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Interview with actress Ariana Lebron

Ariana Lebron is a nominated Dominican actress, movement director, producer, teacher, and representative of Dominican culture, based in London. Despite her young age she has worked in several countries around the globe, from the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, with a range of well-known directors, such as Joe Pytka, Fernando Báez, David Herrera. Apart from directing her own work, she also contributed as a director in the movement piece “You will fail her”, sponsored by the Art Council in England under the Theatre Company Immersive Theatre. She was nominated as best lead actress for her performance in Flor de Azucar in 2016, a film that represented the Dominican Republic for the Oscar, and presented as the face of the DYSPLA Film Festival in 2017. Ariana has recently worked with the award-winning Mexican director, Michelle Cervera Garza on the film called “The Original”.

Ariana graduated with distinction from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, obtained her postgraduate diploma in Trinity Laban specialising in movement and contemporary dance, and developed a workshop called “The Body Architecture and the Word of Movement” based on her thesis.

She is one of the founding members of Interzone Production, who are currently working on feature films “Los Gavilleros” and “La Reina del Carnaval”, as well as a short film “Un Pasaje sin Regreso”, the winner of the Fonprocine award in 2017. All of the three films are based on scripts written by Dominican artists residing in London.

  • How did you get involved in acting?

I got into acting by accident at a very young age. After an event in my life, I became quiet and stopped talking. My mother, whom was a psychologist, decided to put me in theatre classes. In a years time I became more extroverted. Theatre turned into  a playground full of discoveries and challenges artistic and personally. It developed into a form of expression, exploration and therapy. A year later I was named actress Revelation of the year and did my first national theatre tour by the age of 16 in Puerto Rico. Acting and dancing became a crucial part of who I am and my life.

  • How different is it to act in a movie and to act in a theater play? And which one do you prefer?

This is a very difficult question to answer, I personally don’t prefer either. Both have their unique language which challenges and develop different facets of me as an actor. Based on my experience they are quite different.Theatre requires projection, its a live communication energy feed with the audience, you have to be quick and reactive as there is no second chances and the way that is done the dynamics are different. While in movies the dimension of expression has to be smaller, the set up is completely different and demands approach of the actor.  In conclusion, I enjoyed them both and grateful to have the opportunity to experience them.

  • What are your weak points when it comes to acting? How do you try to improve them?

Trust myself. Trying to take more risks.

  • What are your strong points as an actor?

The versatility that I have developed during the years, and the quick shift on the range of emotions. Due to my movement director training I am very conscious of the actors body and not just the voice.What have you learned from the directors that you have worked with throughout your career?

  • What makes a good scene partner?

A good scene partner is a person that is present and not just feed out of you but gives you material to enrich your creativity. A good scene partner not only talks but listens to their partner in terms of action and emotions. Is good at having an artistic dialogue. It is a collaborator.

  • What are some of the difficulties of the acting business?

It is definitely a challenge sometimes to be a woman in the business; especially to balance the demands of the industry for woman and having a family. As a self employed it demands a lot of discipline and automotivation every morning. the hardest part I would say is dealing with rejection on a daily basis, or getting the opportunity to find the suitable role and chance for you as an actor.

  • What’s challenging about bringing a script to life?

I find that more than a challenge, a discovery and a playground. As an actor you will need to understand the character, the story through your, the writer and the director’s perspective and its creating that fusion through collaboration of the vision of the director, writer and your own. Recognising the essence of the character in every possible way and disecting the actions and stepping into that created world.

  • What do you do when you’re not doing theatre/film?

When I am not doing theatre, producing or filming I am teacher and a mother.

  • If someone is going to make your life into a movie, who would play you? 

I will probably say Salma Hayek!