Interview with Beth Newbery
Beth Newbery is an actress whose work has been seen in over forty productions! From being interviewed in a meeting with Sidney Poitier, to working with the wonderful Rachel Weisz, being praised and wished good luck by Christopher Eccleston, Beth has certainly worked hard to earn such a rewarding and ongoing career. We have conducted an interview with her.
When was the first time you got into acting? What was your experience like?
The first time I got into acting was at a small venue in London. I had auditioned for the part as a dancer but soon realized that acting was a part of the show! It was after all, a musical of The Wizard of OZ! I played Dorothy, and I had a pretty hard time trying to get the accent! I had done no singing in public before and was pretty terrified. However, after many amazing compliments I soon got into it and realized that this indeed was a passion that would be an ongoing preference in my working life. The rest of the cast were really supportive of me and gave me a slightly more time to work on the singing whilst dancing. Which back then I needed! I was still a teenager!
Which do you prefer to act in, film or theatre? Why?
I have always loved Theatre and when people ask me why I prefer it to film, I think its because I enjoy the challenge of the ability to keep your role alive and spontaneous for each performance. The skill of ‘living’ it in the moment is a creative process of acting for me that I enjoy.
Which Production are you currently working on? What is your role?
Currently I am working on a role as a PA to a rock star in a new play called Stella (one of five plays). It’s a great play, which allows me to believe I am the ‘boss’. It has good depth and emotion. It provides plenty of layers for me to consider when I am working on the characters intentions. I do enjoy working in this new production -“Pressure –NOT ME!“ Working with Award winning Director Laurie Rae Waugh. Laurie puts me though my paces. The play is at the Royal Theatre, Manhattan. I will then be preparing for two festivals this year where I am also acting in two great new productions.
How many different roles have you acted so far? And which one was the most challenging?
I have been in over twenty-five productions not including the short one-act plays, so this is a hard question for me. I have played roles such as Anna in a one-woman show- this was based on a true story of a sex slave, Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion, Mrs. Waters from Tom Jones, Miranda in The Tempest, and Irene in Funny Peculiar. The most unusual was the part of Scully’s cousin in the original X Files, who had had an accident. I had to have tubes up my nose and be in a hospital situation a lot longer then one would like! The most challenging was on a National Tour in the UK, playing the role of Thaisa from Pericles, a great Shakespeare play. I had to be carried in a coffin on stage and then stay in it for twenty minutes, before waking up!
Who do you look up to and who influences/inspires you in your acting styles?
Actor Sidney Poitier, who I had been fortunate to meet personally, has always inspired me. He gave me some wonderful insightful tips whilst at Paramount Studios. I look up to some great actors such as Juliet Stevenson, whose role in the film Truly Madly Deeply was amazing. As for my acting style, then I guess this is something that I have developed over the years of working and now I have found that I can now allow myself to find what the piece needs naturally. As my director pointed out in the current production of Stella, “you live moment to moment and vary your moves on each performance which makes it so organic.” I am proud to have heard this and its what every actor strives for.
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