Its 12:09 pm
hazy/chilly/the robins are back
Welcome to “8 Questions with…..”
Today is a little bittersweet for me. With this interview of the very talented Christina Johnson,my series of “Women In Horror Month” ends. I got to chat with six amazing actresses who really impressed us with their love of horror and being fearless in doing some seriously fun and creepy things just to scare the fur off of your head!! Now how can you go wrong with such nice people willing to go the extra mile just for that one scare??
Take our next guest,the lovely Christina Johnson. Christina hasn’t made a couple of horror films,she is a bonafide horror veteran with 11 movies under her belt. That is true dedication to a most worthy genre,am I right?
Christina is one of the most interesting people I have talked with as of late and she wasn’t shy about talking about her craft,her family and her love for all things Disney.
She also loves to cosplay and while I was kicking myself about not asking Christina about that,it also occured to me that its something I can ask her when we chat again. (Pretty smooth how I did that,right?)
But for now let me step aside and let Christina have her say as she answers her 8 Questions…..
Please introduce yourself and tell us about your current project.
I’m Christina and I’m an actress. I’m from a small town in Northern California and I’ve been living in LA for about 7 years now. I’ve been acting for over a decade and really excited about this year and what’s to come. Currently I just booked a supporting role in a horror film. This will be my 11th horror film and very different from ones I’ve done in the past. It’s the same production company, Poche Pictures, that I’ve been working with on and off for a decade. They have become great friends and the most amazing supporters. I’m very excited to collaborate with them once more. I also just booked a role in the Renaissance Faire. I’m apart of their Pub Crawl Cast and very excited. I’ve always wanted to be apart of this faire and now I get to!
What was life in your house like growing up? What are three of your favorite memories growing up?
My childhood was amazing. My family are the greatest people on Earth and I wouldn’t be where I am without their love and support. I have great parents that have been together for over 35 years, and wonderful younger siblings that never made my childhood dull. There are so many great memories to choose from but if I have to be limited to just three then my first one is when we picked out our first family dog. I was the one who found the “puppies for sale” in the newspaper (yes the newspaper. We didn’t have internet at the house just yet) and it was love at first sight. He was a beautiful beagle that become family in an instant. He has since passed away but he started the trend to always having dogs in the house. There are now 2 small mutts that live with my parents today and I love them to death.
My second memory would be our Bucket List Trip to Hawaii. I was blessed with many family vacations and trips and it’s hard to just pick one but this trip was amazing. We got to experience things that we never could dream of. I went zip lining for the first time, we rode mules to the Kalaupapa Leper Colony on Molokai and lots more. That’s the last big family trip we’ve taken and it was over 5 years, which is crazy to think about. I miss those family trips.
My last memory is opening night of my high school play that I was in when I was a senior. I got the lead role and this would be the first time that my family had ever seen me act. The feeling of having everyone there that I loved so dearly see me act was unimaginable. That was when I knew that this is what I wanted to do and my family has supported me 100% ever since.
How did you end up at UC Irvine? What was your experience like there?
For one, I didn’t have to audition to get into the drama program. I don’t know if they’ve changed that, but 10 years ago you didn’t need to audition. You just got in. Secondly, it was 15 minutes away from Disneyland and I’m a Disney freak. I’ve been going to the parks since I was one years old and I really wanted to work there as a face character. Unfortunately, my school work and part-time job didn’t give me the time to even audition.
My experience was pretty positive. I did transfer as a Junior from my local Junior College so many people had a leg up on me. Many of my teachers were fabulous and I made friendships that have lasted 10 years. I will say that their Graduate Student Program is more immersive and would highly recommend it. When you go see one of their plays or musicals, most of the time, the same graduate students will be cast as the leads again and again. It’s a little hard for a transfer to be cast in their shows but the shows are pretty amazing. I was the light technician for their production of The Book of Tink. It’s a crazy and different version of Peter Pan that I will never forget and hopefully get to be in one day.
