Rachele Brooke Smith is best known for snagging the lead role in ‘Center Stage: Turn It Up’ – a complete dream come true. The busy Hollywood starlet has several films coming out in 2016, including ‘The Nice Guys’ starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe (swoon!), and ‘Cold Moon’ from the same writer as ‘Beetlejuice’. But perhaps her most important role to date? Founder of UNBREAKABLE, a super-inspiring production company that’s set to bring more positivity to this world. Read on to learn more about the star who should be everybody’s role model.
ZLife: Tell us a little bit about how you got your start!
Rachele: I was a very competitive gymnast from about age five to 13. It was very stressful and I put a ton of pressure on myself to be amazing. One day, I broke my hand, and it was a wake-up call for me. It was a way out of gymnastics that I maybe didn’t realize I had been looking for for a long time. After I quit, I fell into a depression.
I remember watching the movie ‘Center Stage’ in theaters one day and it changed my life. I was so impacted by it. I had goosebumps and chills and I never wanted to leave that theater. I felt a passion and drive for life again. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I walked out of that theater and told my mom, “I want to be a performer. I’m going to be an actress.”. I took everything I learned from gymnastics – hard work, perseverance, and dedication – and poured it all into acting, dancing, and singing classes. And I never looked back.
I moved to LA and enrolled in an intensive 8-hour-a-day program that prepared me for Hollywood life. When I finished, I signed with a dance agency and found out about an audition for the lead role in Center Stage 2. I almost had a heart attack because I felt like that was MY movie. After 6 auditions, I got the part. It was so surreal. I thought back to sitting in that movie theater, watching Center Stage, and overcoming all these obstacles and actually manifesting my dream. I actually made it happen.
ZLife: What drove you to start your company, UNBREAKABLE PRODUCTIONS?
Rachele: I felt so blessed by getting my roles in Center Stage 2 and 3 that I really wanted to help other young performers achieve their own dreams. With UNBREAKABLE, we put out content and products and hold workshops to share life tips that I’ve learned throughout my career that can help people in their own journey. I always tell everyone, “The sooner you learn that you are your own brand and your own entrepreneur, the better”.
I put out these playlists called Action-Hero @ Life that people can listen to anytime they need a little inspiration or a reminder of how powerful they are. I’m about to release an e-book called “Your Creative Roadmap to Being Unbreakable”. The goal with that is to create a community of young performers to never give up, because it’s hard to have the ridiculous self-belief and confidence you need to create the life you love. But everybody has the ability to do it.
I also just released my own clothing line along with my best friend [and Bring It On co-star] Nikki SooHoo. It’s called Disruptive Apparel and it’s a visual movement with a message. I am super passionate about it as this type of messaging is crucial to my life.
ZLife: You are SO busy! When you have free time, how do you spend it?
Rachele: Music and movies are my drug, and dance is my therapy. I love to go dancing with my girlfriends, especially when I’m traveling! One time I was in Mexico and walked by a Zumba class and I just had to jump in and take it. I love being spontaneous and random like that, it really gets you out of your bubble.
And I obviously love going to movies. The theater is my happy place. I am somewhat obsessed with Sandra Bullock and my big dream is to play a role opposite her.
ZLife: So, why dance?
Rachele: If everybody danced, it would be a much happier world. And you don’t have to be amazing to dance, you just have to move. It’s so good for your body and your brain.
ZLife: Anything else you want people to know about you?
Rachele: It’s not like I’m just lucky. I work really hard and I practice what I preach. I live my message and I put it to the test all the time. I recently went through a really difficult period and the only thing that got me through it was my disruptive way of thinking: What can I do to make it better? What can I do to find the positive in the situation? All of a sudden, my mind started thinking differently and I squashed this awful experience and I turned it into something I could be grateful for. I found out again just how unbreakable I really am.