Interview with Natalie Lynn Roy

Nataly Lynn Roy_indieactivity

Natalie Lynn Roy began acting in community theatre and in college doing mostly Improv Summer Theatre and musical theatre, while she was living in Canada. Natalie at that time developed such a hunger for the arts, story telling, creativity and the stage she knew she had to pursue this path more passionately. Natalie moved to Toronto and there got her first agent and began auditioning professionally. It was at that time she found her one true love: Film and Television. Being on set felt like home. Like a glorious puzzle of chaos and art that she had to invest herself fully into. Natalie continued to work on stage and screen in Toronto for 7 years and then finally took the brave leap to come to the city of her dreams, to pursue her dream; New York.

indieactivity: Did you study acting?
Natalie: I don’t feel I ever chose to be an actor. I chose to be curious and creative and interested in humanity and play and the next unknown and that manifested in many ways – making up plays with my cousins as a child, painting, sports, dance, reading, whatever my mind and spirit could get interested in I chose over and over, and each choice led me here.

I had so many great teachers and mentors along the way who really fostered my curiosity which has been my life’s greatest gift – from my parents, to David Neilsen my elementary school principle and teacher, to Peter Pacey and Jim Miles my high school mentors and drama teachers, to Ilkay Silk, my college drama teacher and every actor and creative I met along the way. I went on after school to make learning and serving my curiosity as my actors duty and studied with incredible teachers in LA and NYC such as Michele Lonsdale Smith, Anthony Meindl and Sarah Baskin. I am always in class. I am always learning. The day I am no longer curious about the next thing, is the time when I am no longer an artist.

indieactivity: What acting technique do you use?
Natalie: I pride myself in having developed my own craft, one that I am now fortunate enough to teach at The Actor’s Green Room in New York and at various locations in LA. I have studied extensively Method work as well as modern approaches and I have found a blend that works beautifully for my instrument. I am also a certified yoga teacher and meditation therapist and I combine those worlds and philosophies to my craft as well to blend old traditions and ways of thought with modern present moment work. I think the technique that will always serve us best is the one we create through trial and error and practice. I love to say there is no perfect way, there is no perfection – yet practice makes progress.

indieactivity: What wrong impressions do actors hold about acting?
Natalie: One of the biggest misconceptions about being an actor is that you are only an actor if you are booking work. The day you claim you are an actor, you become that claim. Another misperception is many actors call themselves actors and do not show up for that claim. The claim is abstract. It is not something being lived and explored and breathed. I am not only an actor when I am on set. My study of life is constant, and therefore my artist never stops.

Nataly Lynn Roy_indieactivity

indieactivity: Do you take courses to improve your craft?
Natalie: Always. My daily meditation practice is vital to my ability to be present in an audition room. Learning from coaches and mentors and watching other actors work is vital to my understanding of text, story and my own process. Keeping my body clear and open is vital through movement and chanting practice. Living a life I love and am excited about is the best collaborative presence for my acting to shine. We must love and be interested in LIFE not just acting.

indieactivity: What acting books do you read?
Natalie: At Left Brain Turn Right, Anthony Meindl. New Thoughts for Actors, Jack Plotnick. The Present Actor, Marcy Phillips. The Untethered Soul, Michael Singer. What to do when it’s your turn, Seth Godin.

indieactivity: How do you keep fit as an actor?
Natalie: I am a firm believer in daily personal practice. Before you reach for your phone or email or Facebook. Spend time with yourself. Notice how you feel, what you think, where you are. Meditating is key for me. Holistic check ins like yoga, chanting, journaling and breathing work are an every day priority for me. Keeping in tune with my body is key as well. I exercise everyday. Walking in nature, spin class, dance class, barre class, whatever makes my heart sing – but moving the body everyday is of utmost importance to keep the energy moving.

