Laura is an Australian actor who now lives between Melbourne and Los Angeles, but somehow found time to talk to a dude from France trying to make a podcast is English. Cause she’s just THAT nice.
Anyway so I got to talk to her, asked her a few questions I had… And it turned into a super free, deep, and chill conversation, which is exactly what I want this podcast to be. We got offtrack but still talked about interesting stuff, from World War II to our childhood. But since Laura is an actor, I obviously asked her tons of questions related to that, which she answered honestly and will probably help you become one too.
Becoming An Actor
I don’t think anybody “becomes” an actor, as much as they discover that this is what they are meant to do. In fact, Celinne Da Costa told us last week that she felt like life wasn’t a process of finding yourself, but of rediscovering yourself, meaning that what you should do in life lies deep inside you and is not to be found anywhere else. With that being said, if you know this is for you, if you have a “burning desire” to do it, but like Laura you live in a country where the entertainment industry is not that big… Well she’s got tips for you.
The first thing to keep in mind is that even in smaller countries, there are acting schools. These allow you to not only learn and improve, but also meet like-minded people a little more easily than usual. And if you are lucky to get in a great one, like Laura did, it might even have some programs to go abroad, like in Los Angeles for example. That’s what she did when she was younger and she loved the experience so much she now goes back whenever she can. LA seems like the perfect place to start acting because there are a lot more opportunities over there. In a week, Laura gets as many “big” auditions as in a year in Melbourne, and sure the competition is fierce, but this helps get into the business, meet casting directors, show your skills… And practice. Even on the street you might meet a fellow actor, young director etc. And we all know how important it is to network and to be surrounded by people that motivate you! People who want to reach their goals! Potential Waves Podcast guests!
The difficult part of this kind of trip is to choose what kind of course you want to follow once you’re in the U.S. Laura told me that she found hers particularly interesting for two reasons: First, one of them helped her understand how the industry works, how to act in front of casting director, and all that technical aspect of Cinema. AND it also had discussions with immigration lawyers who taught people how to get a visa, the different types of visa there are… And all that. These courses are meant specifically for foreign actors who are new in the U.S., they’re just for you so that’s where you should go first!
It’s Not The End Of The World
One thing actors have to be able to manage is stress. So I asked Laura her take on that, how she deals with it etc, and she broke it down into two parts: Some interior exercises that go from meditating, doing yoga, to drawing and coloring, and some more “outside” work like talking to her family or other people on set. It helps her build her support system both on a personal level and on a more general one, which to me is close to perfection, because when you lack one you always have the other. When you feel down your friends and family can help, and when they are sleeping cause you live across the ocean, you have yourself.
The aim of all these little exercices or “tricks” is not only to center yourself but also be more conscious of whatever situation you’re in. It helps Laura remember that sure she is on set pretending to be someone else, she has to talk in an American accent, remember her lines and it’s very stressing… But that’s all it is! There’s nothing really risky, nothing awful is going to happen, so she needs to remind herself that whatever is going on: It’s not the end of the world. So… I guess I’m going to start drawing?
What’s More Important Than You?
As usual, the most important quote of the episode is the one I used in the title. And in that paragraph. And in an Instagram post… I guess I just use it wherever I can.
It came up after a reflexion on the difference between the lives we have and the ones our grandparents had… Which was a huge digression from my original question, and I am SO glad we kept talking and end up on that. Because yes, our lives are different. Technology has made it so much better for us, travels are much easier and cheaper… And it enables us to do anything we want in life. Literally anything. Laura can go to Los Angeles whenever she wants, I can contact people from all around the world, talk to them and make it available for anyone on Earth to listen… The possibilities are endless.
Say you want to make movies. To do that, your grandparents would have had to buy a super expensive and very bad camera, “edit” by cutting film with actual scissors, and then beg people to either publish it or create their own theater. You? You can film it for free with your phone and put it on YouTube, so that anybody can watch it for free too.
So once we’ve acknowledged that, once we’ve realized how lucky we are, we almost owe it to ourselves to give it a shot. I mean why would we do anything other than what we want if we are allowed to choose? It doesn’t make any sense. As Laura said, what else are you doing? What’s more important than you?