Inspirational Women In Hollywood: How Anna Hindman Is Helping To Shake Up The Entertainment Industry

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Make your own art. As an actor, I felt like I was always waiting for the perfect role to come along. I started writing scripts I wished existed. This turned into my first short film, and it was such an empowering experience. Even if you don’t write, it can be worth it to find people who want to create something together. Finding your community and like-minded people is so important.

As a part of our series about Inspirational Women In Hollywood, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Anna Hindman.

Actress Anna Hindman was born and raised in central Connecticut where she began her career at just six years old when she was cast in a commercial for a local power company. She would continue acting throughout her childhood, performing in the theater regionally and, eventually, internationally. She then went on to study Musical Theater at Western Connecticut State University and, upon graduating, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue her love of film. This past year, Hindman moved to Nashville and began teaching, put out her first single, Dislove, on Spotify and shot her newest film “American Siege” alongside Bruce Willis. Anna has since relocated to South Carolina with her wife, who is active-duty military. The two are planning to relocate again at the beginning of the new year to Fort Campbell in Kentucky. Anna is passionate about LGBTQ+ charities and plans on getting involved in fostering children. When she is not working you can find Anna with a camera in her hand, as she loves shooting still and film photography.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

Thank you so much for having me! I grew up in a small town in Connecticut called Cheshire. It’s a quiet New England town that I never appreciated until I moved away — now I miss it a lot. I grew up doing local outdoor theater in the summers. My first musical was “The Music Man” when I was in 4th grade. I was so excited when I got a solo in “Wells Fargo Wagon”, and they put me in this crazy puffy hat. I still have a picture of it. I was every definition of a “theater kid”.

I struggled in high school with anxiety and depression — in fact I wanted to drop out. I felt like an outsider. The only thing that kept me in school was that I needed to attend in order to be eligible for the high school theater productions. In my senior year, I attended an alternative school in town. That is where I finally started to gain confidence. One of my best friends at the time, who also does theater and is incredible, encouraged me to apply for colleges with her. I miraculously got into Western Connecticut State University for Musical Theater, and that changed my life.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

As far back as I can remember I’ve wanted to do anything that had to do with acting, singing, or dancing. My dad is a musician, and my earliest memories are dancing around the living room while he practiced. When I was in first grade, I was able to do my first commercial for a local power company, and my dad told me that in our car ride home I looked up at him and said “I want to do this every day!”

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

The most interesting story that has happened was that on Thursday, November 5th, 2020, I was teaching 6th graders about climate and weather, and on Friday, November 6th 2020, I was on set with Bruce Willis.

I had hardly any notice when I was cast as Grace Baker in “American Siege”, and it was such a whirlwind in the best way. A few months earlier, I had moved to Nashville and then the pandemic happened, so I had pretty much stopped auditioning. I sent in a self-tape for this project and got a call that they were passing on me and I hadn’t gotten the part. So I went about my life, creating lesson plans and teaching my students. Then I got another call a few days later — “How soon can you be in Georgia?” I was in my car in 30 minutes.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Right when I got out of college I was cast as Cinderella at a theme park for the summer. Some of the kids were scared of the characters, so I would give them high fives to be more friendly. When the director of the company who hired me came to watch one day, I was told that I couldn’t give high fives anymore because it “wasn’t princess-like”. I was really embarrassed but looking back I can laugh. It reminded me that as an actor you’re hired to play a part, and “making it your own” needs to work in tandem with feedback from a director. But it’s not the end of the world if you give a few high fives.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I am extremely grateful to my dad. As I was growing up, he was constantly writing and playing music, painting, etching glass — everything creative. He is my role model and is SO talented. When I got into high school, and started dealing with anxiety and depression, my dad was always there for me. We would go to coffee, and he would listen to me, and he taught me about meditation. He encouraged me to write and bought me a gratitude journal. He has always supported and inspired me.

You have been blessed with great success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

“Success is not finite.” Meaning that there is enough success to go around. Just because someone else is having success, even if they do something similar to you, that doesn’t mean you will never be successful. There’s enough room in the world for everyone to reach their idea of success. I think this has helped me, especially when looking around at others. I try really hard not to compare myself to anyone else, because they all have their own journeys. Their success has nothing to do with my worth. In fact, celebrating others’ successes has been most rewarding, because now I get to share in my friends’ and colleagues’ happiness and achievements. In short, be a celebrator and know there is enough success to go around.

What drives you to get up every day and work in TV and Film? What change do you want to see in the industry going forward?

The fact that TV and Film are made from absolutely nothing into these beautiful, sometimes life-changing, pieces of work because a community of people came together to create it — that drives me to get up every day and work in TV and Film. I also believe that TV and Film have the unique opportunity to make someone feel empathy. Maybe you’ve never gone through the same thing as the main character, but suddenly you’re crying. I think empathy is how we create change in the world. I would love to see the industry more accessible — it can be confusing and expensive to start out as an actor. There are some great resources out there and it always helps to have more.

You have such impressive work. What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? Where do you see yourself heading from here?

I have a script that I’m developing called “Daughter”, it is a thriller/mystery. I’m really excited about it and hope to bring it to life soon. My wife and I are relocating to Nashville this month and I’m excited to continue working on TV/film projects! I’m so grateful for any projects I get to work on in this industry, and I’m looking forward to 2022.

