( ENSPIRE Feature ) Christine Horn is Transforming the Entertainment Industry one Passion Project at a Time
ENSPIRE Contributor: Kaitlyn Cruz
Christine Horn is a Bronx, New York native, as well as a Broadway, film, and television actress, a career coach for actors, and an author who brings passion to every project. With over 20 years of experience, Christine has graced stages across the U.S. with the various touring companies of Disney’s “The Lion King” and has performed for President George W. Bush at the White House. Her Film/TV credits include a variety of powerful performances, such as her roles in Snowfall, The Good Doctor, American Crime Story, Terminator: Dark Fate, Blackish, Good Girls, Bosch, Mom, S.W.A.T., Timeless, Triple Frontier, NCIS, and Ray Donovan just to name a few.
Horn expresses her love of music. She started her own record label and production company (Chocolate Superstar Productions) and released two successful albums on iTunes: her debut album, “Walk With Me” and “Therapy.” Christine expands the boundaries of soul music through her unique use of melody and language. When she’s not performing, Christine spends her time as a career coach for actors to give back to the community.
ENSPIRE spoke with Christine about a few of her projects and experiences in the industry.
What drives your passion for acting, and how do you bring depth and authenticity to your performances?
I’ve always wanted to be an actor since I was a young child, and have been professionally acting since I was 16. My passion for acting came naturally, from playing dress-up to practicing short monologues. Growing up in The Bronx in New York City, I was always very creative. Being passionate about acting is not something that feels like work; it is just a part of me.
To bring depth and authenticity to my performances, I take great pride in doing deep character development. My goal is to craft layered and multi-dimensional characters; my goal is always, to tell the truth about whatever character I’m playing so that I can use my imagination and bring my characters to life in an impactful way. And I believe that brings authenticity to my roles.
What attracts you to diverse roles like those in BMF, Snowfall, and “Fools Paradise,” and how do you prepare for such complex characters?
I love all kinds of roles. Like many actors, I love getting to try on different types of personalities and people. So, what attracted me to playing Mabel in BMF, was the fact that I had not played a role like her before. Mabel was confident, sexy, and a leading lady, but she also had a lot of mystery, pain, and hurt. My goal was to see how I could bring Mabel’s humanity forward because I knew a role like hers, on the surface, is just a home wrecker, which was evident by how the public perceived her, and it’s true; she was a home wrecker. For this role, I wanted to tell a deeper story, even in how I delivered my lines. I had to create layers and a backstory for Mabel that gave her more than one note of just being someone terrible, but maybe being someone who has had bad things happen to her, and now this is how she lives her life.
In Snowfall, playing Black Diamond attracted me because this woman was from the streets. She was a bounty hunter, a stripper, and just the pulse of Snowfall. I have been a fan of Snowfall since season one, and of course, of John Singleton. To be a part of his legacy was truly a dream come true.
Fool’s Paradise was a lot of fun. Charlie Day was enjoyable to work with, and I had already worked with him once before on an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. So, to be a part of his first directorial debut for a feature film he wrote and directed was awesome. It was quite a challenge not to laugh during filming because he’s so brilliant in his comedy.
Preparing for these roles involves developing deep character development. I figure out how the character walks, talks, and their backstories. I write a complete character biography so that I get to know these characters in and out almost as well as I know myself; it is a lot of fun.
What inspired you to become a career coach for actors, and what advice do you have for aspiring actors looking to break into the industry?
When I moved back to Los Angeles in 2017, I began doing daily live videos on Facebook. I didn’t even initially intend to be an acting coach, and I was starting it more like a vlog. But what happened as I went live every day? People would begin raising their hands, start commenting to ask questions, and then inquire about coaching, and it just turned into a business from there, out of necessity.
My biggest advice for aspiring actors is first to declare that you want to do it. Declare that you are an actor, even if you’re still working a nine-to-five, or if you’re in school. If you’re starting as a total newbie, declare it! Just own the fact that it’s something you want to do. The next thing is to get into an introductory acting class. I think just learning the craft of acting is essential. If someone wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer, or a teacher, they had to go to school for that. They have to learn the fundamentals of that industry.
I advise new actors to get into an acting class to start. I also have a resource called How to Start Acting. On the website, howtostartacting.com is a free video series that I put together for aspiring actors to watch and get started on.
How does your music complement your artistic expression, and how do you balance your acting and music endeavors?
