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Stow student’s acting career taking off

#1 Alessandra Rosenfeld (third from left) attended the Tribeca Festival premiere of her upcoming film, Space Oddity, with fellow costars (l-r) Alexandra Shipp, Kyle Allen, director Kyra Sedgewick, Kevin Bacon, Arden Myrch, Madeline Brewer and Carrie Preston. [Photo courtesy of the Rosenfeld family and Getty Images]

By Sophie Clark

Aug. 10, 2022

Alessandra Rosenfeld

It’s hard for Stow’s Alessandra Rosenfeld to recall exactly when she was first drawn to acting. As a child, she was fascinated by the way stage and screen actors she watched could slip into character as easily as breathing. “One day,” she said, “I just decided. I was like,  ‘Mom, can I do acting?’” 

Now 12 years old and a Hale Middle School student, Alessandra has spent the last four years making her childhood dream a reality by becoming a professional screen actor with a blossoming career. Her filmography includes three television appearances, nine short films, and five feature films. Her most recent project, Space Oddity, debuted at this year’s Tribeca Festival. In light of this achievement, Alessandra spoke with the Independent to discuss her acting career and how it has impacted her life.

Alessandra’s screen acting career may be brief, but she has been involved in
the performing arts for most of her life. Alessandra began dancing at a very
young age and, to this day, she remains a competitive jazz, ballet, and lyrical
dancer. She got her start acting in the theater at age 7 when she began
performing in plays and musicals at the Acton Cooperative Theater. 

As Alessandra’s interests gravitated towards screen acting, she and her
family began searching for ways to help her achieve her goal. Around the same
time she started stage acting, Alessandra’s family found a film agent in Boston
who could help her navigate the local film industry; shortly after, she began
auditioning in earnest. 

Alessandra’s first real break in the film industry came in 2018, when she
booked a small speaking role in a Lyft commercial. However, once she got the
role it was revealed that the “commercial” was a cover story by the filmmakers,
and she’d actually landed a background part in the film Equalizer 2
After that, Alessandra began landing bigger roles in television episodes and
short films. Her list of screen credits grew to include projects such as City
on a Hill
(2019), Evil Lives Here (2019), and The Mushroom

Alessandra’s latest film project is the upcoming sci-fi feature film
Space Oddity
, the story of a young farmer whose plans to escape his life
and losses on Earth with a one-way ticket to a Mars colony are upended by the
arrival of a new woman in town. Directed by Kyra Sedgewick and starring Kyle
Allen, Kevin Bacon, and Alexandra Shipp, Space Oddity made its debut
in June, when it premiered at the legendary Tribeca Festival (formerly the
Tribeca Film Festival) in New York City. Established in 2002, the yearly event
hosts more than 600 films and 150,000 attendees. 

Alessandra, who played a character named Blake, attended Space Oddity’s
Tribeca premiere. While there, she participated in her first-ever red carpet
walk with her co-stars, an experience that she said was equal parts exciting
and nerve-wracking. “I had a great time, it was very fun. Since it was my first
red carpet, I didn’t know how to act, and everyone else there was so used to
it. Everyone just walked on the red carpet and took photos and I just didn’t
know what to do. ‘Do I walk in and stop?’ It was very fun but it was hard to
learn what everyone else was doing.” It also marked the first time Alessandra
was able to see one of her performances on the big screen, a moment of great
personal pride for her.

But how does Alessandra prepare for a role like the one she had in Space
? Once she has auditioned and been hired for a role, Alessandra
starts by reading through the script, searching for any tiny details in the
writing that will help craft her performance of the character. For Alessandra,
character development is her favorite part of the performance: “I love being
myself, but it’s sometimes fun to get to learn about new characters and get to
just form them, be different.” At the same time though, she noted, it’s a
challenging process. “A lot of people assume that it’s really easy…that you
just do the lines and then you move on. But there’s so much more depth to it,
and so much more that you have to figure out before you do it.”

For Alessandra, the filmmaking process begins long before the cameras start
rolling. Before they can come on set, the cast and crew undergo COVID testing
to ensure everyone’s well-being. Everyday on set brings its own unique
challenges. Her call times depend on what scenes are filming: morning shoots
can begin as early as 5 or 6 a.m. and last until noon, but night shoots are the
complete opposite, lasting late into the night from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. “It’s a
lot of ‘hurry up and wait’ on set,” Alessandra said. 

Filming a single scene takes hours and Alessandra said she can perform it 20
or more times before the crew is satisfied with a shot, at which point the
camera is readjusted and she begins again. The time between filming scenes is
punctuated by hours of waiting – something she said she struggled with when she
was younger because “it’s hard not to just drift off and run off set.” 

As a tween actor, child labor laws dictate that if a young actor films a
project for longer than a few days during the school year, a tutor must be brought
on set who can help them keep up with homework. This is not yet something
Alessandra has needed because her longest projects filmed during summer
vacation. She occasionally has to leave school early for audition work, but to
Alessandra’s relief her career has impacted her academics very little so far.

Over the years, Alessandra has worked with many actors and directors, and
learning from their experience has allowed her to hone her acting skills. “They
all have different ways of approaching roles and getting into characters, and
how they look on set,” she recalled. Before she started work, Alessandra said,
her performances were more superficial and structured, but now she is more
willing to take risks and change things up mid-shoot. “I feel like I found more
depth in scenes,” she said.

Not only has her film career affected her performing style, it’s changed the
way Alessandra thinks about films and television. Seeing her cast and crew
mates at work on set has given her a greater appreciation for the effort
required to make films. “You don’t want to let anyone down, so it definitely is
a lot of pressure, but especially when there’s people on a set who are kind –
which, I’ve never been on a set where people aren’t – it gets easier,” she

 Alessandra also noted that as someone who enjoys watching movies,
acting has changed the way she views them. Now that she makes films for a
living,  Alessandra said when she watches a film for fun it’s hard not to
notice production details like continuity, camera angles, and acting styles.
“I’ll be like ‘Oh, he had a full cup right there and you move to a different
shot, and oh, that cup is gone’…But sometimes I’m just like, ‘Alessandra, don’t
judge the movie by their continuity, just put that away for a second and watch

So, now that Space Oddity is preparing for liftoff in theaters,
what’s next for Rosenfeld? “I have two short films that I’m doing,” she said,
“one in September and one next summer, so those ones I’m excited for. I’m
auditioning for a lot – there’s one thing I hope I get that might be a 
feature film – but you just audition for things and hope for the best.” 

Beyond filmmaking, Rosenfeld also continues to pursue her interests in
dancing and theatrical acting. When asked if she plans to keep acting
professionally as she gets older, Alessandra’s response was short and sure.
“Definitely. I feel like once you do acting, it’s already your job, so you just
keep doing it and keep getting better. At least, I hope I keep getting better.”