What Are Your
With Brooke Trantor
Introduce yourself! Who are you?
I’m Brooke Trantor, an actor living in Los Angeles, CA. I am originally from Quincy, Illinois. I have been acting since the age of three; once I started, I never stopped! I graduated with a BFA in Acting from Illinois Wesleyan University, and then moved to Los Angeles immediately after that. I also studied at The British American Drama Academy (BADA) in London where I fell in love with Shakespeare and high tea. My true love is improv; I started studying at the age of 13, and continued to study in LA at Second City, UCB, The Groundlings, and iO West.
What is one thing no one really knows about you?
I am terrified of frogs, and prefer they are approximately 30 feet away from me (at LEAST) at all times.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My parents always told me to do what I love, with all of my heart. So, I have!
What would you say to 16-year-old you?
All of the pain, all of the tears, all of the anxiety and dark days will be worth it. Because it will give you the strength to do things you never knew possible. Keep going. It’s all part of the big picture.
What is your greatest fear?
I fear losing my loved ones. It is a pain I have experienced before, and no matter how much time goes by, it is the greatest pain.
Have you ever had anyone doubt you? How did that make you feel?
Sure, I have! I think that is part of living for your dreams. People become skeptical and scared of that kind of bravery and courage. I was lucky enough to be raised in a home that fully supported me and my dreams since day one, so anyone else who doubted me along the way didn’t really bring me down. If anything, it probably gave me fire under my ass to work even harder for what I want.
What message do you think every woman should hear?
You are enough. You are more than enough. Everything about you is exactly the way it should be. Any power or strength you want out of this life, you must realize you already possess. It is just a matter of letting it go, freeing that power to do extraordinary things. And I promise you… we are ALWAYS stronger together.
What is your favorite thing about where you live?
I love living in a city that is full of artists, full of people following their dreams. Whenever I have down days, I remember this, and there is intense inspiration in that knowledge. I am incredibly lucky to live in a city, and be in an industry entirely backed by collaboration, imagination and make believe.
What do you love most about yourself?
I love my tenacity – I never give up on something I truly believe in. I also love my heart and ability to love others. Empathetic love will save the world.
Do you remember a specific time you overcame adversity?
Oh, goodness. There are many times. I suppose the one that stands out the most was about five years ago. I was doing what I loved: acting, writing, performing weekly, living it up in my twenties and trying to hold everything together. But it was all too much. I spread myself way too thin (a pattern in my life) and became very depressed. I started struggling with anxiety, too, and didn’t know where to turn. Usually my parents and friends help me through those dark times, but most of them are so far away (in the Midwest), and I felt helpless. But then I reached out to my acting coach and a few very close Los Angeles friends, and I was able to devise a strategy to get help. I started back up with a therapist, put my health (physical, emotional, and spiritual) first, and worked really, really hard. There are still ups and downs, but by putting myself first I have learned that it is most necessary to do so if I also want to help others.
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned along the way?
I think I am continually reminded that our intuition is our greatest power. You must listen to it, use it. I would say my intuition is about 98 percent correct. So, it seems to be foolish to go against it. And yet, sometimes I still do.
Why do you love to travel?
Traveling is an actor’s addiction. I love travelling to experience other cultures and observe other ways of life. I love people. I find them fascinating. I travel whenever I can – it truly is addicting. And to be working on a film or show while traveling? Icing on the cake.
What motivates you most?
My family motivates me the most. I want to make them proud. I am also motivated by women right now – so many stories being told from women all over the world. I hope to use my passion of filmmaking and storytelling to engage with other women and their stories that need to be told.
How do you manage your work-life balance?
It’s really hard. Really, really hard. As an actor, I feel like I can never turn that side of my brain off. I am constantly working on new projects, writing and reading new scripts. So, I trust my friends when they say we need a Girl’s Night Out. They are always right. Also, when I feel myself overextending myself, I try to look at my schedule and make massive cuts. Otherwise I regret my full schedule and will work myself until I am almost sick. This is normal, right? (Don’t answer that! Haha.)
What is your favorite meal?
I have become obsessed with tacos since moving to Los Angeles. Steak tacos on corn tortillas with avocado and cilantro, probably some fresh jalapenos. With a side of red wine. COME ON. The best.
Most days consist of tons of fresh Farmer’s Market veggies and lean protein sources. Nothing beats the tacos!
What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I have a daily morning routine. I swear by it. It presents a sense of stillness and growth every day. I wake up very early (usually around 5:00am) and I journal, meditate, and have spiritual time (prayer, devotions, etc) before the rest of the world rises. There is something magical about starting my day with this practice before the birds even chirp. Mornings are not for everyone, but it is honestly when I am most alert and present in my day.
If you weren’t doing the job you have now, what would you be doing?
I honestly have no idea. I was a child that was very determined to do and get what she wanted. And look at me now – I’m doing it. I got it. I really have never known anything else.
What is something on your bucket list?
To write a one-woman show. It’s already in my brain, I just have to get it on paper. And to travel MUCH MUCH more!
Have you ever had an extraordinary experience? Describe it!
I have had many extraordinary experiences. Too many to note. Some people call these ‘coincidences’, but I just don’t buy that. When extraordinary things happen that seem too good to be true, that is the world telling you, you are exactly where you are meant to be.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find my greatest inspiration by watching other actors. I see movies constantly. I go to as much live theatre as I can. I find inspiration in any art, so I am always looking for the next exhibit or album to listen to. I also find incredible inspiration in being around people; I love that I can live in a neighborhood where I can walk around and observe so many different kinds of people. It makes my heart race, I just love it.
What are your biggest passions?
My biggest passions right now are lifting other women up through art. I believe this is a time where women are finally having their voices heard and heard loudly. I love working with women and supporting them. I think we are all so much more similar than society wants us to believe. The more women I get to know, the more similarities I see. And I think that is where we get our strength – from each other. The more we support and lift one another up, the stronger we become. I am so excited to be in pre-production of my next short film (I wrote it, and I will be producing, directing and starring in it), and I have taken on an entire female cast and crew. I could not be more excited to collaborate with other women that relate to the story I am telling, and who are just as passionate as I am to have the story be told. It’s truly exhilarating.
More About Brooke
Brooke Trantor is an actor living in Los Angeles, who has also found joy in writing, producing, and directing her own content. Originally from Illinois, she is known for her charm, love of storytelling, tenacity and work ethic. After receiving her BFA from Illinois Wesleyan University and studying Shakespeare at The British American Drama Academy (BADA), she packed up her car and moved to Los Angeles. Immediately getting involved in the improv community, she performed and studied at Second City Hollywood, UCB, The Groundlings, and iO West. After seven years in Los Angeles, she continues to study her craft, and has found a love for filmmaking. Brooke is currently working on her fourth self-produced short film, which she wrote and will direct and star in. Brooke has a passion for working with other fierce women in the film industry, and plans to continue to build women up through the art of storytelling.