We are very interested in looking at diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture and our youth growing up today?

1. Everyone should see themselves represented. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I grew up with very little lesbian representation in tv and film. My wife and I constantly talk about how important it is to see normalized LGBTQ+ relationships because it would have been so affirming to us when we were younger and in the closet. As a teacher, I’ve seen how this generation is so excited to see people who identify the way they do. I am open about the fact that I have a wife with my students, and it makes a difference to the kids who want somewhere to feel safe. Movies and TV can have the same effect.

2. TV and film are places where diverse stories are told so that we can see how similar we all are. It’s where we can empathize with something we’ve never personally experienced but can connect with. I will never know what it is like to grow up as a different race, different gender, in a different city or differently-abled — but I can see diverse stories and expand my view of the world.

3. I believe that a lot of the hate in our world comes from fear. We need to see diverse stories to understand differences and normalize them. Personally, I think featuring LGBTQ+ relationships as casually as heterosexual relationships are featured is important. I want the fact that I have a wife to be as boring as the fact that this woman I know has a husband. I think the more that’s seen in the media then the more it will happen in reality. If generations start growing up with movies where princesses marry princesses (and it’s no big deal) or where a sitcom has two dads then it will just be normal, and there won’t be fear.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

1. Make your own art. As an actor, I felt like I was always waiting for the perfect role to come along. I started writing scripts I wished existed. This turned into my first short film, and it was such an empowering experience. Even if you don’t write, it can be worth it to find people who want to create something together. Finding your community and like-minded people is so important.

2. Save as much money as you can. A lot of my first two years in Los Angeles were spent focused on rent. Anyway, you can offset those costs is important because you’ll need to make time to audition as well. Make sure to budget in a reel and headshot if you’re just starting out.

3. Don’t feel guilty for experiencing life. You don’t have to be an actor 24/7, and it’s important to have experience. I spent such a long time feeling guilty for wanting to do things that didn’t “relate to my career”. But those things have value, too. I spent 3 months in Italy learning Italian. I worked for a bit as an event planner in downtown LA. I moved from LA to Nashville, I was not sure if it was the right choice for my career, but that’s when I booked “American Siege”. Enjoy the ride.

4. Networking isn’t going to a party and handing out business cards. When I first moved to LA, I went to this networking mixer with my roommates, and it was really awkward. We thought that’s what you were supposed to do. When I was in college all I heard was “you need to network!” I had no idea what this really meant until I started making genuine friends, talking to people on every set, getting to know my co-workers at the restaurant I worked at, etc. Networking is just being yourself, being open and welcoming to the connections you make every day. Especially in a big city like LA, where everyone has similar goals. Help each other.

5. You may not be perfect for every role. Casting directors usually have an idea of what they want, and it’s not your fault if you don’t get the part. It’s important to understand your “type” when you’re first starting out, so you can leverage your strengths.

Can you share with our readers any selfcare routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Please share a story for each one if you can.

One of the best practices I have when feeling down about anything creative is reading through “The Artist’s Way”. I’m really lucky that I have a group of friends who like to go through it altogether about once a year, but even if you don’t do it with a group, it is extremely helpful. The first time I read through it and did all the exercises I was able to make huge changes and write and produce my short film “Breadwinner”.

Reading in general is one of my favorite practices. Some of my favorites are “The Alchemist”, “You’re a Badass” and “Big Magic”. I read “The Alchemist” and “You’re a Badass” right before I moved to LA. I had just gone through a horrible breakup where I had also lost who I was. Reading those two books helped get me back on my feet and ready to move across the country. I also really enjoyed doing 21 Days of Gratitude by Deepak Chopra.

Hot yoga is my absolute favorite. I’ve missed it so much during Covid. For me, it’s really the best place to let go of everything, and I’ve loved the community I’ve found in the different studios I’ve gone to.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I used to have a dream board hanging in my room that I printed out with the quote “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” For some reason, that quote has stuck with me as permission to create the life I want. About a year before I booked “American Siege”, I told my friend that if there was ever a “Kill Bill 3” I wanted to be in it and play Uma Thurman’s daughter. So, we did a Kill Bill-themed photoshoot outside the Kill Bill church in CA — “living the life I imagined”. I sent some of those photos with my “American Siege” self-tape.

You are a person of huge influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

This is a hard one for me because I have so many passions when it comes to that. As a middle school teacher, I would say supporting this upcoming generation. I absolutely love all of my students, past and present, and I see them struggling with a lot. Focusing on mental health resources and social-emotional learning in schools would be my priority. Raising kids to be adults with communication skills and an empathy-driven mindset would bring so much good to this world.

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!

Evan Rachel Wood! She is an incredible force in her activism, speaking out against domestic violence and sexual assault. She is also an inspiring actress — I love Westworld!

Are you on social media? How can our readers follow you online?

Yes I am! On Instagram @itsannahindman and TikTok @.hindman

This was so informative, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

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Edward Sylvan CEO of Sycamore Entertainment Group
Authority Magazine

Edward Sylvan is the Founder and CEO of Sycamore Entertainment Group Inc. He is committed to telling stories that speak to equity, diversity, and inclusion.