TEN QUESTIONS WITH……Pip Edwards
1. When you were 6 years old what did you want to be when you grew up?
I didn’t have sense of actually ‘being’ anything. I still don’t. I was a very physical kid, always climbing things, couldn’t much keep me still. I also LOVED dressing up… and yes, performing. I guess I wanted to join the circus!
2. What’s inspiring you at the moment?
People and ‘humanness’ have always been my inspiration. Before studying acting, I studied philosophy. I have an innate curiosity about people- what ON EARTH are we?!
3. Favourite play and/or film?
A long-term sufferer of ‘shiny thing syndrome’, my ‘favourite’ anything changes from day to day. Most recent favs are LION and MOONLIGHT. As a kid is was THE MAGIC FARAWAY TREE. And I’m such a sucker for a good documentary (or even a bad documentary… you know the type!)
4. Describe your acting style.
It is your job as an actor to adapt your style to the project. Your acting style in a a loud slapstick stage comedy should be different to your acting style in a hyper-natural film. Ive trained in many ’styles’. Many are contradictory, but I find value in everything. Its about using what works for the project.
That said, the ‘last step’ -‘LET IT GO’- is true across most styles and genres. Once the camera is rolling, all you can do is: connect with the other person, listen, surprise yourself with your crazy/beautiful moment-to-moment impulses. Play!
5. Has there been a time when you’ve had a shocking day and had to perform that night? If so, how did you get through it?
Ha- yes. But that is private information!
But look, our internal ‘monkey’ will always make up some excuse why we couldn’t give 100%: ‘I didn’t have time to prep, I had to work last night, I had killer period pain/cold/flu/food poisoning’ blah blah blah…
I was so allergic to the pollution in LA that I spent all of last pilot season with blocked sinuses. But you know what? You focus on that shit, you take the joy away. You let your artist self down. You’re letting your fear of failure take over. BORING! And you’ll kick yourself later for not doing your best.
I think the old ‘take it from where you are’ helps. And remember that every opportunity is your opportunity to do the thing you were born to do- act. What a gift! Don’t waste that worrying about something else.
I’ve definitely learnt that the hard way.
6. When filming, what do you do between takes?
Depends. Talk to people if it’s appropriate. Otherwise catch up on work, emails, ‘to do lists’ (other type-As will understand).
Some scenes may need some internal prep time. I go for a wander and connect with the moment before, or write an ‘I need you to…’ monologue (exercise I learnt working with Ivana Chubbuck).
Im not into napping, but if I feel a bit creaky, I’ll do some yoga or semi-supine.
Oh… and drinking tea.
7. What are you watching at the moment?
I like to immerse myself in the world of whatever gig or audition Im working on, so I watch shows with the same tone or by the same people. ‘Character research’ is also a great excuse to binge watch B-grade documentaries- FLIGHT ATTENDANT SCHOOL, ‘RPA’, ‘FBI’S SECRETS’, the list goes on….. )
Aside from that, I make sure to see a least a few eps of every new Aussie series and whatever is hot on Netlix (my most recent fav has been BLOODLINE).
I enjoy Q&A, great documentaries about people (Louis Theroux etc), TED talks and The Hollywood Reporter Roundtables.
8. Which role has been your favourite and why?
Tough question, as it’s whatever Im working on at the time.
That said, I have particularly fond memories of my graduating play at NIDA- PUNK ROCK. I think there is magic in making theatre with a group of people you love and trust so deeply.
Also I had a brilliant time recently shooting “A Few Less Men” (in cinemas now). Aussie comedy is where my heart is.
(Click the link to watch the official trailer)
9. Has there been an acting experience/ a role that has taught you something significant about life?
All of them.
That is our job- to engage with a different perspective of the world through our innate empathy and humanness. Working on a character changes you, it has to. You see the world through different eyes.
The first time I experienced how profound this is was playing Abby in ‘The Crucible’ when I was 19, my first paid gig. My whole experience of life changed for that time.
I guess the extreme of this is the fatal curse of the Joker.
10. Do you have a favourite quote from an actor/director/coach?
KJ’s (Kevin Jackson) ‘FAIL GLORIOUSLY’ is an oldie but a goodie!
Also a fan of Micheal Cain’s ‘The Camera is your mistress’
Pip is a NIDA graduate actor and successful acting coach. Her series “Get Your S*** Together” runs at the HubStudio on a regular basis. For full course details click the button.