Tessa Lyn Farrell was born in Scottsdale, Arizona to Catherine McGinley, a real estate agent in Austin, TX, and Scott Farrell, a sci-fi author and real estate broker in Ventura Beach, CA. Tessa was raised in Austin, Texas by Catherine and Patrick McGinley. Tessa has one younger sister, Kelsey, two younger brothers, Ryan and Shane, and has Italian as well as Irish, Cherokee, and German ancestry. Tessa started walking at 9 months and has been on the move ever since. By age 3, Tessa was active in gymnastics, dance, girl scouts and choir. At age 10, Tessa picked up her first video camera and fell in love with storytelling. Tessa's parents wanted her to get a traditional education so they kept her in public school were she took up extracurriculars like soccer, choir, dance, theater, skateboarding and yearbook. Tessa's first introduction to professional acting and modeling occurred when she was scouted in a dance club in San Antonio, Texas and asked to perform in Tony Parker's rap music video "Balance-Toi". Upon graduating high school, Tessa was dead-set on making movies for a living and graduated with honors from the film school at The University of Texas.
Tessa relocated to Hollywood and landed a small recurring role as a supermodel on HBO's Entourage and began shooting national commercials for Nike, Apple, Dish Network, Dodge and others. Tessa was scouted again by actor/screenwriter Ty Granderson Jones and asked to star in his action film "Diamond". Tessa was nominated for Best Female Action Performer of the Year in the International Action on Film Festival for her performance. Tessa began auditioning for various roles in TV and film and landed the starring role in Hunter G. William's latest movie The Madness Within featuring Lily Tomlin. Tessa wanted to make a larger impact in the industry so she quit auditioning and began writing her own roles. A few scripts later, she developed other skills to take her characters from the page and onto the screen. She began producing, directing, and editing her own projects. SIN, a black and white thriller film she made entirely by herself with her iPhone 7, was an official selection in the Austin Spotlight Film Festival and is currently making its rounds in the film festival circuit. In the 2018 Stuart Roger's Studios 48-hour Smartphone Filmmaking Competition Tessa created God Speed, another film made entirely by herself using her iPhone X, and took home the prize for Best Use of Smartphone. All Dolled Up: A Craftsman and His Creation, Tessa wrote, directed and starred in, won 2nd place for Best Picture in Canon’s 4K Fashion Film Festival Competition. Tessa is actively developing a slate of feature films to star in.