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‘I’ve played men, lesbians and even a bug’

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When it comes to acting, Victoria Watlington lives life on the edge. She likes to be as daring as she can.

“Some of my acting friends have a lot of boundaries due to religion,” the 26-year-old said. “I'm also religious, but I try to keep an open mind.

“I've played men, and lesbians. I've been Macbeth. I even played a bug. I was the depressed lead in an adaptation of Psychosis by Sarah Kane. I was also in a play in Los Angeles, Clybourne Park. That brought up a lot of racial issues. I think it's important to let people see the reality of what goes on.”

Still, she has her limits.

“I wouldn't do nudity or depict drug use,” she said. “But I think you have to be grateful for any opportunity you get.”

Miss Watlington received a $5,000 scholarship from the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Bermuda this year.

The cash was used to finish her bachelor of fine arts programme at the New York Film Academy in Burbank, California.

“I was so grateful for that,” said Miss Watlington, who graduates in May. “I feel like you can get important messages across through acting. I love the theatre because the feedback is immediate but I am also excited about film, because once you break into that you can reach even more people.”

At the moment, she's working on her thesis: a film about a girl finding her own strength.

“It's a silent film, and very artsy,” she said.

She found her own strength last summer. Although desperately afraid of heights, she chose the world's highest spot for commercial bungee jumping: South Africa's Bloukrans Bridge.

Miss Watlington was so terrified, attendants picked her up by the elbows and dropped her 215 feet.

“Normally people dive into it,” she said. “Since I went feet first, I just bounced and bounced. The fear was indescribable. I think they didn't come to get me for awhile because they were laughing at the way I was screaming.”

Finally, the owner of the jump pulled her down and gave her a conciliatory T-shirt.

“I force myself to do things that get me out of my comfort zone,” she said. “I thought that maybe bungee jumping might cure me of my fear. It didn't.

“Different experiences broaden my horizons as an artist. They help me relate to more people and develop characters more deeply. I would say I am more dramatic and I like dark stuff but tend to be cast in funny roles. I guess I can live with that. I like projects that get an important message across. I just want to work and make a living at acting.”

At the moment she is somewhat restricted as her student visa doesn't allow her to work for money.

“I want to get a green card,” she said. “I am already a member of the Screen Actors Guild. A friend took me to the office and signed me up. In the meantime I have done a lot of web series and short independent films. I'm also part of an improv troupe. We recently performed at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles. I'm quite good at developing different accents.”

She danced, played piano, sang and acted while growing up here.

“I have always been an artist,” she said. “I thought at one point I would focus on photography. I have a photography diploma from Bournemouth University in the UK.”

After university she was shooting weddings and portraits, and helping to teach kids drama.

“I was jumping in and out of acting,” she said. “I did a lot, doing different projects, short films and theatre.”

In 2011 she did an eight-week summer programme at the New York Film Academy.

“I did so well they asked me to come back full time,” she said. “I did an associates in fine arts and then I took time off to work. I came back last September to do my bachelors.”

Now her dream is to get an agent and manager after graduation and break into blockbusters.

She would also like to work on a film in Bermuda.

“I'd love to do something at home,” she said. “Not that much has been done there. It is such a beautiful location to film. I have a lot of friends here who are interested in filming in Bermuda.”

Watch her on YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zME481SlpiQ

Bermudian actress Victoria Watlington (Photograph supplied)
Victoria Watlington (Photograph supplied)

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Published March 27, 2017 at 9:00 am (Updated March 27, 2017 at 1:07 am)

‘I’ve played men, lesbians and even a bug’

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