Francesca CapaldiActressLos Angeles, CAPhotos by Lauri LevenfeldStyle by Katja O’Brien & Makeup/Hair by Irmina Martinez Loeffler
1. As the first featured story for TPFG, why is it important for you to support girls and be a part of this community?
Boys have always had a huge support system. They are easier on each other and always seem to work as a team. I think it is important that girls remember to try to see the positives and not the negatives in other girls. Girls seem to judge each other on appearance rather than on their personality; on their clothes instead of their actions. Girls are so hard on themselves and each other. Sometimes we need to accept the fact that no one is perfect. Girls can be each other’s worst enemy, so instead of going against one another, they should help each other out and support each other.
2. You have gained tremendous experience and success at such a young age, what got you to where you are now?
My parents have sacrificed a lot to get me where I am today. I was 9 months old when I did my first print work for Infantino and 13 months old, doing a video for Sesame Street called New Beginnings.
We lived about 3 hours away from Hollywood, so the drives to auditions were very long, but when I would get a part, it was so worth it!! I am not sure my parents always felt the same, since it takes so much time, but I am sure in the end they were happy to see me so happy. They are so supportive and every girl should have such a great support system.
Most people think that you go on one audition and you book the part right away, but you have to go probably 100 times a year and if you are lucky, you will get a job. I have tried to learn to accept the rejections and think positively that the next time will be my lucky day. I love to work and it makes me happy. I don’t view it as a job, even though it’s hard work, because I love doing it so much. Girls have to remember that it is not always you or how you performed, it could be that they have a certain look in mind or you just didn’t fit the look of the family. You have to stay strong, do your best and keep trying.
3. Let’s walk through a day in the life of Francesca Capaldi.
Some of my days are very normal. I get up, well actually my Mom pries me out of bed, then I get ready for school. I enjoy being with my friends at school and we have lots of fun together when we don’t have to be quiet and study. Being quiet isn’t easy, I love to talk and my teachers will definitely agree with that!!! At lunch time I try to go into the gym and play 4 square, dodge ball, or whatever. It is fun hanging out with my classmates. If I don’t have an audition, I usually go home and do my homework, which is sometimes a lot!!! Then I watch some TV and get ready for the next day. If I am not working I like to get involved in other activities such as dance and ice skating. I like to take lessons so I can get better. If I have an audition, I usually leave school at lunch and complete my work on the car ride up to LA. It usually takes about 3 hours to get there and then I do the audition and it is usually rush hour and it takes about 3 1/2 hours to get home!
Now, if I am working, the day is completely different. I usually have an early call time so it is harder for my Mom to get me going, but once on my way, I am excited. I go to hair, makeup, wardrobe and practice my lines. The day flies by and I work for 9 1/2 hours. There are times when I have to repeat a scene over and over, but we just keep doing it until we get it just right. I have a teacher on the set and this keeps me up on my normal school curriculum. There is usually food on the set and it is irresistible. After work we drive home and am usually stuck in lots of traffic. Once home I finish the school work I didn’t get done during the work day and prepare my lines for the next day. After that I get some sleep and then another day begins.
4. Your mom is your manager and biggest fan (Dad too!), how have both instilled a sense of normalcy in your life, yet given you the opportunities to live out your dream?
My mom and dad try to keep my life as normal as possible. My mom used to be a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep, but because of always having to be “on call” for me, she can no longer work that job. They know how much I love to act, so they sacrifice so much for me. They allow me to go to regular school and we continue to live in San Diego, so that I can be near my family and friends. The drive to auditions is brutal, like I mentioned before it is usually an 8 hour day in the car after being in school for most of the day, but they make it happen. I am so lucky to be able to go out for dinner, to a movie and just hang with my friends, like most kids do. I do regular things like regular kids. Sometime people will recognize me in Costco and McDonald’s and ask if it is really me. They sometimes don’t believe it’s me… “It’s not you, why would you be in McDonald’s.” My mom always tells people, “she is just a normal kid, just like you.” We also live near the beach so I can meet my friends there and have a normal, fun day.
The school that I go to really strives for all of the students to be great scholars, so this has helped me to know how important education really is for my future. I still have some of the same friends that I had since I was in kindergarten, so that seems pretty normal and special to me. Also, I have made many new friends in and out of the business. My parents are so supportive and I think they enjoy seeing me happy.
5. When did you know you wanted to be an actress? What was your first step?
When I was baby, my parents were in a restaurant and an agent asked my parents if they would ever considered putting me in show business. I think she liked my curly red hair. I really didn’t have too much then, but I think that is what she noticed. My parents found out that she was a legitimate agent, so that was the beginning for me. I did some commercials and photo shoots and I just wanted to do more. I kept asking my mom to put me on TV and in the movies!!! My mom would tell me that they just weren’t calling me for those auditions. Not living in LA, she really didn’t know much about the business. She didn’t realize you needed a theatrical agent for TV and movies. At 7 I got a theatrical agent and that is when I started going out for those parts. After a couple auditions, I was cast as an orphan on A.N.T Farm and after that I got the call to audition for the pilot, Dog with a Blog. I was very lucky that I got the part of Chloe on Dog With a Blog and they picked up the series. This was a dream come true.
6. How have you used your success as a platform for your beliefs, as a role model, and/ or paying it forward?
I try to be a good role model for girls. I know girls worry about so many things, such as how many followers they have on social media, how their hair looks, what should they wear, do they look pretty, do their friends like them? These are all superficial insecurities that I am guilty of too. I know some girls don’t care about these things, but if I could reassure the ones that do, by being a good role model and showing that I can just have fun and want to make people happy, that would mean so much to me.
