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Friends for Life: Anastasia Benham
Anastasia Benham (2007 alumni) initially found a passion for the arts during her time at Toowoomba Anglican School, performing in the Chapel Choir and multiple school musicals. It was during the school musical, when she was only 12 years old, that there was a costume malfunction with another lead actor and Ana managed to improvise for a few minutes by talking to the crowd. She was later told by the audience, “you're going to be an actor Ana”.
5 years later, Ana finished her schooling at Queensland Academies Creative Industries and moved to Paris for a year to pursue an acting career. She began to do more and more auditions in the UK and fell in love with the Theatre culture that she felt she hadn’t experienced in Australia.
Ana decided to begin the application process for acting schools in the UK to not only receive more classical training but to one day enhance the Arts and theatre culture back home in Australia. In 2015, Ana was 1 of 30 drama students chosen from a pool of 6,400 applicants for London’s International Drama School’s annual intake for the Rose Bruford College. Rose Bruford’s other notable alumni include blockbuster names such as Gary Oldham (Harry Potter, The Dark Knight, etc), Tom Baker (Doctor Who), Lake Bell and many other household names. Here, Ana trained and rehearsed 6 days a week developing her acting, voice and physicality skills. Rose Bruford provided her with three years of rigorous and intense training but she says she “loved every minute”.
Ana says, “at any given time, as an actor in film, tv or theatre, I’m a small part of a larger piece of art. Throughout history, all forms of art/pop culture have been a precursor to social change. This fact makes me wonder why we (as Australians) don’t value our music, theatre, film and visual art industries as much as other countries. I went to study at Rose Bruford, not only for the classical approach to acting technique that they offer, but also to immerse myself in all that London has to offer in the theatre and film world. My aim has always been to work out how to take what I’ve learnt over here and take it home with me to start a production company telling real Australian stories. I look forward to this being my next step.”
Ana graduated from Rose Bruford at the end of 2019 with a promising road ahead of her and multiple auditions lined up with distinguished production companies. Unfortunately, her launch into the world of acting as a graduate came at the same time as widespread lockdowns and the prolific cancellation or postponement of any movie or theatre production.
Ana is currently in lockdown in Scotland, though is happy to see that audition opportunities are just starting to emerge again. She is looking forward to reemerging into the industry and using the talents she has worked so hard to acquire over many years.