It is believed the attack was the result of a botched robbery.
Ever wanted to step into somebody else’s shoes for the day and see what life is like as a magazine editor, a professional sportsperson or corporate high-flyer..? Well, SHESAID is giving you the closest thing to your very own Freaky Friday experience with our A Day In The Life Of… series.
Name and role
Erin James, plays Monica in The Little Death movie
Tell us a bit about what you do?
I guess I would describe myself as a storyteller and a communicator, bringing characters to life on stage and screen. I love engaging with people and connecting with them in as many ways as I can. What I love about my job is that I can work in so many different mediums. For the past 10 years, I have told stories in musicals, plays, cabarets, concerts and film with a host of incredible people. There has never been a dull moment, there is always something new and exciting around the corner (even when you least expect it) and that’s terribly exciting.
When did you discover your talent? Did you always want to be an actress?
I’m sure my family will say that I’ve always had a flair for the dramatic, but I’ve never thought that it was my only option. Just as I love working in a profession which is ever-changing, evolving and always different, I am equally interested in other professions and other means of communication. I thrive when I’m learning. I discovered my love of storytelling very early on (my first acting role was playing the role of Alice in a primary school musical version of Alice in Wonderland!) but I don’t remember making the choice to pursue a career in the arts. It just happened. (And thank goodness it did). No two days are ever the same, no two jobs are ever the same and that is an absolute joy.
My early training was actually in dance (my first tap dancing lesson at age five was really the start of it all) but I studied music, musicology, voice and acting throughout my teenage years. I guess I was an inquisitive child and never stopped asking questions about all kinds of occupations. I was lucky enough to have a great support network around me who all encouraged me to remain focused on academia and remain inquisitive about the world. I’m got a Graduate Diploma in Music, so have taught HSC music at high schools in NSW, I gained my NAATI Accreditation as a sign language interpreter for the deaf and have worked in that capacity since 2007. I run an online business and I’m still studying now, would you believe! I’m in my second year of Post-Graduate Law and I’m finding it absolutely thrilling! I think as an actor you can’t be too inquisitive.
Where do you find your inspiration? Who has had the most impact on you and your career?
When I was very young I watched all of the old Hollywood movie musicals I could get my hands on with my grandmother. We started with Shirley Temple films and moved onto movies starring Fred and Ginger, Gene Kelly, Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland. I suppose my early inspiration was from these artists who spoke to me through the television set. In terms of having an impact on me as a creative person and my career, well that’s a very hard question to answer quickly. I love to learn – I don’t think we ever stop learning – so I think I have taken a little inspiration from almost everyone who has helped shape my career over the years. From the unwavering support of my family to my the teachers who have carefully taught me my craft. I suppose if I had to pick one person, it would be my mum. She is my lucky charm and my most honest critic. I still use her reactions to my work as a gauge.
Its not always bright lights and glory. How do you deal with the challenges and down times?
I am now a master at living out of a suitcase and I can pack a travel bag in record time! It is true; the bright lights and flashy side of show business is only a very small part of the job. It is hard being away from loved ones, but missing important life events because of production schedules and and working odd hours means you become very good at making the most of the time you’ve got, while you’ve got it. Also, the internet (especially Skype) has certainly helped make the world a smaller place and helped keep me connected to my family when I’m away. I’ve been very lucky in my career that I always feel busy. There is always something to work towards, always something to focus on. This could be in the form of an audition, a job, a personal goal or creating new work. That’s how I deal with the challenges: always look ahead, never look back.
What role has had the most effect on you? Tell us a bit about your latest projects…
Professionally, Monica in The Little Death had the biggest impact. It was my first major film role and something which I am very proud of. I learned so much working on that shoot from everyone involved, not least of all our incredible director and writer Josh Lawson. Being nominated for two awards (AACTA Award and Film Critics Circle of Australia Award for Actress in a Supporting Role in a Feature Film) absolutely blew my mind. I had a great time shooting a short film with Tom Ward (from Please Like Me) which will premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival this October and I’m currently rehearsing for the Australian tour of CATS the musical with the lovely Delta Goodrem.
What are your goals for the future?
I would love to work more in the film and TV realm. It’s a medium which I am falling in love with the more I work in front of a camera.
What advice would you give to someone following the same path as you?
Focus, hard work and planning are just as important as talent and passion. Be kind to yourself, but remain vigilant in keeping your skills honed. You never know when they might come in handy (Side note: I was cast in The Little Death in a role that required the use of Auslan after having worked with a deaf theatre company in my first year out of drama school. If I hadn’t retained all of the language and made a point of keeping that skill up, I wouldn’t have been able to audition for the role in the first place!)
Your workdays are much more exciting than the average 9 to 5. When you’re preparing or performing, what does a typical day involve?
