Acting Got into Me – Teodora Cristea
Today’s post is an interview with actress Teodora Cristea who is based in the Big Apple (New York). She writes about inspiration, experience and tips.
Born to parents who were revolutionaries in Bucharest, Romania during the time of the Iron Curtain; raised to be extra nice and say “Eh!” at the end of all my statements and questions in Toronto, Canada; at home, emancipated by choice from the life I used to know, in New York City learning and creating.
I’m a book, museum and history enthusiast; poet and traveler of sorts.
What inspired me to be an actor?
It wasn’t inspiration that brought me here, but more of something I discovered inside one random summer in New York while in an acting workshop. There was never a decision to move from home and pursue it, it pursued me. And I’ve been following this thing, this feeling that at first dragged me along this path, ever since. Now I shape, understand and control it. It is my calling and passion for the cinema.
How I got into it?
I didn’t. It got into me. (Editor: “I like this answer”)
Favorite movie and why…
A Beautiful Mind. I think Mr. Crowe did a spectacular job at becoming his version of John Nash. His character was complete. He had his own thoughts, physical qualities, speech and revelations of the soul that one can’t just play, but must become that person to experience. The story is beautiful, Jennifer Connelly is beautiful, and the cinematography is beautiful. Also, a slight bias for Mr. Crowe whom I think slightly resembles my father!
I was actually quite rattled when Mr. Crowe was not awarded the Academy Award for Best Actor for this performance – but that obviously had to do more with politics than with art, so we’ll leave it at that.
Best acting experiences…
The moment right after “Cut!” when I snap out of my character, the memory of those minutes just passed is a blur and though I can’t remember what specifically happened. I trust that in the very least that scene will be interesting, which I think is what every actor should aim for.
I’ll always remember my first time. It came at the end of two hopeless years at an acting school where I felt I was making zero progress at. Luckily for me, the director I was assigned for my final project was the incredible Marni Zelnik. She had a way of seducing the talent and performance out of me and though I was nervous at first, I reached a point where between her calls of “Action!” and “Cut!,” I fully gave myself to that performance. That’s what I always bring to set with me now because I know that anything less is not worth being here for.
Tips for newbies:
First of all, take the notion that you will get discovered out of your head before you even start acting. It makes lazy victims out of talented people.
Second, it’s called show business, not your business, treat it accordingly. Work hard, be professional, and always be early for everything. Though you may get lucky, you can’t count on it. It will take years of hard work, sweat, and tears, but when all is said and done, this high is like nothing else you will ever experience.
What I dream of, and the next five years:
Considering that until three years ago I didn’t even know this was what I was meant to do, the only thing I can hope for in the next five years is to find myself in a place I never expected to be. I want to grow professionally and artistically, but also learn more about myself and this universe that we’re all a part of; all the while contributing to inspiring and innovative cinema. On the more logistical side of things, I’m constantly writing and even planning the launch of my first production company, House of Dolls, with fellow Canadian superstar Kelsey Lynn Stokes.
I hope my work will outlive me and teach future generations to love the world around them. That’s the most important thing. I hope they’ll still have a world around them.
And by the next five years, Sam, I hope to send you a red carpet premiere invitation. So, fingers crossed. Just kidding. Luck is not part of this equation.
Who inspires me?
From the unknown, to me, to humans I catch glimpses of on 23rd St. when I wander around the city, to all things nature, I find inspiration in all living beings. Anything and anyone who triggers an emotion is inspiration.
Of course, I admire some of the great screen seductresses: Audrey and Katherine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Angelina… But I don’t strive to be like them, I strive to be myself and live my own legend.
My parents are also a significant source of inspiration. Their strength and the story of their lives, individually and as a couple, inspire the strength and will to fight in me. They’ve come a long way. I plan to take them even further.
Follow Teo on twitter at @teocristea