Nataly Lynn Roy_indieactivity

indieactivity: How do you prepare for a role?
Natalie: Preparation for a project is project specific. Different roles require different tools. The important thing for me across the board is that for every character you play you must know the world you are in, your function in that world and how you feel about that world, and then you must do what you can to be present and in touch with your impulses once on set or stage. Memorizing is the LAST step, not the first. It doesn’t make sense to me to memorize before even understanding what organically has not yet been able to arise as you sit with the material.

indieactiivty: How do you create a character from a script into a person?
Natalie: In my view there is no character outside of me. There are only words and ideas on a page. Ink on paper, until my body, my values, my mind and soul step into it. It gets created IN me and then manifests through me.

indieactivity: How do you stay fresh on set?
Natalie: The daily meditation and internal practice are key for focus. We live in a world of distraction. Our phones are killing us. We are so over stimulated. Set life is chaotic and feverish most of the time. Our job is to be the eye of the storm and do our work. I stay fresh and focused by honoring everyone on set for what they are contributing – knowing the crew and cast by name and being available to the needs of the project 24/7 while I am lucky enough to be there, and by staying out of the social media hysteria of hyping up the experience online – instead staying where I am an being IN the experience myself.

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indieactivity: Describe a memorable character you played?
Natalie: I just finished playing a woman who is finding herself trapped in a life she isn’t sure she wants and is unable to claim the responsibility needed to create that change she craves, but she begins to serve her own cravings and desires in a way that moves and changes her and life is forever different. It’s fascinating to me. How we create and destroy and sustain. Just like nature. This film is in post-production right now. Cayenne Pepper, written by this incredibly talented writer in London, UK, Robert Samuelson, and directed by this powerhouse female director Dana Schoenfeld.

indieactivity: Explain one creative choice you took on set?
Natalie: The actor director dance is one of my favorite processes of production. One may lead one moment and then we switch. It is so beautiful when its organic and there are no egos involved – just people intentional to create a beautiful story. I actually feel every choice I have ever made on a set was my own interpretation of a note or direction. That’s the joy and curiosity in practice for me.

indieactivity: What do you want most from a director?
Natalie: Collaboration. Desire to play. Strong sense of serving the story above all else.

indieactivity: What actors do you long to work with?
Natalie: Wow, so many. Juliet Binoche. Mark Rylance. Mark Ruffalo. Emma Thompson. Sally Fields. the list goes on and on.

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indieactivity: Why
Natalie: These actors are master students. They are also just great human beings who give back a lot. They are both masterful in what they do and always growing towards what they can’t yet do.

indieactivity: What advice would you give to actors?
Natalie: If you were born with a desire to act or create, then that desire is your truth. Don’t dismiss it. Don’t get so caught up in “is it ever going to happen” or “how is it going to happen”. It is already happening because YOU are it, and your life is the story that wants to be expressed through and you are here, living and breathing and desiring it! Just take one next step. Just keep showing up and giving yourself a lot of permission and a lot of self care. And start meditating!!!!

Briefly write about your career
Natalie: Natalie Roy is an actor, author and holistic teacher. She has performed across North America on stage and screen and has appeared in such projects as: The Affair, Law and Order: SVU, The Detour, Power, The Following, Being Erica, Murdoch Mysteries and in two films directed by award winning director Sidney Furie. Natalie authored her first book: 30 Years, 30 Lessons several years ago and has since collaborated on The I’mPossible Project and the upcoming CREATE Book: Let’s Play! Natalie is a 500 hour certified Yoga Teacher and a meditation teacher specializing in Visualization technique, positive psychology for actors, the Yoga Sutras and taking ancient Eastern philosophy and practices and bringing them into the audition room and onto set.

Natalie is passionate about bringing together the practices and techniques of meditation, mindfulness and “learned optimism” with the artistic process. Natalie Co-Founded C.R.E.A.T.E to do just that. “Nothing makes me happier than creating and seeing others live a life they love, doing the same. My career and life transformed when I began using holistic tools in my creative projects and process. It is my deepest passion to empower other artists to learn how to do the same. These tools are a game changer. They are the foundation for a career of longevity, success and joy.” – Natalie Roy

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  • Impressive actor, great teacher and lovely person

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