Thursday, February 20, 2020

#RealDeal Catches Up With Eric Hennig

We caught up with Eric Hennig, actor and artist, who shared his thoughts on stress-management, beauty and … body image. ~Robyn Hussa Farrell, Editor #RealDeal

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  1. Eric, can you tell us a bit about who you are / what you do and what got you interested in working in the arts / entertainment industry?  What was it like to work on Hunger Games!!!

I’m an average, small town guy, who happens to work in the entertainment industry. I feel like I kind of live a double life; acting, being on set, having my life in the public eye and then there’s my personal life. It’s surreal when you get the chance to work alongside actors that you’ve grown up watching. Outside of what I do, I live a normal life just like anyone else.

I grew up in Saint Charles, Missouri and I always knew I wanted to be an actor. Being able to share someone’s story that may not have had the chance is very rewarding. There isn’t a ton of acting work in Saint Louis but I always looked for opportunities. Moving to Los Angles was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’m really close with my family and it was hard moving away from them.

I get asked what it was like to work on The Hunger Games often and to be honest I can’t put into words how I feel or what it was like. To say I feel blessed would be an understatement. I had a very small part in the film and I never imagined it would turn into what it has. Often I feel like I’m dreaming.

  1. You have been actively volunteering and collaborating with our nonprofit, Mental Fitness, Inc., for almost a year now.  Can you tell us what it is about our mission of “building mental fitness in all youth” that resonates for you?

I think society puts pressure on us to look and act a certain way and it’s not right. What makes you “you” is being unique and different. Hearing stories about kids hurting themselves because they didn’t feel accepted breaks my hearts.

I was that kid that didn’t think he was good enough but I never gave up. I learned that the only person you need to please is yourself. When you learn to reject the thought that you have to be a certain way to be accepted you will feel as if a weight has been lifted off of you. I’m thankful to share my experiences and hope that it will help someone.

3.  Eric, this site (the #RealDeal) is one of the many programs belonging to Mental Fitness, Inc.  The mission of the #RealDeal is to help teach about healthy body image.  As a male working in the entertainment field, do you feel the pressures of having to have a certain body type?  How do you think this affects young people today (male or female)?

I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel the pressure. The sad part is, I don’t think the pressure ever goes away. I’ve learned that you’re the only person who has to be comfortable with your body. The only opinion that matters is yours.

4.  Do you have special ways or tricks to maintaining a healthy body esteem and self-esteem in the midst of a culture (and of an industry) that seems to prefer to keep people “down” — what are some strategies for holding it all together?

I wish I had some secret that made it really easy but I don’t. If you follow me on twitter you know I love Cheesecake. For me, I think it’s okay to have a slice of cheesecake or some ice cream. You work hard and you should reward yourself. The key is moderation and exercise.

I would be lying if I said I worked out every day. I try to exercise at least three times a week. I like to work out with a friend so we can motivate each other. Then when you have days you don’t feel like doing it, they help push you.

5.  Do you play any instruments, draw, write, sing, or participate in any other kind of art form?  We always talking about the healing and stress-management power of the arts.  Do you believe the arts have a power to heal?  Do you have firsthand experiences with the arts being excellent forms of coping?

Absolutely, I’ve always enjoyed writing. Rather I am journaling experiences or making up stories, I find it to be very therapeutic. Your mind is extremely powerful and the energy you project out will come back to you.

6.  What is beautiful?

Unique. When you see or hear something and you can’t describe it in words. You get the “mesmerized” feeling.

7.  What is inner beauty?

It’s doing the right thing when no one is around. Having self-confidence and truly knowing that it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Growing up you often hear “treat others how you want to be treated” and I think that’s it.

8.  What is happiness?

Appreciating and feeling blessed for everyday. I’ve found that you need to learn to love yourself before anyone else can. Surround yourself with positive people that motivate you and find what makes you smile.

9.  Do you have any role models OTHER than family members?.

Sophia Bush. She is a beautiful person inside and out. When you become as successful as she is, a lot of people listen to what you have to say. She uses her voice to help others and shines a light on issues that need to be addressed. She truly cares about others and you can feel her passion.

10.  Anything else you want our readers to know about?  Please list info here!

I’m really excited to announce that I’m working on a new series I created called “Hour Glass” (this is the link)

The show is about two long lost cousins that reunite when they discover they have magical powers and a dark evil is approaching them. Little do they know, the evil might already be there. The show is filled with twist and turns that will keep you on your feet. This is the first project that I’ve created myself and I can’t wait for people to see it!

We have an amazing cast including myself, Brittney Alger, Annie May Gay, Roger Edwards and The “Roxxy Montana” sisters. The show will be premiering this fall. You can check out all of my projects here

EricHennig10For updates on what I’m working on you can follow me on twitter @EricHennig and Instagram

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