My days are rarely ‘typical’, but I’ll take you through a day in my life when working on a major music theatre production.
Early am: Wake up in time to chat to my husband before he starts work (could be VERY early depending upon time zone differences)
9:30am: Cup of English breakfast tea, two weetbix and sultanas. I’ve had the same breakfast for as long as I can remember.
10am: Yoga time. Whether I’m on tour or at home I try to make sure I fit my daily yoga practice into my morning routine. If I’m performing in a musical, it’s especially necessary to wake up the body, stretch and strengthen muscles and start the day well.
11am-1pm Work time. Running an online business means lots of emails. I try to make sure all of my administration is done early in the day so I can move onto other work (like learning scripts and songs) later in the afternoon.
1pm: Lunchtime! – Catching up with a friend for lunch is one of my favourite things – especially since I’m often away from my close friends while working.
2:30 – 4:30pm: My time. Catching up with my family, learning material, scripts, songs. A reformer pilates class, depending upon the day. Getting ready for the theatre.
5:00pm: Dinner. With a performance at 8pm, I try to make sure I’ve eaten with enough time to digest before heading to the theatre.
6pm: Theatre. There are many things to do before the curtain goes up at 8pm, so I try to arrive at the theatre between 6pm and 6:30pm. I always do a full vocal and physical warm-up before the show so I minimise my chance of injury and fatigue.
11pm: Once the show is finished, it’s time to wind down with the cast. I love to have a glass of red wine and some delicious cheese before heading home.
Images courtesy of Kurt Sneddon at Blueprint Studios
There are many issues associated with Hollywood’s attitude to women and image. The amount of nudity written into female roles, lack of variety in female protagonists and the glaringly obvious absence of female characters 40 plus are at the forefront. However, one aspect also called into question is an off-screen thing, but no less relevant.
During interviews/press conferences/red carpet appearances, there is a stark contrast in the questions put to actresses and those asked of men. As Emma Stone pointed out; men get asked the “good” questions. How they created the character, what they think about the script and poignant inquiries about research they did when preparing for the role. Women are asked about dieting, how they felt about the costumes and what it was like to play Zac Efron’s love interest.
This discrepancy is also evident on the red carpet. Whether at the Oscars, Emmys, or Golden Globes, the first thing women are asked is: “Who are you wearing?” Men are asked: “Who are you inspired by?” Cate Blanchett drove in the dagger when she questioned a cameraman: “Would you do that to a man?” as he tilted the lens up and down, taking in her outfit. Regardless of the progress actresses are making, their appearance is still the firm and first focus. This raises some questions; should their image have such a huge impact? Should what they’re wearing even be on the list of interviewer inquiries? Should the voyeurism be encouraged?
HEAR ME OUT! Film is a visual art form. Because movies attempt to reflect a version of reality, actresses are cast predominantly on how they look. As such, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to be constantly conscious of image, on or off screen. I have no problem with women being asked about their physicality. I mean, I’m dying to know where I can get (a cheap, almost exact copy of) Nicole Kidman’s 2015 Oscars dress.
The significance of physical appearance, along with the often compulsory weight loss/gain required to ‘look the part’, is most certainly not restricted to women. Yes, Anne Hathaway was told to drop 10kg from her already petite frame to play Fantine in Les Miserables. But remember; Matthew McConaughey lost 17kg to play AIDS patient Ron Woodroof in The Dallas Buyers Club, Bradley Cooper gained 18kg of solid muscle for American Sniper (no easy feat), Neil Patrick Harris lost 10kg for the title role in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway, and the list goes on.
This requires months of strict dieting, personal training and cold hard discipline. However, this effort isn’t mentioned nearly as often as it is with women. To ignore a very large chunk of crucial work an actor does absolutely stinks. It’s as bad as neglecting to ask actresses questions about performance.
The same applies on the red carpet. Take Brangelina. Here’s Angelina getting gushed over by the press about her dress, hair, makeup, etc, into which has gone a colossal amount of time, effort, and money. However, there’s Brad standing beside her, looking cut and glossy with an immaculate hairdo, $10,000 suit, real patent leather shoes and everything else that has gone into painstakingly creating his image.
And nobody says a thing.
I am entirely serious when I say this isn’t fair. Here is my solution to the gaping gender discrepancy. Ask women about their appearance, but ask men all the same questions about theirs. In turn, ask actresses about whatever unique method they used to craft a wonderfully complex performance. It’s only fair. In Hollywood, image is 90 per cent of the game, so don’t ignore anyone’s efforts – it’s more difficult and more important than you think.