I try to volunteer for different charity events. I love going to food banks and filling boxes to send out to families need. Also, I am a celebrity youth ambassador for Generation On, trying to show that even though you are young, kids can still make a difference too. Every year during the holidays, Hasbro, sends me toys to distribute to a charity of my choice. This makes hundreds of kids happy, but it makes me even happier that I have the opportunity to do this. I also love to participate every year in Family Volunteer Day. It is a great way to spend time with your family helping other families in need. Whenever I meet people on the street and they recognize me, I try to let them know that I am always willing to take a picture or just say
hello. I want them to know that I am just like they are and try to say something nice to make them feel good about themselves because they make me feel good. Also, I try to respond when someone is bullying or saying something that is not nice on social media. I feel that people say things more freely because you can’t see them, but it is so wrong. I have been bullied and it feels terrible so please don’t take your bitterness or insecurities out on others, try to get some help or give help to someone that may need it.
7. If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing?
Well, I love acting so much that I really hope to continue that for the rest of my life. I also love to sing and dance and I love fashion. Basically I love to be creative. I love to design and I think that you can easily express yourself through fashion, like you can in acting. Eventually I want to go to college. I have so many accomplished women in my family; an MIT graduate, a rocket scientist, nurse, an orthodontist, a cousin getting her masters in forensic science. Education is very important. I also like photography, writing and directing and hope to write my own songs someday and direct shows and movies. I guess all of these things are related to acting, so I am hoping to just continue doing what I love.
8. Name your biggest moment in your career. Your hardest moment?
I have to say, when I got the news that I booked the part of Chloe for the pilot for a Disney show, I freaked out. After doing the pilot, waiting to find out whether the show was going to be picked up was super hard. It was almost 6 months before I heard that they were picking it up. I will never forget that day. I was driving home from just going to 3 auditions in one afternoon and the agent called to tell me I didn’t need to worry about the auditions I just went on because they picked up Dog With A Blog. I freaked out. I was over-the-moon excited. It was everything I thought it was going to be and more. A lot of hard work, but I loved it.
I would say one of the hardest moments so far in my careers was when we filmed the last episode of Dog With A Blog. It was so sad to know that it might be the last time we all would work together. After being together for 3 1/2 years we were like a family and it was hard to say goodbye! We all cried like babies!
9. What advice can you pass on to a young girl wanting to follow their own passions?
If I had to pass on some advice to girls, it would be to believe in yourself, never give up, stay confident and practice, practice, practice. Don’t let others tear you down, always believe you can do it and you will be surprised just how successful you will be and your dreams can come true. Also being nice to others is so important. No matter how successful you may be, you should treat others with kindness and this will make you a better person and get you far in life.
10. In this day of social media, what have you learned about yourself and how do you engage online?
I think sometime I have a love/hate relationship with social media. Social media has it advantages and disadvantages. I have found that by posting you can reach so many people all over the world. You can show how you treat others and what you do to be a good person by letting others know about charities and organizations. Also, it is just a fun place to get to know what different people from all over the world are doing. I like to try and talk with my followers when I can, and help them by giving advice, but sometimes it gets hard to talk with everyone and I really don’t want to make anyone mad or think I favor someone else if I answer a question and not theirs. I just really wish I answer everyone but I want everyone to know that I do try to read all my comments and I appreciate everyone so much.
The disadvantages are people using social media for bullying. They can hide behind their computers and phones and say mean, ugly and hurtful things to people they don’t know or to people they want to hurt. This can ruin someone’s whole life.
I also think social media can make people feel badly about themselves. People care so much about how many followers they have, how many likes they get and I think this is not good for people’s self esteem. I think people, girls and boys need to realize that it really isn’t important what strangers think. You don’t know so many of the people on your accounts these days and you shouldn’t look to strangers for likes or comments. What is important is to have real relationships with real people. You don’t need to have people you don’t know looking at your personal life and letting them judge you so you can have more followers. My situation is a little different because I’m in the public eye, but if I weren’t I would really only want people I know and care about to follow me because I know they would want the best for me. Make sure you have good friends and family and remember it is what
they think about you that matters. Also what you see on social media can be hurtful when you see people out having fun and doing things that maybe you aren’t included in. I know I have been hurt seeing my friends out with each other and I wasn’t included. Remember that most people post the fun stuff they do to make their lives look interesting. Nobody posts the F they get on their math test. With social media we see all of this and we have to take the good with the bad.
My mother runs my social media account and one time a few years ago someone tried to steal my identity and this is against the law. They were trying to act like they were me and wrote lies to my friends trying to cause trouble. When we found out who it was, the situation eventually was resolved, but this is an example of how social media can be misused and how people bully others.
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11. What’s next for Francesca?
I am so excited to say that I just finished a movie. We were on location in Vancouver, Canada and this was an awesome opportunity for me to see another country. It was beautiful and I had a great time acting in this movie. I met some really great people and made some new friends. When you are working, everyone on the set becomes like they are your family. I think the movie will be released the beginning of next year. Can’t wait for you to see it.
Also, I have had the opportunity to do some modeling lately and I love it. I was the new face of Claire’s Tween line. Fashion is my passion, so this has been awesome. Some of the clothes and makeup in my recent photoshoots are high-fashion, but I want everyone to remember it is a job and I am trying to do what the photographer it looking to create. So many people criticize me for the clothes and the makeup, but I try not to let them hurt me and want them to know, I am just doing my job.
I recently created a Youtube channel and plan on spending more time creating DIY’s, Q & A’s and fun videos. Also, I am also having fun making Musical.ly’s. Check out my accounts.