What led you to becoming a actress? What was the reaction of your friends and family?
I have always loved creating stories and being characters. I would create story upon story with my Barbie dolls when I was a kid, and whenever I went to the movies I would take on my favorite character when I got home. I love being different people and telling their stories to others. As I started to grow up, I actually wanted to become a Veterinarian because I loved animals. However, the thought of putting a dog down or losing one on the operating table along with having to do science classes for years, I decided not to be a Vet my sophomore year of High School. One of my friends, convinced me to take the acting class and after the first day I was hooked. I knew that this is what I wanted to do.
My family were a little shocked when I told them because I was a very shy teen. I think they were also afraid that I wanted to enter an industry that will eat you up and spit you out and has no real sense of security. However, after they saw me get the lead role in my first play ever they thought a wee bit differently. They helped me get my B.A. in Drama from UC Irvine and have been my biggest supporters.
Have you encountered any scammers while Hollywood? Promises of big things but they never become reality? How can a young artist protect themselves?
I have encountered quite a bit of scammers in Hollywood. It’s worse, I believe, for young actresses trying to make it because the men will promise you a lot in exchange for sexual favors. About 5 years ago, I was a cast member in LA’s Haunted Hayride and there was an older male cast member that become infatuated with me. I wasn’t interested in him romantically at all, I only wanted his friendship. He insisted that he could get me this role and that role and the lead in a TV series if only I would be his girlfriend. Long story short, I said no and haven’t spoken to him or seen him in years.
I think young artists, especially females, have to be careful. You really have to trust your gut and if someone doesn’t seem trustworthy or they only want something sexual from you, then say no and move on. I know it’s hard when all we want is a chance and this person comes along and you think all your dreams will come true. I’ve been there a few times and each time ended with me walking away. Just trust your gut and if something seems off, then it usually is. Also ask around about people. Word of mouth is gold in this town and usually someone will have worked with whomever you have doubts about.
How important is a good manager to a actor? How did you meet yours and how has it benefitted you?
A good manager is someone you believes in you, supports you and wants you to succeed and is very important to an actor. Too many managers and agents will convince you to sign with them and then won’t do anything for you or your career. It’s hard to judge sometimes and just having an agent or manager on your resume sounds amazing, but you can’t just sign with anybody. They are working for you and you have to choose someone that will have your best interests at heart and someone who will work with you. I love my manager. I’ve only been with her since November but we have a great relationship and she got me my first big pilot audition in January. She also is helping me expand myself and my brand in order to advance my career. I was blessed enough that my acting teacher recommended me to her. I just sent her an email saying so-an-so recommended me to you, here is my packet and then we had a meeting and I was signed. Amazingly that’s how it usually happens.
Tell us about your award winning film “The Sandman”. How did you get involved and what was your experience like in shooting it?
The Sandman was an amazing project to be apart of. I have known the director for a decade and he brought me onto the project. It’s the same production company of the horror film I just booked, Poche Pictures. I love working with this company and feel blessed to still be apart of their projects. The Sandman was a different kind of role for me because I’ve never played a nun before especially one that harbors a dark side within her. I’m not going to spoil the twist, so you’ll just have to go watch it. As for the award, I didn’t even know that Richard Poche submitted the film for the American Golden Picture International Film Festival. I randomly saw that I won Best Supporting Actress when he posted it on Facebook. I was shocked to say the least but was extremely grateful. The only other award that I’ve gotten for acting was from my High School which was pretty cool. I didn’t know I was submitted for that either! It’s funny how the world works. All in all, I had a fabulous time on set and look forward to future projects with Poche Pictures, and hopefully another award.
What three things about horror films appeals to you?
One thing is all the supernatural elements that can happen. I’ve dealt with ghosts, zombies, more zombies and vampires and it’s fun to battle these creatures. When I started doing horror films, I was a victim most of the time. I rarely survived which made dying become an art form for me. I’ve died by ghost possession, eaten by a zombie, bitten by a vampire and risen as one and then shot with silver bullets, and much more. I can say that I play dead easily because I’ve done it so often. Another thing is lately I’ve played the villain which I have a blast with. I love having that power and control in a character. It’s nice to play the bad guy after playing the victim for so long.
