It was sort of a perfect fit. Gabby was described as a girl that used to play Marimba & was currently learning photography. There aren’t many actors out there with experience playing marimba & doing photography… so before I ever got an audition & callback, I was 99% sure I would book the role.

Was having marimba experience really that important to get the role?

A lot of the times you can book a role just by acting like you can play. You definitely couldn’t play the role of Gabby just by “acting” it. I received the music a day or two before filming. Note that I didn’t have access to a marimba to practice on until I was on set.

How hard was the music?

The music was intermediate. For the film I had to know how to play with 2 & 4 mallets. To give
you an idea, I played marimba solos of similar difficulty when I was in college and in drum corps.

Did you study music in school?

Yes, I was a music performance major with a focus in Percussion. I attended classes at both
CSUS and Los Rios Community Colleges. I never got my degree, but I did go on to teach
percussion ensembles at multiple high schools. I’ve also played in multiple groups including
rock bands, worship bands, cover bands, jazz, funk, symphonic, experimental, drum corps, and
I was also principal percussionist for a few musical orchestras.

Do you play anything other than the drums?

I do play instruments other than the drums. In the film I played marimba…. I play all percussion
instruments. My first few instruments included the clarinet & bass guitar. We all learned to play
the recorder in elementary school. In highschool I played the alto sax in Jazz band. I took
trumpet & flute lessons, but they definitely weren’t my strong points. In college orchestra I
played the bass clarinet with my two best college percussion buddies Mike Kwong & Phylicia
Morris. I also almost double­majored in voice.

Can you drum and sing at the same time?

There’s actually a funny story to that…. My private instructor was Glen Sabado from the Sabado
School of Music. Seij, Austin, & I used to always talk about our lessons with Glen, like “Dude,
does he make you sing?” We would laugh cause he always made us learn to sing the parts
before learning to play them on the drums. And he would catch your mistakes even when he
wasn’t looking….. Like a ninja, I swear. When I was in college jazz band, I wanted to sing & play
the drums. My instructor said I couldn’t do both…. Until he heard my voice. Then I was given a
mic to sing into and loved every minute of it!

What was it like working on set of “A Little Heart”?

It was fun, but it’s definitely a lot of work. Whenever there was time between takes, like when
they were moving around lights or setting up the next scene, I’d be learning the next page of
music, taking pics of the crew, or going over lines with my co­star. I also setup my own camera
& cell phone to take BTS videos and pictures so that I could give them to the crew afterwards
and share them with my family, fans, & friends. I always try to provide a little something extra for
the client and be as valuable as I can to each project. I like to do extra things like that without
being asked, but of course I always get permission! The crew said they’ve never seen a lead
actress double as the BTS photographer.

Do you ever get compensated for doing extra work like that?

I can’t say it’s directly related, but more than half of my clients tip me. I’ve even had people pay
me double. I thought it was a regular thing in this industry till my friend Cameron Mark Lewis
said it’s usually unheard of in this industry.

Do you have any upcoming films or projects?

Currently I’m focusing on my talent management. My client Keldamuzik will begin filming the
2nd Season of her talk show “Diva Talk Tonite”. It’s my job to hire the director and crew, cast the
guests, build the website, get the legal forms for the audience members, generate a buzz,
coordinate promotional photoshoots, update the IMDb pages, plan our marketing strategy and
editorial calendar, and so much more! I’ve also been interviewing new assistants to work for
BreannaBaker.com and meeting with potential brand partners. There’s definitely a lot going on.
Stay in tune to find out more.

What advice would you give to those whom are new to acting?

I could write a book full of advice…. But one thing I’ll say for now is get to know yourself better
than anyone else and be very specific. There are thousands of actors out there with great talent,
but many of them will never be seen. Market yourself and invest in yourself if you want others to
be willing to invest in you. Don’t do something just to add to your resume, do something to raise
your value and your reach.

Where can people see your work?

Google “Breanna Baker” along with the type of work you’re looking to see whether it be
modeling, acting, voiceover, photography, talent management, or whatever fills your fancy.

How may people contact you?

