We had the good fortune of connecting with Tessa Germaine and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tessa, why did you pursue a creative career?
When I was six years old I bothered my mother relentlessly until she put me into acting classes. She did, begrudgingly, and I finally had an outlet for my dramatic attitude. Then I told her, “Mom, I want to be on TV.” So she sent my photo to a handful of agents and figured nothing would happen. She assumed she could tell me she tried and it would be done. The first agent I met with signed me, and I ended up having a career as a child actor for 12 years. Why six-year-old me was so intent on being on TV I have no clue, but I think it had to do with my love for storytelling. All my life I have been telling stories. From developing full dialogues with my Barbies to acting out sketches for my family, it was the thing that drove me. I just didn’t realize it until I was applying to college. Everyone always asked me why I wanted to be an actress, and I never had a very good answer. It took my acting coach and mentor sitting me down and forcing me to truly ask myself why I was still doing this for me to realize that it was never about acting, it was about telling other people’s stories. I grew up in the arts and had a creative career before I even knew what that meant, but today I pursue a different artistic career behind the camera because I am passionate about telling people’s stories. My infatuation with history and the “lost” stories of great people inspires me to make films. I chose filmmaking as my creative outlet because it is the one art form that requires a village of people with talent in various mediums of art to make it happen. Not only that, but film has the power to inspire wide audiences and spark real conversation. After just two hours a person could have a whole new perspective about the world. A filmmaker has to take on a lot of responsibility when telling someone’s story, but it’s a challenge and a privilege that I am so lucky to have. I cannot imagine anything fueling my soul the way making films does.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a filmmaker, I am very focused on characters and their personal journies more than the world surrounding them. That is why I am so intrigued with stories about women in history. I believe we need more films like “Harriet”, “Hidden Figures”, and “On the Basis of Sex”. For many people, these films were the first time they were introduced to the impact these women had on the world, but what really makes them great is how the women grew personally. You feel a deep connection with them like you know them personally, and you never forget them after. That is why I made my short film “Rosie” giving a fictionalized backstory to Rosie the Riveter from the “We Can Do It!” poster. I wanted to create a strong backstory to this character that honors the real working women of WWII, but while also showing the personal journey of self-actualization that many of these women went through after joining the workforce. I am thankful to have completed this film while there are still “Real Rosies” around to see it. It is currently running the international festival circuit for audiences and Rosies everywhere to enjoy. I also want to explore more introspective films about relationships, similar to “Her” and “Lady Bird”. My first short film in college, “Within a Moment”, depicted the parallels of the beginning and end of a relationship. It showed a couple meeting for the first time when sparks fly and the butterflies flitter in your stomach, and then meeting again for the first time after breaking up when it’s awkward and cold between you. It was a great experience exploring the vast range of emotions and connectedness between two people, from love to hate and acceptance. The film is available on Vimeo now and I love getting messages from viewers saying how it brought back emotions from their own relationships. That is why I make films like this, to connect with people.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are so many fun places to visit in Southern California! For a classic day in Hollywood, I would start with the walk of fame then go to The Grove for some good food at the farmer’s market. For a unique experience, I would take them to the Museum of Death or Huntington Gardens, depending on what they like. We have to have dinner at the Grand Central Market before going to a screening with Rooftop Cinema Club or visiting Griffith Park and the Observatory at sunset. In OC, I recommend hitting the beaches. Newport is fun with lots of great food, and Laguna Beach has tons of cool galleries and eclectic stores to bop around. For a real hidden gem, make the trip down to La Jolla to Sunny Jim’s Sea Cave. It’s never crowded and is a great place to hang out for the day! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Growing up I was fortunate to be a part of an incredible organization that helped make me the woman I am today. The Actors Fund’s Looking Ahead Program is dedicated to helping child actors in the entertainment industry have a well-rounded childhood. We have all heard the horror stories of child-stars-gone-bad, but it is Looking Ahead’s mission to make sure every child in entertainment has the opportunity to Grow, Give Back, and Have Fun. Looking Ahead taught me the importance of leadership and service. It provided amazing mentors and counseling when I needed it most, and it introduced me to some of my closest friends for life. I am forever grateful to this organization and the amazing people who run it.

Website: https://www.tessagermaine.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tessa_germaine/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tessa-germaine/

Other: Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/tessagermaine Rosie Trailer: https://vimeo.com/412472375

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