By: Jenny Aluning
Some people come into this world born to do something. This is exactly the case with Emma Chelsey Barnes (StarCentral Magazine’s Actress of the Month for December 2013) – born with not only the talent but with the drive as well.
Immersed in the performing industry since the age of 5, Emma not only involved herself in school plays, she expanded her knowledge of her craft by attending a performing arts school after her normal school hours and on weekends. She also took up dance lessons, music lessons and was involved in a choir where she was able to travel to Hong Kong and China to perform. Her passion for acting has allowed her to train in Los Angeles, New York, Paris and she is now a graduate of the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts.
For Emma, there are so many aspects to acting that she enjoys. She loves being able to tell stories and “…exploring different parts of yourself to find the character…” and being able to share that character’s journey with an audience. Acting is also an avenue where she has been able to explore human behavior and to use it as a form of expression.
While rejection, and the constant challenge of surmounting it, is ever-present in the life of an actor, the positive experiences that come along in a career make it worth it. A recent role is a perfect example of this for Emma. Though the 23-year old is a relative newcomer to the industry, her theatre debut in Melbourne this year (as part of the play, ‘Pornography’ by Simon Stevens at the Malthouse) might just be “…the best role I will ever get to play… I absolutely loved my character and enjoyed every minute on stage…”
Even though she has met a plethora of interesting and creative individuals in her career so far, it is the directors that hold a special place in Emma’s heart. Directors such as David Myles, Craig Ilott and Amanda Worthington-Browne “…who have given me great roles to play and have trusted me with the material…” Their passion and investment in their work is truly inspiring to her.
The young Australian actress still has a ways to go to build up a sizable portfolio but Emma has already learned some very important lessons that stand her in good stead in ensuring not only a successful career, but also a happy, well-balanced life beyond it. Being able to not take one’s self too seriously is of vital importance and “…you also have to be confident, courageous, humble, patient, motivated, proactive, determined, resilient and focused…” “I have also learned that you must also live your life… actors need to be able to draw from personal experience and the more well -rounded you are as a person, the deeper the well for you to draw from for the characters you will play…it is important to have other interests outside of the ‘business’…” And for Emma, ‘other interests’ include nearly being “…qualified as a professional dog trainer/behaviour consultant (studying at the moment) I love animals…”
Emma Chelsey Barnes already possesses the talent, drive, attitude and work ethic guaranteed for her continued success and added to that, a family that’s stood by her from the beginning – “…They drove me around to all my classes, rehearsals, workshops, concerts as a kid and to every show I have done so thanks for that guys! Cheers!” There really is nowhere for this young lady to go but up!
‘LIGHTNING FAST’ Round:
1. Last good movie I’ve seen
Blue Jasmine – Cate’s performance was incredible and inspiring.
2. What do you consider beautiful and why?
I’m going to say an obvious answer – Animals and children. Because they act on their instinct, they are courageous, they fully express themselves without explaining it or apologising for it and aren’t self -conscious.
3. What haven’t you done yet that you wish you could?
I would love to travel the world and see many more places and experience different cultures. To add to that, I would love to be on stage in another country! I would also love to play some ‘comedy’ roles and do all of my stupid accents and voices that people rarely see.
4. Complete this sentence: “If I had no fear, I’d…”
…jump out of a plane! I have no desire whatsoever to do this. Ever.
5. What is the one “flaw” you wouldn’t change about yourself?
I always play by the ‘rules’ and often try to get it ‘right’. This is both a good and bad trait!