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Profile and interview with actress Natasha May

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South African actress Natasha May shares her rise to the top of the acting world and her plans for the future. Here's what she had to say:

Please introduce yourself to the readers:

I am a young actress from Cape Town, South Africa.

How and when did you first get into performing?

I got into performing at a young age as I started off with ballet dancing, Indian classical dancing, singing, and theatre performance on stage at the age of ten. I remember as a child I portrayed a variety of different characters. Oddly enough, my first role ever was as a gnome in Rip Van Winkle when I had to dress as a boy! My favorite production though in my teenage years was one of the Pink Ladies in the musical Grease.

Who were some of your biggest inspirations?

There are so many women that inspire me. My biggest acting inspirations are Marilyn Monroe of course, as well as Audrey Hepburn, and Ingrid Bergman. I also admire the work of Charlize Theron, a fellow South African actress and I thought her performance in Monster was incredibly powerful. Jessica Lange in American Horror Story . Then there is Jennifer Lawrence, her work always draws me in.

What kind have training have you done?

I started off with Meisner and Method acting. Even though I started off on the stage, I soon discovered that my passion was being in front of the camera and then went on to study acting for film. I have also had the chance to work with some amazing acting coaches, including Ivana Chubbuck, Anthony Meindl, and here in Cape Town Bonnie Rodini. They have all taught me to never give up my objective, and most importantly, for any actor to always be present and in the moment. The technique I learned from Ivana Chubbuck requires me to use all my pain to empower myself and achieve my objective rather than be a victim and this is something I have learned to do in my everyday life. I also think it is important for an actor to keep training, you are always accumulating new experiences and constantly changing as a person and all this adds to your toolbox as an actor. The most successful actors are the ones that keep training and working on their craft in my opinion.

What has been your favorite role to play so far?

My favorite role was in a short film called Lovestruck a romantic comedy where I had to play a Sex and the City type character that falls in love with her best friend. He is a douche bag off course and that is where the conflict comes in. Another role I enjoyed was in Secret Moonlight, where I am a witch and my friend is dating a werewolf. What can I say, I love anything vampire-based and would love to be on the Vampires Diaries or similar TVC someday!

What projects do you have coming up?

I just shot two music videos here in South Africa and also have a few commercials and short films coming up, as well as an episode of a series called Metropolitan Detective.

Who would be your ideal co-star and why?

My ideal co-star would be Ian Somerhalder, apart from his dreamy eyes, I think he is a great actor and I like his sense of humor! We also share the same acting coach, Ivana, so I think we would connect as actors. I would also love to work with James Franco, as I think he is a great actor and director.

What are your plans for the future?

I would like to book several co-stars on major television networks and I have a few shows I am specifically targeting I really love television so I ultimately aim to star in a television series. While I do love comedy and I have a natural girl-next-door look, I do want to play darker roles too. For me, the sky is the limit when it comes to acting, so I am looking forward to the next couple of years in my career. I am also thinking of producing my own films in the future, of course I would star in them!

What is your advice to aspiring actresses?

My advice to other artists is never give up on your dreams. If you have tenacity and stay determined, nothing can stand in your way. I also think as an actor you are the face of your own business, you need to network and market yourself, your job is to audition, to get out there, and get noticed for your work. Set yourself specific goals, and definitely keep training to make sure you are staying in your truth as an actor. My acting coach Bonnie Rodini says "An actor needs to be ready for any role at any time" and I wholeheartedly believe in that. Be ready for anything always, as you could get that big audition tomorrow that could change your life.

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