Emma Fisher is 11 years old. She loves soccer, basketball and hanging out with her friends. She's also an actress who, by the end of the year, will share film credits with Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts and Chris O'Dowd.
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Two years ago, Emma Fisher was nine-years-old. She was watching “Shake It Up” on the Disney channel when she had an epiphany.
“Mom, I want to be on TV,” she declared.
Mom, who also goes by Nicole Fisher, is a physician assistant in Dover, told her daughter she wasn’t sure how to go about that. Undeterred, Emma persisted and Mom promised to research the subject.
As fate would have it, a week later one of Fisher’s patients mentioned that her son was doing some acting on television and going on auditions for movies. As the conversation continued, Fisher’s patient confessed that her son had auditioned for a scouting agency that was able to put them in touch with agents and managers, the middlemen and facilitators of the acting industry.
Fate struck again when the talent agency Pro Scout announced auditions. Emma, who was one of hundreds who showed up at a hotel in Dover but one of only a handful who left with an invitation for a weekend retreat to meet with potential agents and managers.
The exclusive invite came with a price tag but the research Emma’s parents did told them it was legit. For many actors, it’s an investment and an opportunity to get in front of industry people they wouldn’t normally have access to.
That’s how it went for Emma. By the end of the weekend, eight agents were convinced they could find work for the third grader.
She began auditioning almost immediately. She doesn’t book everything but she definitely feels like she’s on her way. She did a commercial for GoGo Squeez, an episode of “Orange is the New Black,” a couple of New York University student films, a Blue Cross Blue Shield Print ad and most recently she was cast in a new Bill Murray/Melissa McCarthy film, “St. Vincent De Van Nuys,” due out later this year.
She filmed her parts last summer, spending two weeks in Brooklyn, NY and another three days in Long Island. And, just last week, she learned that she would be heading back to New York to reshoot a few more scenes.
The process of making movies has been an eye-opener for the whole family.
“The next time I book a movie, I’ll bring some more stuff to do,” Emma said. “Maybe I’ll be more open, too. I was so nervous. I mean, it was my first time to have to do everything with so many more people around. It wasn’t like that on ‘Orange is the New Black.’”
Mom said they learned a lot of new terminology, too. For instance, the call sheet, which is like the schedule for filming, was confusing at first.
“There are a lot of abbreviations and it’s just assumed that you know what everything means,” Fisher said. “So, that was a learning experience.”
The experience also put her up close and personal with several big stars. Emma described Melissa McCarthy as “really, really nice and really pretty.”
She said Murray was nice, too, albeit a bit odd.
“Well, Bill. I don’t want to hurt his feelings but he’s a little weird,” she said. “I mean, he’s nice and outgoing in his own way. But, I think he likes to stand out. Sometimes his clothes don’t match I don’t know what he’s thinking sometimes with what he wears.”
But, she said he was so nice to everybody about pictures and did a great job of making them all feel special.
“My nana saw him driving down [to the set] on his bike, wearing his little bandana and plaid shorts and a blue t-shirt. And, Nana was like ‘Bill! Bill!’” Emma said. “He stopped. He hugged everybody. At this one point, one of the boys, who has a bigger role than me, got in front of all of us and Bill Murray laughed and he was like, ‘Who are you? What are you doing? You’ve got to get behind all these beautiful girls. You got to get the ladies up front.’”
With her first movie role (almost) behind her, Emma gets excited and animated about when asked about her future. She sees acting as more than just a hobby. Her dream is her own television show that lets her act and dance.
“I want to be like [the character] Hanna Montana,” she said, before breaking out into the show’s theme song “You get the best of both worlds.” “That’s what I want. I want to be famous and do all the fun stuff. But, I want the regular stuff, too. I still want to hang out with my friends and play sports. That would be the best.”