Interview: We Are Savvy’s Spencer Barbosa

Spencer Barbosa has been passionate about acting since she started musical theatre at age 6.  “Since then, my love for the arts has grown more and more every day,” she told Everly Mag, and by age 11, she wanted to break into the professional acting industry.  Now 15 years old, Spencer’s starring on a YouTube Red series, gaining tens of thousands of Instagram followers, and using her platform to become a role model for tweens everywhere.

When Spencer was 12, she auditioned for We Are Savvy, a magazine-style variety series for teens.  Produced by YouTube Red and starring Spencer, Tehya Silbermann, Sarah Webber, and Annie LeBlanc, Savvy is set to premiere its season season on February 28, 2018.

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Spencer Barbosa, 15.  Image: Spencer Barbosa

The audition process wasn’t short – “self-tape, audition, callback, [and] test shoot” – but Spencer knew that We Are Savvy was the opportunity she’d been waiting for.

“This is the job I’m going to get that will change my career,” Spencer told her mom, staying hopeful throughout the audition process.  When she finally got the call that she’d booked We Are Savvy, “it was life-changing.”

Spencer described We Are Savvy as “unique, bold, and energetic.”  As an “energetic and loud” person herself, Spencer was excited for the chance to show her personality on the web series.

On We Are Savvy, Spencer plays herself.  “What you’re seeing on [the show] is exactly what I’m like.”  The series is a mix of scripted and unscripted content, and cast members have a lot of input for each segment.  Spencer and her co-hosts take part in segments relating to tween life, from makeup to fashion to DIYs to food.  “It’s everything that a teen or tween girl would like in a show,” Spencer explained, adding: “It’s everything I like in life.”

What’s it like filming the show?  Spencer said that “the days are pretty long, but it’s a lot of fun.”  Often, the girls film during the summer or over school breaks.

“The hardest part [of filming] is either the early mornings (I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON) or learning the scripts,” said Spencer.  “We don’t have a ton of scripts but generally learning them is the most difficult part.”

The best part of filming?  “Literally everything else -from getting your makeup done, to having fun with your friends, doing DIYs, singing, EVERYTHING is so much fun!”

While Spencer didn’t know her fellow co-stars before the series, she met Tehya during her audition process.  “I’m super close to everyone in the cast,” Spencer said.  “It’s a ton of fun filming on set.  We are constantly goofing off and having a blast.”  Spencer’s also become close with co-star Annie LeBlanc of the Bratayley YouTube channel, who joined We Are Savvy for the second season.

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Spencer (top left) with Savvy co-stars Sarah Webber, Annie LeBlanc, and Tehya Silbermann.  Image: We Are Savvy

What can fans expect from We Are Savvy Season Two?  It’s “bigger, louder, and even more fun,” Spencer said.  “It’s more energetic, if you can even believe it.”  Besides the addition of Annie to the cast, fans can look forward to other guest stars, wild DIYs, and “bold and authentic” content.

We Are Savvy is more than a job to Spencer – it’s a passion.  “I hope We Are Savvy can get at least 10 seasons,” she said, laughing when asked about the future.  Spencer’s voice was full of enthusiasm as she talked about the show and the message it’s spreading to fans.  “I want a lot of people to see it.”

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Spencer (L) with Annie LeBlanc.  Image: Spencer Barbosa

 

The series is full of entertainment, but it also carries a message of empowerment.  “I think [We Are Savvy] motivates people, especially girls, to go out and do what they want to do,” Spencer said.  “I hope that [fans] watching it feel motivated, no matter their gender, race, or [anything else].”  Spencer stands with the show’s emphasis on inclusivity and individuality – where young people “[aren’t] scared to be themselves.”

When it comes to social media, Spencer sees the positive aspects of her online platform.  “Since I’ve gained followers from [Savvy], I feel like I can use social media to change the world.”

Spencer wants to encourage her followers to be themselves, no matter what.  “There doesn’t have to be a ‘normal,’ she said.  “I stand for equality and acceptance and I can share that [online], and motivate people to do whatever makes them happy.”

Outside of acting, Spencer’s other passion is singing.  “I hope to one day go on tour and share my love for singing with the world,” she said.  She writes her own songs, and hopes to release an album in the future.  Besides We Are Savvy, singing, and school, Spencer’s a rower, and works a part-time job playing a Disney princess at children’s birthday parties.

One actress that inspires Spencer is Bailee Madison.  “She is so humble and inspiring.  Her hard work is so motivating,” Spencer said.

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Spencer’s advice to aspiring performers?  “Don’t let anyone get in your way.”  Image: Marco Muia

Hard work is important to Spencer, and it’s one piece of advice she’d give to aspiring young actors and singers.  “My dad always taught me that when it starts to get really hard is when you have to work even harder,” she said.

Spencer’s other advice?  “Don’t let anyone get in your way.  There are 10 people who support you for every one person who doesn’t.  It’s scary at first, to be an actor and to put yourself out there.  Don’t worry about what other people are thinking.  If you put the hard work in now, it gets easier later on.”

We Are Savvy premieres its second season on YouTube Red on February 28, and fans will get an up-close look at Spencer’s upbeat personality, enthusiasm, and passion.


Be sure to follow Spencer on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.  Catch We Are Savvy on YouTube Red.  Spencer Barbosa is represented by Hero Artists.

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Feature Image Credit: Spencer Barbosa

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