Image via Theguardian.com
Mastering a classic slicked-back hairstyle is number one on our list this season, especially since it requires so little maintenance. Actress Anna Sophia Robb was spotted at the Broadway premiere of Gigi sporting a modern chignon which we just had to try out. Follow our easy guide below to achieve this look yourself at home.
1. If your hair has just been freshly washed, use a lightweight cream so you don’t suffer from any flyaways. This particular formula adds a hint of shine, and is perfect if you’re getting photographed. Concentrate the product into the ends of your hair, then blow-dry backwards.
Bumble and Bumble Brilliantine, $32
2. Comb backwards and secure the hair into a bun at the nape of your neck. If your hair is particularly thin, section it off, take small pieces of hair and wrap them over each other. This gives the illusion of added volume without the use of extensions. Once hair is done, set it in place with some hair spray.
Josie Maran Bohemian Waves Argan Hair Mist, $27
3. Let out those shorter layers at the front of your face and curl with a tong for added volume.
Image via Daily Mail
She’s no stranger to the limelight and, at the age of 21, her success is being compared that of Kate Moss. So what is it about Cara D that we all love? You can’t escape her image. Whether peering down on you from billboards or in your social media stream, she’s on runways, red carpets and in luxury campaigns. Or frolicking with her famous friends at festivals, on vacation or in nightclubs. She’s Cara Delevingne and she’s here to stay.
With a larger-than-life personality, Delevingne is fun and full of character, which her Instagram followers would know all too well, and perhaps is something that many of us aspire to be. In her professional life, it’s those famous eyebrows that are prominent, not to forget that deep and ageless model stare… and now she is shaking things up, throwing acting into the mix of her many talents.
Delevigne’s big screen debut is as Chloe in Timeless, in which she plays an angry and passionate young woman, in the 30-minute film by writer Tim Firth. The clincher, without giving away too much, is when she collapses onto the floor in a hysterical flood of tears.
The script has really given the supermodel an outlet to channel her emotions and show the world that she is a skilled actress as well as a model. But, Delevingne doesn’t want to stop there; in a recent interview with Vogue she told the magazine that she was “working towards an Oscar and a Grammy”. Now that may be another Delevingne-ism, her sense of humour is dry and sarcastic, but with the talents of this girl you just never know. We cannot yet judge whether this screentime will lead her in the direction of an award-winning performance or an extension of her career for that matter, yet it does tell us that she is willing to try anything.
The full feature film aired on June 19 and only time will tell if this will kickstart her diverted path, though if all else fails not to fear, the supermodel has a back-up plan. As told to Vogue this month, Delevingne just wants to do whatever makes her happy: “I’d be a cab driver. Or I’d love to be an explorer and just travel and really feel different cultures and religions. I get to travel now but it’s not the same,” she says.
There is now talk of her working on the movie Kids in Love, set to film in September of this year, directed by her friend Preston Thompson. The true test will be her commitment to fashion weeks internationally and her schedule between these jobs. For Delevingne, we’re quietly confident that the best is yet to come.
By Amy Miller
SheSaid gets the goss on being one of Australian television’s biggest bitches – Cornelia Frances…
Describe a typical day…
Typical filming day: Alarm goes of anything between 4am – 6am. Shower and drive to location or studio and straight to make-up and hair, then rush to canteen for purchase of very large latte coffee. Back to dressing room to don required costume for first scene, and run through lines. 8am on set to start shooting first of many scenes. Rehearse, tape, change costume, rehearse, tape until all are completed. Finish at anything between 6pm and 8pm. Exhausted!
What’s the best part of the job?
Satisfaction in knowing you’ve done your best and good reaction from the public, for who it’s done after all!
What’s the worst part of the job?
Very early rising and long waits between your scenes, or acting opposite someone who really doesn’t have a clue.
What would you consider to be your key talents?
To be able to play the ‘bitch’ and convince others, which seems to have happened.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Study your craft, and then listen and learn from those who know.
What was your first job and what was in your first pay packet?
Selling Christmas crackers in Selfridges, London for seven pounds a week.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Always an actress.
Who was the biggest influence on your career?
Probably Anne Bancroft and Maggie Smith, both brilliant and strong women.
How do you deal with work-related stress?
Go home and pour a glass of champagne and do a cryptic crossword on my balcony.
How do you deal with difficult people at work?
Walk away and let someone else cope, or have a quiet word with the director. It’s what they are there for.
What would you spend your last $100 on?
A bottle of French champagne.
What would you never wear again?
Those awful built-up wedgie shoes. I broke my ankle last time I wore some.
What are you reading?
A really great thriller called ‘Tango One’ by English author, Stephen Leather. A stunning read.
What inspires you?
The love of my friends, and watching the performers in ‘Cirque du Soleil’. They are totally inspiring.
Read all about Cornelia’s fascinating life in her book And What Have You Done Lately?.