Therés Amee is the CEO and Founder of Prowess Productions Inc, she extensively excelling in her realms of Film and Fashion – as well as the Corporate World of Finance Markets. An interview with this polytalented powerhouse about her life and work can be found down below.
1. For the people who might not know you, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Therés Amee and I have my own production company Prowess Productions Inc. I am an actress, model and I have a business background as well. In the art world, I am in film and fashion and, in the corporate world, I am an affiliate in the financial market, mostly involved in International and Public Relations.
2. When did you know you wanted to become an actress/model?
I had been acting since kindergarten in school plays. But it was in the seventh grade when I landed the lead role in a Greek Mythology Play ‘Eros and Psyche.’It was fantastic. I had never felt that kind of adrenaline and high before – being on stage releasing your character. That was when I knew that this is what I love and this was what I had to continue to chase after. I signed with my first agent a year later and started training at the Screen Actors Studio with David Simmons and I joined a theatre company the following year.
3. What did you learn about the industry that you can share with aspiring actors/models?
It is very tough. I know that when we first want to get involved in film and television, it’s a very pretty idea and it can seem very glamorous because we see the red carpets, the events, the magazines. Everyone has this concept of what is like to be a celebrity but they don’t understand how much goes into the production side. There are months, even years of project preparation. Throughout the development stage, numerous conflicts will come your way. Politics, financials, hours and hours of jumping through hurdles and changing your approach. Especially with the #metoo and Time’s Up Movement, there are so many delicate matters now.
I have also worked as a second and third Assistant Director so I’ve been on the other side of the camera and experienced this all first hand. My advice would be to know the industry from all angles: experience acting and modeling, but also go behind the camera, see how everything moves and how everything comes together. It is a tough business so you really need to know if you want to do it.
4. What is the scariest part of an audition?
I don’t really get scared in auditions anymore because it is very liberating to know that there is so much out of your control. You can walk into an audition room and you can be the best actor in the entire world but you might remind the casting director of his ex-wife or you are too tall for the role or too pretty, too brunette and so on. It comes down to all of these things that are out of your control so as soon as you learn and understand that you might not get the role for reasons that are so beyond you and it is not personal, the whole process of auditioning just becomes fun.
5. What are some misconceptions about your job as an actress/model?
I think a lot of people feel that you are high-maintenance or have low intelligence. A lot of the people who I work with don’t know that I have a production company or they don’t know that I am a partner for a venture capitalist company and a public tech company. I don’t really advertise the corporate part of my life. It fuels the roles I play and only provides more authenticity to my character development.
6. What current trend do you hope will go on for a long time?
More equality and parity amongst male and female filmmakers. I love working with women and seeing them on-screen but I don’t want us to saturate the market. I want to see men and women work and be treated equally and in synchronicity. There are a lot of stories about men that are equally as interesting and historically important and the same goes for women because every person brings something new and unique to the table, regardless of their gender.
7. What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
I would say starting my own company. That was a huge step for me and because I was so tired of going under someone else’s company and have somebody else tell me that I was not good enough for a role or I cannot tell this or that story. When I acquired my production company I also acquired the film option rights to a book series called “Backshadow”. I am developing this story from book to screen. On top of everything else, that is what I will continue to develop and bring to life. This story is very timely and relevant to the cross-cultural women issues that cross borders and global boundaries. I am blessed this opportunity came my way.
8. Who are your role models and why?
Gal Gadot is so amazing, not because she is Wonder Woman, though that is awesome as well, but because of what she stands for, where she came from. The fact that she was a model but also served in the army just proves how many angles she has to herself and those experiences shaped her as an actress but also as a philanthropist, as a spokeswoman and so on. I also look up to Kate Blanchett. She is also involved in pledging for parity and was in the grand jury at Cannes this year, she has a production company as well and she is moving forward with a lot of amazing projects. Naomi Watts, Natalie Portman, Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence. These women are not just actresses, they are using their brand and their foundation to tell stories to make a change, a difference, to implement the longevity of growth.
9. What’s the most recent show you’ve binge-watched?
I loved “Scandal” with Kerry Washington. I think that it’s the most controversial political show out there. From implementing the first female president of America to having a black African-American woman as the lead to a gay Vice President – tradition was tested and forward modernizations were empowered.
10. What values are most important to you?
Integrity. This industry will test your integrity on a daily basis. It will test your morals, your values, it will test what you are willing to do. I just worked with Coco Rocha in New York for her model camp and we had a discussion about this very topic. We talked about things that we are willing to do and things that we are not willing to do in the industry. Coco Rocha is very direct with her policy as a SuperModel. She will not model nude, she will not model swimwear and she will not model anything with religious involvement, any flags, anything that has political connotations etc. She knows what she stands for and how she will be perceived as a professional in the modeling world.
11. Do you have a secret talent?
I can do origami, mostly cranes. I do them really quickly. We used to have exchange students from Japan stay with us so they taught me how to do origami growing up. I don’t know if it’s a talent, but I can do it.
12. What do you hope to achieve in the future?
I want to develop the “Backshadow” series from the novel to screen. I want Prowess Production Inc. to have a film fund where I provide funding for stories and projects that I believe in and I would collaborate with like-minded film-makers. I am very big on historical and literary adaptations – based on nonfictional events. Implementing a platform to support and inspire others to tell their stories. To continue the conversation of influential controversies that need to be talked about.
13. What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
Trust in your power. I always knew when I was younger that I was meant to direct, to be some kind of leader but sometimes I would doubt that instinct. Opening up my company has been a huge step towards that advice so I would definitely tell my younger self to accept and embrace her power.
14. What are some causes that are dear to your heart and hope to bring awareness to?
Marine biology was my first love. I used to draw pictures of whales and I would collect everything that had orca whales on it so I am a huge advocate for banning all captivity for whales and any marine center and aquarium everywhere. The Orcinus Project is a movement to help free our whales.
Thank you so much to Therés for agreeing to the interview. She is so talented in everything that she does and you can check her and her work out on:
Photo credit goes to Glorianna Baron