With today’s entertainment culture including such modern phenomenas as YouTube and Reality Television, there seems to be a misguided idea that anybody can be a star immediately. No longer is fame the result of talent. Entertainment is at risk of no longer being an art form with talented people who struggle for their craft. Now it’s about having your video go viral, or winning a contest due to a popular vote, or shocking a world audience with vulgar behavior. The result has been a sea of star struck kids that want to become famous, but don’t necessarily want to work for it. Thankfully Athena Baumeister is not one of those teenagers. Although still in high school, the Burbank based teen knows that success isn’t something you are handed over night. It is something you develop through time and talent. But, a virtual film prodigy, Athena has been developing that craft for years already. Making her directing debut at the age of twelve, Athena has already directed two films, been the star of a number of short projects, has worked as a writer and production assistant, been featured on two web-series and has become a regular on the LA improv stage. Now Athena is being featured in her biggest project to date as the star of the independent Christmas film Monster & Me.
Moving around most of her life, Athena started acting at the age of eight in student film projects at the Florida State University Film School. Being around aspiring film students at such a young age must have had an impact on Athena who wrote and directed her own short film, Who’s Suffering More, at the age of twelve. The film would go on to win the Providence Children’s Film Festival’s Prize Winning Short Film award. A year later Athena’s second film, Caroline’s Crush, would win the top prize in her age group at the Kids and Teen Filmmakers Awards. Following in the shoes of icons such as Orson Welles, Charlie Chaplin, Woody Allen, Jodie Foster and Clint Eastwood, Athena Baumeister isn’t just satisfied to be in front of the camera. She aspires to be behind it as well.
Although competition has been tight since her move to Burbank, Athena is now in the center of where things happen which lead her to Monster & Me. A quirky Christmas tale that combines Mean Girls with Beauty and the Beast, Monster & Me is Athena’s first crack as lead actress in a feature length film and has moved her away from the horror shorts, in which she appeared in previously, into a comedic role. I had the great pleasure to talk to Athena about her latest film, her accomplishments and her future aspirations.