What scares you?
I think the big thing is failure. Being apart of this business, you get rejected a lot and you have to come to terms with that. I’m afraid that I won’t make it in this career and have to settle for something that drains my soul. I know that sounds dark, but so many of us can’t fathom doing anything but act or sing or dance or write. I’ve had to take 9-to-5 jobs because of finances and, though I make money and I’m good at it, it’s not what I want to do. This, acting, is my dream and the thought that I might not make it breaks my heart. That’s what scares me the most.
How did you get your SAG-AFTRA card?
I got my SAG-AFTRA card pretty easily. I was taft hartleyed into a AFTRA industrial about 9 years ago and I joined AFTRA shortly after. All you had to do to join AFTRA was pay the fee to join and then quarterly membership fees. You didn’t have to get 3 vouchers for AFTRA. This was a year before the companies merged. When they did, everyone who was AFTRA just become SAG. We thankfully didn’t have to pay an extra joining fee or get vouchers, we just were merged with SAG. I feel very blessed to not have had to go through the stress of getting vouchers and paying the $3,000 fee to join.
Do you feel now that Harvey Weinstein has been convicted of sex crimes,will Hollywood become a safer place to work or will it become business as usual?
I think Hollywood is changing because of the Me Too movement and Harvey Weinstein. It’s been long over due and I’m glad that these crimes are coming to light finally. I do think that some people are using it to just destroy reputations and make money, and unfortunately that takes away the power of the true victims and what they’ve gone through. I am glad though that woman and diversity are coming into play but it still is taking too long to truly change the system. It’s coming along just not at the pace I think we all want.
What do you like to do for fun when you’re not on location?
I love being with family and taking the time to recharge and relax. I love to read, watch films (I go to the movies a lot), play with my 2 beautiful fur babies, explore LA, hang out with friends, go hiking, collaborate with fellow actors and filmmakers to create projects that are close to our hearts, and just do the things I want to do. I’m a homebody and a bit of an introvert so staying at home is wonderful to me. One of my favorite past times it tarot card reading. I’ve always had a fascination with Wicca and witchcraft and find enjoyment doing tarot cards. I actually have an Etsy store, Magick Vale, where I sell readings and help people to the best of my abilities.
The cheetah and I are flying over to watch your latest film but we are a day early and now you are playing tour guide,what are we doing?
Since we are in the City of Angels, there are plenty of things to do. Universal Studios and Disneyland are my go to amusement parks, especially Disneyland. I used to have annual passes for both which I miss greatly. If we wanted to see nature, Griffith Park is a great place to hike and going to the Old Zoo is always creepy and fascinating. I live in the Valley and there are some great places to eat like Craving Board, Ike’s Sandwiches, Gus’s Fried Chicken, Tipsy Cow, The Woodman, The One-up and Dojo Sushi. There are so many things to do in LA that it’s kinda hard to condense into one paragraph. Needless to say we wouldn’t have a boring day and I would show you have awesome the Valley truly is.
I like to thank Christina for taking the time to chat with me. I’m looking forward to watching her films in the near future. She is a another example of what hard work and a good get it done set of ethics can do. I believe Christina and all the actresses who did our “Women In Horror” series bring a lot to a project and we’ll be seeing their faces more and more.
But if you can’t wait and want to see what Christina is up too,you can follow her
through her personal website.
Inside her site you’ll find links to her other social media pages as well as her IMDb page.
I had a real blast interviewing the actresses in my “Women In Horror Month” series and am looking forward to doing it again next year. What I’m really happy about is I was able to interview everyone who responded (and had films released). Thank you all so much for supporting Christina and her peers by reading these interviews.
If you’re new to the blog and the “8 Questions with…..”series,you can catch up by clicking here. Feel free to drop a question or a comment below.