With our founder back in the game working all month on a commercial, a music video and a short film, we thought it was about time to find out 2 important things:
What acting techniques does she use in her personal practice and what are her favorite ways to prep for a role?
Hi Kristina, thank you for making time to shed light on your personal acting practice. Let’s start real quickly from your origins.
How old were you when you started acting?
I perform my whole life, since I can remember myself. I was the main (and only) child entertainer at all family gatherings. :))) hahah they paid me with food and lots of love and attention.
I’ve witnessed acting (which is a form of training: you learn a lot by observing) since I was 5 because my mom is an actress. Then at the age of 12 I started going to youth drama school through my whole middle and high school. After my graduation I got into the Academy of Art in Russia and studied Acting there for 2 years before I moved to Singapore to continue my acting studies, and after that I went straight to work as an actress. Did I answer your question? 😅
Have you been focused purely on acting since?
At some point, when I was in Singapore, I found myself stuck, playing super stereotypical roles in projects that didn’t really drive my ambition. And then I decided that I gotta create new, more interesting opportunities for myself. So I began to write, direct and produce my own plays. I still do this till now. But my love for acting never goes away, doesn’t matter how much I write/ direct/ produce I always go back to my home base - which is acting.
From then to now what techniques have you trained in?
Oh so many. In uni we did the whole year of studies on Asian theatre which was awesome: Chinese Opera, Noh theatre, Wayang Wong, Kathakali, you name it. It was very different from what I studied in Russia, so it’s a very special experience for me.
On top of Asian theatre studies we of course practiced Western techniques: Stanislavsky, Laban, Chekhov, Adler, Viewpoints, Meisner (all these techniques I use in my work till now) and many others.
What made you decide to train in those techniques?
Which technique would you say you found easiest to learn, and which was the most difficult for you? Why?
Easiest, probably would be Stanislavsky because I learnt that in Russia, so it was very familiar to me.
Hardest would be Asian techniques and Gratowski (I still don’t fully understand it even now, although I would love to learn more)
So you’ve been acting for 18 years now. You’ve probably narrowed down the techniques that work best for you. What are they? Why?
I’d say my two favorites: Viewpoints and Chekhov. But I also love Meisner, Laban and Stanislavsky. Bits and pieces of everything. I created a hybrid and I use this mixture in all my work and also teaching.
What is your typical process when preparing for a role? Does it differ depending on the kind of role?
Typically, first, I read the script a couple of times and highlight all the facts that I can find about my character. I analyze my character using Stanislavski’s 7 questions technique. Then I add all the details that I haven’t found in the text. I basically create a character on paper first: her habits, mannerism, likes and dislikes, her relationship with the other characters, her desires and fears and etc.
Then after that I work on character embodiment using Chekhov Technique.
Then, on set/stage, depending on how much time I have I might practice dialogue with my partners using Meisner Technique. If I don’t have time, I might help myself using the Laban technique.
The first part (text analysis) starts the same for any role. The rest might differ depending on, for example, how much I can relate to my character and her life experiences. In other words, how similar we are.
What’s been your favorite role so far? Why?
I like all my roles.
Describe the most challenging role you’ve had and the turning point of the process that allowed you to become the role.
All roles are challenging. Same as every person is complex in his/her own way. It takes lots of time and effort, a sense of empathy and more, to get into someone else’s shoes. It’s not an easy process. “Acting is damn difficult”, my students always say. And I agree. It IS bloody hard.
This question is something that has been burning on my mind. So you model too, yes? Do you apply your acting practice to this as well?
Of course. The process is not so deep though, because the characters usually are archetypes (a student, a mother, business man etc) and there is only on purpose for any modeling project - to sell! So... you don’t need to create a page-long backstory for your character. One main thing you need to know is to whom you are talking/looking to/at, when talking to/looking at the camera and what relationship you have with this person.
Viewpoints is great for modeling by the way. Don’t ask me why. Come to my workshop :)
____ Wow, 18 years of experience is no joke. It’s no wonder you’ve had great success with your students. You live and breathe your acting practice and I bet there is a lot of crossover as well when you produce, direct as well as write plays and films.
We’re very fortunate you’ve decided to impart your knowledge to us via the community collaboration that you are pushing for, as well as in your workshops.
Once again, thank you so much for your time, Kristina. Especially since you’re currently working on a role for a short film AND writing an audio play as well.
To all of you, dear readers, follow us on our social media accounts FB | IG for the latest updates on Kristina’s works in progress, Village international collaborations, and our in-person group/ private workshops via Krispy Drama Studio.
Of course if you have any questions at all, feel welcome to shoot us a message on social media or email us at email@example.com.