Screenwise sat down with Maya Stange, our star tutor for the upcoming Intermediate Screen Acting Course to answer a few questions for our Tutor Spotlight. Maya is a critically-acclaimed Australian Film & Television actress who has been nominated for AFI awards on two occasions; for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Garage Days) and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (In a Savage Land).
Q: When did you decide acting was for you?
I knew early on that I loved acting and wanted to be a performer. I was a shy kid, but when I was on stage, I felt so liberated and empowered. I was mesmerised and inspired by going to see films and plays, and basically fell in love with the arts generally. I went to a performing arts high school, and that was my launchpad into getting an agent and starting to work in the industry as a teenager.
Q: Who are your favourite actors?
Meryl Streep, Judy Davis, Olivia Colman, Emily Watson.. I love actors who are willing to take risks; to be raw and real.
Q: Can you tell us anything about current or upcoming projects you are working on?
In 2018 I had lots of fun playing Delia in the final season of A Place To Call Home (on Foxtel Showcase), and made an appearance in THE RECKONING, which will come out this year. 2019 is TBA!
Q: What roles from Theatre, Film or Television have inspired you the most as an actor?
I think my all time favourite character was playing Alice in Patrick Marber’s CLOSER at the STC. She is such a feisty character and the play is so well written. Other highlights have been Viola in TWELFTH NIGHT, and Evelyn in Bill Bennett’s film IN A SAVAGE LAND. I love characters that go on transformational journeys, and end up in a different place than they started out.
Q: What advice would you give to a developing actor that is trying to take the next step in his or her acting career?
The first thing is getting really clear about why you want to do it. Is it a real calling, or do you just want to be rich and famous? It’s a tough industry, and in my experience, the people who thrive are the ones who are driven by an authentic desire to grow, to learn, to get better, and to keep showing up no matter what. You have to love the work, not just the results. Take classes, watch films, keep learning, and immerse yourself in whatever feeds and nurtures your creativity. And, if you are clear that this is what you want to do with your life, try not to take things personally, don’t be discouraged by setbacks, keep going and never give up!
Want to work with Maya? Our next Intermediate Screen Acting Course commences on the 12th March 2019. All our short course dates are filling up fast. For more information or to register please contact Screenwise by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02 9281 4484 today.