Hannah N. ’22 has been selected as one of only two Grand Finalists in the acting category of The Music Center’s Spotlight awards. Spotlight is a nationally-acclaimed scholarship and arts training program for high school students in the performing arts.
Hannah started her professional acting career at just nine years old when she originated the role of Olive Hoover in the off-Broadway show Little Miss Sunshine. Since then, she has appeared in numerous films and TV shows including Ewen McGregor’s American Pastoral starring Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning ’11. In this film, Hannah portrayed a young girl with a stutter and explored some very heavy topics. “It opened my eyes to the kinds of intense projects I could do,” said Hannah.
Hannah has been part of the Spotlight competition for the past three years, twice reaching the level of semifinalist for singing which, she says, is her other passion. “I've been doing musical theater since I was really little,” noted Hannah. “At Campbell Hall, I’ve really gotten to work on my singing. The Popular Music class has been one of the most amazing experiences because it allows me to explore a variety of styles. It has transformed me and my voice.” She has also been part of Choir and Gospel Choir since 7th grade.
In addition to acting and singing, Hannah has been dancing since she was seven and became a member of the dance program when she started Campbell Hall in middle school. Through each of these artistic CH communities, Hannah feels she is able to express different sides of herself.
When asked how she balances academic demands, a broad range of extracurricular activities, and an outside acting career, Hannah replied: “All I can do is make sure I’m not pushing myself too hard. I think if you don’t take a moment to breathe, the quality of your work diminishes. I always make sure I check in with myself to make sure that I’m still enjoying everything that I’m doing. Because if I don’t, what’s the point?”
During quarantine, Hannah found creative ways to work on her craft. “Quarantine gave me the space to take more acting classes online and to meet people across the country,” Hannah said. However, this also came with challenges. She explained: “As an actor, your job is to be affected by your scene partner. It was an enormous struggle not being in the same room as people and just looking at a screen. It took a lot of adjustment, but I think I’ve become a stronger actor because overcoming these obstacles makes me know that if I can do it on screen, I can do it in person.” Through this process, Hannah discovered a true sense of purpose and uncovered a deeper love for acting.
After high school, Hannah would like to continue her training at an acting conservatory. She currently has a recurring role on the HBO hit series Euphoria.
The Music Center’s Spotlight Grand Finale will air on their website on May 22, 2021 at 7PM and is hosted by iconic recording artist Josh Groban.
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