Young actress shooting for the stars

By: Eric Laughlin Telegraph correspondent
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If you think it’s impossible for a 12-year-old kid to earn straight A’s while pursuing a full-fledged movie career, you’ll want to meet Emily Paris. Not only has this charismatic pre-teen impressed her Folsom Middle School teachers by going the extra mile in the classroom, but she also, with the help of her mother Leslie, is fully dedicated to her side life as an actress. Performances in award-winning films such as “Click Clack Jack” have earned Paris enough attention to be recognized as one of the Sacramento area’s biggest up and comers. She was recently nominated as the region’s best new young actress and she’s set to appear in this fall’s independent feature, “Magic of Christmas.” The Telegraph recently caught up the very busy mother and daughter on the heels of their trip to San Francisco, where Emily played a part on the hit NBC series “Trauma.” “It’s so much fun being on the set,” the younger Paris said of the taping. “And it’s amazing to see how they actually make things. They had a scene where they were using just half a helicopter with a green screen.” But the duos’ journeys go well beyond the occasional weekend run to the Bay Area. Both are on call for auditions in Los Angeles, where repeated rejection is common for all actors her age. “We had one trip where we had to drive down to LA and back for a day,” Leslie said. “Then when we were five minutes from home we got a call for a Walmart commercial and we had to fly back. And we didn’t end up getting that one.” Charlie Holliday is a veteran actor of TV, stage and film. He also operates the Mosaic Acting School in Rancho Cordova. He said Emily’s drive to succeed sets her apart from others her age who can’t take the hard work and rejection. “She’s definitely got the desire and the thick skin needed to make it,” he said. “It’s a business where you have to get used to being turned down and she understands that and keeps going.” Holliday, who’s worked in Los Angeles and taught acting at the Academy of Art in San Francisco, said he sees a lot of potential in his young student. “I generally don’t teach children’s classes but I was impressed with her from the start,” he said. “There’s a maturity in her acting that you don’t see that often. She’s also a sweetheart to work with and that means a lot.” He said Emily is also at an advantage having such a supportive and involved mother. Talk to Leslie Paris and it’s clear she wouldn’t have it any other way. “It’s a lot of work but a lot of fun,” she said. “And I’m a stay-at-home mom so it’s worth it.” She went on to say that Emily’s drive and dedication to succeed in school makes it easier for her to pursue auditions. “Her doing so well in school is a big part of it,” Leslie said. “Because they won’t give you a work permit and let you miss class unless you’ve really proven yourself as an excellent student, like she has.” Though Emily is edging for a career in TV and film, she’s also been known to make local appearances on stage. She recently played the lead female role in “Hansel and Gretel” at Folsom High School. You can also see her on the cable program, “Kid’s Corporation,” which airs locally on Channel 17.