Interview with Catherine Balavage - actor, writer and editor of Frost Magazine

Female Arts interviews Catherine Balavage - actor, writer, director, producer and editor of Frost Magazine. Catherine is a very hard working and inspirational lady. We wondered, where does she find the time? Catherine tells us about her work/life balance, working with Gurindha Chadha, acting in period dramas and writing for media, film and TV.

You’re an actor and a writer, how has this influenced your career?

I think they influence each other. They are both creative and do the same thing: tell a story. One also gives more of an understanding of the other.

Do you think more actors are also writers now than say, a generation ago?

Well I am too young to remember! But, yes, I do think actors are smart enough to know that you need more than one string to the bow.

You are the co-writer of the film Prose & Cons and play the lead role of Sarah. What a great title! Please tell us more about the film.

Prose & Cons is a film I am doing about a writer called Sarah who gets writers block. She needs to finish a book of poetry and get it to her publisher or they will drop her. She sees someone elses tweets and steals them. It's about plagiarism and friendship! It has a great cast.

Your TV acting credits include Luther and Downton Abbey do you have a preference for contemporary or period drama?

No, not really. A story is a story. Though I spend a lot of time in corsets. I love stepping into another time and era. I have done pretty much every period now and I feel very grateful. It gives you a feel of how your ancestors lived. I love it.

You write/act/direct in TV comedy Love Tourettes, (very funny, reminds me of Pulling). What is happening now, will there be any more?

We are currently working on the second series. We got really good feedback from the last one. It was a really fun project to work on.

You act in It’s a Wonderful Afterlife by writer/director Gurinder Chadha. (I love her films). What are your memories of this production?

She had her twins there. They were babies then, very cute. I got the part, which was cut in the final film unfortunately, because she thought I had a great ass! There was me and another women in front of her auditioning and she got us both to say the line and then slightly bend over the table and flaunt our bottoms. I had to entice Jim Mistry. It's only funny because it was a female director.

What inspired you to start Frost Magazine?

I am a magazine addict. I really love them. I subscribe to so many. I am always reading everything. It was just something I always wanted to do and I thought, why not? It's doing really well and we are going to do an ipad editon and we are in talks to take it to print.

How useful have you found social media?

Extremely. I have made many friends and discovered so much I would never have otherwise. It makes the world more democratic.

Do you find acting on stage much different to acting in front of a camera?

Yes, acting on stage is terrifying! Though I hate how actors who just do theatre are rude about film actors. It's just as hard, just different. On film, it's expensive, things are slower, it's hurry up and wait. You have to hit your mark, remember your lines, step into the light, know where the camera is. The hours are hard, I usually got up at 4am and then do a 12-14 hour day. It's not for sissies!

What has been your favourite role to date?

I just did a film called Le Fear, Le Sequel where I played a stunt coordinator called Berwyn who is highly strung. I loved playing her. I also played Angelina Jolie in a film. I also did a film called My Name Is Michael Morgan where I played a flirty housewife. It's too hard too chose!

What is your ultimate career ambition?

Just to make a living acting and writing. I want to make good films. I want to make something as good as Once Upon a Time In America, Or ET, or the Godfather.

Do you think there is equality in the workplace? If not, then why?

I can only talk about acting because I have never worked in an office, but, no. There are fewer parts for actresses. Usually the roles require nudity (which I don't do). And they require you to be a certain size and look a certain way. It's a lot better though. We have come a long way.

What advice would you give to others wanting to start a career in acting?

Don't. If you really can't be stopped then create your own projects. Work hard and persvere.

What do you say and do to keep yourself motivated / positive?

I am a very motivated person, even when I am not feeling positive. I guess I put things into prespective. I know there is a whole world out there. Acting is not the be all and end all. I keep up with what's happening in the news. I dust myself off, and get back on the horse.

How do you achieve a work/life balance?

I work too much, but I have gotten better. Last year I worked non-stop and nearly burned myself out. On the day my grandfather died I went to work, I shouldn't have done that. I was in shock. I made sure I didn't miss his funeral, but I didn't put my well-being first. Same thing when I broke three ribs. I was doing a period film and I just got the costume people to pad me before they put on the corset, it was really idiotic. I know now that my life and my health are more important than my career. I was hardcore when I was younger!

The work/life balance is the most important thing to get right. I know I have an amazing family so I make sure I spend time with them.

Who do you find inspirational?

Everyone who wakes up every day and pursues their dream. It take bravery and courage. People who make a difference in the world. Film wise; Steven Spielberg, Julianne Moore, Angelina Jolie, Tilda Swinton, Robert De Niro, Sir David Attenborough. I also love Lady Gaga and Bob Dylan. And you!

Also Amanda Elisach, she is creative, beautiful and glamourous, Alain De Botton and Zac Goldsmith. Those three people were very supportive of Frost Magazine and gave us interviews when we first started.

Dame Edna Everage or Dame Judi Dench?

Dame Judi Dench. She is a legend.

Find out more about Catherine Balavage:

Frost Magazine - A thinker's lifestyle Magazine.

Catherine Balavage on IMDB - Internet Movie Database

Author's review: