For as long as I can remember, I have been inspired by and curious about what it means to be human. I want to tell stories that search for the truth of the human condition and dive deep into the core of the human heart. I want to be a part of art that provokes an audience, provokes conversation, and pushes for social change. And I want to be a vessel through which stories can be told.

When I was little, I was obsessed with the musical Annie. My favourite scene was during the song “Hard Knock Life”, where one of the orphans flops onto her bed in dismay. I used to recreate and re-enact Annie everywhere I could, and one day I attempted to recreate that 'bed-flopping' act while in a home deco-store in South Africa. What I didn't see was that there was a mirror lying on the bed. Long story short: I broke the mirror, I went to hospital, and from that day forward I knew that I wanted to be an actor. 

 

I have loved creating imaginative scenarios from a very young age: creating characters has always been an extension of my play. I used to dress up and put on little plays with my little sister on an almost-daily basis for my parents. My father is a Professor of Music and my mother is a flautist in a professional symphony orchestra, so I was introduced to the arts at a very young age, and a lot of my childhood was spent backstage and on orchestra tours. The arts have always been an integral part of 'who I am', and I've always sought out opportunities to create.

Growing up in the rainbow nation of South Africa and being a listener to so many great stories told by so many great people from a very young age has instilled in me a visceral love of storytelling. It is this love of storytelling that is the basis of everything I do as an actor. South Africa really is a nation of stories and of storytellers and the country and its people inspire me deeply.

I have been a competitive figure skater for 11 years, and storytelling is the element of figure skating that I love the most. I have competed internationally, and have gained much performance experience over the years through both shows and competitions. Figure skating is the extreme sport of the performing arts and the demanding training has instilled in me a huge discipline, has given me great stamina and endurance, and has trained me to be in tune with my body.

The first time I went to the cinema, I was very little and I remember feeling as if I had to hold onto my seat to avoid flying off of it and into the screen; I was so encompassed by its magic. Seeing great film or theatre makes me feel good to be alive; it can reveal such insight into human nature that it makes me more interested in the people sitting around me. As an actor, I want to be able to make other people feel those same things.

© 2019 by Anna Ballantine

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