share my life with hundreds of thousands of people daily, and I love it. These days I share my lifestyle, my dating life, healthy recipes, workouts and make a few jokes here and there. Content creation has given me a great outlet to share my life and also remain creative, write sketches, and just share my passions.

Alright, 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?
It has not been a smooth road, more of an adventurous uphill gravel road with a few potholes. Being an artist is difficult, auditioning is difficult, rejection is not easy. As actors, we submit to thousands of auditions, agents, managers, and many, many times we get rejected. I have been very fortunate to have a great support system with my family and friends. The biggest struggle I faced was several years ago when I was faced with the decision to follow my dreams or continue college. I was at a crossroads where my course work was becoming increasingly more demanding and I was missing classes for auditions, and it was affecting my grades. I ultimately decided to step away from acting, finish off my last two years of college, and then one month before graduation decided to throw an Uno reverse, finish my degree, but not use it. I studied religion and decided that my passion was still acting, so I went after it again full force and have been ever since. I have also dealt with significant health issues. I have an autoimmune disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis, that causes debilitating pain throughout my body. Thankfully it has been mostly under control thanks to doctors and modern medicine, but I have battled through several flare-ups. My most recent flare-up was several months long and heavily affected my creative abilities. In those months of flare-ups, I have to put my health first, and my creative ventures due take a backseat, but I am tough and usually end up pushing through. Health issues are something many people face, and I love to be a voice showing people that it is okay to take care of yourself, it is okay to rest, and it is okay to not be okay, asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it shows strength.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am most proud that I have inspired people to go after their goals. I am a very goal-oriented person. I absolutely am the person that makes a vision and goal board EVERY year. Through social media, I have been able to show that you can persevere, you can go after your goals, and you can achieve your dreams. We are all incredibly busy people, and it is very easy to let your dreams, passions, and goals take a back seat when life gets hectic. I am no stranger to a busy lifestyle, I work a 9-5 job to pay my bills, I am a grad student getting my MBA, I am an actor, a Tik Tok’er, a podcaster, a writer, and I also try to throw in a social life now and then. I don’t let my life get in the way of my dreams. I stay up late, I wake up early, and I put in the work. My social media has been a source of inspiration to many, as I have taken people along my journey to get in shape. Many times “fitness influencers” are on the tail end of their journey or have already completed their journeys and are sharing their results as inspiration, I have and continue to take people on the daily journey of working out eating right while also maintaining every other aspect of my life. I am not always perfect, I have plenty of rest days and am prone to a Netflix binge day here and there, but overall I show up for myself, chase my dreams, and put in the work to make my future self proud.

We’d love to hear about how you think about risk taking?
Risk-taking is essential! Every success I have had in life comes from taking a risk. Putting yourself out there for an audition, or creating a video and putting it on social media, or writing and filming a short film… these are all risks that I take, sometimes daily. It is because of those risks that I have found success, not always, but those risks that reap rewards make every risk I take worth it. If you do not put yourself out there, you do not know what you are possibly missing out on. My mom always told me “Ask not, receive not” and that is my perspective on risk-taking, if you don’t take the risk, you aren’t going to get the reward. Now I am not talking about taking a life-changing risk every day, I am talking small risk-taking… but some moments in life are worth the risk.

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Image Credits
Bella Saville Photography

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