Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Interview with... Lisa Armytage

Long time fans of the Aussie TV soap Neighbours will know of my next interviewee.

Lisa Armytage has also appeared in other TV shows such as The Flying Doctors, Prisoner, and A Country Practice.

It is with great honour that I bring to you my interview with Lisa Armytage.

1. How has appearing on Neighbours changed your life?

As an actor it enabled me to see myself in a different light - as someone with the potential to succeed, whatever the setbacks. Even now, many years on, and trying to re-establish myself in the UK, it remains my "calling card". I am often recognised - though sometimes people are not quite sure why! And it causes enough curiosity that it remains an opening to be considered for roles.
That's how it changed my life in the long-term. In the short-term, it gave me the surreal experience of being a recognised "celebrity" - with all the awkwardness that can sometimes bring, as well as the sense of success and confidence.

2. Is there a desire to return to the show?

To be honest - no. I don't think its a great idea to try and retrace my footsteps; but on the other hand, I would really appreciate being on another Australian series or soap for a while!

3. You’ve worked on some of Australian TV’s biggest hits. As an actor, how has this affected you?

I've had the luxury of having solid work on "Neighbours" for 18 months, (it could have been longer, but because of having very young children at the time, I decided to resign to spend more time with them.) That is a rare amount of tv experience to gain. It means you "grow up" as a performer in front of the cameras - making your mistakes and learning from them, and having the chance to see what works for you and what doesn't. I know now how to access a lot of emotion when its called for, and to really focus on the other actor, not on "how am I doin'?"! It was an opportunity to free up in front of the camera, to know that I can do it.

4. Can you please tell us about some of your work outside of television?

I came back to England at the end of 2003, and since then I've been working in theatre and in voice overs. In TV and film, I played rather serious roles, but the last few years have given me the opportunity to play, and discover comedy. I've had a number of comic roles, including, most recently, a broad Cockney character in a new farce called "No Expense Spared", at a studio theatre in the West End, (Jermyn Street Theatre). This was with a cast of very established British tv and theatre actors, including Joe McGann, Lysette Anthony and Joanna McCallum - a real challenge and finally, a great sense of achievement. (Take a look at pics and reviews on my website: also love doing voice overs - so much freedom that film and tv tends not to give in terms of range of casting. Doing animations in particular are great fun, and I'd love to do a lot more of this.

5. It seems the network channels have a short list of actors they select for drama. That being written, are you currently looking for more on-screen work?

Absolutely! I am determined to return to work in tv and film in 2011. In the UK the opportunities for roles have been slashed by about 2/3 in recent years with the recession biting deep into production, but although this means that the more established names are now taking roles they would not formerly have considered, it still means that experienced actors like myself, but without the high profile in the UK, can still have the opportunity of gaining the more modest roles, and growing from there as I become a more familiar name once again.

6. What would you like to do next?

Ideally, I would love to work in both the UK and Australia in tv and film, as well as continuing to work in UK theatre. I would also like to transfer my enjoyment of comedy from the stage to the screen. I have no intention of ever stopping this business while I am still enjoying it - there is so much still to do, to learn, and, most of all, to enjoy!

I hope you all enjoyed this interview. I thought it was a blast reading Lisa's responses.
Please feel free to leave a comment below.

Until next time!

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