Skylar Benton is a Los Angeles-based actress, model, and dancer who currently stars in the buzzed-about film “Girls Night In.” The horror short has won multiple awards and has screened at festivals such as Screamfest, Cannes, Shockfest, and London Int’l Short Film Festival. “Girls Night In” had its official New York premiere at this year’s prestigious Tribeca Film Festival. The film was accepted as one of 43 shorts after beating out 7,200 other applicants. As one of the two main leads, Skylar makes her first speaking debut in this critically acclaimed short film. Before “Girls Night In,” she appeared in numerous commercials, modeling campaigns, and music videos. Skylar has developed an illustrious career as a highly in-demand burlesque dancer. She is currently touring internationally in Australia with the five-star reviewed show Blanc de Blanc ENCORE! The show has had sold-out seasons at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and Sydney Opera House. Domestically she has performed across the country, from Delilah in Los Angeles to the Setai Hotel in Miami.
Who is Skylar Benton
Though born in Orange, CA, Skylar grew up in Ruston, Louisiana and has spent her life training in multiple dance forms from ballet to tap and jazz. With a desire to move back to California, she eyed an initial career in fashion and enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM), which brought her back to Los Angeles at 18. After receiving her degree, Skylar worked as a design room assistant, but after much thought, she realized this was not her career path. At a low point, she decided to go on a spontaneous yoga retreat to India with little savings she had left, but not before signing with a commercial talent agency. She attended a burlesque audition which led to her trip being cut short when she received the call that she had booked the job. Skylar was flown back as the principal dancer staring opposite the queen of Burlesque - Dita Von Teese. Therefore she cemented her desire to pursue dance full-time while still honing her craft as an actress and model.
It was mid-pandemic when Skylar heard that her friend, Landon LaRue, was looking for actors for a short film she had written. Originally auditioning for the role of Becca, she ended up resonating with the other lead role of Delaney, and both the director and writer agreed. Skylar has been excited at the film's response over the awards it has received and the festivals it has been accepted into. The success of this experience has instilled a drive to pursue her acting career further.
When Skylar had a moment to speak, she talked with Gemma Magazine about her "Girls Night In," her current aspirations, and future projects. So, let's get into it!
You are a trained dancer. Do you feel the majority of this training happened in Louisiana? (I also grew up there, and they emphasize dancing).
I feel like the foundation of my dance training began in Louisiana, but it was not until I moved to Los Angeles that I started exploring who I was as an individual dancer. I was and still am in many improv-based shows, so you’re constantly challenging yourself and testing your limits.
Did you always feel that you wanted to dance and act, or was it more of a process?
I always wanted to be a model. Also, growing up in Louisiana, I never thought dancing could be a full-time career. I was taught to go to college and get a degree, which is the job you will have for the rest of your life. I had quit dancing altogether, moved to California, and got my degree in fashion. When the fashion industry did not turn out to be everything I hoped it would be, dancing and acting just kind of fell into my lap again.
Has your family been supportive of your creative endeavors?
They have! They are excited to see me get into acting, as I tend to have more clothes on during that. HA! My dad and I had an argument when I was 18 where I told him I would only work "fun jobs," he likes to remind me of this for every fun job I get.
What was it like filming "Girls Night In" and working with Dita Von Teese?
It was so much fun getting to film GNI! This was my first speaking role; I had previously worked with most people on set. So, it was nice having that familiarity vibe on set, especially when you only have 12 hours to film it all! Working on the same job as Dita was surreal. This was my first big job in L.A., and she and I were both transformed into holograms for a casino installment in China. We did film on separate days, but I met her and showed her some burlesque videos. Looking back on that moment is a little embarrassing because I was starting in burlesque, but she was charming about it. HA!
Congratulations on all the awards for "Girls Night In." Also, Tribeca! How do you feel?
Thank you! Tribeca was unreal! Wow, still in shock that I flew in from Australia and got to go to J. Lo’s "Halftime" premiere, followed by two days of our premieres! The response to our film was incredible, and everyone in our category was SO talented; it was an honor to share the screen with five other fantastic shorts.
You have also been touring with Blanc de Blanc Encore! How is that going?
The tour is excellent! After two years off because of Covid, we’ve been on a roll since starting in February for Adelaide Fringe Festival, then Newcastle, two months on the Gold Coast, and finishing with two months in Brisbane. This is the most extended consecutive tour we have done.
Due to your dancing, do you follow a strict dietary regime?
Oh God, not at all. I love food TOO much to limit myself on what I should and shouldn’t be eating. When I was home in L.A.for a few days before Tribeca, I binged on all my hometown favorites from Mexican to BBQ and everything in between!
What do you do when you have some time off? What are some of your favorite ways to relax?
Ahh, time off feels rare these days. When it does come around, I love reading, traveling, yoga, & catching up on my social life by seeing as many friends and family as possible.
What is your next project?
I’m on tour until September with ENCORE! But when that is finished, I would like to hit the ground running with acting after coming off this Tribeca high!
To keep up with Skylar Benton and her exciting career, follow her on Instagram