Tiny Author/Actress With Big Dreams!
Makenzie is a 9-year-old award winning author of a children’s book series and an actress. She’s best known for her role as Young Deja Pearson on the hit NBC show, “This Is Us” and stars as herself on the new Netflix show, “Emily’s Wonder Lab”. She has also worked on John Singleton’s “Snowfall”, “Don’t Look Deeper” directed by Catherine Hardwicke, and “Truth Be Told” starring Octavia Spencer.
HI MAKENZIE, IT’S LOVELY TO MEET YOU. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, WHO IS MAKENZIE LEE-FOSTER IN YOUR OWN WORDS?
Hello! It’s lovely to meet you too. Hmmm…it’s kind of weird talking about myself. LOL I would say that I am funny. I love to joke around and I love learning new things. I can sit for hours learning about a topic if it’s something that is interesting to me. I like art and animal a lot. Though, I don’t really like bugs. When I am really into making something happen, I will try my hardest to get to that goal. I like seeing people smile and will do anything I can to help someone have a better day.
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO BEGIN A CAREER AS AN ACTOR?
I think I was always interested in acting because when I would watch kid shows like “That’s So Raven” and “Bunk’d” on TV, they looked so fun! It looked like they had a lot of fun with the other kids on the shows and I wanted that too. I love making new friends and having fun with them.
HOW DO YOU PREPARE IN ADVANCE FOR A ROLE?
Recently roles have been auditioning and casting very fast so there isn’t much time to prepare. For the ones that do give a little more time, I usually start by reading over the script. I try to get a feel for the role and will watch similar movies or shows to get a better feel for what casting might be looking for. If the role is BIG I get a coach to help me with my delivery of the character. I’m getting older so the roles that I audition for now are more complicated and have more lines. Making sure that I am connecting with the character and content is very important.
WHAT HAS BEEN ONE OF THE BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENTS OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
I would have to say that writing my own children’s book was my biggest achievement so far. I did it all on my own…well…with the help of my Mom of course. I used my own money, self-published it, hosted a book lauch event, and went through all of the production process. It was really cool because I had a hand in each step and saw firsthand how my book was created. My book allows me to be myself and interact with other kids.
WHAT IS YOUR PARENTS’ ROLE IN YOUR WRITING AND ACTING LIFE?
My Mom’s role in my writing is basically helping me figure out how to get my book created and supporting me. We had no idea what we were doing when I started my first book. She researched each step in the process as it came up and talked about it with me. Together we decided on the best things for me. When it comes to my acting, my Mom keeps up with my audition schedule, deadlines, and booking dates. The main thing she does is make sure that I’m ok and not being overwhelmed. Making sure that my confidence and self-esteem isn’t hurt in the process is also important to her. My Mom always tells me things that make me happy even when I may not book something that I really wanted.
WHAT BOOK ARE YOU PLANNING ON WRITING NEXT?
My second book is being printed now and I am sooooo excited to share it with everyone. This book has 2 important messages in it that I think other kids can learn from. I hope to have copies in my hands and ready to ship out by December at the latest.
IN THE FUTURE, WHAT TYPE OF ROLE/PROJECT WOULD YOU LOVE TO DO IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE?
Hmmmm… I think any role that allows me to be my normal “silly self” would be cool! I love laughing and making other people laugh. Also, I want to work on a Tyler Perry project. I want to stay on his lot and then visit my family in Atlanta. I also still want to create a cartoon/tv series based on my books AND get an RV and travel the country reading my book to other kids and inspiriting them to follow their dreams…no matter what their current situation looks like.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE ON SET MOMENT WHEN YOU FILMED EMILY’S WONDER LAB?
Well, I really liked all of the times that we got super messy! I think that the entire experience on Emily’s Wonder Lab was my favorite to be honest though! We laughed a lot! I made new friends and got to do what I love every day! SCIENCE! The crew was so nice and we got to learn from a NASA/Science expert…EMILY!
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE EXPERIMENT FROM EMILY’S WONDER LAB?
I actually have two! My favorite experiments from Emily’s Wonder Lab were when we got to walk on a bunch of eggs and when we made a HUGE pool of slime! I actually always wanted to swim in a pool of slime but I knew my Mom wouldn’t let me use her bigger bathtub to do it. LOL I never thought about walking on eggs though. So, when I walked onto the set and saw that experiment, I couldn’t wait to see what Emily was going have us do!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FIRST BOOK AND WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE IT?
My first book “Kickin’ It With Kenzie – What’s Meant For Me Will Be” actually follows me through a journey to figure out what I want to be/do. Nothing is working though. Every idea I have goes wrong. At the end I realize that I can have these ideas of what I want to be but I can’t get sad when they don’t work because I’m still young. I need to do things and learn things to get where I want and what’s meant for me will be. The idea for my book came from reading books and wanting to put a positive message out for other kids too. I wanted kids to see that another kid was dealing with things that they might be dealing with too.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SUBJECT IN SCHOOL?
My favorite subject in school is definitely SCIENCE! I could do experiments and build things all day if my Mom let me. I also LOVE art! I think I have about 10 drawing books in random places in the house and our car. That way I can just pick one up and draw wherever I am.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO KIDS WHO WANT TO PURSUE A CAREER IN ACTING?
Don’t give it! If acting is what you really want to do, keep at it. It isn’t always easy and you might audition for a lot of things before you get that role you always dreamed of but keep going! Also, don’t take things personal. If you get advice from casting or your agent, take it. They are there to help you.