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Why Add More?

By Beverly Naya | July 16th, 2016

The life of an actress can be quite demanding, and it involves a lot of juggling in a bid to excel on set and appeal to a wide range of viewers. I personally love the buzz and excitement on set, but I often feel the need to adopt a balanced approach to ensure I can go the distance each and every day.

It is so important for me to get enough rest before shooting the next day. When you’re tired, it is harder to memorise lines, harder to react and to perform. Enough rest ensures that my brain is fully charged and ready to take on the day ahead. Creativity and spontaneity abound in a rested mind! But don’t sleep too much. Why have more sleep than is required?

To be comfortable during the filming of a movie, I always try to stay as hydrated as possible. We can shoot for hours, non-stop, so it’s always a good idea to take enough liquid, but not more than necessary. There is no reason to consume more than you have to. Why add more liquid to your body and end up requesting several toilet breaks that disrupt your and everyone else’s rhythm? I also prefer to wear flat shoes and comfortable clothing on set. Most times, our days start pretty early and are very long, so the less complicated I make my mornings, the better it is for me throughout my day – my sentiments being that adding more in the name of fashion can lead to a very uncomfortable day.

Each role can also be very demanding, and sometimes, I might need to be on two sets within a very short period. At such times, pragmatic fashion choices make the stress bearable! For example: instead of having a fit over how to change my looks, I simply arm myself with an array of wigs to select from…and ladies, you know how well this works. I mean, why add more when there is a glamorous and easy way out? Wigs are definitely a lifesaver!

I am also a strong believer in adding no more make-up than is necessary. There is nothing worse than looking overly made up in a scene (unless necessary to the character), as the camera picks up everything, and when you have too much make-up on, it definitely shows. Seriously, sometimes less is more, especially if every look can be magnified. I choose to do what feels authentic and right for the character.

When it comes to choosing scripts, I always try to choose characters that I have never played before. It’s crucial for me to ask myself questions like, “have you played this character before?” “How does this character challenge you?” “Will you stand out?” “How can you make this character different from anything you’ve played in the past?” If I can come up with valid answers for all these questions, it makes my decision to be a part of the project a lot easier, seeing that being regarded as the best in my field is so important to me!

I strongly believe in being my best in a natural way, because if a scene is over-done, it impacts on the beauty and authenticity of the performance. For this reason, it is always important for me to have my lines memorised and to rehearse with my co-actor as much as is needed. I also heed the instructions of the movie director while on set, to deliver stellar performances every time.

These are just some of the many things you have to juggle in today’s world of acting. It is never as easy as it seems or looks on the screens, and for me, the key to success is moderation and striking a good balance in all that one does, on and off the set. Believe me, most times there really is no need to add more to the drama to the life of a Nigerian actress. So tell me… why add more?