By Ryan McPherson
With everything in the world seemingly increasing in its negativity, it can be hard to stay positive about life and the pursuit to better oneself. There are a lot of self-proclaimed “gurus” out there, attempting to tell you how to live a better life, but how many actually walk the walk themselves?
Rachele Brooke Smith doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks that walk as well. Having suffered a life changing setback to her then hopes and dreams, Smith challenged herself to rebound stronger than ever. She didn’t just take on one thing, she took on everything. Working to meet and surpass goals she never knew she’d hoped to accomplish. Now the star of major motion pictures, an accomplished dancer, a brand creator, and a YouTube sensation, she’s proved there isn’t anything she can’t do. She’d credit it to the power of hard work and positive thinking — traits found undeniable if you’ve seen any of her work.
With a very busy 2016 ahead of her, Smith gave us the details on all of her upcoming projects, the positive-thinking way she lives her life, and her future goals.
It looks like you’ve been extremely busy lately. You’ve got roles in ‘The Nice Guys’, ‘Bomb City’, ‘Chalk It Up’, and ‘Cold Moon’. It would appear 2016 is shaping up to be a pretty big year for you. With that said, is there a project you’re most excited to see released?
I am honestly so excited about the release of several films I have coming out soon. I filmed several over the past couple years (crazy how they are all coming out now). One of which was a dream come true character and film that I just got done filming in Puerto Rico. I play the lead girl in this action film opposite Jeff Fahey and Bobby Campo and will be out on Syfy this summer. My character was such a bad ass and It was both the most amazing and most challenging experience. It was an action film (I have been dying to do action roles/films for a long time now… hence the “dream come true” statement above) and I had to do a lot of crazy intense stuff in this film (kind of crazy actually how much I love things that push me to my limits and make me do challenging scary things). Fun fact I still have some battle scares from that film that I wear very proudly. Due to my athletic background, I really, really love playing bad ass action hero characters like I got to play in this film and I just can’t wait to do more like it. I can’t wait for everyone to see this film because I really think it is going to blow everyone away. I swear Griff Furst and Isaiah Laborde (director and producer team on this film), are going to be the best in the industry some day… and some day very soon. Very grateful to work with them.
I play a character named Julie in “The Nice Guys”. I loved working with Ryan Gosling. It was so nice to be able to work with someone who is so talented, successful, and who is under a lot of stress and yet still be so wonderful to everyone regardless of who they were. I really appreciate that quality in anyone but especially in the film industry.
“Cold Moon” is a suspense thriller that I play a Southern Belle who is the happiest, sweetest, most full of life person you will probably ever meet. She was one of my very favorite characters to play… especially since I feel that every character I play rubs off on me a little.. and man while I was filming that movie I felt happier than I think I ever have in my entire life. I know that this film will be one of those films that comes out of nowhere and blows everyone away. I especially loved getting to work with on of my very favorite directors and producers, Griff Furst and Isaiah Laborde, as well as Christopher Lloyd, Josh Stewart, Candy Clark and so many more phenomenal talents.
Oh and I cant forget about “Center Stage 3” because of how special doing the second one was for me (also very interesting how reflective it was to my real life without the writers knowing).
Do you have any specific experiences that stick out from working on these films?
So many… but if I had to pick one it would absolutely be at the end of the movie I just filmed in Puerto Rico (can’t say name yet but stay tuned). Jeff Fahey who played my dad in the film, broke his rib during an action scene we were doing. His character was supposed to save the day in the end and due to his injury we had to re-write the whole end of the film that next night to be ready to film a whole new ending the next day. I will never forget that night when my co-star, Bobby Campo, and I and our amazing director, Griff Furst, and producer, Isaiah Laborde, stayed up pretty much all night (after filming out in the sun all day long) not only re-writing and memorizing 13 pages of dialogue but also trying to make it the best ending of the film possible. I will also hold so dear that crazy night when Bobby and I ended rearranging furniture on our patio deck to simulate the speed boat and had a pretty beyond exhausted/hilarious last-minute rehearsal…at this point we where definitely pretty gone from lack of sleep but the child like play and creation that I love so much about acting really took over that night and made it so special to me… jumping up on suitcases acting crazy, screaming for help laying across a glass table that was supposed to be the boat deck, to swimming in the hammock that was supposed to be the ocean… I still remember so well thinking in that moment this is nuts, this is so hard, this is so amazing, this is so fun, this is why I love being an actress so much.
