Laura Ellen Wilson‘s first time acting was in a short film which was made by the Kung Fu club that she attended. She played the lead and it was distributed around local schools to bring awareness about how important self-defense is. There are numerous reasons why Laura started acting, but she believe this first taste of being on a set was the start of her screen acting ambition.
indieactivity: Did you study acting?
Laura: My first real acting training was at Runshaw College where I studied a BTEC in Performing Arts, for two years. During this time, the course also brought out my love of dancing and singing and upon graduation, began to travel overseas to work in Entertainment. In 2013, I also attended a summer school at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in LA, to study screen acting. This was an unreal experience which I will never forget.
indieactivity: What acting technique do you use?
Laura: A great question, but one which I cannot give a straight answer to! In terms of technique, I believe I use method acting the most, however, I don’t tend to stick to this all the time. I like to add elements of other techniques, which I feel will bring out the best performance in me.
indieactivity: Do you take courses to improve your craft?
Laura: When I returned back to England this year, I started acting class with international award winning playwright, screenwriter and director, Jim Cartwright. He’s an incredibly inspirational gentleman and his classes are fantastic! I have also taken private classes with him, to prepare for auditions.
indieactivity: What acting books do you read?
Laura: Does ‘Michael Caine: Acting in Film’ count? If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it!
indieactivity: How do you keep fit as an actor?
Laura: Physically, I love to take walks with my dog, Ben. I try to get at least a 15 minute run in there everyday too. I’m very lucky as my garden backs onto the Leeds/Liverpool Canal so it literally takes 2 minutes to get onto my running path! I’m not a big fan of the gym, I prefer to be in the fresh air.
— Laura Ellen Wilson (@Lauraa_E_Wilson) April 13, 2017
I also attend Kung Fu class twice a week and eat healthily. Mentally, I love to do crosswords, sudoku, anagram puzzles – you name it! Anything that exercises the brain and gets me thinking! I also enjoy memory games too, to see how much I can retain in a short space of time.
indieactivity: When you’re offered a role, what do you do next?
Laura: The first thing I do, is read the script back to back at least three times to get a real feel for the character. I try to be off book as soon as I possibly can so as I can start to develop the character with their dialogue coming to me naturally. I am also ‘that’ actor who practices dialogue in the mirror! Apart from that, each character preparation is different.
indieactivity: How do you create a character in a script into a person?
Laura: I am a very empathetic person and I love to work with characters feelings. I always try to pull feelings from my own experiences which could be similar to the characters storyline.
— Laura Ellen Wilson (@Lauraa_E_Wilson) April 18, 2017
indieactivity: How do you stay fresh on a production set?
Laura: I like to think that I prepare very well for each role I tackle so that in between takes or in breaks, I can be myself and take just a couple of seconds to get back into character, when required. However, this is not always the case, especially when it comes to emotional scenes or scenes with anger.
It usually takes me a minute or so to come down to be myself so it helps if the takes are close together. Humor plays a huge part in my life so when I’m starting to slow down during a long day, or if I’m feeling another actor or crew member start to feel tired, I love to pull practical jokes!
indieactivity: Describe a memorable character you played?
Laura: Oh no, there’s been so many! The character which I would really love to play again is Gem, a barmaid with so much sass! The project itself is called ‘Surprise’ and it’s a film with a main narrative that contains 3 short anthologies. Gem was in ‘Segment 1: The Clown’. I shot this back in May and will soon be shooting Segments 2 & 3, as a different character in each. This will be released on Halloween 2018 and is directed by Dave Green (Greenhouse Films) and Dan McGee (Hermitage Wanderer)with the wonderful Jess Price on makeup.
indieactivity: Explain one creative choice you took on set?
Laura: For a short horror film earlier this year (Infernum), the scene which we were shooting was straight after a jump scare and my character had to awaken with a start. The director gave me lots of examples of how I could do this – he even showed me! When it came to it, instead of just ‘jumping awake’ I let out a scream (so piercing, I even surprised myself). It was hilarious, everyone in the room jumped out of their skin. All I can say is that it’s a good job the camera was on a tripod – and yes, it was a one take wonder!
indieactivity: What do you want most from a director?
Laura: I think the most important thing is that we get on well. It has never happened to me personally, but I have heard of actors and directors who have never seen eye to eye. That would really upset me if that ever happened! I also love to hear the directors vision on my character so I can see the similarities and differences in our thoughts.
indieactivity: What actors do you long to work with?
Laura: I long to work with actors who have passion. Actors similar to myself and who never take a job for granted. Each and every role is a blessing and work is never guaranteed. In answer to your question, there are way too many to name here but the first one that comes to mind is Melissa McCarthy!
Laura: As I mentioned earlier, humor plays a huge part in my life and it would be incredible to work with someone who I find hilarious and who is also super talented.
indieactivity: What advice would you give to actors?
Laura: My best advice would be to network, attend events with other like-minded industry people and always treat others how you would like to be treated yourself. Great things take time!
indieactivity: Briefly write about your career?
Laura: Student films have played a huge part in my acting career. They have given me confidence in front of the camera, a variety of different roles to get stuck into, footage and ultimately, the satisfaction of helping students to pass their degrees! Each professional role which I have played has been a real variety and learning curve too.
From a ghost, a prostitute, a barmaid – I just love being a different person each time I step in front of a camera. Each project, no matter how small, has an effect on my career – from my first professional projects ‘The Singing Bird Will Come’ and ‘Christmas Slay’ to this year’s ‘Infernum’, ‘Surprise’, ‘Coven of Evil’ and some very exciting ones coming up – watch this space!