Quickly making the world her stage as she sings and dances through both film and television is newcomer. Currently seen in both NBC’s HAIRSPRAY LIVE and the film “Breaking Through,” Marissa’s infectious energy is hard to resist. In a recent exclusive interview, shares what it was like working on both these fun project and where her career is bounding off to next off to next in her non-stop world of rising performance opportunities.
What attracted you to the role of Tammy in NBC’s HAIRSPRAY LIVE?
MARISSA: Tammy is such a flirty and bubbly girl, but she’s also very bratty, which is so unlike me, so it was fun to play someone other than myself.
How would you describe your character Tammy? What do you most admire and/or like about her?
MARISSA: I really admire how she stays loyal to her friends! I also really admire how free spirited she is for that time.
How does Tammy fit into the HAIRSPRAY LIVE story?
MARISSA: Tammy is one of the Nicest Kids In Town so she performs on the Corny Collins Show everyday with her best friends!
What is her relationship to the other HAIRSPRAY LIVE characters?
MARISSA: She is one of Amber’s closest friends but ends up loving Tracy because she is just as passionate about dancing as Tammy is.
What was it like working with the HAIRSPRAY LIVE cast, like Jennifer Hudson, Harvey Fierstein, Ariana Grande, Martin Short and Kristen Chenoweth?
MARISSA: Oh my gosh, it was a dream! They are all so incredibly talented and passionate. It was incredible to watch them work and experience this with them.
What was your favorite part about working on this project?
MARISSA: The whole entire cast became one big family after the two months of rehearsal. We have unconditional love for one another!
What was the one thing you took away from working on HAIRSPRAY LIVE?
MARISSA: I took away the most beautiful experience of my life and something that I can have forever. I could not be more grateful to have been a part of something so epic.
What do you hope viewers take away from watching it?
MARISSA: I hope they leave watching HAIRSPRAY LIVE with the feeling of love and acceptance of everyone and everything. It’s such a beautiful story it’s impossible not to be inspired by it.
At this stage of your career, what do you think you have learned from the amazing variety of roles and projects you have worked on?
MARISSA: I’ve learned to go into each and every project with an open heart and ready to work hard. Every single project is a different experience, but you can learn something different and create so many memories from each one.
What are the perks of where you are in your career right now?
MARISSA: I had the amazing opportunity to work with and learn from so many well known and incredibly talented and inspiring people!
You are also starring in the YouTube film “Breaking Through,” what attracted you to that project?
MARISSA: “Breaking Through” was such an amazing independent film and the fact that it was both a dancing and acting film really excited me. Since dancing and acting are two of my main passions, I knew I had to be a part of that project.
How would you describe your character in “Breaking Through”?
MARISSA: I played Tara who is very similar to me! She is a fun loving and bubbly girl who just wants to dance and have fun in life.
What do you most admire and/or like about her?
MARISSA: I really admired how loving she was and how much she loved everyone in the crew.
What was your favorite part about working on “Breaking Through”?
MARISSA: I had the chance to meet and work with so many talented people and I really got to show everyone that it is possible to combine two of your passions.
What was the one thing you took away from working on “Breaking Through”?
MARISSA: I took away so many beautiful memories and experiences that I will always and forever carry with me.
Has there been any great advice you have gotten? What advice would you offer to other upcoming and aspiring actors?
MARISSA: You really have to stay focused and stay passionate about what you want! You may get a million “no’s” in this industry, but there is a project that is out there for you that will change your life.
As a dancer and a performer, what is the one thing you find essential to keeping in peak performance shape and ready for all the auditions?
MARISSA: I always stay training. I practice yoga every day, I take multiple dance classes weekly, and I choreograph all of the time as well! It’s so important to keep your body not only looking good, but feeling good as well.
Are there other upcoming projects that you can share that fans should keep an eye out for?
MARISSA: I’ve recently been taking meetings with some networks about a new show. Also, I’ve been in the recording studio working on some new music.
What do you aspire to do next?
MARISSA: There’s so many things that I aspire to do! I constantly am thinking of new projects that I can invest myself in and thinking of new ways that I can grow.
To see more of Marissa’s amazing performances, look for the online release of NBC’s HAIRSPRAY LIVE in 2017 and her film “Breaking Through” is available now on iTunes. Link: http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/breakingthrough/
Marissa is also available on social media on Twitter @marissaheart