Thursday, July 27, 2017

Interview With Director Heather Balise

Heather Balise


Longmont, CO

I used to be on the other side of this, the one doing the interviews. Most of the time it was school stuff, blogs, online newspapers. I've always thought that people are more similar than different, and I've been really curious about what happens when people come together when (for example) they travel. You get all kinds of people who travel, and some people are really good at it and some are not. I was mainly curious about the secret...How do some people integrate and others never let their wall down?
What did you want to be as a child?
An actor.
How did you know?
I must have been about 3. I loved movies, I loved plays, I wanted to do what they did. I remember watching the movie Annie and wanting to be her. My mom explained to me that this was an actor, a little girl who plays the part. When I started school we did Christmas pageants, and that sealed my love for acting. 

My parents, while they loved and supported my passion for acting, were concerned that would be a poor career choice for me. So I went to school for English, but duel majored in performing arts. All other choices ended up being geared toward acting. I was always doing plays, always doing theatre. That crowd was my crowd. 

Looking back, I didn't need a degree in performing arts to do what I wanted to do in the theatre. 
If my son wanted to be an actor, this is what I would say to him.

"Go to college, because college is a good place to grow up. You don't have to be a theatre major to do everything you want to do. Get into the theatre department at your school. Get a degree in something else though. So you can have that to support you while you are out there auditioning, learning the ropes, and making the connections."
Do you have advice for someone who is curious about theatre and would like to give it a try?
Just do it! Go audition! You can take classes in acting, but you don't need a whole scholastic career behind it. I've learned more from just doing than I have from reading, writing, or attending classes in school.
Do you have a favorite quote or saying that inspires you to do what you love?
“I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.” - Thomas Edison
This reminds me that failure is part of the process, he didn't succeed right away. 
How long have you been involved with the theatre?
The first ever show I was part of, I was in 1st grade. So that would be 34 years. 

How has theatre affected the way you live your life?
Wow, that's a big question. It has shaped most aspects of my life! Growing up, I knew I wanted to be an actor. So, as an adult I moved to LA and I was there for 7 years. I heard many times that when you move to LA or NY, you will struggle for 10 years before you start having a career.
I never had the patience or the confidence for that. I went out to LA with a whole lot of enthusiasm and learned that I also didn't have the constitution for it. It wore me down. If I went out there now, I could do it. But in my 20s, I was too fragile and too sensitive. I took every rejection personally. I actually had some success, but I would compare myself to others who had more success than me. 
Ultimately, I left and moved back to Colorado, where I was born. 

All aspects of performing arts is something that I am very passionate about; acting, directing, writing, production. I will never stop being part of it. For me, when it wasn't a competition anymore (to make a living out of it) I could love it and be truly passionate about it again. 
Theatre lifts me up. 
It gives me a lot of joy. It is something I can do on my own terms. 
Being involved with community theatre has deeply impacted my life...I had a tiny part in Taming of the Shew a couple of years ago. Met so many good people, so many friends, and even met my husband! 
I had a blast!
Everyone gets nervous. 
Being nervous means you care. It matters to you. 
If it doesn't matter to you, then why do it?
 It takes a lot of courage to go out there and trying something that is out of your box. 
When you are in need of inspiration, where do you turn?
For acting inspiration, I turn to my tribe or go see a great movie. Biographies are also a huge source of inspiration for me. I seek out people who have the courage to go out and do what they want to be doing. It is proof that if you really want to do something, you can! 
What are some of your pet-peeves when directing?
Lateness: Do not be late! It interrupts the rest of the cast and is rude.
Drama: People who use theatre as a venue to dump their problems.
Bullying: Talking behind someone's back.
Wasted time: Actors who make it all about themselves and take time away from the other actors. 

If someone is courageous enough to go out for an audition, could you give some advice regarding things to avoid or things to strive for? 
Anything a director gives you ahead of time is a gift. Use it.

Be prepared: Know what you are auditioning for, read the play (or a synopses), know the characters you are auditioning for ans the characters you are auditioning with.
Monologue: If you are asked to do a monologue, practice it. Even consider filming yourself when practicing, you'll learn so much and be able to see exactly what the director sees. 
Follow Instructions: Most of the time you will be given written instructions before an audition, follow them.
Ask questions: Most directors would rather you ask than not. It shows that you care, you're paying attention, you're curious, you're interested in the director's vision, and you're intelligent. 
Learn to be direct-able: Be open to the director making suggestions in the audition and trying new ways of doing your monologue. 
Be unique: Don't choose a monologue that everyone else is choosing (I've heard a thousand Juliettes). 
In the details: Don't use props that aren't absolutely essential. Try to leave as much of your stuff out of the audition room as possible.
Be Confident: Treat it like a job interview. Treat it like you are qualified and ready to do that job. If you come in apologizing and with a defeated attitude, you'll convince your casting director you aren't the one for the job before you've even begun.

What I'm looking for in an audition:
30-40% is how well you act

What I want to see is someone who comes in prepared, with a positive attitude. 

Come out to see Heather's most recent project!

Free summer Shakespeare!
Spoiler Alert...I'm in the play!

Connect with Heather
Taste of Shakespeare 

Connect with Sunshine Revival



Do you know a courageous Colorado woman you could nominate to be interviewed for this project? 

Send me a message!

No comments:

Post a Comment