Email me at Bre@BreannaBaker.com

What made you want to become a director?

I actually fell into the director role while I was working on my Capstone Project. A Capstone is
the equivalent of a Senior Thesis at my old university. While producing “A Little Heart”, I realized
that I couldn’t have someone else direct this film. This short film is my story.

Who are your influences in the industry?

Directors like Julie Taymor, Mel Brooks, and Guillermo Del Toro really speak to me. I am
enveloped in their work because they put their love and passion into every detail of their craft.
When a director puts their soul into their work, I believe the audience feels it.

What inspired you to write the film “A Little Heart”?

In my Pre­Capstone class, I felt very jolted. I’ve had several ideas and every one of those ideas
was shot down. The class didn’t think these ideas didn’t come from my heart.
So, I sat down at my desk and just thought about it. I saw one of my drumsticks peeking out
from under my bed and thought, “Wow. I really miss playing.” From there, I just started writing.
I walked into class and handed my professor the script. I was incredibly nervous, as one would be. I put my soul into this script. He told me that this is the movie. It was one of the most relieving parts of pre­production.

When & where did you film the scenes for “A Little Heart”?

My crew and I shot this short film in a weekend in September. We had the weekend of the 25 th through the 27 th blocked out for the shoot. We were allowed access to the World Theater at CSU Monterey Bay, and access to the music hall at Monterey Peninsula College.

How much work was putting together the film & what sort of things did you have to do?

I worked for roughly seven months to finish this film. I had to take care of all the duties of the producer. I was scouting locations. I was in charge of putting together my crew, managing my budget, and made the casting choices. I also had to find the instrument, food for my cast and crew and a way to get everyone to each location. It was a rather gruelling and tedious process. I loved it. It was quite a rush.

Then after all those logistics were in order, I was able to sit down with my director of photography and gaffer to create the look and feel of the piece. I was able to meet and talk with my actress about what we need for each scene. I was also able to relay what I needed to the crew and by the time we started filming, everyone was on the same page, which was such a blessing.

What do you love the most about “A Little Heart”?

There are many things I love about the film. One of the things that stood out for me in particular is a shot of the main character getting jolted out of her daydream. Everything about that whole part of the short was really captivating.

Did you overcome any unexpected obstacles during filming?

Absolutely. I’ve had crewmembers cancel on me last minute. I didn’t have any lighting. I even had to deal with losing locations and having to scrounge for a new one. Thankfully, everything fell into place and we managed to film a great piece.

What was the casting process like? Was it hard to find the right talent?

It was incredibly difficult. I had about eighty­four women submit applications on my SF Casting
page. I’ve asked for women who have a percussion background, as it will be required for the
film. It started getting easier to find the perfect actress when I’ve eliminated the singers and
guitarists. I was positively blessed to have met Breanna. Not only did she have a percussion
background, she had been trained in the instrument used as the focal point of the piece, the
marimba.

How do you think this experience will help you with future work in the industry?

Making this film really gave me perspective of what goes into making a film. It really helped me
to see how defined the roles are for the film. I’ve had to switch hats for this film. I was the writer,
producer, and director. I had to make sure any thing relating to the producing aspect was taken
care of by my assistant director so I can fully engage with my actress and my director of
photography.

What advice would you give to those whom are new to filming?

I think the best thing a new filmmaker can do is just film. Go out and explore your area. Film
something that sparks our interest. It is incredibly freeing and you’ll appreciate the work you do.
Another thing I would advise is to take a step back from your work. I’ve found that I am my
hardest critic because I’m so close to my projects. When I take a break and come back to the
script or the project file, I have a fresh pair of eyes and I have a better perspective.

Do you have any upcoming films or projects?

I am currently working on a small vlog series, called Guest Who? The scheduled date for its release is June 1 st . I’m very excited to be putting this out into the world.

Where can people see your work?

I do have a Youtube channel where most of my work is, currently. My channel’s name is musicislifeap. I’ll most likely create a new channel for my show.

How may people contact you?

I prefer to be contacted via email. My email is aprieto@csumb.edu.

Follow “A Little Heart” film on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/alittleheartfilm/