Meet a Dork: Kayla Topp, Actress & marshmello Collaborator

by Neil Bui
marshmello cleans the trumpet for Kayla Topp's character.

EDM artist marshmello released his music video for “Blocks” earlier this week, which takes the DJ back to college at Joytime University. In the video, actress Kayla Topp plays a member of the school band that marshmello joins. We reached out to her to find out more about the experience.

EDIT: HERE’S A CONTINUATION TO THIS SCHOOLPLACE LOVE STORY… This time, Christmas with the mello fam.

  1. How did you get involved with the “Blocks” music video?
    • I was fortunate enough to have worked with some of the crew on marshmello’s set before on previous short films.  Many of us met back studying at Chapman University and are now out in Los Angeles working in the industry – which is amazing to have a network like that!
  2. Was there anything about the filming process that surprised you at all (whether in this project or a previous one)?
    • I think something during this shoot that was surprising (in a good way) to me was the freedom Daniel, our amazing director, and the entire team gave to us as the actors.  Each take obviously had guidelines of a beginning/middle/end where it needed to go or what main action had to happen but it allowed a lot of freedom, improvising, and creativity as an actor to fill in how to get from point A to point B and fill it with different moments and choices.
      marshmello meets Kayla Topp's character.

      marshmello meets Kayla Topp’s character.

  3. How long did filming last?
    • This was a two-day shoot around eight to eleven hours each day!
  4. What was your favorite part of the whole experience?
    • My favorite part of the whole experience was being on set working collaboratively with such a great, diverse, and creative team.  Everyone there was such a heads down hard worker but with such an internal artistic drive and I loved meeting everyone throughout the two days.
      marshmello returns her instrument.

      marshmello returns her instrument.

  5. What is the biggest misconception you think people may have about acting in a music video?
    • A big misconception about acting in a music video is that it’s the same as filming any other on camera scene or film.  Music videos are cut together so differently in the editing room that it really does affect how it’s shot/the takes as well as how the actors’ performances are cut together.  When you think about it, many of those shots are only a couple seconds long and are cut together rapidly which means you are shooting for a long time but you need to give the director and editor a variety of distinct and strong moments for them to choose from when piecing everything together in post-production.
  6. Did you have a chance to interact with marshmello? If so, what was he like?
    • One thing that I loved was how humanlike marshmello’s face became as we shot throughout each day.  I wasn’t sure at first how it would feel interacting with him on camera but in a (pretty symbolic and relevant) way, the face became normal and didn’t feel like a barrier to act with at all.
      Kayla Topp stares with admiration at marshmello.

      Kayla Topp stares with admiration at marshmello.

  7. When I first watched the music video, I thought your character looked very familiar. Possibly Alison Brie, haha. Are there any celebrities you think are your doppelganger?
    • So funny you ask because I have gotten so many random doppelganger suggestions but never a consensus on one!   That’s the first time I have heard Alison Brie but I’ll take it!  I’ve gotten a little bit of Lucy Hale and Kristin Kreuk before but I never see it myself haha
  8. Do you think we might get to see you in another one of his music videos?
    •  I hope so! marshmello’s  music videos are all so cinematic and almost like connected short films so I would love to!
  9. You’ve appeared in film, television, and theatre as well. Which medium do you enjoy the most?
    • That’s so hard because I love them all for different reasons!  There is nothing like the energy onstage with live theatre and forming a bond with a cast in a play over months.  However, I love acting on camera because the opportunity to explore organic, intimate, detailed moments and be apart of the collaboration of an entire crew’s vision is so unique.  It’s also so fun to shoot on set then wait and see how the film turns out once everything has been edited, colored, put to sound, etc.
  10. What do you think of the message of the music video – always stay true to yourself, no matter what anyone else thinks. It will always lead you to finding your true passion.
    • I absolutely LOVE that marshmello’s music, videos, and brand in general are all about staying authentically you and finding your passion without allowing others to stop you or bring you down.  Music and art are so powerful so that fact that he is using his art to communicate such a message is amazing to me and I couldn’t agree more.  I think one thing our society and especially our generation is in desperate need of is more authenticity, vulnerability, and truly caring about something.  I think that when you are being 100% you that is when you have the most success and joy and can also help lift others up to shine and live in that very authentic place.

To find out more about Kayla Topp, please visit www.kaylatopp.com.

To find out more about Kayla Topp, please visit www.kaylatopp.com.

Kayla Topp is a Los Angeles based + Seattle born-and-raised actor with a passion for storytelling and creating.  She absolutely loves how telling stories, whether through film, television, theatre, or any other sort of art form can connect people and promote empathy in a way that nothing else can. 

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