PLEASE WELCOME WONDERFUL MELBOURNE ACTRESS & MODEL
1 Please tell us a little bit about your background.
A: I was born accidentally in the UK when my mother contracted preeclampsia; I was nine weeks early and very, very small. We lived there for a few years when I was a kid before coming back to Australia. I’ve been playing music all my life as well as studying theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts and recently working on my first commercial show: 'King Kong'. I am passionate about music, drama and social justice and I also got engaged last December (my fiancé is a cartoonist)!
(Ed: CONGRATULATIONS to you both).
(Ed: CONGRATULATIONS to you both).
2 Have you always wanted to be in entertainment or did you want to do something else when you were younger?
A: I remember playing teacher when I was little and feeding my ‘students’ bubble gum flavoured lip-gloss as a reward and funnily enough I am now a music teacher part time. However, I also remember the feeling I got in my first drama lessons in primary school and my subsequent compulsion to write, perform and compose music and drama. It’s been my dream for a long time now to make a career out of the performing arts, but only recently have I plucked up the courage to pursue it.
3 Is anyone else in your family in entertainment?
A: My mother teaches violin as well as performing, and my father plays trumpet in a big band and chamber orchestra in between work. My uncle is a professional keyboard player and my other uncle is a bassoonist and composer. No one’s done acting yet, though!
4 You are a model, actor and musician. Are you formally trained in these skills?
A: I’m formally trained in cello, piano, guitar, singing, composition and theatrical production. Acting is something I have experience in, but am hoping to undertake formal training very soon. Modelling is very new; I had to get head shots for acting and the photographer asked if I’d be willing to do more shoots with my cello, so now I’m pursuing artistic modelling as well (none of that catwalk nonsense for me).
5 Have you ever worked with any ‘big’ names?
A: I recently worked on “King Kong” which involved some fantastic and talented musical theatre people, including beautiful singer Esther Hannaford and well-known actor and singer/songwriter Richard Piper.
6 What do you enjoy doing in your ‘spare’ time?
A: I make a “Doctor Who” fan series for which I write, act, production manage and compose. I also compose and record my own music and enjoy studying psychology and physics alongside acting, writing and music.
7 What and/or who are your inspirations?
A: I’m very inspired by “Doctor Who” orchestrator, conductor and composer in his own right Ben Foster because he’s amazing and incredibly lovely. Obviously, “Doctor Who” inspires me a lot too with its positive values, imagination and humour. I also love German philosopher Nietzsche because he wasn’t afraid to think for himself despite opposition and had a keen love of nature, despite being perceived by the general public as harsh and elitist. And recently Jennifer Lawrence because she’s a real person who hasn’t let fame ruin her, plus she’s clumsy like me.
8 Have you ever been bullied?
A: I was bullied in primary and early high school, mainly by older girls who didn’t approve of my childishness or just didn’t like me/who I made friends with. They called me names, dragged me around the schoolyard and the boys threw things at me. It hurt, but I was fortunate enough to have a best friend in primary school and a strong friendship group in high school as well as a loving family. That’s the main reason why I was too scared to pursue acting; for so long I felt unworthy and afraid.
9 Whether you have been bullied or not, do you think the governments and schools around the world are doing enough to try to combat this problem?
A: The anti-bullying programs and spokespeople I see hearten me, but there is always more to be done, especially in our media saturated society.
10 What further do you feel the above could do to either greatly decrease bullying or eliminate it altogether?
A: We encourage bullying in a certain sense through how we portray what the ‘perfect person’ is, which is completely unattainable without the aid of editing software. So, from the outset we’re all bullied by the media, which in turn encourages us to bully others who don’t fit the norm in order to feel better about our own insecurities. Not to mention the progress we need to make on gay/other sexuality rights and in accepting others (i.e. refugees). It’s all about fear. We need to recognise that we’re naturally afraid of the unknown and make an effort to be compassionate and understanding instead of lashing out or believing in stereotypes.
11 Is there anything you would like to do in this fight, on a personal level?
A: I’m just one tiny person, but so is everyone else. If I can make one other tiny person feel loved, then I’ll have made a difference. If I could, I would love to give everyone who is struggling a big hug, but perhaps I’ll have to settle for writing a song instead. Songs are like musical hugs, aren’t they?
12 Are you professionally managed or do you represent yourself?
A: I represent myself, although I am with a few talent agencies.
13 What musical instrument do you play? Preferred genres?
A: I play (in order of proficiency) cello, piano, percussion, guitar, bass, piano accordion, clarinet, mandolin, ukulele, violin, viola. I am classically trained, but I also love rock, folk, electronic and world music. I’m a huge fan of fusion, such as MUSE, or certain film soundtracks which combine live and samples such as Hans Zimmer’s scores.
14 What is on the agenda for 2014 for you?
A: It’s going to be a big year for me! I’ll be house-hunting, wedding planning, playing in several bands on cello, recording a solo EP, teaching music and pursuing acting and music as a career *gulp*.
15 Do you have any special message you would like to share with the world?
A: I want the world to know that there are many people who care and I am one of them. We’re much quieter than the cries of the selfish and the aggressive, but we’re here. And no matter who you are or what you’ve done or had done to you, we will always listen and practice compassion. There are people in your life who will too, even if you don’t know who they are yet; sometimes being vulnerable takes the most strength.
16 Is there anything further you would like to add?
A: Thank you for this opportunity and do let me know if there’s anything else I can do!
17 Do you have any links you would like to be included in this interview?