Interview by Carol Wright | Photographer: Anna Grace
We got to chat with actress Cece Kelly about what led her to start acting, her role in the film Family Camp, and her advice for aspiring actors.
Did you grow up in an artistic family?
I would say that I didn’t grow up in an artistic family, but my grandmother with a minor in theater would highly disagree. My parents were both accountants until my mom had my oldest sibling and decided to stay home with the kids. My brother studied veterinary medicine and my sister, business. I’ve always been really intrigued with the arts. My parents took our family to see plays, musicals, and movies all the time. Being the youngest I definitely was exposed to lots of amazing work at a young age. Before I even started acting I can remember playing make-believe with my friends and being like “okay so we’re stranded on an island, so say what you just said again, but be really scared.” I always loved creating, before I actually even knew I was creating. Thankfully, at the age of 9 when I told my parents I wanted to act, they didn’t look at me like I was crazy, instead, they supported me and found a local theater where I could start doing plays.
Tell our readers about Family Camp. Why did you want to be part of the project?
Family Camp is a family-friendly comedy that explores family dynamics. Woah, that’s a lot of ‘families!’ I really liked the project because it had such a diverse spectrum of humor and heart. There is the Adam Sandler slapstick, as well as The Office, style of dry humor. The guys who made the movie are called The Skit Guys, and their saying is “Laughter breaks down walls so that truth can enter.” The film is meant for families to see together. The humor is clean, so everyone can laugh at the jokes and there are so many elements that were hoped to open up conversations.
What do you hope audiences take away after watching?
After people watch Family Camp I hope they want to give their family a call. I hope that it shows different perspectives to help families better understand each other. Families whether by blood, or the one you chose can have the power to hold so much of your life. They can ground you, or uproot you so like any relationship, they take work, heart, and a lot of empathy. Family Camp is a comedy at its core, so it doesn’t feel heavy to push any type of agenda. You can take away whatever resonates with you.
Do you have a favorite scene or memorable moment from filming Family Camp?
One of my favorite scenes from Family Camp was one I was shooting with the woman who plays my mom, Leigh-Allyn Baker. I’m talking to her about how I’m always going to need her no matter what. This scene really connected with me because I’ve had many talks like this with my own mom. Being the youngest sibling, I can only imagine how difficult it is for my mom to let me leave the nest so to speak. In the movie, I’m basically saying that I’m going to need my mom in every stage of life, even when I’m older.
What advice do you have for aspiring actors?
My advice to aspiring actors would be that your dream IS attainable. I myself have such huge dreams and aspirations, and I think anytime when you have big dreams they can at times feel really far away. Sometimes I’ll start to feel this distance, and then I see my best friend book a life-changing job, and another friend books, and another, and another. I’m reminded that I am one audition away. If you love what you do, and you believe in yourself, your talent, and your work ethic, oh my gosh your dreams are so attainable. Someone is going to book the job, so why not you? Someone is going to fill that role, why not you? This industry can be very difficult, yes, but we see people reaching their goals every day, so we know that it’s possible. Thankfully with our job unlike say professional athletes, we get the luxury of hopefully doing this forever. We have so much time, and all of our goals don’t have to be achieved right now. We have time, and we’re always growing and learning. Every life experience, no matter how wonderful or terrible, is a gift for our craft. Dreams are attainable, it might take time, but we know that people do reach them. Why not you?