One of my favorite elements of photography is the people I meet through my career. Another part I love about of photography is that you are able to chat during the entire photoshoot; basically it's an excuse to hang out with awesome people. Recently, Haley, a high school acquaintance and aspiring actress, reached out to work together on building a modeling portfolio. When talking to Haley, you can feel the fire in her being that desires to do great things in her lifetime; to reach farther and dig deeper. As we walked through the city and sipped on iced lattes, I was so inspired by her spirit, and I hope you will be as well.
All photos by Emily Weaver.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
So, I’m twenty years old, grew up in good ol Manheim, Pa and I’m currently pursuing a career in acting. When I finished high school I moved out to Hollywood, California to attend an acting school where I met my wonderful boyfriend and best friend Anthony Lofaso. Although the school was great I found out it just wasn’t for me so I decided not to go back for a second year. I lived in Cali for another nine months before I decided to take a bus trip cross country to move back home (good idea right…) Three straight days on a bus? Never again... After Anthony and I muddled through the long distance thing for awhile he decided to move out to New York City to pursue his career in acting. I’m hoping to get to NY someday soon but money is a thing and Haley has to work.
What is your biggest dream right now?
One of my biggest dreams is to live the absolute happiest life I can. To me, that means acting every single day and someday having a big happy family with the love of my life Anthony. Traveling is very important to me. Culture is such an incredible thing and I love to learn so of course it’s one of my dreams to travel the world. Whatever happens in between there is up to the good Lord above but I know it’ll be one heck of a ride.
What is something you can’t live without?
Company. I hate being alone. I just like to have friends and family surrounding me at all times. Personal time is nice but I like to know someone is always there when I need them.
If you could pick any point on a map to live, where would you choose?
Right now I’d love to try Europe or somewhere way off the walls, somewhere tropical would be fun too! I think it would be so fascinating to see what other peoples daily habits are like. Somewhere tropical would be great because I’m a beach girl at heart. I would definitely be stress free if I lived there!
Now that you’ve lived on both coasts, which is better - east or west?
Ohhh… which coast is better? I will always be an east coaster. For the rest of my life! Don’t get me wrong, the west coast is very very nice. Everyone is super laid back and the beaches are fantastic, but it just wasn’t my thing. When people ask me how I liked California I always answer the same way, “It’s a nice place to visit.” If you’re made of money, by all means it would be a wonderful place to live. But, if you’re middle class like myself its a war zone out there. The price of living is just so high you have to sacrifice something for something, no matter what. That being said, New York City is the same way. Try finding an apartment out there thats a reasonable price and a reasonable size and you certainly won’t. However, it’s the people that take my vote. If you ask anyone from the East Coast what they miss the most (if they’re on the West Coast) they always say, “my people”. There’s just something about the charming, rude, iconic east coaster that draws us back every time.
What does your acting career look like currently / where is it headed?
My acting career is a diamond in the rough at the moment. I’m actually in Mississippi at the moment filming my very first independent feature length film. I’m constantly online submitting myself to different types of acting jobs and going to auditions just to try and get my name out there. Right now, it’s all about getting seen and making something of myself. In a few years I hope to be doing what I love full time. I’d love to live in the city and act everyday. My dream for acting is to be in a sitcom. Many actors think sitcom and run but I think it is the simplest form of fun for me. That’s what I’m striving for right now. In the future, future, I’d love to be in movies. Romantic Comedies are my favorite but I love the good dramatic film every once in awhile.
What inspired you to start acting?
Acting, acting, acting. One of my favorite questions in my career is why? Why did I chose acting? It’s one of the easiest questions for me to answer. I never chose acting. I would never chose acting. I wouldn’t chose acting in a million years!
Acting is a profession where you’re never promised anything. You can have a part one second and the next someone else can take that away from you. You’re never ever promised a pay check and you never know if or when your next job will come. Not to mention you have people judging every ounce of your being. Every word you say is analyzed and every outfit you pick is picked apart. But, for whatever reason, I love it. I can’t get enough. Inspiring people and sharing stories to change lives is something that will never grow old with me. I have absolutely no idea where this fire has come from; where this passion and love for acting and performing has come from but I hope it never loses it’s flame.
Who is your greatest role model?
As far as acting role models go, I love the sincere, natural actor. Some of my personal favorites are Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson and Chris Pine. They just have this certain something that makes you want to watch them and makes you want to hear what they have to say. In life, my family is my role model along with Anthony. My family has shown me what it is to love unconditionally and has always encouraged me to be my own person. Anthony constantly pushes me to be better and to reach farther. He helps me reach my goals and is always there in case I fall and need help up.