This one goes to eleven: Victoria Bidewell

Last week I dealt with my post-play post-partum by going to see somebody else’s work: In the Boom Boom Room, David Rabe’s 1970s risk-taking opus about the wide-eyed, determined young go-go dancer Chrissy. In this roll Victoria owns the Studio 16 stage, and if you missed it, they’re holding over December 3, 4 and 5.

Victoria graduated with a BA from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, then studied at the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England with Sir Ben Kingsley and Alan Rickman. (I know. Whoa.) She has also studied with Larry Moss and the California improv group The Groundlings. She balances theatre with a burgeoning TV/film career.

med-victoria-headshot

1. In one word, describe your present condition.

Grateful.

2. Using as many words as you need, describe the present condition of the Vancouver theatre scene.

The Vancouver Theatre scene is heating up! There’s always a show or two or three going on, and many of my fellow actors are always involved in them, so it’s great! So many talented actors in this town, it’s amazing!

3. How well did your academic training prepare you for the business of working as a stage actor?

I was trained mostly for the stage so I was pretty well prepared, as for film and television, not so much, but I’m working on it.

4. What, if any, is the most striking difference between the American and British Academy training techniques?

I would say, I learned a lot about voice in England, voice, voice, voice! The rhythym of the lines, the poetry of the words, and so on and so forth. The teachers were different as well. In the States, I was there for a lot longer, we covered more avenues, as in dance, musical theatre, and film, and definitely more contemporary theatre. In England, it was all about Shakespeare.

5. What, for you, is the perfectly balanced acting career?

Working in film and television and having the means to produce and act in plays.

6. What’s your best piece of advice to someone contemplating becoming an actor?

Get ready to struggle and enjoy it!

7. What type of content gets you out to watch theatre?

Great writing and seeing my colleagues work never fails.

8. Which 3 actors, living or dead, would you like to have drinks with, and why?

Marlon Brando, because of his life history, the people he knew and his fearless acting style. Al Pacino, because he’s so passionate and it would probably be incredibly influential, and Meryl Streep, because she is amazing and totally sassy in person, probably so much fun to hang out with.

9. What appealed to you about In the Boom Boom Room?

I love the part of Chrissy, she is the best character I’ll ever play. She is beautiful, her drive to be a better human being despite all her set backs, she is never a victim. The play in itself is amazing, David Rabe’s words, every single one of them, are so specific and moving, I can’t wait to say them every night. I also saw one of the plays Jennifer Copping directed, The Big Funk, and was blown away and dying to work with her, so when I saw she was directing In the Boom Boom Room, I had to be involved.

10. What are your top 3 theatre reads?

I love Suddenly Last Summer by Tennessee Williams (anything by him really), Bus Stop by William Inge, and The Goddess by Paddy Chayevsky, it was a movie, but there is a play version and it’s brilliant!

11. What’s next?

I’ve signed onto a pilot called Hiccups written and directed by Brent Butt from Corner Gas, It’s hilarious, he did such an amazing job, so when it gets picked up, I will be focused on that, and will then produce my first play and hopefully get Jennifer Copping to direct it, if she’s not too busy.

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