Inspiring Artists Stories
Today we'd like to introduce you to Chloe Hubbard (she/her)
Current Location: Huntington Beach, Ca
Chloe, thank you for taking the time to share your story. Could you start by telling us a little about yourself?
I have been surrounded by music from a very young age. My mother was a professional performer who taught music at schools in my area for a large portion of my childhood. In elementary school, my favorite class was music, and we would perform little educational musicals each year. My music teacher there was also very adamant that we learn instruments, so I learned how to play the keyboard and the ukulele by age 10.
In middle school, I began participating in the school musicals each year, run by Tim Nelson, as well as the school show choir. That led me to audition for HBAPA, which I attended for all four years of high school. I majored in musical theatre and minored in dance, specifically participating in the tap ensemble. I was given many opportunities to hone specific skills I had always wanted to, such as classical vocal technique and dance. I even got to teach tap tech my junior and senior year, which showed me how much I enjoy teaching and working with other people.
After high school, I attended OCC and received my Associates in just 2 years. The pandemic made it quite difficult, especially since I was a biology major for my first semester lol! I made sure to focus on classes that were different from what I learned in high school. For example, I took an acting for film class, a special effects makeup class, a scenic design class, and took part in the student run theatre program where I got to direct and compose for some of the on campus plays. I really found my love of acting through that school, and really hunkered down on dance at OCC as well, falling completely in love with ballet. I was enrolled in at least two dance classes every semester for the two years I was there, including the summer semester.
After graduating, I felt I was really well prepared to begin auditioning for some acting work. My teachers were very complimentary of my skills and gave me many resources to jump in right away. I was never very good at school, always wanting to be working instead. I began working and saving my money at age 15, so I was very motivated to get my life started. However, I made a promise to my family to finish my Bachelor's degree.
Funny enough, during the pandemic I made some new friends and repaired old relationships with several people in my life who happened to be musicians. One friend in particular is a home producer, and I happened to be over at his house while he was working one night. He was struggling to finish the lyrics to a song, so I offered to try and help. He told me that night that I was actually really good with words and should experiment some more. Shortly thereafter, I met the lead guitarist in a local band and we became great friends. He came across writer's block as well, and in January of 2021 I helped him get through it. He asked if I could help him out regularly and I immediately accepted. I have been writing for them ever since.
Another friend asked me to feature on a song on his new album. I came over to record and it was great, but he got stuck on the production during the mastering process. I offered some suggestions that he ended up loving, jump starting my passion for production as well. When it came time to apply for schools last Spring, I applied to all acting schools because I thought that was the obvious choice. But, Berklee College of Music popped up in my research process. I saw that they had an online program for songwriting and production. I decided to apply and was accepted.
After careful consideration and discussion with my acting teachers, I found that I didn't really need any more schooling for acting. So, I decided to learn something new with this program, fulfilling my promise and gaining a new skill. Throughout this whole time, I have been working for several Princess Party companies. For the past year and a half or so, I have been with Creative Parties for Kids. During the pandemic, they happened to open a storefront in a mall. I was chosen to be store manager right away, and then was shortly thereafter promoted to casting director for the company. I am very grateful for such a big opportunity at my age.
The life of an Artist can be a hard one. Can you tell us what you think are the biggest barrier(s) or challenges to you being an artist, and how you've worked or are working to overcome them?
General challenges have definitely been the change in the way the industry works and the lack of that same change in the education we are offered. What I mean by that is, while in college I discovered the total switch to online auditioning and networking. Even before the pandemic, the selection process has been slowly moving to completely online. There are no more open calls, or in person meetings.
While in an arts program, I feel like I was only prepared for in person auditioning. There was no discussion of how to make a compelling tape, or what programs to use to find auditions. It wasn't until college that I was given the knowledge and resources to become a working actor in the modern industry. I also feel that there is still a huge stigma around chasing the arts as a life path. My mental health really took a hit my first semester of college, being pushed towards an academic major "just to be safe." It wasn't until I hit a really low point that I found the confidence to choose my happiness.
