What inspired this project?
I was feeling frustrated waiting for someone to give me a break and this kind of just happened. It is a combination of my own journey and my friends’ stories.
How did you come to the name “#Actorslife”?
#ActorsLife came quite late in the rehearsal process. I was searching for the perfect name and I was constantly annoyed by the social media posts perpetuating the image that an actor is constantly made up to the nines and on set…. I realized that this play shows the pressures to constantly provide a perfect image, but also shows the reality of what an actors life really is.
What is #Actorslife about?
It is about so many things. The deep desire to be a professional actor, to be taken seriously and respected, in conflict with the need for affirmation and wanting everyone to like you and dealing with the constant stresses and challenges of being an actor in our artificial industry.
Why should someone watch it, and why do you think this story is important?
Because they will journey with Christine, learn to know her, see her vulnerabilities and yet also see her unending strength and determination. It is important because we all play different roles, so anyone can identify. Audience members will laugh till they cry and walk out with a better understanding not only of Actors but also of themselves.
How are you preparing for your role?
Multiple ways. Extensive script analysis, using techniques me and Tam learned from Matthew Harrison. And then working with the elements and emotional core of each scene. Just a variety of play and research – and then learning to trust my own words and the work done by the entire team!
What have you found most challenging about this project?
Getting an unknown show by unknown artists taken seriously. Finding a new director was tough, multiple rejections and self-funding without compromising the quality of the work. And the technical side – my OCD nature makes it really difficult to let go of control on things that I really know nothing about.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I love Christine. She has a million layers. As Tam says, she is the quintessential insecure woman. She is the actor in all of us. She captures so many vulnerabilities and yet refuses to give up. She is constantly growing and developing and I am only just starting to let her come out and have fun.
Why do you choose to write in English?
It really depends on the project and although it is primarily an English play, #Actorslife is a mixture. It reflects the conflict that some Afrikaans actors experience. I myself am often told that I do not look ‘Afrikaans enough’ to be cast in local projects and yet cannot reveal my Afrikaans background in an international casting environment for fear of having my accent and acting talent judged on that basis.
What do you want the audience to take away from the piece?
I want audiences to walk out having experienced with Christine, gained an insight and sympathy for the world of the actor, a respect for the actor as a professional entity and a greater understanding of themselves.
What advice would you give young actors?
Come watch the play! Just joking (kind of). Seriously though, don’t be naïve. Don’t become an actor expecting to be famous or thinking it will be fun or easy. It is a difficult career choice. So do your research, make sure it is what you want to do, be ready to work harder than you can possibly expect and find ways to make your own work. You have to be passionate about what you do, then all the long hours of work, money stresses, rejections and panic attacks will be worth it.