I am also a singer and have two albums out on iTunes and Spotify. My debut album, Walk With Me & my sophomore album, Therapy. I love music and use music a lot in my character development. As I’m preparing to film a TV show or a movie, I always love to find theme music and soundtracks for my characters.
Balancing my acting and my music endeavors has not been easy, to be honest, because I have become laser-focused. I never had a big dream of having a record deal; I love to sing, and I’ve done musical theater. Singing is just a part of me, but acting has always been at the forefront of my priorities.
What was it like performing for President George W. Bush at the White House, and how did that experience impact your career and perspective on the arts?
I was blessed to perform for President George W. Bush when I was in the Broadway company of The Lion King. They asked a select group of us, not the entire cast, but a small group, to come. I was very honored to be a part of that list.
Who knew as a little girl that I would one day perform at the White House for the President? It impacted my career because it’s just something nice to cross off the bucket list, but also the fact that my dreams came true. Anytime I get to do anything as an actor on a large scale; I want to pinch myself. I’m just always so grateful for these fantastic opportunities.
What changes or improvements do you hope to see in the representation and opportunities for diverse actors, and how do you contribute to creating a more inclusive industry through your work and advocacy?
I pray we continue to have more people from diverse backgrounds telling their stories. That’s where the change happens.
I contribute to creating a more inclusive industry by taking jobs that speak to me in a different way that represents me as a black woman in America. Being very aware of what I feel are ridiculous stereotypes or taking roles I think are pushing the envelope and expanding people’s minds and beliefs. Art is a life-changer. It changes the way we think and the way we deal with each other as humans. So I don’t take that lightly, but I also like having fun. I think part of expanding our representation is not saying that everything a particular subset of people do, has to be heavy drama all the time. It can be fun, and it can be a comedy; it can be light.
It’s just a mix of more writers coming to the forefront, producing their own work. That’s something I want to do also, as I have more time to create more opportunities that will tell my story the way I want it to be told. But I am pleased with the progression we have. We’re not all the way there yet, but we have certainly come a long way. Streaming platforms have created more opportunities for new content, which has helped.
In an industry that often presents challenges and obstacles, how do you maintain a positive mindset and promote inclusivity in your work and interactions with others?
This industry always presents challenges and obstacles, but I also think that’s just life. I tell actors, especially new actors, that this industry is filled with rejection; that’s why you have to love the craft. If you’re not acting for the love of the art, it’s going to be a challenging journey because there are going to be many days you want to quit and throw in the towel. You have to love it to stay in it.
I maintain a positive mindset by working on my perspective daily. For example, I call myself a Booking Magnet, a student of the law of attraction. I believe we are all attracting everything to us daily. So the deeper I got into those studies, I understood I was a magnet, and I decided I could attract bookings also. I look in the mirror, and I say that to myself every day, I am a booking magnet. And then things must align with that energy.
Whenever anybody meets me, talks with me, or sees me on Instagram or TikTok, they feel my positive energy. They feel my light. That is what I know I’m offering the world. I’m leaving a legacy of hope and inspiration. I’m standing as a beacon of light for people and as an example of what is possible. Being a positive force and influence in this industry can be a ripple effect. Each one, teach one, each one, help one, each one, give a tip that can save me five years. That’s the key to passing the torch.
Can you talk about being from the Bronx and what part did that play in what you aspired to be?
I grew up in “THE BRONX” on 233rd & White Plains Road in New York. I grew up with a single mom, and I was very independent. There are so many characters in New York City; whether on the bus, train, or walking down the street, you’ll see some interesting people. You’re going to hear some interesting conversations. You’ll meet people from all walks of life and learn much about their cultures. Growing up in the Bronx offered me this incredible landscape of characters daily. I would often study people, and I still do that. But every day was not easy.
Growing up in New York can be very gritty, and you can grow up quickly in certain areas. But I think it all helped me to become the person who I am today, and I have no regrets at all. I am so grateful for how The Bronx will forever be in my heart.
Christine Horn’s passion and dedication ultimately enrich and fuel her craft. Whether it be through acting or music, she desires to bring authenticity and positivity to each project. She seeks to bring deep character development to each role and strives to take on roles that align with the impact she desires to make. Horn emphasizes the importance of truly loving what you do so that you can easily overcome when obstacles or challenges arise. She gives back to the community by being a career coach and mentor, through which she shares her wisdom and expertise with others. Through her acting, singing, writing, producing, and coaching, Christine Horn is determined to make a difference in the entertainment industry.