Today we’re joined by Martha. Martha is a wonderful young artist who is incredibly passionate about acting. She’s currently studying Drama and recently performed her AS final and it went incredibly well. This is an artist who has an incredibly bright future ahead of her. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I am currently studying Drama A Level. I recently performed my final AS performance which was A View from the Bridge in which I played Beatrice. It was definitely my proudest moment as an actress. I was thrilled with how it went. I tend to lean towards naturalism in my acting but I also do musical theatre. When I leave school I want to study drama at university, preferably Bristol or Birmingham at this point, and then go straight into acting.
What inspires you?
The people around me inspire me a lot. When I’m working with people towards a production, the comradery that develops is my favourite feeling. By seeing those around me work so hard and put everything they can into their parts, I can’t help but do the same. In terms of character development, I read the script and decide how I feel about my character. By the end of a production I am usually very defensive about the part I’m playing as at that point they are part of me because I’m so invested in their life and wellbeing. This means that it’s easy for me to cry on stage if it’s something the character would do; it just feels natural.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I have wanted to act for as long as I can remember. It’s always been a huge dream and passion of mine. The first time I went on stage was probably my nativity when I was four. I loved the feeling of being up there; feeling excited and nervous all at once. I was very loud as a child and I loved showing off. At this point in my life I couldn’t be further from that I don’t think. I don’t like speaking as myself in front of people and I don’t like being the centre of attention when I shouldn’t be. This doesn’t at all apply to acting. There is something wonderful about being someone else for an hour or two.
Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?
I don’t think I do really. I suppose this is a difficult question to answer as an actress but I don’t think there are that many similarities in the characters I’ve played so it’s difficult to think of anything I could do that would connect them.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Stick with it. I’ve been discouraged from doing acting my whole life, being told it’s unrealistic and that not that many people “make it”. Luckily my parents are very supportive as my mum used to be an actress herself. If you really want it then just keep working and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. You’ll never know unless you try. Also, me definition of having a successful acting career is being able to live of acting and if I achieve that, I’ll be happy.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as a heteromantic asexual. I have never experienced sexual attraction of any kind but I do get strong romantic crushes on boys and I thought that aesthetic and sexual attraction were the same thing for a long time.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I haven’t yet, but in my GCSE drama performance of Jane Eyre I had to kiss a guy which I found to be one of the most uncomfortable things.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
I’ve had a couple of people say that maybe I just haven’t met someone I’m attracted to yet which seems unlikely seeing as I’m now 17. One person refused to listen to my explanation of what it was and just made jokes about how I could reproduce by myself which weren’t funny and hurt quite a bit. I’ve said to most of my friends that I’ve come out to that they can ask me anything but have to respect if I don’t want to answer the question and I’m lucky to live in London where there isn’t as much discrimination as there is in other places.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Don’t feel like you have to come out before you’re ready. I think it’s really important that you only come out when you feel comfortable. I didn’t realise for a long time that I was asexual, I’ve had very strong romantic crushes on people and I’ve mistaken aesthetic attraction for sexual attraction. It wasn’t until one of my closest friends asked if I’d ever thought about it that I realised I was. I was relieved that there was a word but I know it’s not as easy for some people so just keep on doing you and you’ll maybe figure it out. If you don’t, it doesn’t matter and you can just love who you love and do things that make you comfortable and that’s all that matters.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
*Martha does have a Tumblr: http://heirofgryffindoruniverse.tumblr.com/
Thank you, Martha, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.