During my time at GlogauAIR I would like to develop three characters and explore how they inform our understanding of self identity. I will extensively document the process, exhibit the results and archive it on a digital platform where it may be used as a reference and influence for psychological & performative study.
Bad Man – In opposition of the frequent written antagonist or “bad guy” in films, Bad Man is an androgynous flawed human being. Like any human, we make good choices and bad choices, but are not altogether good or bad individuals. Are we all justified in our own experiences? What does it take to empathize with the bad guy. At what point do we find ourselves craving to support them, lust for their lifestyle & live vicariously through their actions? What amount of fantasy is intoxicating for those watching? Explores power and the seductiveness of the ‘bad’.
Marchesa – Based on Luisa Casati, an Italian heiress, muse and curator of the arts. Despite having every joy that was financially accessible, it seems she was terribly unhappy. Hauntingly so, in her portraits. What are the relationships we have with earthly pleasures and how do they dictate our identity? What are the dangers of surrounding oneself in material stimulation and what must one acknowledge to find stability separate of it? Explores sexuality and contentment.
Fruitloops – Based on a character I auditioned for and deeply connected with, Fruitloops is a mentally unstable gauntly female who suffers from family trauma. I want to bridge the apparent connection between semiotics and psychological disorders. Once we identify the signifier and signified of a traumatic event, can we come to terms with specific psychological disorders and be at peace in the mind? What is the spectrum of that? Explores self control, mindset and the seeds of fear.
In addition to creating these characters, I will be exploring healthy methods of coming in and out of character. The relationship an artist has to their work is intimate with purpose. As an actor, allowing yourself to be vulnerable and affected is necessary yet dangerous. I will explore ways to safety and professionally navigate character exploration.
During her time in the industry as an actress, Michaela has noticed that films encouraging social and individual change are poorly funded. Those that have the financial support have obligations to turn a profit. As a result, characters lack realism and are manicured to be agreeable and easily digestible. A change in perspective can be uncomfortable at times and unfortunately the entertainment industry’s goals are not parallel to that of individual progressive growth.
Her wish is to nurture an awareness of perspective in hopes that those who empathize with the characters she plays are encouraged to grow within themselves and develop patience for others.
Michaeila’s first on screen acting performance as Lou Marie Fisher was supported by months of preproduction improvisation and character building. Due to that fact, she had the time to curate a past, support it with textural evidence and create triggers that deepened her connection to the world on screen. It had a very serious impact on her personal life as she was unaware that this technique was ‘method’ and endangered her own preliminary sense of self. As a result, she became fascinated with perspective. She was seeing her social life, values, herself through a new filter. She became hyper aware of how our past experiences influence the choices we make. How repeating an action over time can result in an unconscious habit. How we can create emotional bonds with sensory experiences and have it support our self identity.
Furthermore, she began to ask how character building can inform our current understanding of personality psychology and personality disorders? Could she study multiple personality disorder and mirror its progression to create a cartilage structure, creating her own controlled triggers to come in and out of these characters? What is the spectrum of character growth in this vulnerable area of study? Where is the line she would not cross? What is the peak of fictional identity authenticity and at what moment does dominate an actor’s mind?
2015 Photography: Studio Lighting with Rob Davidson, Ryerson University
2010-2014 BFA Film Studies Honours, Ryerson University
AWARDS & RESIDENCIES
2019 Toronto Artscape Gibraltar Point Self Directed Residency
2019 Vancouver Film Critics Association, Best Actress Nominee in ‘Firecrackers’
2018 Stockholm Film Festival – XXIX Competition, Aluminum Horse for Best Actress in ‘Firecrackers’
2018 Toronto International Film Festival, Canadian Rising Star
2014 Air Canada En Route Film Festival, Audience Choice Best Film Director, ‘Alouette’
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