Acting, // September 26, 2016
Maria Riboli — ACTOR/DIRECTOR
Interview with actor/director Maria Riboli —
1. Who are you and what do you do?
Uhmmm who am I…I feel this answer could take a while, so I’m going to give you the short version: my name is Maria Riboli and I’m an actress, a director, an acting coach and an undercover superhero (just don’t tell anyone).
2. Why acting?
I was really bad at math…
Joking aside, I wouldn’t even know what I would do if I weren’t in this business. Acting is extremely powerful for me. It’s a way to express myself because being able to transform into another human being is very rewarding. Acting is exhilarating and excruciating at the same time. It’s a way to give voice to our emotions both actively when we are on stage or in front of a camera, and passively when we are sitting in the audience watching a play or a movie. An actor gifts emotions to people…I find that to be a pretty nice gift nowadays.
…Also it was much cheaper that therapy.
3. What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an actor?
I remember watching Walt Disney’s – “Peter Pan” and wanting to be in it, and at that time I didn’t really understand the difference between being an actor or a cartoon character apparently…but I just knew I wanted to be in something like that to make people feel the way I was feeling while watching it.
4. What are your favorite subject(s)/genre(s)?
I enjoy more dramatic roles. I love a broken character, a fighter, someone who has still a glimmer of hope in her somewhere and is pushing through it. Those are incredibly powerful roles for me.
5. How do you work and approach your subject/character?
I prepare very deeply. I’m a method actress and I like to truly connect with my character. I start with doing a background story for her and I really go into the details, from where she is from to her favorite food. Nothing is too small. It gives me strength once I’m in front of a camera or on stage.
I read the script a lot as well, and I also read it as the other characters, paying attention to what they say about mine. I then love to rehearse. I can be working for hours and hours without breaks. I enjoy working with fellow actors and growing together.
6. What are your favorite performance(s), actor(s)?
It’s hard to narrow it down to just a few. I’m always moved by deep work. I admire Cate Blanchett, Eddie Redmayne, Ian McKellen and I think we lost an incredible talent with Heath Ledger.
7. What are the best responses you have had to your work?
When people are touched by my work, it’s the best gift they can give me. I remember being on stage a few times with different characters who were going through a rough moment, and to hear people crying in the audience was extremely humbling for me. I’ve had audience members come up to me after shows to tell me that they were inspired to make a change in their lives because of what my character had done during the show. That again was very powerful.
8. What do you like about your work?
Exactly that…The Work…I love the creative part. I love when it’s just an idea and when that idea starts to become something real. I love the possibilities that lay ahead of me when a new project sparks my imagination. I love the feeling I get in my stomach right before going on stage when the lights go down in the audience and there’s that magical silence made of theater dust in the air. I love the moment when as a director, I get to call “cut” on the final shoot of a movie, knowing that I just gave life to a new story. I love everyone in this business who has passion and who is not jaded by how hard it is to survive.
9. What advice would you give to other actors?
Don’t do it unless you’re doing it for the love you have for this art. If you get in this business to become rich and famous, then you’re in it for the wrong reasons. It might never happen to you and you have to be ok with that, but also not let it stop you. You have to do it because you have a voice in you that pushes you to create something. You have to jump into this knowing that your biggest desire is to make something incredible, and even when you make something terrible (and you will, we all do and it’s ok) you’ll be able to learn from it and grow. To anyone who wants to try, I say “study” and never stop learning. Keep pushing yourself and your limits, take classes, workshops, form groups and start working together every week. Never stop being curious.
10. Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
Living in a multimillion dollar home laughing at 10-years-younger-me who said, “Don’t be in this business for the money.” Again, joking aside, I’m looking forward to working on Broadway and making more movies, of course.
As a director I feel like I have quite a few stories I want to tell. But most of all, I want to be in a place where I feel happy and loved and always inspired by life, hungry for another story to tell…