Spotlight on Sissy Sheridan
Sissy Sheridan has already built up her star status with roles in movies and theater productions, yet she still asserts that she’s a typical teenager. The 14-year-old candy lover—who enjoys making endless amounts of slime in her free time—made her off-Broadway debut in Annie Warbucks and her equity debut in the Olney Theatre Center production of Annie in 2017. But Sheridan recently got her big break when she was cast as Angie on the hit web-series Chicken Girls, also starring teen phenomenons Annie LeBlanc, Brec Bassinger, Hayden Summerall, and Carson Lueders. Additionally, she was hired to play Asia in Netflix’s Maniac, alongside household names Emma Stone and Jonah Hill. Not to mention, Sheridan is the host of Nickelodeon YouTube web-series DIY with Me, which racks up tens of thousands of views each week. Below, she spills all about the adventures her acting talent has led her to thus far.
How did you first develop your passion for acting?
When I was six years old, my mom signed me up for a musical theatre camp and I fell head over heels in love! My director, Jennifer Kessler, became my first theater teacher and has continued to support me over the years. After a couple of summers performing in drama camps, I realized that I could be one of the kids I watched on TV one day! I had a meeting with G. Gardner Talent Management and they offered me representation. I have been going on auditions and booking jobs ever since!
What about acting is most special to you?
My favorite thing about acting is getting to play different characters. One day, I can be
a drama queen, and the next, I’m a klutz! It’s exciting to forget who you are for a bit and just be someone else. I feel as if acting is just an elaborate way of playing pretend.
In your opinion, what’s the most difficult part about being an actress?
The most challenging part of acting for me is getting out of my head. I’m a perfectionist and I can really beat myself up sometimes if I feel I haven’t performed my best. It’s something I continue to work on, but when I finally get something right, it’s like magic!
You also have a background in musical theater. Is that something you will always hold near and dear to your heart?
Musical theater was my first introduction to performing. I have been blessed with the opportunity to do four professional shows as well as many community theatre productions. Musical theatre really helps me with decision-making because it’s live, and you have to think fast and improvise. It should look easy when you see someone performing onstage, but it sure does take a lot to act, sing, and dance eight times a week!
Recently, you had the opportunity to star alongside Emma Stone and Jonah Hill in Maniac. What was the most important lesson you learned during that experience.
Co-starring in Maniac was incredible. One thing I learned was patience. For instance, one day we went to hair and makeup three times to get ready for our scene, which wound up being shot the next day...lol.
Additionally, you were cast in the popular Brat web-series, Chicken Girls. What was the audition process like for the show?
My manager sent several videos of me, including my reel, to the casting directors of Chicken Girls. A couple days later, I found out I got the part!
What was your initial reaction when you heard you would be playing the role of Angie?
I was so excited to find out I got cast! Angie is a musical theater diva so I knew she would be fun to play. Also, I couldn’t believe I was going to get to work alongside kids I had seen on Instagram for years!
Who were your closest friends on set?
I’ve made some really great friendships on the set of Chicken Girls! My closest friends are probably Erin Reese, who plays Bess, Jay Ulloa, who plays Drake, and Matt Sato, who plays Robbie.
Any particularly funny moments from filming that you can recall?
Most of my scenes in Chicken Girls are with Annie [LeBlanc], who plays Rhyme, and Jay. My favorite moment was when we were filming a scene together and there was no air conditioning, so we were all dying from the heat in our costumes. We just laid on the floor watching videos on Vine and laughing for like 20 minutes.
What are you up to now?
Currently, I am playing Susan Parks in the musical Billy Elliot at Signature Theatre in Arlington, VA. The show closes on January 6th.
What advice can you leave for people who want to have an acting career just like you?
For those who want to start acting, the advice I would give is to train, train, train! I wouldn’t be where I am today without countless hours of acting lessons, singing lessons, and dance classes. Another thing is, don’t give up if you don’t get a role! A big part of this career is rejection, and although it is hard, it makes it all the more worthwhile when you finally get a role.