Acting since she was a child, Austinite GiGi Erneta has some impressive credits to her name.
One of those credits is currently in theaters. Erneta appears as a reporter in Happy Death Day 2U, but you’ll more likely recognize her from the dozens of high profile projects she’s worked on.
From Veronica Mars to Nashville to VEEP, the UT grad has been working steadily for years.
We asked her to share her acting experiences and give a little advice to other actors hoping to make it in the Austin area.
How She Got Started Acting
Erneta was hand-picked from a dance class to perform with the Houston Ballet Company when she was eight. “With the blessing of good people around me in the dance company, I adapted and learned quickly how to perform on stage in front of large audiences and I loved it!” she said.
She went on to train under the Royal Academy of Dance (part of the training was in performance). While in high school, she did a few pageants and honed her skills at modeling and auditioning. Around sixteen she booked her first union commercial for McDonalds and later received a scholarship in Acting to the University of Texas, though she ended up with a degree in Radio-Television-Film.
Where You May Have Seen Her
As we mentioned, Erneta has appeared in a slew of projects you have probably seen.
TV series include: VEEP, Sons of Thunder, Nashville, The First, American Crime, NCIS New Orleans, Queen of the South, Dallas, Jane the Virgin, Friday Night Lights and Veronica Mars.
Films include: Flag of My Father, Happy Death Day and Happy Death Day 2U, When the Bough Breaks, Kopy Kings and more.
Her Favorite Acting Experience
Though she’s loved working on VEEP, Jane the Virgin and the Austin film Kopy Kings, her favorite project so far is Flag of My Father, an award winning film that helps troops through the healing process.
Her Favorite Austin Shot TV Series
Erneta says she’s partial to Friday Night Lights because they hired so many locals and even blessed her with a role on the show. “It also reflected how important Friday Night Football is in Texas!” she said.
GiGi Erneta’s Advice for Austinites Looking To Get Into Acting
“If you want to act you MUST get in a class and learn the craft. There are so many talented actors and you have to be prepared, disciplined and have a good work ethic. With so many platforms available, opportunities are abound but the competition is stiff. If you stay the course and surround yourself with talented and hard working actors and film makers you can create together. Read Rebel Without a Crew by Robert Rodriguez. It is eye opening and inspiring. Rodriguez was the reason I made my first film, Crossed. If you have the desire in your heart to act, don’t let anybody discourage you, live your dream fearlessly. The desire was placed in your heart by your Creator so go create!” – GiGi Erneta
Our thanks to Erneta for sharing her experiences with us. You can currently see her on screen in Happy Death Day 2U, in theaters now. Later this year, she’ll also appear in the feature film Body Cam.
Learn more about GiGi Erneta on her IMDB page.
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