We recently sat down with another amazing young actress, Esther Eden about some of her exciting new projects coming up. Plus, she shares some of her most valuable tips for surviving in the entertainment industry.
Please introduce yourself to the readers, how and when did you first get into performing?
My first taste of theatre was at about the age of three, I went to watch my first theatrical production which was the Sound of Music, I remember watching the Von Trapp children and thinking ”I want to do that”! My mother noticed my interest in acting and started enrolling me in to local drama classes not too long after that and then it all started to snowball from there. I was performing in local theatre productions and was cast in my first feature film Torn Together at the age of fifteen which was co-directed by Ryan Osmond, who has since worked on multiple productions such as, the new Mad Max: Fury Road and TV series Atomic Kingdom.
Who were some of your biggest inspirations?
I have been inspired by so many people. Actors that have influenced my career have been Johnny Depp, Hilary Swank, Christina Ricci, Natalie Portman, I really admire their versatility and the fact that they have taken risks in their work and played a lot of roles that are against typecast and their looks. I love European cinema as well and really admire Kristen Scott Thomas, who is bilingual and does not only Hollywood films, but a lot of French cinema, as well as performing in a lot of theatrical productions.
What kind of training have you had, if any?
I went to McDonald College, a performing arts high school in Sydney, Australia, we studied two hours of drama every day alongside our regular studies. I would take workshops at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts on the weekend. After I graduated from there, I auditioned for drama schools and was accepted in to Screenwise, a school that specializes in screen acting. After graduation, I moved to London and continued taking classes at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, LAMDA and the Actors Centre. Last year, I auditioned and was accepted into the Professional Actor’s Masterclass, run by the Australian Institute of Performing Arts, a course designed for international actors looking to learn more about the US industry, which was held in Los Angeles. After I returned to London, I became interested in the Meisner technique and have been studying with the London Group Theatre, run by Tom Radcliffe who studied with Sanford Meisner in Los Angeles.
What has been your favorite role to play so far?
I spent a year performing with theatre company Le Nouveau Guignol, a company whose patron is RSC actor Jonathan Slinger, and was dedicated to resurrecting Grand Guignol theatre, horror and risque comedy plays which was started in Paris in the late 19th century. Some of my favorite roles have been performing with them, including my role of Jean in The Final Kiss, a woman recently released from prison, who comes to the visit her lover whose face she horribly disfigured with acid – the play is full of subtlety and subtext and at the end of it the tables are turned and he gets his revenge on her by pouring acid on her face. I really enjoyed exploring the relationship between Jean and Henri and also the challenge of working with prosthetics, which was needed at the end of the play to show my face burnt by acid.
What has been one of your biggest achievements in your career so far?
I have been blessed so far with many achievements that I am proud of. One of my biggest achievements so far is working on audio sitcom Quiz Masters, about a group of friends who meet every week at a pub quiz. It was very popular and reached 15th place on the overall itunes podcast chart and 5th place on the itunes comedy chart. I also worked on a production of Macbeth, which was set in contemporary England in the banking world, with the witches being changed to journalists. It ran to full houses for three weeks at The Cockpit Theatre, where it gained rave reviews and was publicised in publications such as Theatre Reviews London, What’s On Stage, London Culture Blog, The Stage and The Evening Standard.
What projects do you have coming up?
I have recently joined new production company Demand Horror as one of their Scream Queens, I will be working in most of their upcoming productions including web series Until Dead and feature film Selfie, about a serial killer who takes selfies of his victims as they are being murdered. I also have feature film Dead Love, currently in post production that is due to be released this year and submitted to film festivals, it features cult horror icons Emily Booth (presenter of the horror channel) and Lloyd Kaufmann who has a long history of working in horror films as an actor, director and producer. Aside from all the horror, I am still working regularly with The 313 Show, a comedy podcast that I have been working with since 2012. We have in the past couple of years, started doing live sketch shows, including performing last year as part of the Kingston Comedy Festival and working on a web series of our most popular comedy sketches.
Who would be your ideal co-star and why?
So many great actors I would love to work with! Meryl Streep, as she always delivers solid performances and seems to bring out the best from the actors she works with and would love to pick her brain on her acting process. If I was doing a comedy, I would love to work with Jim Carrey or Jack Black, as I can imagine them being extremely fun and enjoyable to work with on set.
What are your plans for the future?
Besides working on the productions I am cast in, I plan on continuing to work on my craft. As an actor you never stop learning and growing as an artist and I believe in continuing training alongside working. I am also developing my own projects as I believe in being proactive in work and not just relying on other people casting you in their productions. I am developing my own web series, it is in early stages at the moment so I don’t want to give too much away yet.
What is your advice to aspiring performers?
Going after your dreams takes a leap of faith and sacrifice, it doesn’t come easy but the rewards can be great and fulfilling. Don’t be afraid of trying new things, of taking control and creating your own work, rather than just sitting back and waiting for it to come to you. Pursuing your goals can be a long process. It is about the journey rather than the end result, so remember to stay in the moment, be present and enjoy all aspects of your life, the ups and the downs. Life isn’t a dress rehearsal, so just go for it!