EMGWorld speaks with the industry's rising star Chelsea Tavares
At just 20, Chelsea Tavares is already a veteran in her craft. The California born and raised actress has been booking work since she was barely old enough to take her first steps. She is well known for her former roles on Nickelodeon's Unfabulous and Just Jordan. Now Chelsea is showing her growth as the newest cast member, Jordan Randall, on ABC Family's hit drama Make It or Break It.
EMGWorld spends a moment with Chelsea to discuss the challenges and rewards of growing up within the industry.
Background: Professional Actress/ Singer
EMGWorld: If we might ask, exactly what is your ethnicity?
Chelsea Tavares: I'm of Cape Verdean descent. It's basically Portugese, Black and Brazilian.
EMGWorld: What gave you the belief that you could pursue a career as an actress?
CT: I’d have to say my confidence. I've never really been shy at all. My mom got me into the business when I was about 13 months old as a model. I modeled first and then we got into commercials and TV. I loved being in front of the camera and acting like a different character all the time.
EMGWorld: What was the most difficult challenge of pursuing acting at such a young age?
CT: There's alot of rejection. I cried like two times when I didn't get a part when I was little. I realized that you have to accept it. You're going to get rejected. You're going to get alot of "NO(s)."
EMGWorld: How challenging was it to balance school with your passion for acting?
CT: I had to keep my grades all the way up. Anything below a C on my report card meant I had to STOP working. I couldn't act or do anything. My teachers wouldn't let me act if my grades weren't above a C.
EMGWorld: Did you ever encounter any jealousy or animosity from the other kids because you were living out your dream on TV while they were just daydreaming?
CT: It was hard to just be a kid. I was about 10 or 11 when I did the Lion King. Throughout school, people would say "oh you think you're cool because you're on TV." I would come across people [haters] like that. I just brushed it off and kept moving forward.
"I've learned that you always have to be productive. If you're lazy just a little bit, you miss the opportunities." - Chelsea Tavares
EMGWorld: What’s one thing about you most people would never know?
CT: I'm really awkward when it comes to receiving compliments, especially when I get complimented too much. I love being around people but I tend to get uncomfortable when I'm receiving too much attention.
EMGWorld: Who within the industry has had the most influence on you?
CT: I’d say Sharif Atkins. I worked with him on The District when I was like nine. He helped me calm my nerves down and told me to just go with the flow. To this day he's kind of like a big brother to me.
EMGWorld: As an actress yourself are there any other actresses out there you admire?
CT: I loved Brittany Murphy. I cried when she passed away . I'm also a huge fan of Rachel McAdams and Angelina Jolie.
EMGWorld: Is there any woman or entertainer you’d love to portray in a biographical film?
CT: My mom wants me to portray the story of Diana Ross, but I'd really like to play an updated version of Dorothy Dandrige's 'Carmen.'
EMGWorld: Playing Dorothy Dandrige and Diana Ross are some incredible shoes to fill? You sure you're up for the challenge?
CT: I know. I love Dorothy Dandrige. I watched Halle Berry play her in Introducing Dorothy Dandrige. I'm obsessed with that movie!
EMGWorld: What would be your ideal role in a film?
CT: I would love to do a project like "Girl Interrupted" or play a role that's way out of my character. I've always wanted to be in a scary movie. My dream is to definitely play a role way outside of my normal character, like a mental case. Something that's not the typical girl next door role.
EMGWorld: How does it feel to finally make that transition from playing the teenager roles in Nickelodeon to older characters?
CT: It's a different vibe and I like it . When you get older you want to do more serious roles so people take you more seriously. I loved doing Nickelodeon at that age because I was really young, but Nickelodeon doesn't have you deal with that many serious situations. There are a lot of serious situations in Make It or Break It. I love portraying real situations that happen in real life.
EMGWorld: How does it feel to join a successful cast like ABC’s ‘Make It or Break It?’
CT: It’s been really fun. The first time I auditioned for it I didn't think I booked my role. When they called me to say I booked it I was surprised. I was originally only supposed to be on there for 2 or 3 episodes, but it became a recurring role. Everyone on the cast was really welcoming of me.
EMGWorld: What’s the one thing you would warn other young actors of who hope to make a career in this business?
CT: If you want to be in this business you can't be SHY. You have to really be confident in what you do. You have to love your craft and practice it every day. You must learn how to take rejection because you're going to get alot of “NO(s).” Getting a 'no' doesn't mean you have to give up.
EMGWorld: What advice would you give to aspiring actors out there still struggling to book their first gig?
CT: Just remember there's a time for everything. There was a time where I wasn't booking anything. I was trying my hardest at every audition and praying. Always keep in mind if one door closes, another door OPENS.
EMGWorld: Would you say it’s more challenging for minorities within the industry?
CT: Young girls of color should know they have to work twice as hard as a girl with blond hair and blue eyes. That's just a fact. You have to show that you can hold your own not just as the lead girl's best friend, but also as the LEAD role.
"Just remember there's a time for everything. Always keep in mind if one door closes, another door opens." - Chelsea Tavares
EMGWorld: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned since you began to pursue your dream as an actress?
CT: Don't get lazy. I've learned that you always have to be productive. If you're lazy just a little bit you miss the opportunities. You have to keep your eyes on God. He blessed you with your talent. Keep your eyes on God and just keep going.
EMGWorld: What can we expect from Chelsea Tavares in the near future?
CT: Music. I'm also a singer and songwriter as well. Fans can listen to my most recent single 'Happy' on iTunes or at chelseatavares.com. I'm working with the Vendi brothers on an upcoming project.
EMGWorld: How can EMGWorld fans connect with you?
Be sure to catch Chelsea in a new episode of Make It Or Break It every Monday night at 9pm on ABC Family!
"You must learn how to take rejection because you're going to get alot of “NO(s).” Getting a 'no' doesn't mean you have to give up." - Chelsea Tavares