Youth in Film and Television Briana Tedesco
A few weeks ago, Atlanta Film and TV was able to interview an energetic and talented twelve-year-old Briana Tedesco. Briana can be seen on the CW hit series, The Flash as Maya. She also played the daughter of Loretta Lynn as Lynn in Patsy and Loretta on Lifetime and co-starred in Netflix’s Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings as the young Lucy Jane in the Cracker Jack Episode.
Atlanta Film and TV: How did you know you know you were interested in Acting?
Briana Tedesco: When I was little, my mom and I would sit in the mirror and make different faces. And people would say “Oh, my gosh! You should put her in acting!” At first, my mom was unsure about it, until one day, we found an agency in Tennessee (AMAX Talent Agency) and they signed me! That’s when I did my first commercial and I realized how much fun it was. I got to meet new people, I loved being on set, and I always liked pretending and being able to portray different characters.
Atlanta Film and TV: When did you get your first taste of acting and how old were you?
Briana Tedesco: I was eight-years-old when I signed with AMAX Talent Agency and my first audition, I booked an on-camera acting gig for a Sunbelt Granola Bar commercial.
Atlanta Film and TV: How old were you when you had your first speaking role?
Briana Tedesco: I had my first speaking role at eight-years-old and I was in a film called All Light Will End with Chris Blake Films which is on Netflix. I played a flashback of the lead, Savannah, which was played by Ashley Pereira.
Atlanta Film and TV: How do you balance school, friends, and extracurricular activities?
Briana Tedesco: I was attending public school, but because of my busy schedule, I am now homeschooled and I love it! I have moved a lot so that makes it harder to keep up with my friends. But, I usually keep up with them by text messaging, FaceTime, and Social Media. When I do jobs in Ohio, New York, and or Georgia I get to visit with them. I will say, it gets hard sometimes, and it’s a balance.
I’m involved in many sports, I play soccer and basketball with the recreation center annually. However, Thanks to the Tim Tebow Law, which allows homeschooled students to participate in extracurricular activities even though I’m not enrolled in my neighborhood school. I am eligible to play in the local school district. So, if I wanted to become involved with basketball or any other sport, I can because of this law.
Atlanta Film and TV: What is one thing that you’ve done to better your career during this pandemic?
Briana Tedesco: I surprisingly have been doing a bunch of auditions - and I’m thankful for them because that’s what I do! I’ve also been working and attending virtual open calls. Playing on my guitar and completing my school work. I just recently shot and entered a film for Christian Castings First Ever and hopefully last (no offense) "The Quarantine Film Festival” where I won “Best Child Actor for the Children’s Film Category and second place for “the Best Children’s Film Category” for the film I starred in and co-wrote with my mom. It was so much fun and I was so excited about the nominations and awards.
Atlanta Film and TV: Could you share with us about your role as Maya in the CW hit series The Flash?
Briana Tedesco: When I got the audition, I thought it was pretty cool. The day my mom told me I booked the role of Maya I was excited! The thing is, even though I booked the role, I had never watched the show, to begin with, so we started binge-watching The Flash and instantly became hooked! It was funny because when I began filming, they were in the process of filming season six and we only watched the first two seasons. So, I didn’t want anyone to spoil it for me.
When we started filming, my scene partner was Tom Cavanaugh, and the cool thing was he would never keep the scene the same. He was constantly doing improv and living in the moment. He found a way to make a serious scene funny and would keep it going. He also gave me life- changing acting advice and told me that I had excellent stage presence.
Being on The Flash was probably one of my best experiences! I got to meet Grant Gustin and take a tour of both studios once I wrapped. Eric Dean-Seaton was the guest director on my episode and it was an honor and privilege to work with him, The actors, staff, and producers and all on-set people were all amazing to me.
Atlanta Film and TV: What is one piece of advice you could share with someone your age, desiring an on-camera acting career?
Briana Tedesco: Be yourself and don’t try to be someone else. Celebrities have unique things about them that they’ve created. And, it makes those celebrities have that specific talent. You can look up to someone and try to mirror what they do however, don’t try to be exactly like them. Don’t worry about what’s going on with the next person. Make sure you're working hard and studying the material for the roles that you want. You have to be sure that acting is something that you want to pursue as it is time-consuming, a lot of hard work and a lot of disappointments. You have to be committed and strong. Ask yourself when auditioning, are you relating to the material? Are you breaking down the materials and bettering it in your own way? Make strong choices. For instance, there was one time there was a word in a script that didn’t make sense so I changed it to make it make sense for me, and I think that’s how I still booked it. I am always making strong choices and making the material more relatable for me.
God says in his word, basically, it will get harder before it gets easier. you have to trust His will and abide by it. Every opportunity, audition and callback you get, take it as a blessing.
Atlanta Film and TV: Can you speak on any other projects that you have on the horizon?
Briana Tedesco: I do not have anything on the horizon currently because of the pandemic. I hope to work on another short film directed by Alexa Campbell, who I have worked with on several projects in the past. I would also love to do a Christian film because sadly, there are a lot of dark things in the acting industry. For instance, I received an audition when I was seven-years-old, where I would’ve had to kill my parents on Christmas and we turned that audition down immediately. I think it’s very important to speak life and truth by doing projects that make big impacts and matter. I definitely would like to be like Candace Cameron-Bure and shine God’s light in the industry.