Interview with Esabella Strickland

Described as a “Renaissance Girl” for her multitude of talent. 15-year-old Esabella A.K. Strickland is a Multi Award-Winning Filmmaker and Screenwriter, Award-Winning Actress, Media Host, and Writer. Esabella is also an Artist, and GenZ Influencer based out of Vancouver, BC. She is a young, raw talent who is a learning disability advocate and empowering figure against bullying through the arts.

Esabella starred in local indie short films Enlightenment, Things You Take, and Arthurs Gift. She also co-wrote, co-directed, and starred in the Short Film My Red Ball and The Notebook through the Young Movie Makers Program. My Red Ball handles themes of bullying, written through Esabella’s own life experience, it has gone to appear in over 60 International Film Festivals, winning at 10 of them.

Esabella has also made appearances on local productions of Travelers, Goodboys, and Series of Unfortunate Events. She recently landed a role on a California milk commercial and a role on an unannounced feature film that will appear in theatres in spring 2022. Esabella is also the youngest member and supporter of Women In TV and FIlm Vancouver. 

Esabella has won several film festival awards for her feature film screen adaptation of her Novel Then and There, Here and Where. including winning the grand prize of $250,000 US at the Your Script Produced Screenwriting contest. She was also behind the camera for A Conversation with E which was made through the CineLab Filmmaking Camp. A Conversation with E is already a film festival winner and fan favorite. Esabella also teamed up with Paul Greene to help produce her first independent short film A Dialogue with Pandora.  

Esabella recently joined Graisland Entertainment as a GenZ  Screenwriter. Esabella is collaborating with Producer and Screenwriter Michael Grais (Poltergeist) on the next generation of Horror Films including their feature film Death Noise. Michael Grais is also the producer on the Feature FIlm Adaptation of Then and There Here and Where – A Orabella the Oracle Saga 

Esabella had the honour of co-hosting the 53rd and 54th annual Variety Show of Hearts Telethon as their Youth Ambassador and was recently invited back to host the 55th Telethon in 2021. Esabella was an EveRiathing red carpet host to support the 2019 Joey awards. Esabella was the ambassador and host for Geektopia 2019 to help raise money for the Amanda Todd Legacy. Esabella is also the ambassador and virtual host for the 2020 Meowfest to help raise money for the Langley Animal Protection Society, and Regional Animal Protection Society.

Esabella was invited to the 2019 Adobe Summit as an Adobe insider and speaker. She was the young influencer to attend the Las Vegas event and was in the top 10 in Social Media Engagement during the week of the Summit. Many were impressed by her empathy, compassion and insight of a Genz’r

Esabella has finished co-writing her first Young Adult Novel. Then and There, Here and Where, which was published March 2nd, 2021. The main character of the book; Orabella has a learning disability while learning to become a heroine. Esabella’s goal is to have girls feel connected and empowered by Orabella. It has appeared #1 on Amazon’s hot new release list. 

As an artist, she is a painter, drawer, and a jean pocket painter for celebrities and special orders of which 10% of sales go towards local charities 

Esabella has worked hard to train herself with techniques she uses to deal with both her anxiety, ADHD, and dyslexia, Through this process she’s discovered what she calls her two superpowers, memorizing and a higher level of sensitivity towards others, including the characters she plays, She has also trained herself with mindfulness and grounding techniques to cope with her anxiety – something she hopes to pass onto those whom she works with.

For those who aren’t familiar, please tell us a little about yourself like where you are from and how you got started as an actress?

hi i am esabella strickland i am 15 years old, and i actually got started acting when i was in grade 5 and my drama teacher said i should join the musical theatre program at arts umbrella, which i did for 3 years i switched over to the drama theatre program.

 What’s been your favorite showbiz moment so far?

oh it will always be my first role playing a younger version of the main character in the short film Enlightenment, Everybody on set was amazing and i loved the experience which helped me build my confidence

And your most challenging or difficult?

oh that would be not getting the role you really want, no matter how prepared you are and knowing you did your best but it was not good enough hurts alot but you keep going until your role comes along


What’s your secret to get ready for auditions and not be nervous in the room?

have fun and not take it seriously, 

Who’s been the most famous person you’ve met?

oh onset that would be Erick McCormack when we were on the Show Travelers, in Person i would have to say Serinda Swan, We had tea together and she gave me some amazing advice.I would also say Emily Hampshire who I had a Zoom call with who also gave me some amazing advice.  

You just released a new book, which is very exciting. How long have you been writing?

Oh it took 5 years lots of edits and re-writes it was very challenging but i am happy with the outcome

Tell us all about your new book!

Oh its a bit about me but more about a girl you can relate to, A girl with Adhd, dyslexia and social anxiety who finds out a family secret


Why is the title Then and There Here and Where?

Well it is about time travel and the secrets Orabella learns about herself

I noticed a credit for Michael Strickland. Is that your Dad? How did he help you with the book?

Yes my dad helped with research regarding historical facts and was also my scribe as he helps write out the stories in my head

Is the Orabella character based on you?

Yes a part of her, the part where she is bullied and socially alienated in school because of her learning differences.

How are you similar and different to her?

Well the part we are similar is our learning challenges and how we are perceived socially because of it, having ADHD, dyslexia is not a disability it is just a different way of learning. She is different because she is born with special powers. 

Where can people buy it?

oh go to my website www. orabellatheoracle.com and you will find all the links to your favorite book stores

 
Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.

i have done barrel racing and i am really shy 

Favorite social media platform and least favorite?

Fav is TikTok because i love the short videos which is great for my adhd brain, the worse is facebook because its facebook lol

What is your biggest secret fear?

public embarrassment because i have been traumatized when i was younger so i am still working on overcoming it 

If you could live anywhere In the world, where would you pick?

I would say Japan because i love Japanese food or Paris 

Favorite flavor of ice cream?

Neopolitan ice cream as its my 3 favorite flavors together 

Biggest pet peeve?

When people lie or they know better 

What else are you working on or have coming up next?

I am working on another feature film urban legend horror with Michael Grais and a TV Series Pilot with another writer. We start production on Death Noise in the Fall. 

Thank you my instagram is @esabellakarena @orabellatheoracle @agbhonourfilms

Actress | Vancouver | Esabella Karena
Online Book Store | Orabella The Oracle | British Columbia

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