We recently sat down with actress Blioux Kirkby about her blooming acting career and growing up in a bohemian household. Here is what she had to say:
Please introduce yourself to the readers:
My first name Blioux, is pronounced like the color blue. The spelling of my name always proves to be a conversation starter at auditions. My parents took it from the Native American, ‘Sioux’. My mother, an artist, loves the color blue, as she says it represents the ineffable. I have grown up in a unique and bohemian household, surrounded by artists and musicians. This has had a great influence over me and led me to choose a creative career.
How and when did you first get into performing?
Many performers state that they had a passion for acting from a very early age, and I would have to agree with this. I have always loved the art of storytelling and entertaining people by transforming myself into someone else. I have always adored fantasy stories and fairy tales. After watching the first ‘Harry Potter’ film at the age of eleven, I realized that acting is a real profession, and that people are paid to dress up and play a character that you wouldn’t normally be in real life.
Who were some of your biggest inspirations?
I admire so many actors but particularly the talents of Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman, who can play any role convincingly. Other inspirations are the late Robin Williams, a master of comic timing and voices, Reese Witherspoon and Javier Bardem as they are both so versatile. Directors include Joe Wright, Wes Anderson, JJ Abrams and Woody Allen.
What kind of training have you had, if any?
At the age of 17 I began auditioning for an Acting degree at drama schools in London and the UK. I was told that many drama schools consider this to be too young and recommended taking a gap year in order to gain life experience. However, I gained a scholarship to one of the leading drama schools in London, Arts Educational (ArtsEd), for their BA Honors degree.
At ArtsEd I was trained in modern and classical texts, physical theatre, film and television work, dance, singing, stage combat and stand up comedy.
What has been your favorite role to play so far?
I particularly love the work of Shakespeare and while at ArtsEd I played the role of Viola in Twelfth Night. I adore Viola, she is my ultimate favourite Shakespeare leading lady. Viola has a strong sense of what is right and wrong. She is very romantic and a determined young woman, qualities which I truly admire. These are the characteristics that I also love in another favorite role of mine, Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice. I played Miss Bennett in one of my film projects at ArtsEd. I found her to be challenging, strong and yet vulnerable.
I enjoy playing romantic and strong leading ladies, but I have also had the pleasure of playing Betty Boop in a production of Roger Rabbit by Secret Cinema. I loved releasing my cheeky and sassy side!
What has been your biggest achievement/award, so far of your career?
I devised a Shakespearian production, in collaboration with an opera singer and a classical pianist, which was performed at the Rose Theatre in London. This was Shakespeare’s theatre before the Globe.
What projects do you have coming up?
The three of us are currently devising a Noel Coward project.
Who would be your ideal co-star and why?
Having seen Emma Thompson in interviews, I know she would be incredibly funny and great to work with. She seems genuine and down to earth. James Macavoy is pretty easy on the eye, so I’m sure I’d be happy to work with him too!
What are your plans for the future?
I hope to continue my acting career in America. I like the approach to actors in the US. After attending workshops and auditions, I always felt supported by my audience, whether they be agents, managers or workshop leaders. I didn’t leave a workshop or audition in America without positive feedback.
What is your advice to aspiring performers?
Always keep motivated, no matter what. Try not to focus on negative feedback or not getting the part. Do not compare yourself with others, that is probably the worst thing you can do. You are your own person and have your own unique selling point. You don’t always get the part because the casting team will have a specific idea of what they’re looking for, not because you’re a bad actor! Always keep learning new skills.
I have started a group on Facebook called Creative Proactive People, which now has about 500 members. The members all work within the creative industries and I will always promote their work on the page, giving them more publicity and a personal boost.