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ACTOR JENEFFA SOLDATIC talks about her favorite books – Page 2

Jeneffa Soldatic's audition for the Actors Studio Drama School...

READERSVOICE.COM: What did you do for the audition for the Actors Studio Drama School (ASDS)?
JENEFFA SOLDATIC: For the school audition, you must do a scene rather than a monologue. They were interested in whether you could act with someone else (more important than monologue).
I did a scene from Caryl Churchill’s “Top Girls”. I did this scene with a friend I had met at HB Studios. She was from France but had spent 10 years of her childhood in Australia.
At the time of my school audition, the Admissions Director was an ex- student of the school and a studio member who told me to just “audition, and we’ll see”.
She mentioned that it was the same scene that she had performed for her life membership at the studio, and that maybe we could do it in four years for my membership. Well, four years later, just this March, we did the piece at the studio and they accepted me.
For the school audition there is a panel of around 6 people, consisting of the Dean, James Lipton, and representatives from the acting, playwriting and directing departments.
At the Actors Studio there are just 3 people, and you are not told who they are until later, and there is no conversation.

RV: Does acting come naturally or have you really got to pull a character apart and analyse it and the situation before you can perform it? Doesn’t this over complicate the whole process?
JS: Some characters just make instant sense to you. I do believe that you should always look at the script as it will always be filled with the subtle clues.
Yet some characters can be hard, and I have to put a lot of work into investigating and trying to understand their motivation. But ultimately after I have done all the research I must be open to whatever the other actor gives me, even if it conflicts with my research.
RV: What are some other things you’ve learned from your course?
JS: I have learnt a lot from the school, and observing other actors at the studio. I’ve learnt to understand the difference between real and natural, how to be emotionally open to the circumstances of the play, to not push my work into where I think it should be but trust that it will be there, to simply talk and listen, and to work with the character’s motivation.
RV: Have you been to any of those Inside the Actors Studio lectures given by famous actors and if so which ones, and what did you learn?
JS: Our class would attend every 2nd Monday. I loved Ben Kingsley. And Richard Gere. He talked about talking with the Dalai Lama regarding residue left by characters.
And Benicio Del Toro, who mentioned something that I loved, that every person/character is good at something.

RV: Can you talk a bit about a few of the people you hang around from the Actors Studio and where they are from?
JS: My friends from ASDS, the studio and from outside are from all over, from USA, France, England, Venezuela, Thailand. NYC is very multicultural.
RV: Do you go to many plays or other performances with friends from the ASDS, and which ones have you seen?
JS: I have seen a lot of great shows here in NYC. Just recently I saw Fiddler on the Roof, with Alfred Molina in the lead. He was amazing. I went with two friends that I graduated with and one of them is also a life member. The other is from Venezuela, and she returns on Thursday to start an acting school.
I also saw Fiona Shaw in Medea. It was excellent, the best Medea I have ever seen. I usually get to see a lot of theatre.