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Sanbornton native finds Hollywood a perfect fit

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July 30, 2020
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — You've probably seen her on the most recent Nutrisystem commercial in TV land, and may not know she's a local, but her family and friends sure recognize her! She gets calls and emails all the time from folks in the Lakes Region excitedly telling her they just saw her clad in bright orange pants and a red shirt on the commercial; so visible, she'd be pretty hard to miss!

It's been quite a few years since Brooke Haselton graduated from Winnisquam Regional High School (in 1990) and moved away, but she confirms that her hometown of Sanbornton, and the Lakes Region, are always in her heart as are her family and friends.

"I have been so encouraged and supported by my family and they are big reasons I made it here, but

I do miss them and wish we lived closer and not coast-to-coast!" says the daughter of Lois and the late Stephen Haselton of Sanbornton.

"She was born with this amazing talent. We had no doubts where she would go. There was no question in my mind...the seeds were planted in her at an early age," said Lois, who recalled a ten year old Brooke putting on shows and plays in her nanny's barn up the road from her childhood home. "She had friends in them, directed them, did the costumes and sets, etc., and all the parents would watch in awe at her talent and the excited eagerness of her 'cast' following her lead."

In 'Nanny Haselton's' weekly column in the local paper, she wrote about her granddaughter's 'Tulip Show' springtime revue in her barn, noting: "The $2.86 profit from the audience will purchase enough crepe paper to decorate at least one float for the July 4 neighborhood parade."

As a tall, thin blonde, Brooke certainly has never needed to be on Nutrisystem; it's an acting job she says, just like all the other commercials she has been in over her long career.

"I shoot a lot of commercials and they're all very similar. There's a lot of call backs and not a lot of bookings, so booking a commercial is a triumph but a lot of hard work, too. Just to get one is so wonderful," she explained. "I'm very grateful to have landed this latest commercial!"

Haselton said it took two days to shoot the spot in a studio in Sylmar, Calif.

"Marie (Osmond) was not there so basically everything we did was on a 'green screen,'" she said. "They gave us the lines, but mostly, the lines came at random. The director would ask something in question form and I would answer it mostly using the learned line, but it came out much more naturally the way he asked."

After trying on several different outfits, the final choice (made for her) was the bright outfit she is wearing on the commercial. They had to cut the pockets out of the pants as they were 'making an outline.'

"We spent all day taping up the sides with double-sided tape!" she added.

It certainly was no easy path going from rural New Hampshire to New York, then to L. A., where she plunged into the continuous world of auditions, call backs and 'be availables' as she is now.

"My parents gave me the gift of unconditional love and encouraging me to do whatever I wanted in life," Haselton recalled. "In middle and high school, I was involved in the drama clubs and I knew there was nothing else I wanted to do but be an actor. Even as a child my earliest memory of my dream job was to be a singer! Unfortunately, no one advised me on what to major in in college that would lead me to a paying job in acting. I really wish I had taken something related to acting/voice and theatrics, in general, in college. That would be my advice to students in high school right now desiring to go into the field. Also, in the early 1990s there was no internet available for those wishing to research in what direction to go to get into theater/film, suggestions, references, etc. So I decided to move to New York City. And that's what I did in 1992. I worked in the restaurant business while I began pursuing acting. I had small parts in plays here and there."

Said Lois, "As parents we recognized that she would eventually find her direction. She went to college a couple years, but realized it just wasn't her thing. And, yes, she'll tell you if she'd been more educated about options in the acting field early on, or after high school, she may have gone on to get an acting degree. But now with her hands-on experience she will be able to teach it later on in her life if she wants to at any rate."

Brooke recalled that "my first real break was a background actor in the movie 'The Basketball Diaries,' starring Mark Wahlberg. Funny, as it was his first movie, also! He was already known then as 'Marky Mark,' but he wasn't into movies yet. Leonardo DiCaprio was in that movie too, and his career was just taking off as well. I thought 'Wow, this is so unreal!' I was absolutely thrilled to be working and getting paid, too."

Her parents often traveled to the city to see their daughter perform and they loved every minute of it.

"We enjoyed going to New York to see her there in theater and one time at a comedy club called Caroline's. There was some dirty language during the show and the director thought her father might disapprove or be shocked. The very opposite was true. The narrator used Brooke's dad from the audience as if he were part of the show and he just about stole it with his fantastic sense of humor. Think that's where she gets some of her talent!" she said.

Both Brooke and her mother were so grateful that her father saw the beginning of her career, then her success in New York City (and her eventual conversion to L.A.).

"We're so happy he knew of her success out there," Lois said explaining Steve passed in 2010 after a brave battle with cancer.

So in New York City, with a taste of the acting world starting at barely 19, she was determined to make the big move to California. So she did just that in 2004.

That's when her true career in the movie business began.

"It was finally consistent and a full-time job," Brooke said, stating she's been very fortunate through the years to have all this work.

She admits, though, that "You can't say you've 'made' it' out here ever, because you're always looking for that next part, that next commercial or any part in a film...always looking and waiting! And something one needs to learn in this business is that there are and will always be rejections."

"When she finally came back to pack up her things to move to L.A. we went through the range of emotions parents go through when their children leave to finally go off on their own. But it was the final leg of her journey. Her dad and I knew the power within her was far greater than the fear before her. It's so amazing for her to actually follow those dreams, and I'm so proud of her," said Lois.

Her list of credits, so far, is quite impressive. A commercial for Spotify will be coming out soon. Others recently include: a co-starring part in a TV show called'66 Whiskey, ads for Hewlett-Packard, Atkins, Spectrum, McDonald's, Phillips 66, The General Marriott, and many other commercials.

For films, she has been on "The Romanoffs" in a beginning sequence (on Amazon), "Mascots" with Christopher Guest (on Netflix), an on-going part on "The Young and the Restless" from 2009 to 2012, "American Horror Story," "Hart of Dixie" (Netflix), and "1,000 Ways To Die" in 2011. Her other film credits include "The Majestics," "The Lookout," "Abeo Pharisee," "Angry Young Women in Low rise Jeans with High Class Issues," "The Chase" "Big Dead," "Turbocharge: Unauthorized Story of Cars," "Totally Baked," "Amateur," "Barry Dingle," "Artists of the Round Table," and "Stand Up With HAS," a self-video.

She made another JC Penney ad just last week, estimating her totals for all ads in the past ten years in the 75-80 range!

Brooke's advice for teens considering acting?

"Follow your dreams, as you never know where it'll take you. You don't want to be older someday and think 'I wish I'd decided to take another route and do what I intended when I was younger'. I feel like people don't follow their dreams enough because they fear adults will talk them out of it. I think their fear is that their child won't be able to make enough money to support themselves, so the best thing is to get educated on how you CAN make enough money by being creative. Find a parallel career for a while...something close to where you want to go…find the person you want to become. Eventually you can help others by teaching the skills you have learned. Go ahead and do it! Catapult yourself into your life's dreams."

Martin Lord Osman
Brewster Academy
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