Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Gea Rose! Together we discussed peaches, their relationship with acting, their many hats, their latest single “playing with the fishes”, and so much more!

1. Mustard is grateful to have you join them at Music Shelf. How are you doing today?

I am grateful to join Mustard, and doing really well, thank you! I’ve been revamping some old songs and creating music video concepts with some great friends of mine, and the more we create, the more excited I get.

2. According to your Instagram profile, you are peachy. Could you share more about this human expression? Do you currently have peaches in your possession?

Not only have I always loved peaches, but I became a peach when I moved to Georgia to pursue my acting career. This human expression is to say… I am an optimist with a bright face, and I also live in a Peach. You could call me Gea and The Giant Peach. I also think their aesthetic is so cute. No peaches currently in possession, though 😦

3. What was your relationship with music growing up? Can you recall your first experience with music?

Music was, I would say, the first thing I knew growing up. My parents are both incredible musicians, and their parents before them, and so on. I got really lucky to be raised by creatives who surrounded me in the warmth of music before I was born–my parents joke about how they would sing to Mom’s tummy all the time. I’m not sure what my first experience might be… One of my favorite activities we did is my Dad would improvise chords on the piano, Mom with the family video camera out, and I as a 3-year-old would improvise lyrics and songs to go with it, songs about monsters and princesses and love… It was so fun, seriously some of my fondest childhood memories.

4. You are a human who wears many hats: musician, actor (non-union), and writer. Which came first? What style of hats are these each?

Music came first, but acting was a close second! I loved reenacting movies like The Wizard Of Oz with my parents and singing Barbershop from an early age. As soon as I learned how to write, I was filling the home computer up with stories, comics, original songs, which coincided with lots of Garageband recordings of original songs, and home movies I created with my family, neighbors, and friends. I loved the performing aspect of music and acting; I so badly wanted people to create with me and for others to see what we’d created. I wrote skits for my brother and cousins to put on for our family, had a YouTube channel with my neighbors, and created an album to share with family and friends by age 10 of songs I made on Garageband.

The style of hats… Man, I love a good hat. Acting is a different hat every day. Music is a beret, because that’s when I feel most artsy and also vulnerable. Writing is a baker boy cap.

5. What is your creative process? Is there a big difference between songwriting and screenwriting? Could you share more about your screenplay “Redoing Renee?”

My creative process… It depends on the scenario. If I have a quick deadline, like when I direct films for Kick The Ladder in a week, I usually go with the first idea I come up with, expand that, allow it to change as it needs to, assemble a team, and go. If I am going by my own creative timeline, I usually create when my emotions have no other way to express themselves. Writing music was a top source of therapy in high school, and honestly still is, though I struggle with perfectionism in songwriting right now. I’ve gone through so many notebooks and so many songs, now it has become natural for me to only write if I believe something good will come. Sometimes that’s helpful to me, sometimes I need to just let go haha!

The biggest difference between songwriting and screenwriting is the technicality of it, how they are formatted; however, for me, the story arc of songs and screen are very similar. I enjoy music most when it has taken me on a journey, big or small. I joke that I can’t write a happy song without putting a twinge of uncomfortability or sadness in there, but I think it’s because I love the conflict and story it adds if there’s a bit of everything! A screenplay has acts, scenes, beats, tone shifts, and my favorite music is the same. Music doesn’t always have to be that way, but when both have a sense of movement, I just love it.

“Redoing Renee” is a screenplay I wrote in college! I was on my way to receive a Screenwriting minor, and it was a way for me to externalize the desire to go back and relive moments of my own life. I incorporated breakups I wished I’d done differently and chances I wished I’d taken, with a hint of sci-fi fantasy.

6. If you could turn any film or television show you’ve been into a song what would it be and why?

This is a difficult question for me because I usually make playlists for characters I play/projects I work on. I was in a short film directed by Geve Penaflor, called “The Living And The Dead,” and in that film, Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again” was essential for leading the theme. I feel I can better answer this by talking about a play I was in called “Picnic”. I played Madge and the show was directed by the fabulous Lisa Brescia. It’s not film/tv work, but “I Hear A Symphony” by Cody Fry was my anthem during that show. It perfectly expresses what Madge goes through, from being lonely and having a life set out for her to finding an exciting love and breaking the barrier. I listened to it before every show.

