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Meet Up-And-Coming Actress, Mya McCann

Let me introduce you to Mya McCann. If you don’t know her already, you should start brushing up on her name now because this girl is going places. Outside of being a part of UCSB’s College of Creative Studies and spearheading Her Campus UCSB as a Co-Campus Correspondent, McCann stars alongside Academy Award winner Mo’Nique in the upcoming feature film, “About.”

Name: Mya Joy McCann

Year: Senior

Major: College of Creative Studies literature with an emphases in creative writing. 

1. How did you first get into acting? Has acting always been a passion of yours?

I like stories and I like story telling; that’s why I’m a literature major. Also, I think that the whole world is a stage. Really, society is just theater. I use to be really stand-offish about acting, and I think that was because I was scared. I planned on going to law school and maybe becoming a lawyer. It was a really pragmatic idea and it seemed like the safe, practical route. But I woke up one day and realized that I didn’t hate myself.

2. Tell us a little bit about the feature films you were a part of.

I’ve been in one feature length film. It’s called “About.” It’s sort of like the movie “Crash” because it’s also a drama and it’s about (haha) how different people’s lives intersect and how one life can impact another. Many of the narratives in the movie are adapted from real life stories and Academy Award winner Mo’Nique stars in it. I play Danielle and I’m in one scene with one of the leads. He gets me drunk and we kiss and his girlfriend walks in, of course, and witnesses the naughty encounter. Later, he’s about to jump off a bridge and end it all. I won’t say what happens next.

3. What was the audition process like for “About?”

I’ve auditioned for a few feature length films, one of which was just recommended to me on Netflix, but my audition for “About” was pretty nuanced because it was over Skype. You see, the hardest part is actually getting the audition, so I was pretty stoked at this moment, and my adrenaline was pulsing because I was so excited. I wasn’t flustered or anxious, I was just in a really good mood, so the whole thing flowed really well.
4. What are your plans after college? 
Oh boy. We all love that question, don’t we? I’m going to live ocean side DP during the summer, because I’ve never done that before, and then I’m going to move to LA and fight the good and dirty fight in Hollywood.


5. In your dream scenario, who would star as your love interest in a movie about yourself?

Honestly, you tell me. I have a terrible taste in men. Maybe you can ask me again in a few years. My love story hasn’t been written yet.

6. What is one of the hardest parts of acting, and what is one of the most rewarding parts about acting?

It can be hard to watch yourself sometimes. I can get very much in my head, and I try not to be so critical. But, you know, we’re all pretty hard on ourselves, and we shouldn’t. The most rewarding thing about acting is being able to allow yourself to sink into a suspension of disbelief. It’s fun to pretend, to play. In addition to that, I want to be a positive role model. I know that sounds trite and cliche, but I’m serious. There aren’t very many awesome female role models out there in popular culture. Pop culture is actually pretty hard on women. It would be cool to counteract that.

7. Who are some of your favorite actors, actresses, or directors?

Charlie Chaplin is my man. I watched one of his movies for the first time in an upper division English class here last quarter and it was just so raw and hilarious. I’m a sucker for slapstick humor and there’s a level of sophistication added to it that I appreciate. Chaplin was totally aware of what was going on around him, in his world, in that society. In addition to that, I think Angelina Jolie is a badass and I almost got a matching tattoo as her Sak Yant tattoo, in a Buddhist temple in Thailand, but I decided not to do it. I don’t currently have any tattoos.

8. Is there any one lesson about acting that someone has taught you that has stuck with you?

Oh yeah, definitely. There was a teacher at the Groundlings in Hollywood who would tell us to create a positive affirmation and to recite it to ourselves, in our heads, again and again before a show. It’s the positive affirmation trick, and I try it all the time, and it helps with acting. You can apply that advice to really bleak moments. For example, if you’re playing a character who has cancer and has to announce it at a family dinner, tell yourself that this is really happening, and then compassion and empathy will do the rest.

You can follow Mya McCann on Instagram @MyaJoy

Maya is currently a third year Communications major at UCSB and a San Francisco native. As an previous editorial intern for HC and current Campus Correspondent, Maya loves to write about her NOMtastic food endeavors and the laid back fashion and style of California. With an interest in magazine editorial writing and public relations, Maya plans to pursue these fields as she continues to add a little more spice to every Collegiate’s life!
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