What piece of advice would you share with the next generation of Artists?
If I could give any advice to upcoming artists, I would say this: Everyone's paths are different, so learn as much as you can, try everything, and don't be discouraged by others successes or failures. Happiness, in my opinion, is the true success in life. Making a life for yourself as an artist is very challenging and it can be a long road, but as long as you are comfortable moving around and trying different areas, you will find a place to be successful. Don't focus on becoming world famous, focus on being versatile, trying new things, and making good relationships. Those are the skills that will last and bring you success. I got into a top music school by chance because my friend encouraged me to try songwriting for fun. That was a totally unexpected turn for me, but it's something I love that I never would have found if I locked myself in the acting box.
Can you tell us about your creative process when creating Art?
My creative process stems from my current mental state and spiritual status. As someone who struggles with mental health issues, a big reason I love songwriting or creating art in general is because of the release it offers. It really is free therapy. I keep my notes on my phone open, or a physical journal with me at all times because my feelings hit me whenever they feel like it. I used to try to push down emotions when I was in the middle of something, but now I just pull out my notes and write it all down as thoroughly as I can. I think there is so much content to be created about the way our brains work and process. I am also a spiritual person, and I have noticed that when I dissect the way my brain processes things, I feel so human. It is so important for me to feel connected to the natural energy flow that exists. It is how I regulate my own energy. Anxiety and overthinking is my biggest struggle, so giving myself over the creative process when I am in that space is so helpful and helps me recenter. I would say my biggest thing is just giving myself over to my emotions when they come rather than waiting until it's convenient to write about it. I think that causes the final product to be too general and incomplete in description.
Creating a community can be beneficial as an Artist. Do you have a network of other artists you rely on? In what ways do you support each other?
I absolutely have a network that I connect with deeply. They are the reason I am at a music school right now. If they hadn't asked me for help with their writer's block I would've never tried. What I enjoy is that we also are constantly connecting each other with other people and encouraging each other's versatility. We all like to try new styles and we connect each other with new contacts whenever we can. There is no selfishness to it, just love and support.
Who has influenced you the most on your journey as an Artist? Where do you draw inspiration from when creating Art?
People in my personal life who inspire me are definitely my friends who are a part of my network, specifically Trevin Stephenson. He not only openly discussed his many different attempts to be an artist, but encouraged me to try everything I could. He taught me there is no harm in trying. He also taught me how wonderful spirituality can be as an artist. Professionals in the industry include Julia Michaels and Harry Styles. Julia started as a small writer and worked with many big artists. She learned from them, selflessly being a part of the industry. When she became a solo artist, she had developed incredible writing and production abilities. My last general inspiration would be poets. Poets are wonderful artists to look to because they are so honest but so artistic about it. I love that their art is like a puzzle.
How do you seek out new opportunities to create?
I honestly just never say no. Especially as a young person who has just picked up a bunch of skills in different areas, if there is a job that interests you or that you could learn from, take it. You are destined to learn something new or meet someone important, therefore it is never a waste of time to try.
What do you consider to be your greatest, professional or personal, achievement?
My greatest professional achievements would be directing and composing for a play at OCC, being promoted to casting director, being mentioned on Apple music as a musician, and getting into Berklee. My biggest personal achievements have been overcoming the anxiety that surrounds my future. I would have never been able to achieve any form of success or personal fulfillment if I hadn't gotten out of my head. I can confidently say that I am finally proud of myself, which was not the case for a long time.
What are your hopes, either personal or overall, for the future of the Arts & Entertainment industry?
I would love to be a working actor in any facility, whether it is in television, short films, feature films, etc. I would just love to be working when I can. I would love to become a songwriter and join the union so I can publish demos. Hopefully that will transition into being asked to join live studio sessions where I can collaborate and learn from other musicians. I would eventually really like to be a part of a writing team for an artist long term. I would love to be in a solid group of people that I create well with.