Monday, September 1, 2014

Meet Liv Kirby, Actor, Dancer, and Model

Liv Kirby was born in Queensland, Australia and was brought up in Sydney and Melbourne. Liv began acting classes at age 12 at the National Theatre in the heart of Melbourne.

From acting Liv then started exploring the world of dance, and by age 15 she was dancing professionally in renowned hip hop crews situated in Melbourne. In 2012 Liv received her Diploma of Modeling and Business of Modeling from the Model Academy and since has been involved in many photo shoots as well as had the opportunity to walk for L'Oreal.

In July 2012 Liv made the move to the United States to take part in the Hollywood Immersive program at Margie Haber Studios in L.A. She then found her love for New York and relocated there. Since her move, she has been undertaking training in Musical Theatre and will be graduating from New York Film Academy in February which will take her onto her next chapter.

1. How did you first become interested in acting?

I first began acting classes at age 12, and at that time what drew me to acting were films I had seen and actresses who were around my age, such as Dakota Fanning--I really admired her talent and career because she could give such influential performances at such a young age, which gave me insight that this could be something I could do. I wasn't really introduced to the theatre till I was around 14. So I enrolled in acting for film classes first and then later also enrolled in acting for the stage.

I found acting as a way to express myself. When I was younger, I was painfully shy. I wouldn't talk to family or friends, and people at my school would spend hours with me just to see if I could say "Hi." So it was quite surprising that I really enjoyed acting. I guess I felt like when I was portraying characters, I didn't have to be myself--when I was acting, I was somebody else, and that helped me through my shyness.

2. What do you see as the connections between acting and dance?

Both of them to me are ways to express yourself in a creative way. Both of them allow you to put yourself, your emotions, and your experiences into an art form. I was taught by one of my wonderful teachers that "Words don't matter; they don't mean anything." It's all about your reaction. I find this so true--the powerful moments in plays are the reactions from one another. This goes for dance as well because your reaction to the music is what makes a piece so beautiful--the audience can tell when you are just doing choreography or when you are really embracing the music you're dancing too.

Acting and dance go hand in hand for me. I've seen dancers dance without feeling, and I can be guilty of that, too, when you're so focused on picking up the choreography because you might be in a class that's moving along really fast, or in an audition and trying to remember everything they're throwing at you. But in the end it's up to you to bring the movement to life, and that's when acting comes into play.

3. How do you balance your work as a model, dancer, and actor?

Right now, I'm focusing on acting, dance, and singing. I'm training full-time and developing my skills to their fullest potential and then will start auditioning and working again early next year upon my graduation. I've found with balancing everything it's important to do the things that excite you. There's nothing worse then working on a project that you don't enjoy: it's like working a job you hate. I'm horrible at saying no to things, so I found at times I really had to step back and work out my priorities. I just have to make sure that the projects I put myself forward for are things that I will happily commit myself to 100%.

4. What prompted your move from Australia to the United States, and how has your career developed following the move?

In 2012 I got into an acting program called Hollywood Immersive which was in L.A. It was an intensive for 10 days. I planned to stay for three weeks and see L.A., travel to San Francisico for a few days, and end the trip with New York. What was meant to be three weeks quickly changed to three months, and in that time I had fallen in love with NYC. After that I caught a flight back to Australia, packed up my room, and moved into a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan with two other housemates.

Since 2012 I have learned SO much about the industry and about how important networking and education is. I've taken these few years to work on develop my talents and explore the art of auditioning in New York, which really is a career in itself, haha. I've meet so many wonderful people from directors to agents to Broadway stars to composers who have all given me such great advice that I've taken with me to auditions and classes and have been able to apply to my work. Networking I have learned is definitely a big part of starting off in New York--more than most of the time it's about who you know, so I definitely feel I'm on the right path.

5. As you look ahead to the next year or so, what do you hope to accomplish?

Once I finish the current training program I'm in early next year, I'm looking to going back out and auditioning as much as I can and taking the experiences that come my way. I will still keep taking classes as I don't think you ever stop learning and bettering yourself and your skills, so that will always play a big part to me. I've given myself a goal, and that's that by the time I'm 27 I'll have had my first Broadway show. I'm almost 21, so I'm going to work hard and stay motivated and dedicated to the arts and strive to reach that goal and enjoy my journey there.

Thanks, Liv!

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