7. You recently wrapped up Stranger Things:The Experience. Could you share more about your experience with Hawkins Labs?

Oh, man, I miss it so much! I have always felt I was destined to be on Stranger Things. It revealed to me the kind of shows/acting I wanted to be a part of. So when I saw auditions for Stranger Things: The Experience, I knew I had to bring this world to life.

My experience there was positively unforgettable. Not only is the Experience itself an incredible interactive walk-through show, with special effects, audience involvement, and fantastic world building, but it was as beautiful behind the scenes as it was to walk through as an audience member. I worked in the Mixtape as four characters.  Over the course of our 5-month contract, my coworkers and I bonded very easily and became deep-rooted friends. I still see them often and hope to continue building those friendships. Hawkins will forever be my second home.

If you or someone you know is in a city where Stranger Things: The Experience is still happening, go go go!!!

8. If you could collaborate on a song with any member of the Stranger Things cast, who would it be?

I would 100% collaborate with Joe Keery, aka Djo. I love his music, especially “Keep Your Head Up”. That song in particular got me hooked because of the funky feel with a twinge of unease in the bridge. Like I said in question 5, I love a song with texture and conflict! Djo, if you see this, let’s jam!

9. If you had the opportunity to perform in the Upside Down, would you?

I would take it in a heartbeat. Whether that be an acting offer for the show, or a performance with me and my uke for all the demogorgons and Vecna. Let’s be honest, Vecna would kill on the drums.

10. 2019 saw the release of your debut single “Black + Rose.” What was the inspiration behind this single?

“Black + Rose” is a song about partying! “Shooting into Black and Rose on a liquid rocket ship…” Black-outs and rose-colored glasses. While it’s very bubbly and fun, it’s also got this underlying harmony part that hints at the uncomfortable parts of partying, “diving, falling, diving, falling”. I was inspired by dodie’s “Party Tattoos”. Her song made me want to write about my experience with parties, and where she has a tender moment of sending a postcard, that tender moment for me in those environments is to feel out of control, like I’m diving and falling.

11. On “Black + Rose” you proclaim that “the night is a thief.” Have you retrieved what the night took from you?

The night is still very much on the run! If you see him, catch him!! Or politely ask him to stop moving so fast and bring me back some of the time and memories he stole. This line is to say that when you’re partying a little too hard, “you can take all you want” but you may forget some things, time may go by faster than you intended, or even some of your positive emotions may disappear from you.

12. You followed up “Black + Rose” with “playing with the fishes.” Could you share more about this single? Is it better to play with the fishes than sleep with them?

What’s cool about “playing with the fishes” is it was created for a Kick The Ladder film challenge! The challenge that week was to submit a film within 24 hours. I had been itching to write music so I made the choice to create a song for that week’s challenge. I originally created an entirely different song, didn’t like it, and then wrote that song and filmed its music video within the time frame given.

This single is about invading someone’s space and life to try to fix/change them, and then just leaving them. The fishes are enjoying swimming around, but you stick your hand in the bowl and play with them a little, and when you take your hand out, those fishes have to learn how to function again and not be afraid. You could hear it from either the perspective of the fish or the person who is playing with the fish. The excuse of both is “I loved her, oh I loved her”.

Haha oh no! It’s probably better to play with them because at least then you have a chance to come back from it all.

13. What is next for Gea Rose?

A new chapter. I can feel the page turning each day, like something is just around the riverbend. I have been working on an EP for some time and have missed my personal deadline time and time again, but I never lose faith it will happen for me. Maybe this is my year for that. I’ve also been taking this time to create for the sake of creating. I am surrounded by creatives everywhere I look, and I learn so much from each and every one of them. I can only hope to fill my friends as much as they fill me. If you keep creating, fueling your passions, and praying, I find it hard to believe something won’t happen for you.

14. Where can readers listen to your music and watch your films?

You can listen to my music on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, and most other streaming services!! My films are consistently posted on my YouTube (@gearosehenry). I am active on Tiktok (@geabobea) and instagram (@gearose.h) as well.


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