Francesca Barker McCormick is a Hispanic American actress based in Los Angeles, CA. She has studied at McCaskill Studios in NYC and Margie Haber Studio in LA. Since giving her acting career center stage in 2020, Barker McCormick has played roles in nine films, five TV series and counting.
She also serves on the Guild for the Princess Grace Kelly Foundation, an organization dedicated to upholding the legacy of Princess Grace of Monaco, and elevating extraordinary emerging artists in theater, dance and film through career-advancing grants.
Previously, she managed and executed high-profile events including Vogue’s Met Gala, Vogue’s Forces of Fashion, Allure’s Best of Beauty, GQ’s Men of the Year, and consumer events for brands such as Dior, Jimmy Choo, Valentino, and more. She also worked as a Vogue Market Stylist, hosting events in partnership with luxury fashion houses such as Balmain, Fendi, and Marc Jacobs, providing fashion expertise and trend forecasting.
You have had an extraordinary career working for Conde Nast that involved you executing high profile events for Vogue’s Met Gala, Dior, Valentino and Jimmy Choo to now forging a career as an actress. What have you learnt over the years? What advice would you give to your younger self?
I learned many valuable lessons during my time with Condé Nast and am so fortunate to have had my first chapter begin there. Here are a few of my favorite takeaways:
- Persistence: Not everything is going to go the way you plan it or wish it. Realize this, adapt, and push forward. There’s no sense in complaining or dragging your feet, that will do nothing for you or for anyone else. I would remind myself of this quote constantly, “nevertheless, she persisted”.
- Patience: This one is still a work in progress! But during my time at CN, I tried to flex this muscle often. Whether it was when dealing with clients, colleagues, or even my own personal growth, I had to have a greater understanding that combusting over little things would get me nowhere. Instead, if I continued overdelivering on every aspect I could, and trusting the process, I would land in a better place.
- Gratitude: OH SO IMPORTANT. It’s as simple as saying thank you and making sure those around you know how much you appreciate them and their work. It requires so little effort but somehow I think a thank you’s power remains underrated. I remember those who took a second to say these magical words and to be on the receiving end, it made all the difference.
- Attitude: It’s the difference between a toxic environment and one that everyone is excited to work in. You have to have a positive, can-do attitude. If you have anything less it’s the equivalent of sinking your own ship.
- Differentiators: There is only one you…figure out what your magic is and use it! Now this is not to suggest neglecting your weaknesses but rather to express that your strengths are equally important. It’s like having an ace in your hand and not seeing it. You have to see it and play it strategically. Same with your weaknesses, you have to see them, work on them, and figure out how to grow in them/overcome them.
- The Importance of Enjoying What You Do: It’s a dead giveaway when you don’t enjoy what you are doing everyday. And of course there will be days when it’s not fun, but overall you should have that spark of I can’t believe I get to work with these iconic people, on projects seen across the world, with prominent brands…or something along those lines. And wow, I felt that. I knew how lucky I was to be in a place like Condé Nast and if I ever forgot, executing an event that I had worked on for months previously would always remind me. It was magic and that’s a feeling I won’t ever forget!
I would tell my younger self to have more faith. And that’s no offense to my younger self because my current self needs that same advice 🙂
I worried a lot, and still do, about how I’m going to get to where I want to be. But if my previous chapter taught me anything, it’s that if you work really hard, everything works out how it should and you never miss what’s meant for you.
You serve on the Guild for the Princess Grace Kelly Foundation. Please could you tell us more about this organization and why you got involved?
The Princess Grace Foundation is dedicated to upholding the legacy of Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco and elevating extraordinary emerging artists in theater, dance and film through career-advancing grants.
I was introduced to the organization through my friend Samantha Moray, who is the founder of MORAYGENCY, a boutique communications agency. She was working on an event with the foundation and invited me to be a part of the event committee. I was immediately infatuated with the cause and the role I could contribute, as it tied together my two worlds – supporting my fellow artists and creating magical event experiences.
The organization as a whole has granted millions of dollars to empower the diverse, inspiring, and extraordinary artists who have received the performing arts’ most distinctive honors – Academy Awards, Tony Awards, MacArthur Genius Awards, Pulitzer Prizes – and who are shaping the American cultural landscape. I am honored to be a part of continuing Princess Grace Kelly’s legacy through this support of performing and film artists.
You have been featured in 10 films and 5 TV/web series since your acting career started in 2020. What would be your dream role to land?
You asked, so I’m going to have to shoot my shot here.
My dream role would be to land the lead of a series such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, so let’s call that any production written by Amy Sherman-Palladino. The writing, actors, costumers, directors…really just everyone involved in the show are brilliant!
To be able to tell a story like that one – full of female empowerment, wit, flaw, smarts, style, perseverance, etc. would be a dream come true.
What has been your favorite acting job to date and why?
