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Interview: Monika Thomas, Aussie Actress; from a small acting role that keeps giving

Monika Thomas is an Aussie Actress Known for ‘Something to Do with Death’ & ‘The James Gibson Story’.

Monika Thomas’ first time acting in a feature film was back in 2017. The date was the 2nd January, to be precise, as in extra role. The name of the film is “Something to Do With Death“. I played a Dental patient and this included an IMDb Credit (my first one). After losing my father in October 2016 (Yes, I did do CPR on him) I decided there had to be more to life than just living, working and caring. I needed to recharge myself & find out who I really was. (I had been a singer in a church choir while growing up and played basic guitar). From that day on you could say I got the acting bug and as the saying goes; “the rest is history“.

indieactivity : How did you become an actor?
Monika Thomas : No, I have never studied acting, & have been told by many I am a natural, along with being a method actor. With the various roles I have taken on since January 2017, & enjoy meeting the various people within this world, as no 2 days are the same & that is what I love.

indieactivity : What acting technique do you use?
Monika Thomas : The acting technique I use is – Method. I put myself into the character of the role I am to play – at times to the annoyance of my children & husband and if I’m doing that, then I’m doing a good job at it. I am able to act across all genres with ease & change at the drop of a hat. I also bring to the table my life experiences that has helped on a number of occasions to win roles that I’ve applied & auditioned for from those that have studies. 

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Monika Thomas as ‘Judith’ in Judith & Adele

indieactivity : Do you take courses to improve your craft?
Monika Thomas : I don’t do courses as such to improve my craft, but I do attend wellness talks or talks with actors such as Andy McPhee who I have now shared the same set with on a number of occasions to hear other ideas & ways of doing things for my craft.   

indieactivity : What acting boks do you read?
Monika Thomas : As yet I have not read any acting books, due to between the roles I am involved with, I assist my teenage son with his homework, caring for my mother, as well as working temporary assignments as well, so the time to read apart from scripts is minimal.

indieactivity : How do you keep fit as an actor: physically and mentally?
Monika Thomas : Well physically as a mother & carer with all the running around I do, I do some work on the exercise bike and try to work my inner thighs – thanks to having both my knees totally replaced. Mentally – I take between 5 to 10 minutes to clear my head, writing either short stories or verses to help, even sing a song or two.

indieactivity : How do I prepare for a role when I get it?
Monika Thomas : I first of all have a quick read of the whole script, then I go to back to the start of the script making notes along the way, highlighting my character at the same time & being more instructional with the notes on my character, i.e. – how they would sound, how they would say a line, how they would look (expression) etc.

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Monika Thomas in “Conflicting Emotions”

indieactivity : How I would create a character from a script into a person?
Monika Thomas : How I would create a character from a script into a person would be as I have said previously – read the whole script first to get a feeling for it, then go back to the beginning & start with my note taking.

indieactivity : How do I stay fresh on a production set?
Monika Thomas : In-between takes is by taking short walks & especially going over the next scene I am in, as well as relaxing, but always remaining in character.

indieactivity : Explain one creative choice you made on set?
Monika Thomas : It was on a student film titled, “Pranked“. The director and scriptwriter was a Chinese student who wrote the script in his native language but then translated it into the English Language. Being a trained Education Support (Teacher’s Aide), I changed my lines & actions to be more fluid remaining in-line with the story he was trying to project. When I explained, he understood, and allowed me to make this choice to change my character response accordingly.

indieactivity : What memorable character have you played?
Monika Thomas : I played was that of “Judith” on a local Community TV Series, Channel 31 called The Travel Counsellor, showing that men also suffer Domestic ViolenceJudith was an abusive wife towards her husband Stephen. Adele is a Counsellor who travels to her client’s houses and assist couples with issues they have. Giovanna who plays Adele is a qualified Social Worker. I had gone through two instances of Domestic Violence at the hands of two separate partners. We each brought to the table real world experiences, both in the professional and life.

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Monika Thomas in ‘Written In The Stars’

indieactivity : What do you want most from a director?
Monika Thomas : I would like to work with a director who is well prepared, and knows right from the start, the sort of direction they would like the production being filmed to take and advise all involved.

indieactivity : What actor do you long to work with?
Monika Thomas : The actor I long to work with is a real hard question to answer, as there are many that I would love to work with. However, first and foremost, I would like to work with Chris Hemsworth or Cate Blanchett who are well known Australian actors.

indieactivity : Why?
Monika Thomas : I would love to work with Cate Blanchett for the various roles she has played, changing herself. Chris Hemsworth due to also the various roles as played.  

indieactivity : Briefly describe your career?
Monika Thomas : Being a top working actor or actress does not happen over one night. There is a lot of hard work that go into such success. Mostly, it is a journey that starts at the bottom, as an extra or a featured extra, such roles can build up into small roles while he or she keeps climbing up from that point.

I have done student films, being an extra on shows like Neighbours. Getting a foot in the door is hard and keeping it there, is even harder. You need to remember to treat everyone with respect, always be professional, have a smile on your face, and always follow your director’s directions.

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Agatha’s Wanted Poster

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