HAPPY MEMBER MONDAY!
THIS WEEK WE INTERVIEWED TGS MEMBER AND GORGEOUS MORE TALENT MODEL
S Y D N E Y H A M M
CONTINUE SCROLLING TO LEARN A LITTLE ABOUT HER!
Tell us about yourself!
I was born and raised in and around LA, constantly surrounded by creativity. When I was about three years old, I saw my mom (an actress and singer herself) perform at a wedding. Watching the way her voice and her art affected every single person in that room made me realize that there wasn't anything else in the world I'd rather do.
As I grew up, my mom acted as my coach—and she trained me in theatre, music, writing, and dialects alongside my two little sisters (side note: we are very, VERY close. You'll probably hear a lot about them before this interview is over, haha!). At 18, I decided to pursue my professional career; and I was signed to a theatrical agency within the year. At the same time, I was pursuing my bachelor's degree and was asked to audition for the fashion department's annual fashion show as a favor to a friend. I was terrified; but I went through with the audition and was put in the show. One thing led to another, and I eventually fell in love with modeling and began freelancing as well!
What inspired you to pursue your current creative path?
Today I'm a SAG actress, repped model, writer, and a singer. It's a hard industry, and keeping busy/obtaining consistent work can be a tricky thing. I've always been the type of person who gets restless if I'm not creating; and that is ultimately what motivated me to be involved in so many different creative avenues.
How did you find out about TGS?
I actually went to school with TGS's founder, Alex. When she first created the organization, I kept up-to-date with its progress on Instagram. It was clear from day one that this was going to be something special.
Why did you decide to join TGS?
As I said, this industry can be tough—beautiful & visionary, but brutal. You are constantly made to wonder whether you are enough. I was really struggling, and almost questioning my love for this path, when Alex invited me to a meet-up & I rediscovered TGS. I found that it had become a world all its own. It sounds cliche, but TGS and its members offered an environment based on safety and acceptance when I truly needed it most. It gave me room to find my passion for creating again; and it provided opportunities where I felt comfortable enough to push for growth. I knew then that this was a community I needed to be a part of.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I'm most inspired by story-telling. As a performer, a model, or a writer, there's a unique opportunity to relate to people with entirely different experiences from you. There's a chance to acquire and instill compassion by way of sharing those people's experiences with others. That to me is so special. That to me is magic.
Fave aesthetic, look or theme when shooting?
I'm absolutely in love with high fashion, editorial shoots. Recently, I've been on a journey to reclaim and embrace my natural hair; and stylists on set have been doing such drastic, incredible things with it. The shapes and textures they have created or enhanced have honestly helped me see the beauty in my curls; and it's become one of my favorite aspects of any shoot.
Do you have creative friends you like to meetup and brainstorm with?
I have a really solid group of people supporting me, and I've been incredibly lucky with regard to making true friends in the business. My mom, sisters, and I have worked together several times professionally; and they are SO helpful when it comes to the brainstorming process. One of my best friends (and fellow actress/model), @mayaaray, has also been a gift to me in so many ways—and her unique perspective as a woman of color in this industry has served as inspiration to me time and time again.
I've also found that I am constantly pulling from the TGS or MORE talent rosters when searching for creatives to work with. There are a lot of gifted people there... it's an invaluable creative resource.
Most interesting story revolving around your creative medium?
An example of how wild the industry can be:
My very first national commercial audition had called for real sisters, ages 10 and 14. My sister and I were ages 16 and 20, respectively; and we basically towered over everyone else there for the audition. I had heard hundreds of "no's" up to this point, and—given the fact that we were so much older than the other candidates, and this business has been overly age-sensitive for a *very* long time—I was fairly confident I was going to hear the same word again. Low and behold, the casting directors and producers loved our bond; and they felt that we could both get away with playing younger because our height difference "just worked."
I got the call that we landed the gig, the one where I would now play 16 years old (while my 16-year-old sister would play 11), on my 21st birthday. Just goes to show that anything can happen at any time... even when you think the odds and stigmas are stacked against you. Additional fun fact: I've now been onscreen with both my sisters.. For us, it really is a family affair!
Random stuff about you?
I'm just gonna make a list, 'cause there are probably enough quirks to write a novel:
-my favorite kind of food is fast (I mean, I appreciate some fine dining; but TBell and I have something special)
-I am DEATHLY afraid of spiders. Seriously, you spot one and I am gone.
-One of my sisters and I share the same birthday, but we're three years apart
-I'm obsessed with podcasts; I have recommendations for literally any genre or mood (your girl does a LOT of driving to and from castings)
-I am always switching in and out of different accents—sometimes to make people laugh, sometimes because I'm just bored
-I HATE cheese... unless it's on pizza or in quesadillas. I'm lookin' at you, Nick Jonas.