Tanna Frederick: Hollywood Actress Improves the Community


Tanna Frederick: Hollywood Actress Improves the Community

When some people think of Tanna Frederick, what may come to mind is that she’s a successful actress that we love to enjoy watching and performing in stage plays, television and film. Nonetheless, she is an accredited writer and producer, an amazing surfer, intelligent businesswoman and celebrated environmentalist. For several years, Frederick has been involved with Here to Serve, a 501 (c) charity that is in cooperation with the community which provides assistance to caregivers and families who are going through threatening health crisis. The organization is founded by Kathleen Quintas, an incredible woman who is a caregiver to her son and husband who are both cancer survivors. Frederick has come to build a tremendous relationship over the years with Quintas after meeting her at a panel.
During a recent interview with Tanna Frederick, I had the privilege to speak to her about her involvement with Here to Serve and many other initiatives that she holds dear to her heart. “My parents both got diagnosed with cancer within the same year. I knew how terrifying it could be when you had your own past experience with cancer and you certainly have a family with it, not one family member, but two family members. They help you get on your feet, they help you look at the resources, you can call for medical needs, for errands that you need done, and for grocery shopping. They are a big support of families who have certain needs or diseases.”
While being a part of Here to Serve, Frederick has experienced a great amount of gratification as well as shown support from others for her parents. She shares her testimony. “I sort of feel like I’m repaying all of the wonderful people who helped me out during that time in my life. If you can’t prevent children from getting sick then let’s support them through the sickness, and their family and make sure that their home environment is not a stressful environment when they’re already dealing with so much.” Frederick also serves on the Board of Directors at Tumelo Home, which is a charity that provides full residential care and training to children with severe and profound mental disabilities, located in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Frederick has been responsible for founding Project Save Our Surf, a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of the ocean and its freshwater. Every year she holds an annual event to raise thousands of dollars for various clean water initiatives and ocean charities. “I just thought, well there are a lot of non-profits out there for oceans but that can never be enough in terms of clean water. You’re watching 9 and 10 year olds go out and knowing that they can’t go out because it’s been raining in the summer and you go out and surf some days and it’s very still and full of garbage. And you’re like oh gosh, the kids are going swimming in the water! You just want to create a better world for the next generation,” she explains passionately.
Over the years the LA stage actress has been an extraordinary actress. She has directed theater and directed stage plays such as “Why We Have a Body” and “A Safe Place.” As an actress, she has starred in Henry Jaglom's feature films such as "Irene in Time" and "Hollywood Dreams," where she has been compared to actresses such as Bette Davis. Another Henry Jaglom’s film includes “Just 45 Minutes From Broadway” which originated from a stage play at The Edgemar Theater where she co-stars opposite Judd Nelson. “It was great and it was really fun and surprising. It ran for a year in Los Angeles. So many people loved the play and kept coming back. Usually in films, the weird one in the family would be the actor, but in this play “Just 45 Minutes From Broadway” the weird one is the civilians; it’s not the actor, so it’s fun. So Henry decided to run it into a film and I was a little worried about having running the play for so long. The transition from stage to film may come across as being stale. It was really actually fascinating once we got on set for filming. The results were great. I always wanted to transfer some things from stage to film and be a part of that,” excited explains the movie star.
Frederick became involved in theatre during the fourth grade and has been performing ever since. Today, she has received awards such as the Distinguished Young Alumni Award from her Alma Mata, the University of Iowa. She has won and received numerous awards for Best Actress at multiple film festivals, and the Maverick Award from the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival, just to name a few. As a stage and film actress she gives her thoughts on both. “If you are on screen you’re applying to a camera. The nice thing about being on film is you know that certain captures awaits certain parts of your character that you work on. The great thing about stage is you have this audience who comes to watch you, there just to focus on the entire show and there’s such a great serenity that goes on with the audience and actors on stage. I find it very invigorating. You don’t really get that on film. Nonetheless, I believe both really have helped me grow into an actor. I believe that actors should concentrate equal on stage and film.”
A lot of work goes into being an actress. For those who have a vision that wants to make it into a reality - sometimes have to believe in their vision - for it may never be too far out of reach. “I believe since it’s your dream to be an artist and it’s your dream to be an actor, you should do what you want to do in life that will fulfill you,” says the Hollywood actress as she begins to empower those who are anticipating on becoming what they have set out to do with their life. “I go and I speak at my Alma Mata, University of Iowa, and speak where ever I can to students. I really believe that regression is something that should never be on your life movie rail. If you have a dream, go for it; don’t look back and don’t say what if! You better be true to yourself in terms of what you’re passionate about, in terms of following your passion, in terms of what you want to leave in the world.”
Encouraging and inspiring local filmmaking and local filmmakers in her community, as well as giving back to her hometown, Frederick has created The Iowa Independent Film Festival and originated Project Cornlight that aims to develop Iowa-based films and other projects showcasing Iowa. She shares timeless advice for aspiring actresses who have been affected by continuous rejections in the film industry. “Don’t listen to the no’s. Just do everything that you can to filter out the negative energy and keep the positive feedback in your mind. I think it’s definitely a mind game and the biggest part of it is if you can ‘hang in the industry.’ If you stay in the game and have a positive attitude, you would eventually get work. Once you decide you are an artist, it doesn’t matter what credits you have, it doesn’t matter who you hang with; it doesn’t matter what’s on your resume. Being an artist is more than credentials and what you’ve done. Declare yourself an artist and be proud of that fact, and don’t give up and start moving forward.” 
Tanna Frederick is also starring in the stage play “The Rainmaker” that is playing at the Edgemar Theatre in Santa Monica. The play has been extended to the end of May and has been considered an ovation recommended and has received rave reviews. The Rainmaker is free for acting students of any age. For more information and to request tickets visit edgemarcenter.org.

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