Whether a series lasts one year or ten years, the experience gained on set in a working environment is a tireless effort. The child actor is expected to interact with adults on a professional level. Learning from scratch on how to prepare for a role, how to behave on set, even to adjusting your schedule to wake up at 4am, is no easy task.
Straight from the mouth of a seven year old, let’s learn about Pyper Braun’s behind the scenes life as an actor!
You recently played Chloe on Netflix’s series Country Comfort, which stars Katharine McPhee. Tell us about your audition.
The audition process was really fun. My auditions were in person. I had to memorize pages of lines and prepare a song to sing. I was brave and sang in front of the show’s creator Caryn Lucas. I walked out of the audition feeling amazing. At the callback they asked for more lines to be memorized and I had to speak in a southern accent. My mom helped me learn the accent in one day while we were shopping. The last audition was a mix and match at Netflix where I got to meet Jamie Martin Mann who plays Brody on the show. A few weeks later my manager Facetimed me and told me I booked the job. I screamed and was jumping around because I was so excited.
Pyper Braun, Jamie Martin Mann, Griffin McIntyre, Shiloh Verrico, Ricardo Hurtado
In Country Comfort, you’re one of five siblings, all ranging in different ages. What do you and your fellow “siblings” do when you’re filming but there’s a big break in between scenes?
It was really nice to have other kids on set to play with. Each of us had our own dressing room in one long hallway. Several times a day I would run up and down the hallway to get some exercise and make sure everyone was awake! During rehearsal and filming we didn’t have a lot of time for breaks, but when we did we were all allowed to play together. Sometimes we danced before filming. Ricardo Hurtado would put a puppet on his hand from the set and make me laugh. Griffin McIntyre had all the cool toys and would share with us. Shiloh Verrico and I liked going to crafty to get candy! The hair and makeup rooms were at the end of the hallway and they were always happy to play with me and listen to my jokes. Some of the crew would also sing and dance with us! When we came back to finish filming after Covid we couldn’t play together anymore. Table reads, school, breaks and lunch were all done in our dressing rooms. I brought toys to set and played music in my dressing room. My mom and I would color, play cards and games. It was still fun to be at set and see everyone.
You’ve been in show business since you were four years old, before you even started school. Once you became school age, did you attend in-person school or are you home schooled? How does school work when you are on set?
I go to a year round public school. When I’m on set I have a teacher who does school with me every day. Before Covid we had a school trailer with our own desks that we decorated. My set teacher works with my regular school teacher to make sure I’m learning everything and getting all my homework done. Set teachers are the best! They always make it fun, even when the work gets tough. When I’m done filming I go back to public school.
What happened when you lost a baby tooth and your new tooth didn’t grow in yet. Did you have to alert your manager and agent and have to send them a new picture? Does losing baby teeth prevent you from getting auditions and jobs? What about if you need braces in the future?
When we were home during the pandemic I lost my two bottom front baby teeth. My mom told my manager and Caryn Lucas, the show’s creator. It didn’t stop me from getting a job because we weren’t working during the pandemic, but it can. Some jobs require that you have all your teeth. Caryn didn’t mind that I lost some teeth when filming started again. I still looked like myself! The writers wrote in a joke about me losing my teeth but then took it out later in rehearsal. I grew two inches while filming too. I wonder if anyone noticed when they were watching the show!
You’ve done modeling and were even on toy boxes! What’s it like during a typical modeling shoot?
The modeling shoots that I have done are really fun. I usually bring my own clothes and they tell me what to bring. My mom and I pack the night before so we are ready. All jobs are different, but when you get to the shoot they can have hair and makeup people to help you look your best. Sometimes they have snacks but it depends on how long the shoot will last. When I did toy modeling I spent the day playing with toys! It’s awesome! One time I even got to play with toys in a pool! Sometimes they play music to make it more fun and let you take home a toy. There is a photographer that tells you how to pose so that it best shows off the toy. I have to remember that when I’m playing with toys on a shoot it’s still work time and I have to be ready to work at all times.
You are a competitive dancer. How did you get involved in dance? What do you like most and what do you not like about sports? Are you still involved?
I used to be a competitive dancer. I started dancing when I was three years old just for fun. I really liked it and wanted to get on stage in front of an audience. At competitions you get to wear cool costumes and put on makeup which I love! Dancing in front of people is exciting and I don’t get nervous one tiny bit. I stopped dancing to focus on acting. When you are a competitive dancer you have a strict schedule and can’t miss much. I danced five days a week for several hours. I couldn’t dance and do the type of acting I really wanted. When I started filming at Netflix we worked five days week, eight hours a day. Not really much time for dance. Now that we are done filming I am going to go back to dance but not to compete. I love dance and music and making friends. Now I can act and dance!
Which American Girl dolls do you have? What was it like going to the American Girl doll store for the very first time? Did you get dolls that look like you? Which store did you go to?
I love American Girl dolls. I got my first doll for my birthday when I was five years old. Her name is Kit and she looked like me. I loved her so much that when I work hard and save up my mom takes me to the American Girl Doll Store in Los Angeles and lets me spend my own money to buy a doll or accessories. Work is usually on a set in LA that is close to the store. I spend a lot of time looking for the exact doll that I want because they are so special to me. The store is really big and you can spend a lot of time shopping. There is also a café that you can take your doll to and eat! My favorite doll is gorgeous and her name is Nanea. She’s from Hawaii. She has really pretty eyes and fun accessories. My newest doll is a retired doll named Logan. He looks just like my brother Logan! You can tell I really like American Girl and I think everyone should have a doll!
We wrapped Country Comfort at the end of October during the pandemic. There were still a lot of rules in place. We were getting Covid tested three times a week, wearing masks, shields and social distancing. We couldn’t have a wrap party because of the strict rules. It made the end kind of sad but we all clapped for each other when they wrapped each of us on the filming of the last episode. When the show was released we had a small family party at my house. My mom catered food, decorated the house and my best friend had special cookies made. We all watched a few episodes of the show and laughed a lot! A few weeks later I was really lucky and was invited to attend an event called a gifting suite. You go to the event and take pictures holding certain items like a toy or a skateboard. You meet vendors and they give you gifts to take home. It’s fun to dress up and be invited to events and meet new people.
You’re a member of the SAG-AFTRA union. Does the union send a representative to the set to make sure all is well? What does being a union member mean for you?
I don’t really know these kinds of questions. I’m only seven years old and my mom handles those kinds of things. Maybe she can answer this one.
Pyper became a member of the SAG-AFTRA union in 2019. She was eligible due to her work on previous union jobs. A union rep did come to set at Netflix on Country Comfort. They spent a few minutes chatting and making sure to answer any questions we might have. They always make sure you are comfortable and the kids are being taken care of. We are very grateful for the union and all that it does for its members.
Photo by Brandin Shaeffer.
What advice do you have for kids who want to start a career in show business?
My best advice is to remember to not give up. You get a lot more no’s than yes’s. Be prepared to work and work hard. It takes a lot of time to memorize lines and go to auditions. Work on new things like accents and funny faces. It’s very competitive, but always root for each other and build each other up. And don’t forget to have fun. It’s a tough business!!
Pyper Braun’s Socials: