For the past year, Lab Rats star Kelli Berglund has been offering empowering advice to BYOU Magazine readers in her exclusive ‘Ask Kelli‘ column. In this popular column, girls wrote in to us to ask Kelli’s advice on topics like friendship, bullying, body image, self-worth, popularity, and lots of girl-world issues, however one of the most-asked questions during the course of her year-long column with us was: “How do I become an actress like you?”
As you probably know, Kelli stars as Bree in the hit Disney XD show, Lab Rats: Elite Force. But her journey to landing the role of Bree didn’t happen overnight; in fact, as you’ll read below in our exclusive interview, she had to do almost 300 auditions before securing that role! Read about Kelli’s journey as an actress below in a an excerpt from our first cover feature on Kelli (she’s been a BYOU Magazine cover star twice, click here to read Kelli’s celebrity page). Plus after the interview below, see Kelli’s advice when she answers her final ‘Ask Kelli’ question: “How do I become an actress like you?”
Exclusive Interview: How Kelli got her start
BYOU Magazine: Kelli, you obviously have a passion and talent for dance. How was it you made the transition into acting?
Kelli: It actually started through my dancing. When I was 9, I was a featured dancer in a small production and was approached by a talent agency. I was nervous, but met with them and started growing as a dancer. But this also led to TV and film auditions here and there and I started doing commercials — like for Barbie and the Polly Pocket toys in the Happy Meals. Then when I was 10, I booked a TV role for a year on Hip Hop Harry, which is like Barney but with a big dancing bear! That inspired me to do more television. I did SO many auditions (200-300 of them!) and came close on some, but rarely booked any. I was literally about to give up on acting and just do my competitive dancing when I got the role of Bree.
BYOU Magazine: Tell us about how that happened!
Kelli: I auditioned SO many times for Disney, but it always came down to little things you have no control over, like not being tall enough, having the wrong hair color, etc. I really wanted to take a break when my manager suggested I try one last audition for the role of Bree. I fell in love with her character and knew I could totally play her. I went to the audition completely prepared and looking all superhero-ish. I wanted to do everything I could to show them I could play Bree. I think what honestly helped me, though, was that I wasn’t attached as to whether I got the role. I wanted it, but knew I had a backup plan to dance, so I went in relaxed and not uptight.
BYOU Magazine: Yes, it definitely helps to not be attached to the outcome. But that’s not always easy, is it?
Kelli: It can definitely be a difficult thing, especially when you’re younger. You wonder why something didn’t go your way. My best advice is to say that everything happens for a reason. Work hard for what you want so you’re ready, and know that the right opportunity will come along for you at the time that’s right. If it doesn’t happen, then it wasn’t the right thing for you and something better is waiting. I remember I really wanted the role of Clara in a big national touring production of The Nutcracker but I never booked it. I was always the understudy and I used to get so upset. But later I realized that if I had booked that production, I probably would not have ever had the opportunity to be on Lab Rats! You can be too hard on yourself or beat yourself up. If I got upset after every audition I did, I’d probably be the most depressed person in the world! Take it serious by working hard, but have fun with it and go in with a smile. Just know there will be an opportunity that will be perfect for you. That was my mindset for six years until I booked Lab Rats, and I know that everything does happen for a reason and that opportunity will come along when the time is right.
Exclusive – Kelli Answers: “How Do I Become an Actress Like You?”
“If you feel really passionate about performing arts, such as dancing, singing or acting, there are ways to become involved—even if you don’t live in Los Angeles! Go to a local dance studio or acting class and push yourself to learn. Improve your skills and keep working at it. There’s always room for practice! Many agencies allow actors to send in audition tapes for television shows and movies. I’d recommend asking a parent if that’s something you want to try! It’s about having fun, and just know that it may not always work out in your favor every single time. Keep going! The right opportunity will come along at the right time.” -Kelli Berglund for BYOU Magazine
For more advice from Kelli, read our ‘Be Yourself’ issue! Read it today digitally for only $2.99 when you download the free BYOU Magazine app on iTunes, Android, or Amazon – or click here to order a print copy!
You might also be interested in:
- Video: Kelli Berglund Interview
- Behind the Scenes Kelli Berglund’s BYOU Magazine Photo Shoot
- Kelli Berglund Talks the Importance of Unplugging
- Kelli Berglund Fun Facts
- Kelli Talks About Her Mom – Exclusive Video!
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