My name is Gigi Cappetta. I'm 8 years old and I'm from Hershey, Pennsylvania (where they make the chocolate, I LOVE chocolate).
I have lived in California and Maryland, too. I attend cyber school since October of this year when I filmed two movies and missed too much school to continue on in public school. I thought being home every day would be so much fun, but it's actually a lot of work. It turns out that I'm learning better at home, without all the distractions and noise in school.
My favorite hobbies are dancing and horseback riding and drawing. I love to travel too; the beach is a favorite place to go especially to see my relatives in South America.
What do you enjoy about acting?
I professionally started acting at age 5, but my parents will tell you that I have been acting since birth! When I was little, around 3 and 4, in daycare, I used to stand on anything I could find and perform songs like "Copacabana" or "Bad Romance" or "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" for all the kids and staff. They would clap and cheer and I really loved that.
Everyone kept telling my mom that I needed to be in show business. Mom laughed it off for a few years.
My first job was a modeling gig for the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia. I am the little girl (daughter) on their website. It's still up and will be for 4 more years. Shortly after this jobs just began to skyrocket for me. I have been busy ever since.
Can you tell us about some projects you're working on right now?
I'm filming a web series called LEGENDS - THE DARK KNIGHT. It is an amazing series written and produced by the Poke the Bear team out of Ebensburg, PA. Poke the Bear team had cast me in their big suspense, thriller feature film MOREAU which is slated for release in Spring 2014 (after it does a festival circuit.) In MOREAU, I play Young Charlie and that is my biggest role to date.
I filmed 8 movies in 2012, so am just waiting for stuff to start coming out! I did play young Mariska Hargitay in a film this year (DIAMONDS TO DUST), that was cool! And I worked with Ralph Macchio (The Karate Kid) and Fatima Ptacek (who is the voice of Dora) on a feature film coming out this summer called A LITTLE GAME. And I have a short film I played a lead role in called CHARITY CASE doing the festival circuit right now.
Aside from that, I'm not working on much other than preparing for our upcoming move to Los Angeles.
Can you tell us about the auditioning process? Do you get nervous? Do you have any tips on auditioning?
YES! I got very nervous in the beginning. That's totally normal. The more you audition the easier it will get, I promise. I recommend to all kids who want to act to start with modeling. It's less pressure to start and you can ease into the process of being on stage, in front of people and all the things that go with the spotlight being on you. Also when you are in front of the camera, for an audition or filming, whatever - just pretend like it's you and the camera and no one else in the room. It's really important to be able to clock out noise and other distractions.
Once I had an audition where they had me reading a really serious script while someone next door was banging on pots and pans. It turns out the director was looking for a child who was very focused and could perform under such conditions…I didn't book that one!
"If you want to get better at acting, you have to take bigger roles and sometimes those roles will be challenging."
Once I shot a scene where we played with a cotton candy machine and I ate and ate and ate pink cotton candy until I got sick. I also got to swim in a pool, roll down a hill in the leaves under moonlight, and shoot an Xbox video game scene with a bunch of cheering Italian soccer fans which was awesome. I also love going to make-up and getting made up with special effects. It's so cool. Acting is like playing dress up with slightly older kids. I love it!
There were a couple of scenes in MOREAU where I was in sort of scary situations with the lead character, Moreau, who was a very bad guy. We talked about it before the scene, everyone did, the actors, my parents, the director. We had code words that I could say if I was not comfortable and everyone made it a nice as they could. I'm not going to lie, it was still a bit uncomfortable, but as the filming went on I got better and better at it.
It's almost a year since those scenes, now it doesn't even bother me to play scenes with bad guys. You can't just play the cute kid all the time. If you want to get better at acting, you have to take bigger roles and sometimes those roles will be challenging. If you make those scenes an opportunity talk with your parents about what's happening, you can actually come away with a great learning lesson and even some street smart skills in addition to acting skills.
"Focus, have fun, be yourself - that's most important because casting directors are looking for the real you."
Tell your parents you really want to try acting. Take a class on acting, even some voice lessons if you want to do theatre and singing roles. Be serious about it and know that it's competitive because there's a lot of kids out there who want to act. So you have to really work at it. There's a lot to gain. Focus, have fun, be yourself - that's most important because casting directors are looking for the real you - don't dress up too much and never wear make-up or big bows for auditions, always look your own age and remember… there's enough work for everyone who has the passion to act! And never look back after an audition. Forget you ever went in. This way, if they call you it's a bonus, and if they don't, well, you long since forgot about them. Be happy.
Thank you, Gigi! It was a pleasure interviewing you. You can find Gigi on Facebook and Twitter.