Comments on last show and published film

Performance

Following the other week’s cabaret event “Don’t Judge Me By My Accent”, I wanted to go back to the process of preparing my part of the show, and what I discovered on the night.

In May, Beatrice Mori, a talented actress, singer and producer, asked me if I wanted to perform a monologue at her event. She first mentioned a German accent, which I don’t quite feel comfortable in at the moment. After growing up in France, I feel that my oral muscles are able to speak naturally in English with a French accent, so I suggested that instead. I then started looking for French actresses who also act in English for inspiration and a script. Cotillard came to mind, as well as Gainsbourg, but I chose Julie Delpy and remembered the final voiceover in her film “2 Days in Paris” where she describes her relationships with men and deep love for her boyfriend Jack.

I had a month to prepare, so I took my time to learn the speech inside and out, but until the day of the show, I didn’t really know how I would interpret it. It’s funny, sad, provocative. There were things I could relate to, but others I couldn’t. Moreover, presenting a monologue out of context on a cabaret night is not like an audition, it needs to entertain the audience and tell a story from start to finish, right? I broke the text down multiple times, going through the intentions, thought changes and the overall arc. Beatrice told me that she once felt completely lost just hours before performing a piece, and this reminded me that sometimes things need time to click.

And that’s what happened. I arrived at the venue early, where a few of the performers had the chance to rehearse in front of each other. I walked on stage, started talking, and then realised where the speech was going. I found the humour, the rhythm, and noticed that even though the piece is not that funny, I brought my own humour to it. It was the first time I was speaking this text in a big room, and it made all the difference.

The atmosphere and the audience that evening were magical, and we all had a great time, it felt like a collaboration although we had all more or less just met that afternoon. During the show, Beatrice spoke about the origins of this show that embraces all accents and encourages us to be ourselves, to use what makes us unique instead of trying to fit into a box.

You hear this a lot: embrace what makes you unique, don’t try to fit in but communicate in your own voice. After close to a decade away from France, my French is shifting, so is my English, which I’ve inherited from my American mother – not to mention my German which is underused at the moment. But that’s who I am! To quote my friend Margot, I’m a “Euro-merican”, and the movies and plays that move me are those that have characters who don’t just identify as being from one culture. Inside ourselves, we are a rainbow (quoting Maya Rudolph here), and if we work hard enough and keep pushing, I believe the industry will become interested in that rainbow.

Film

On another note, an exciting and dark short thriller/horror shot in 2016 called “Echoes of the Passed” is out on YouTube! This was my third short film with filmmaker Scott Lyus. I loved the experience of acting in this, as I feel I made friends, got to have fun with my three co-stars, and had my first experience with night shoots. Working with Scott is a true pleasure and on this film, it was a real collaboration.

What's up in June

Photo by Laima

Oh dear, it’s been two months since my last article! Well, I’m back with some news on what I’ve been up to in the acting world.

Playing Carol Cutrere in Orpheus Descending last month was a fantastic experience, as I think I overcame some fears I had. The more you work in front of the camera, the scarier stage becomes, right? Speaking Tennessee Williams’ words with a Louisiana accent is a lot of fun and becoming this loud, proud and damaged woman for a few weeks was a joy. I now have a theory that that’s exactly what my casting is.

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Last week I acted in Tiny Kernel of Dark Joy, a short film written and directed by Andrea Ratti, who was 1st AD on Dear Mum. Andrea is definitely someone you can learn film history from, and I respect his passion and the clear vision he can bring to a set. Our cinematographer was Felix Dembinski. The film should be around five to ten minutes long and I play a woman who’s just lost her father and decides to listen to his old records.

I’ve been invited by Beatrice Mori, actress and producer, to perform a monologue at the event “Don’t Judge me by my Accent” this week-end. I’m pleased she thought of me, and this is my chance to perform with a French accent – something I am rarely asked to do. This should be a great night of meeting like-minded people and watching nice pieces of music and theatre. Tickets here

Images by Laima Arlauskaite and Sam Chatziiliadis.

I’ve been cast in a play, and other observations

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Theatre news!

I am so excited to be playing the rebellious and fragile character of Carol Cutrere in ORPHEUS DESCENDING by Tennessee Williams at the Stockwell Playhouse, London, from 15 to 18 May 2019. The play will be directed by Marcus Marsh and my pal Ali Shinall is also in it! Rehearsals start right after Easter. Save the date! Tickets can be purchased here.

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Review

I spent some time in Paris last month, and went to see Simon Stone’s current production of “La Trilogie de la vengeance” (the vengeance trilogy), starring my girl crushes Adele Exarchopoulos (also appearing in “The White Crow” directed by Ralph Fiennes) and Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi. The play as well as the audience are split into three parts, and you move between sets for each new act. Stone, whose “Yerma” I saw in London, grabs classical stories written by Shakespeare or John Ford in which women are seen as archetypes and uni-dimensional victims and gives them a whole new meaning in today’s world. I do love these kinds of adaptations that don’t shy away from changing language and setting for a fresh and visceral contemporary experience.

Video

Finally, you may have seen my post last month about cinematographer Tansy Simpson’s work with Illuminatrix Rising, Kodak and Cinelab London in which I appear. Here is a longer clip, with sunlight and shadows hopefully exiting your screen to reach you.

Until next time!

What’s up, November?

These past few weeks have been all about The Curious Voyage, a secret immersive theatre show crossing continents! Indeed, it is being produced by Talk is Free Theatre, a company from Barrie, Canada. Canadian guests start a three-day immersive experience in Barrie ending in London, UK. Others are free to only do the London day, starting at 1pm and ending at 9pm in various London locations. You can read reviews on Broadway World or Londonist.

With only five more shows to do this coming week, I wanted to tell a bit more about my experience on the team, without revealing anything about the show of course! What I love about my part of the show, directed by Daniele Bartolini, is that the audience members really are the most important. They are the life of the show, as opposed to the actors.

In fact, I don’t feel like I’m acting at all. I have a script to follow, but also need to react to the groups I am leading through the “Voyage”. This has made the experience very freeing and I plan on taking this element into future shows.

I also have to point out the amazing people I’ve been working with: our director Daniele, the actors (Nikos Brahimllari; Rory de Brouwer; Gianpiero Cognoli; Magdalena Korpas; Vincent Leblanc-Beaudoin, Ninad Samadder, Danielle Stagg) and our incredible producer Raylene Turner. I believe the nature of the show has opened us all up to each other’s quirkiness and originality – every crew member is an artist in their own way and it’s been a treat to meet them all. I will miss them when this is over.

Speaking of, after this show, I will be renewing my actor headshots and hopefully jumping on the audition train again.

Thanks for reading!

Toodloo and good night.