You’ve been producing a web show titled “Unbreakable”, providing motivational and inspirational advice to others. Where did this idea come from and what made you want to pursue it?
Unbreakable was inspired greatly from my “center stage” story and is centered around what I have learned along my journey of both going after and achieving really big dreams.
For those who don’t know this is my “Center Stage story” (I also have a video on my website about this). …. I started out as a gymnast before getting into entertainment, but it never was the actual gymnastics that was my true love. Instead it was the performing aspect of it all. After breaking my hand in a bad accident, I remember thinking about how unhappy I was with the stress of the gymnast lifestyle and that I didn’t want to live that way anymore. Around that same time I went with my family to see the movie “Center Stage” by Nicholas Hytner. This particular film was so powerful for me, I literally couldn’t move. Even after everyone else had left the theater I was still sitting there with an overwhelming feeling. I just knew in that very powerful moment that I will never forget this. The acting, dancing, and performing were exactly what I wanted to do. That is what I felt I was born to do. The next years leading up until graduation, I enrolled into a variety of acting and dance classes before and after school learning my craft. After graduation, I was accepted into an intense scholarship program for performing arts. After the program completion there, I signed with dance agency (which was awesome but I wanted to act) I went to acting agents and got turned down because I didn’t have reel yet (I was not allowed to audition or work during my scholarship program because of such intense committed training). I left super discouraged and somewhat depressed only to find a couple of weeks later a casting call for “Center Stage: Turn It Up” (the sequel to the very film that changed me as a little girl). My initial reaction was thinking there was no way this could have been happening. It seemed so surreal, almost not even possible. I will never forget the moment, sitting at home in my room after deciding not to go, when I had this overwhelming feeling of I had to go. It was so powerful that it honestly felt like it pushed me out the door and to the audition. I had that feeling through the next month or so, and what seemed like a roller coaster ride of emotions of my childhood dream being so close but yet so far away. I ended up having to go in 6 different times for that role then finally got the call that I booked the Lead in the sequel to the movie that changed my life as a little girl. I auditioned and landed the lead role for the film. It was a dream come true, and that film ultimately was what inspired me to get into acting. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, so surreal, so challenging, and so beautiful all at the same time. From this experience and many others that have a similar theme I created my brand Unbreakable.
Unbreakable Productions (my company) provides fun, uplifting, and inspirational content (and products) on a regular basis to help viewers discover their strength within, utilize the power of inner-inertia, and remain Unbreakable through life’s challenges.
For readers who may not have seen the specific video, you talk about being forced to abandon your earliest dreams due to injury and viewing a film changed your life — giving you new goals to strive for. What can you tell us about that time in your life?
It was one of the hardest times in my life, I remember many, many, many days and nights crying alone in my room. What is the craziest thing and what I didn’t understand at the time.. was that it was the very best thing possible for my life. If if wasn’t for this injury shifting my life’s course… I probably wouldn’t have ever found my passion, love, and obsession with the power of film making. Everything I knew and worked ridiculously hard on everyday was suddenly gone (with nothing to replace it) and on top of this my best friend (my mom) didn’t want to be around me very much because she was so sad. Needless to say it was extremely hard. However, if it wasn’t for that film, I really don’t think I would have found my love for dance, for performing, for film, for storytelling, and for the deep desire to help others overcome challenges. One thing I know for sure.. as much as challenges suck sometimes, they always seem to bring about the most amazing opportunities… if you are open to them.
Tell us more about the title “Unbreakable.” Is it right to assume it has become some sort of mantra for you?