My favorite job to date was working on a short titled, ThatsEnoughNowThanks, produced by Jason and Joe Vizzini. I played the role of Katie, a woman second guessing herself constantly as she waltzes through the world of dating, opposite Percy, played by Dakota Shapiro. Our director, Quill Chase-Daniels was incredible to work with. He had such a vision for the comedic delivery and timing of the short that had all of us laughing in between takes. The entire crew set the tone for the shoot and the environment was such a joy to be in.
I also appreciated the themes explored by the short, including how dependent on phones the world has become, the uncertainty of dating apps, how anxiety and unknowns can send us down rabbit holes, and the bombardment of life updates from those around us thanks to social media (both a great thing and yet can also be a downer).
Overall, it was just a blast to be a part of the production from start to finish!
Your acting career is going very well. Was there a turning point where you started to book more roles or was it gradual?
Thank you! Overall, I would say gradual. However, big decisions such as moving to LA, partnering with my agent Sharon Kelly at American Artists Group Talent Agency, and my manager Sheila Touchstone at Touchstone Management propelled me in ways I could not have done alone. Honing my craft through coaching, classes, and books has also been extremely beneficial. I look at older auditions and can see the growth overtime. It’s exciting and a reminder that hard work and developing your talent cannot be rushed.
What 3 tips do you have for an aspiring actress?
- Know thyself. You have to know your strengths and weaknesses. Figure out where you need to grow/learn, and then go get it. Work on it, educate yourself, and make it your strength. Figure out your “type” and really lean into it when auditioning. Don’t be afraid to explore going “against type”, especially in your classes. There’s no better place to push the boundaries and throw the cards in the air. In that setting, you have nothing to lose, only learnings to gain.
- There is no right time. This one is especially important when considering an acting career. Your life will not slow down to allow this cool, calm, collected “A-ha” moment. There will be many things going on that you can point to as reasons not to pursue your dream of acting. But I challenge you to look at those excuses and change them to reasons why now is the time. Now this isn’t to say your approach shouldn’t be strategic and well thought out, but rather a reminder that everything may not be in a picture perfect state going into it. Keep in mind, you can always adjust as you go. You must adjust as you go.
- Trust your gut. In this industry, instincts are always key. It can be hard, especially when there are so many promises and opportunities being handed out on a daily basis. So often we want to overlook the red flags because of the exciting opportunity presented, but those red flags are there for a reason. Sometimes saying no can be the best decision for your career and for you personally. So take the time to do your research and check in with yourself to see if there are any alarms going off. If I can’t separate my eagerness/excitement from the opportunity, I’ll ask my family, a friend, or mentor to weigh in.
What Social Media Platforms are you currently on?
What do you think are some social media trends to watch in 2022?
Though I do not have an account, TikTok seems to have quite the grip at the moment. While I would love to see still images coming back to the top of the social chain, I think stitched videos are here to stay.
I will say I love the way fashion brands/influencers and dancers utilize the platform. Both of these categories come to life through movement, and videos capture them in a way that pictures just can’t compete.
How do you think Instagram has impacted the acting industry?
It’s become a tool where you can share who you are and what you do, in the way you determine best. I’ve heard many stories of Casting Directors referencing IG to find talent, especially in the dancing and singing world. It’s also a great tool for community. I think acting can feel lonely at times but it’s a wonderful reminder that there are so many people out there struggling and succeeding in the same things you are.
I do think it can be a double edged sword and therefore, you have to be in the right mental space when using the platform. It’s a slippery slope, so my one piece of advice would be to make sure you’re following profiles that inspire you, not ones that make you feel bad about yourself or where you are in life.
What is your current skincare routine?
My sister-in-law introduced me to Shani Darden’s spa and skincare line, and I haven’t veered since. She has incredible products that are particularly formulated for sensitive skin. Here’s my typical routine:
- Shani Darden Cleansing Serum
- iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Plus
- OLEHENRIKSEN Banana Bright Eye Crème
- Control Corrective Oil-Free Sunscreen SPF 30 mixed with ILIA Super Serum Skin Tint
- Shani Darden Cleansing Serum
- Shani Darden Retinol Reform 2-3 nights a week (If you haven’t heard of this or tried it yet, run, don’t walk! It’s a game changer and every friend I’ve shared this product with has come back singing Shani’s praises.)
- Dr. Dennis Gross Peel Pads 1-2 nights a week (not on Retinol nights)
- Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask under my eyes for extra overnight TLC
- Shani Darden Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer
What 3 products can you not live without?
- 14th Night The Hair Elixir (Founded by another Vogue vet, Negar Mohammadi). It’s the most luxurious hair oil that breathes immediate hydration and sheen to your locks! Not to mention the smell is divine because of the incredible ingredients such as Pomegranate, Argan, and Sweet Almond Oil.
- PAT McGRATH LABS Sublime Perfection Concealer – it’s like sleep in a bottle for your undereyes!
- LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask (I use this 24/7, not just at night)
You can follow Francesca on Instagram @FrancescaBMcCormick