Singaporean Actress Tess Smolens On Auditioning In LA

"I've had experiences where the casting directors were just so mean."

Tess Smolens New Paper New Face

Back from LA after auditioning for Netflix and Disney, Tess Smolens is ready to make her mark in Asia. Read our interview with the winner of The New Paper New Face 2018, where she spills on the tough lessons she’s learnt and her future plans.

Tess Smolens New Paper New Face

You’ve auditioned for big studios in LA. What was that like?

LA is where the best of the best are. So people from all over the world, they get scouted and their managers and agents want them to go to LA. That’s exactly what happened to me.

Rejection must be something you constantly deal with as an actress.

I’ve had experiences where the casting directors were just so mean. There was this one audition where I had to memorise eight pages of script the day before. I practised so hard for it. But after I did my scene, he just looked at me and was just, like, “bye”.
I’ve also gone to a modeling casting where the casting director took one look at me and then told me to leave. There were about 10 models all lined up, and they all got to walk [for the casting]. He didn’t even ask me to walk, he just said, ‘Oh it’s OK, you can go now.’

That’s… not a pleasant experience.

I know, I know. But I’ve learnt not to take it personal. When things like this happen, I tell myself it’s just one casting, and they were probably looking for something I didn’t have.

Tess Smolens New Paper New Face

How did you overcome rejection?

I just don’t see it as rejection. It’s not a sacrifice going to a casting, it’s an opportunity. Plus, making it to the audition is already an achievement as the casting director looked at your profile and thought you’re good enough.

You’ve just been crowned the winner of The New Paper New Face. What are your plans?

Just to enjoy every moment and make the most of it. It has given me so many opportunities and I want to take advantage of that.

Photography: Angela Guo
Hair and makeup: Leny Fu/Palette Inc using YSL and Keune Hair cosmetics

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