Being an Australian without a fully polished and refined American accent worried me, but I stopped feeling that way and started focusing on what I needed to do, rather than what I couldn’t do. My friend and I started filming the first scene first. And everything was working. I was truly living in that shock and grief and everything flowed naturally. Once I realized that “I never got the chance to say goodbye”, I began to break down. I had less than twenty minutes to send the tapes out and I was able to just in time.
A couple days went by and I got a fever. The day after I got sick I got the email saying I got it – sick or not, I was going. The next Monday I received another email from the casting director explaining that I’ll have a speaking role with some lines. And with a smile on my face I began to envision the reality where if I didn’t return to class to work on my accent and my technique, I would’ve never gotten this role in the first place, which made me ponder, anything is possible, you just have to work hard towards your goal and believe in yourself.
On the first day of filming we had a family scene without mom, mourning her recent death at the dinner table. I had not a single idea of what I was required to do, until the director told me. He said “you need to be in tears”, meaning from the first moment right after action is called I had to be already breaking down. I’ve never cried on cue before… After the first take I looked up and the two guys operating the camera complimented me on the good work. But I wasn’t done yet, they made me weep another six times, and by the seventh time, I remember there being nothing left in me to cry about. It worked, but before the cameras started rolling, there was this anxiety and doubt, but I began to really focus and believe in myself, in my ability, in my technique, and in my drive, and that put me in the zone. My highlight was when the Tom the director called out from the other room and said “Australia, are you ready for another one?” to which I replied, “Fuck yeah, I am”.
Episode 101 of “Grave Secrets” is set to air in January 2017.