December 16, 2019 Interview – Breana Raquel
Though she is young, Breana Raquel is fierce! A multi-talented actress, singer, and songwriter who has toured the U.S. with High School Nation, this teen titan has also starred in such series as CBS’ popular hits Criminal Minds and SEAL Team, as well as the longest running soap opera, General Hospital. In 2019, she added to her extensive resume when she released her debut EP, Beginner’s Love, and then hit the road with HSN to deliver her music directly to the high schools.
Recently, the hard-working Raquel sat down to discuss her start in acting, Criminal Minds and SEAL Team, musical influences and her debut EP, future goals, and much, much more.
Cryptic Rock – Breana, you’re 19 but you’ve already been acting and singing professionally for six years. What was it about music and entertaining that spoke to you at such a young age?
Breana Raquel – What caught my eye about the entertainment industry is how it moved people. I saw how a popular show, movie or song could reach millions. It’s so awesome to see how someone’s creativity can inspire so many people. I wanted to be a part of that.
Cryptic Rock – That is very true: a great piece of art can inspire millions. So, how did you get your start in acting?
Breana Raquel – I took a lot of classes and workshops in New York to learn about the industry and audition process. I did an improv bootcamp in L.A. one year and that was when I realized I needed to move to L.A. to really pursue my career.
Cryptic Rock – Now you are out there and have had a recurring role as Hannah on CBS’ SEAL Team. What is it like being on the set of that particular series?
Breana Raquel – It’s really cool to see how a professional, high budget set moves. SEAL Team is such an intense series, so there was a more serious vibe but we still had fun. It was a really cool experience and I met a lot of talented people on set.
Cryptic Rock – That’s wonderful, and you’ve also guest starred on a 2018 episode of Criminal Minds. That’s a hugely popular, long-running show. What was that like for you, as a young actress?
Breana Raquel – That was the best time on set, honestly! Matthew Gray Gubler, who plays Reed on the show, was directing, so we had a fun, weird and super creative time filming. I’m still friends with my co-stars from that episode; it was such a fun and loving set. The episode was also Halloween-themed, so it was actually pretty creepy. I’ve been a fan of that show for years, so being able to shoot on the set was so cool.
Cryptic Rock – Working with that cast must have been very exciting. Now, speaking of TV series that are a household name, General Hospital is the longest running American soap opera still in production. Are you interested in getting into soap operas?
Breana Raquel – Shooting General Hospital was definitely a cool experience, but I think my acting style is more grounded than a soap opera calls for.
Cryptic Rock – (Laughs) Understandable. On a more serious note, when you are cast in a series like SEAL Team, Criminal Minds, or General Hospital, you are working with many veteran actors. What have you learned from some of your co-stars?
Breana Raquel – Seeing how smoothly they work and recover if they trip up on a line was incredible. I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks from them along the way. For example, staying in character even when you’re not rolling can drastically change your performance.
Cryptic Rock – That’s an interesting tip, and staying in character must be a challenge in and of itself. That said, obviously you’ve also acted in several short films. Are you looking to get involved with any feature-length films? If so, do you have a specific genre of film that you would like to work on?
Breana Raquel – I would love to do feature-length films—I want to do it all. I’d love to go all the way from Rom-Com to Horror films.
Cryptic Rock – So, a diverse resume for an eclectic young woman? That makes sense, because besides all of this, you are also a talented singer who has released an EP this year entitled Beginner’s Love. What inspired you to write and record this EP in 2019?
Breana Raquel – Beginner’s Love was my debut EP. It was really supposed to be my first real project to help me learn, create and get my name out there. I wrote most of that EP when I was 16. My experiences and “not so much experience,” if you will, inspired me to write Beginner’s Love. It symbolizes my first everything: first music project about my first experiences with romance.
Cryptic Rock – Everyone has to start somewhere and Beginner’s Love is a great beginning—your songs are catchy and universally relatable. Who are some of your musical influences?
Breana Raquel – I definitely pull from Ariana Grande, Kehlani, and Justin Bieber the most.
Cryptic Rock – Those are fairly diverse influences to have. Now, we read that you toured with High School Nation (HSN) in the spring. What was it like bringing your music into the schools?
Breana Raquel – Touring with HSN was amazing. I really came alive and felt like a real artist performing for all those students. I grew as a performer as well doing the tour. I can’t wait to put on my own tour!
Cryptic Rock – That will be a very exciting first to add to your list! To shift gears for a moment, certainly there is a talented young artist who is still in high school and is no doubt reading this. What advice do you have for them for achieving their dreams?
Breana Raquel – Don’t let the amount of work it takes to be successful in this industry take over your love for what you do. It is very easy to lose sight of why you started, and everyone that pays attention to your journey can feel that.
Cryptic Rock – That is solid advice for artists of any age. So, speaking of dreams, what are some of your goals for the future?
Breana Raquel – Some of my goals include starring in multiple movies and series, as well as coming out with new music and touring the world. Aside from my career, I would love to tap into real estate/interior design and start a family.
Cryptic Rock – Oh wow, you will be a very busy woman! Last question. At Cryptic Rock, we cover music as well as movies, particularly Horror and Science Fiction. Are you a fan of either of these genres and, if so, do you have any favorite Horror and/or Sci-Fi movies?
Breana Raquel – Absolutely! My favorite Horror film would be Jennifer’s Body (2009). I like a Horror film that doesn’t have to be taken too seriously—I’m kind of a big baby. For Sci-Fi, I would choose Avatar (2009).