“You have to set your priorities to get to where you want to be”
Since January of 2015, Brec Bassinger has starred as the title character on Nickelodeon’s Bella & The Bulldogs. And if you think Bella’s journey from cheerleading captain to starting quarterback is inspiring, wait until you read about Brec’s. “I lived in a super small town,” the Texas native explains. But she didn’t let that stop her from pursuing acting. Brec joined the drama club, landed roles in school plays, and honed her skills in local classes.
And when it came time to find representation that could send her on professional auditions, Brec didn’t have doors closed in her face; she couldn’t get in the door to begin with. “There was a period of time where I could not get an agent,” she shares. “I remember sending my headshot to agents all over Texas and I wouldn’t hear from any of them.”
Instead of giving up, Brec pushed harder, seeking out opportunities to further her career. “Staying productive is a major goal of mine,” she says. “I always want to keep pushing myself.” One week, she flew to California for an acting seminar. After performing a scene in front of agents, Brec returned to her mom in the waiting room. “She handed me a Post-it note and it said, ‘They want to sign you.’ I started tearing up because it was the first person to see something in me.” And it wouldn’t be the last.
In 2014, Brec’s biggest dream came true when she booked Bella & The Bulldogs. But it didn’t come without sacrifice – since the show filmed in Hollywood, Brec had to live 1,400 miles away from her family in Texas. “My dad couldn’t move out to Los Angeles because he owns a farm,” she explains. Brec and her mom relocated, while her dad and brothers stayed in Texas. “That was a huge difficulty,” she says.
The transition from small-town life to big-city stakes was difficult, too. In 2014, Brec found out she’d be attending her first major event: the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. “I went to the mall and loved this one brand’s dresses,” she says. “I found out they had a showroom in Los Angeles and was so excited! Well, they looked at my Twitter and wouldn’t let me borrow their dress. They told me I didn’t have enough followers.”
Brec refused to get caught up in something so trivial. “I don’t want to be associated with people like that,” she says. “Don’t let the number of Instagram or Twitter followers you have define who you are. As a person, you’re so much more than that. It doesn’t matter how many people like your photo.”
Any time Brec faces a hurdle, she doesn’t simply dodge it; she destroys it. “I hope I can be an example that you can overcome difficulties,” she says. “Struggles make you a stronger person and make you appreciate everything so much more. Look at the bigger picture and at your ultimate goal. If you can keep that perspective, you can truly keep working for your dream.”
Photos by Joe Magnani, Dress by Rachel Allan. Hair – Matilde Campos, Styling – Robiat Balogun, Makeup – Joseph Adivari
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