Young actress has best of both worlds in La Jolla, Los Angeles.
Local actress and opera singer Sophia Linkletter seems to have the world at her feet. The 14-year-old keeps busy traveling to Hollywood to audition for films and TV shows, and she’s in rehearsals for a role San Diego Opera’s “La Bohème.”
Sophia feels more comfortable this year, as she appeared in last year’s “Tosca.”
“I’m used to the process, so I know what’s coming,” she said. “I also like working with Todd, the music director, again. And I love listening to the adults when they sing. Their voices are so beautiful and powerful; sometimes when they hit really high notes, things around us actually shake.”
Chorus Master Timothy Todd Simmons said of Sophia, “She has been a particular joy as part of the chorus. As one of the returning children who has been in several San Diego Opera productions, she brings a great deal of experience and knowledge regarding expectations and protocol. Because she understands the responsibility I expect each of the children, she’s important to our rehearsal process as an example to the less experienced choristers.”
In addition to opera rehearsals, Sophia has singing, acting and dance lessons, is in the school choir and is part of a band called Co-Motion. “There are two boys, Cooper and Austin, who play guitar, and Emily and me; and we all sing a four-part harmony,” Sophia said. “This summer, we had a concert at Kit Carson Park (in Escondido), but we can’t perform too often during school.”
Sophia has put her time into studying her craft and taking lots of lessons, but some of her exuberant talent may just be inherited. She’s the great-granddaughter of celebrity Art Linkletter, who lived in San Diego when he was a young boy. Linkletter, who will turn 98 this summer, is still going strong and loves to keep tabs on his great-granddaughter.
“We do an occasional celebrity fundraiser together, which I love because we bond more and more,” she said. “But I talk to him several times a week. He’s my biggest cheerleader and gives me good advice.”
There are plenty of other relatives in her spectator court nearby. Her grandmother, Jill Schmidt, lives in La Jolla, and many of Sophia’s mother’s family reside here as well.
This summer, Sophia will have a role in the independent film “In Conclusion.” Directed by Erica Livingstone, the movie will be filmed in San Diego and presented at Sundance. “This is an intense movie, but it’s very inspiring,” Sophia said. “I play Ariana, who has to deal with an abusive mother, and I don’t deal with it well. I think this is a nice challenge for me.”
The young actress already has a screen presence: She’s appeared in two television pilots, has supporting roles in the feature films “She’s a Fox” and the upcoming film “Spork.” Sophia has many local theatrical credits in San Diego, including leads in CCT’s “Sound of Music,” Avo Playhouse’s “Alice in Wonderland” and Escondido Center for the Arts’ “A Little Princess” and “Narnia.”
Behind every youth actress is a stage mom or dad, and Sophia’s mother, Adrianne Anderson, and father, James, are very supportive. Adrianne admits she’s a stage mom. “You bet I am,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what Sophia is into, we support her. If it were soccer, I’d be a soccer mom. I drive her to L.A., her lessons here, and her shows when she gets parts, but it’s OK. We’re also good friends, and we have fun.”
Sophia, an eighth-grader, sometimes has to work school around her schedule. She tries not to miss too much. “I have an A average, and I like school a lot,” she said. Her special skills include playing the flute and piccolo, horseback riding, tennis and surfing. And she can use a French or British dialect in roles.
Sophia knows there may come a time when she’ll have to move to L.A. if she gets steady work.
“I do a lot of auditions mainly for Disney programs. I like going to auditions; it’s fun and you meet people and hear a lot of gossip, but then I get to come home to my great life here. I guess right now I have the best of both worlds.”