The Unbreakable mindset is powered by the Unbreakable Trinity, to connect and get stronger everyday in the three main essences that make up you, not just one, but all three; Kardia, Soma, & Myalo. (3 greek words that represent mental, physical, spiritual/emotional strength). It’s using the power of film and story telling to help viewers realize and shift the stories they are telling themselves into beliefs and perspectives that are empowering. It’s about believing in your ability to get back up again when you fall down and knowing that whatever happens, that you have the ability and the strength, to not only figure things out, but that you will be stronger and better because of it. Its viewing your body and your life as an amazing gift and adventure, its living consciously everyday knowing that the small choices you make everyday, from the food you put into your body to the way you treat random strangers, all the way to how you talk to and treat yourself matters and its these small little acts that are shaping your overall health, success, and happiness.
I believe we all can “bend” from circumstances in our life, and we can also choose to never “break.” That is what it truly means to be unbreakable, it is knowing no matter what happens in life you will be stronger and better because of it. It is about believing in your ability to get back up again when you fall down.
This mindset, or movement, is really powerful to me and I want to be able to share it with everyone I can. I have a new E-Book that will be coming out really soon about becoming unbreakable with everything in your life. It was created in a workbook style so people can really take the time to visualize their dreams, which one of the first steps to making them become a reality. I encourage everyone to check it out when it gets released, I really believe it can changes the lives of others like living the unbreakable mindset has done for me.
When it seems like everything you see or read has become increasingly negative, how do you manage to have such a positive outlook?
I am very protective of the content I allow myself to listen to and watch as well as the people I spend my time with. I really believe we all create the world we live in, and what that world looks like and feels like is very much dependent on our commitment to developing one of the most important muscle we have.. the one between our ears. No matter what I have going on in my agenda for the day, I always make sure to take a few moments to myself every morning and evening practicing mediation. I have lived life with and without this practice.. and lets just say I REALLY don’t want to ever not be practicing mediation. So usually every morning and evening I have some sort of mental and spiritual exercises like meditation, gratitude lists, visualization, inspirational reading of books and watching inspirational Youtube videos while I’m getting ready for day. Everything that falls in between morning and night can be unique each and every day! I am often traveling and working ridiculously hard on different acting gigs while also always “flowing” on on my companies Unbreakable and FreeYo, but I try to never lose site of the importance of making each day memorable and fun. I am always finding fun ways to incorporate fitness into my schedule, and always find some way of being active throughout the day, and often you will see me post videos of this craziness on my Instagram and YouTube! I do make sure to have movement throughout my day because it allows for more productive and creative thinking and feeling. I really hope that lessons I have learned and things that I have found that have dramatically improved my life will help others live healthy, happy, and full lives. I want to be any sort of inspiration I can of doing and fighting for things you love to do, viewing life through a creative sense, and demonstrate the ability we all have to live our dreams and help others along the way.
How does film continue to play a role in your goals today?
I have an obsession with movies and the power of story telling so to get to be a part of making them is a huge dream come true for me. I have loved getting to play every character that I have played and feel so blessed to always seem to get to work with not only incredibly talented cast and crews but also just the best, most wonderfully genuine and kind people who just want to inspire.
I am in this for the long haul. I love acting way too much to ever not do it. It fulfills me like nothing else can. Getting lost in a scene is by far one of the most incredible experiences and I think why so many people give up so much and work so hard to get to experience this on a regular basis.
-Playing a lead in a hit TV series that impacts, enlightens, and inspires the world playing a character that I love — working with incredibly talented, passionate, enlightened cast and crew.
-Have several blockbuster and award-winning films that I have played lead characters in and produced (would love it if one of those films was along side Sandra Bullock).
-Produce and star in my own scripted comedy series centered round my brand FreeYo.
-Traveling the world when I am not filming teaching and speaking at unbreakable conferences and workshops.
-CEO of Multi-Million dollar brands Unbreakable and FreeYo, that impact and inspire people everyday to be better than they where yesterday.
-Live in both LA and NYC and always be surrounded by supportive, uplifting, loving team, family, and friends.
-Have helped millions achieve their goals and dreams and live happier, healthier, fulfilling lives and getting to do all of this with the love of my life in a super supportive, loving , and fun relationship.