Because it Takes Making Your Own Breaks in Hollywood
By Jana Ritter
Hallie Jordon is like the many other young, talented hopefuls who come to Hollywood - destined to be a star. But when reality hits and the ride gets rough enough to send most packing home, Hallie Jordon set herself apart with more than just drive - she took the wheel of her career and is making things happen on her own. If training, talent and good looks aren't enough to even get auditions for the good roles, what is an actor supposed to do? Hallie explains how starting her own production company has helped to solve that problem and learn a lot more about the business of show business too.
You originally came to Hollywood as an actor and now you're running your own production company as well. What inspired you to head down this path?
It didn't take me long to realize that a lot of the actors I knew who had theatre majors and even more experience than I did, weren't getting much work at all. I've always had a "do it yourself" kind of mentality and I also integrated the business side of things into my college degree as well... so the next logical step for me was to 'step out of the box' and start producing the kind of films that would allow me to create the roles I wanted for myself.
Tell us about your company Small Red Star Productions.
Sure. We're based in Los Angeles and we just finished shooting a TV pilot, "To the Bridge" in collaboration with Artigo Indie Productions. It's actually being pitched to all the major networks right now. Small Red Star is also associated with Blanc Biehn Productions and that has allowed me to have a major hand in producing and starring in some great indie films such as, "Altered Perception", "The Girl", "She Rises", "Mindless", "To the Bridge", "Funny or Die".
What do you ultimately hope to achieve with your company?
To keep growing and making great films! I love comedies, but I'm also very passionate about socially conscious films that really make people think. We've already started to move into those types of projects and I think eventually, those films will be our hallmark.
You definitely have a lot of training as an actor as well. What type of roles do you look for?
I have a pretty varied background - a double major in theatre with a minor in tap dancing and a lot of intensive physical movement and comedy training in Italy, Austria and Chicago. I've been in more than 35 stage productions and have done a lot of improv here in LA too. I've always been a comedic actor first, but I really want to expand into the more serious, meaty roles that will expand my horizons as well. I'm a huge fan of Judd Apatow and would almost kill to be in one of his movies or television shows!
Who would you ultimately want to be compared to as an actor?
Amy Adams, Emma Stone and I love Isla Fischer, too.
Now that you've been on both sides of the camera what do you prefer... acting or producing?
Definitely acting. But I'll admit that I also love having creative control over the projects I produce and being in the driver's seat has really helped me learn a lot about every aspect of filmmaking - it's really boosted my confidence as an actor and as a person too.
You are obviously someone who really knows the meaning of driving your own destiny. Do you have any advice for other aspiring actors?
A lot of people think once you land an agent in Hollywood, you're pretty much set. There is a reason that agents only get about 10% commission - you pretty much have to do 90% of the work to get work! All artists should understand how important it is to appreciate and enjoy the ride at every step. No matter what you achieve, you're always going to want more.
I've been collaborating with Celine Wallace who has one of the best websites offering advice for the newcomer: www.HomeToHollywood.com
We have everything from interviews with high profile industry professionals, to insider career advice, to finding a place to live and a lot of other things too.
What's the next step for you? Any upcoming films we should look out for?
Two films that I'm really proud of are going to be releasing this summer, "Altered Perception" and "The Girl". I'm about to start shooting "Mindless." We've got some really amazing talent on board - so I'm really excited about that being my next steps!
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