Natasha Nogueira. Photo: WinkiPoP Media
Natasha Nogueira has been involved in numerous Sydney Eisteddfod speech and drama events, including Verse and Prose speaking, and placed 2nd in the 2018 Sydney Eisteddfod Actor's Championship (15-18 years). Here she talks about acting as it relates to movement and dance as well as her personal attitude and thoughts when it comes to performing for competitions.
Why are you drawn to acting?
I find that acting is a completely personal and empathetic process in which you truly get to know yourself through your character. Above all else, I just love to be someone that I'm not; to allow yourself to get truly lost in someone else is an amazing experience. At the same time, I love to find as many similarities as I can with my characters and like to think all my characters have helped to shape me.
Who inspired you to start acting?
As a child, I was painfully shy and barely said a word. At the age of 6, my mum suggested I take Speech and Drama lessons to help improve my confidence. I found that Speech and Drama lessons really helped me to come out of my shell and become more sure of myself. Eventually, it even became something I excelled at. However, I still never really believed in myself. Then, when I was 12, I auditioned for my first play at the advice of my parents and Speech and Drama teacher. I don't believe I ever would have done this if they hadn't really encouraged me to. I remember being so nervous. However, I ended up receiving a lead role, and have been acting ever since.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever heard?
The best piece of advice I have ever heard is 'Whatever you do, do it differently'. I feel like this can be applied to any situation in life, but especially when acting. Often, at auditions, everyone will just play each character in the same way so I've always found that when you just play that character differently, or put a different spin on it, even if it's not the way that the character was originally intended to be played, it often really inspires the director to see that character in a completely different light. I have found that when I follow this advice, I am generally more successful. It has also helped me to bring different aspects of my personality into my characters.
What has been the value for you in taking part in Sydney Eisteddfod events so far?
Sydney Eisteddfod has definitely allowed me to grow as a performer. Being able to perform in front of such highly regarded adjudicators for feedback has certainly been a big part of this. It is really important to take on the adjudicator's feedback. I have also learnt that no matter whether you place or not, the most important thing is to just give your absolute best performance and be proud of what you have done. Not to strive for perfection, but just your personal best.
I had also never placed in the Actors Championship at Sydney Eisteddfod before this year, so I guess Sydney Eisteddfod has also taught me to just keep on going...
How long have you been participating in Sydney Eisteddfod events for?
I started competing in Sydney Eisteddfod just a few years ago in 2015, but before that I had been competing in local Eisteddfods since I was six. I remember competing in my first Sydney Eisteddfod event, being astonished due to the high calibre of acting that I hadn't seen before in people my age. I feel as though all my fellow competitors have helped me to grow as a performer.
How has your outlook as a performer changed over time?
I think because I come from a Speech and Drama background, I have always approached a character through their voice. Once I find the voice, everything else just seems to fall into place. Definitely, in my younger years, finding my character's physicality and body language was really challenging for me (and still is) because as a performer you must really use your whole body in order to create a character. Then one day someone told me 'acting is related to movement and dance just as much as it is to voice' and that really stuck with me.
What are your future aspirations?
I want to live the best version of my life I possibly can. I would love to study at drama school and have a career in theatre and film. I especially love the British Theatre and Film industry and closely follow companies such as The RSC, The National Theatre and The Donmar Warehouse. To act on stage for any of these companies is an absolute dream of mine.