If you imagine a career in show business, what might be some things you want to accomplish? Guest-starring on a network TV show? Starring in feature films in different genres? Using your fame to help others through acts of charity and generosity? Developing your chops as an actor as well as a singer/songwriter? Earning the respect of your colleagues?
Now, imagine doing all those things by the age of 14 – that’s Seanna Pereira. From landing her first movie role at age five, to learning how to speak Arabic in a day for a role, to changing lives through working with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, Seanna has accomplished more than some veterans two or three times her age. With the release of the upcoming suspense thriller “Dead Man Run,” it seems like her remarkable journey is only just beginning.
Splitting her time between her native Florida and Los Angeles, Seanna’s maturity and appeal as both an actor are singer have been evident to those who have been working with her. She held her own sharing scenes with Ron Perlman in the short suspense thriller “Elwood,” and her latest director, Josi W. Konski, raves about her work in “Dead Man Run.” Seanna’s other credits include guest-starring on “24: Legacy” as the daughter of a suspected terrorist; headlining the horror film “Everglade,” where she played twins; and the family-themed “Enchanted Ruby,” where she not only played the title character – a young witch who forms a musical group to compete at a battle of the bands – but also recorded and performed ten original songs.
Equally passionate about music and acting, Seanna has also focused her time volunteering for events hosted by the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, particularly in children’s hospitals, where she connects with young people facing daunting medical challenges. While awaiting the release of “Dean Man Run,” Seanna is also in the process of recording new musical material (including several songs she co-wrote), and planning a “mini-tour” of ten hospitals in support of the Seacrest Foundation’s mission.
With an maturity and charm that belies her years, Seanna continues to achieve her show business dreams, and discover new challenges to be conquered.
It’s easy to dismiss the youngest generation of “digital natives” as products of a new age, where perfecting a selfie and sharing the latest meme have become measures of success and personal expression. But don’t tell that to 14 year-old actor and singer Seanna Pereira, who has already guest-starred on network TV, headlined a few feature films, and become involved with major charity work – even though she still isn’t old enough to get her learner’s permit.
“I’ve always been performing and singing,” says Seanna, who landed her first movie role at the age of five (“a horror movie – it was loads of fun!”). “When I started out, I really looked up to Shirley Temple. She made people happy, and I thought, what a great thing to do!” The Florida native began her career singing at local events and competitions, but also found acting work in independent films, where she proved a quick learner. Pereira’s dark features and mature attitude has allowed her to succeed in a number of genres and play complex roles that are often out of reach for most child actors. At the age of five, she made quite the impression on director Louis Mandylor, who directed her in a small role in the short film “Elwood” (starring Ron Perlman), who describes her as “truly wonderful as a person and a spirit.” On “24: Legacy,” she had a recurring role as Ara Naseri, daughter of a suspected international terrorist (she learned her Arabic-speaking part in a single day). She also had the lead role in the thriller “Everglade” (as twins with dark psychic powers) and the CW military drama “Valor” further showcase her impressive range.
She’s also set to star in another intense drama, “Dead Man Run,” playing a wealthy teenager thrust into a life-or-death struggle when she is kidnapped. “It was a really cool experience – there is so much that happens to this character, and I was able to learn and do new things. I learned stunts, how to shoot a gun, had lots of crying scenes – it was overall an amazing experience.” The film’s director, Josi W. Konski, raves about his star: “Seanna is one of the most professional actors I have ever dealt with in over forty years in the business,” he enthuses. “Her maturity is above and beyond, even at her age; she’s always on time, knows her lines to perfection, follows directions and fully understands her role. Even under harsh conditions, she has a can-do attitude at all times.”
Despite her growing dramatic credentials, Seanna still considers the ideal role the kind that allows her to show off her musical talents. She starred in the family feature “An Enchanted Ruby,” where she played a young witch learning her powers while also leading her grade school buddies to compete in a battle of the bands. For the part, Seanna got to record ten songs for the film. “I love that kind of thing, where you have a little bit of both. It’s not like I prefer acting over singing – but whichever one takes off, them hopefully I’m still happy and able to do the other. She continues to perform in public wherever she can, particularly singing the National Anthem at major sporting events, and she’s going to release some new original songs later this year, including the number “Anything is Possible,” which she co-wrote.
Seanna is also deeply aware that her unique role as a young performer gives her the opportunity to reach young audiences in a special way: she’s deeply committed to connecting to kids in need, and has recently done events for the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, bringing her upbeat personality and message of positivity and promise to children who are suffering the most. “I’ve visited the hospitals in Atlanta and Washington,” she explains, where a special, exclusive screening of “An Enchanted Ruby” was offered to children in isolated medical wards. “I had a chance to meet the kids, take pictures, and sing for them…it breaks my heart to see all of these young people who are so sick, but I could see the effect we had on them. That’s the kind of thing I love to hear – that these kids were happy after being with me.”
“One of the greatest parts of what I do is meeting new people,” says Seanna, who, like many other young people, is also obsessed with clothes, fashion, and the latest musical trends. “Working in this business, the people become like a family. ‘Dead Man Run’ was one of the best experiences because I was on the set with these people every day, working together.”
For now, Seanna is finding ways to further redefine herself and explore her potential: one of her new idols is Natalie Portman, who Seanna sees as a potential role model for her career. “She had that big breakout role in ‘Leon the Professional’ that really launched her, but now she does all the kinds of genres that I would like to do – she does it all!”
She’s also interested in modeling, writing, and especially creating her own music. “I’ve co-written a lot of new songs,” she says, finding that it’s sometimes more satisfying than simply covering the work of others. “When you write a song, it’s more expressive of you, you’re able to put the lyrics in a way that completely relate to you.” She’s still a lyricist and not a composer – she plays a little ukulele and piano – so of course, “I want to learn more about writing music, but as of now, I’m mostly a lyricist.”
With her old-fashioned work ethic, determination to conquer multiple careers, and commitment to making people happy, there’s no doubt that Seanna Pereira is ready for whatever challenge comes next – and no doubt the world will be waiting to see what she will achieve.
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