PEOPLE

A taste of Tinseltown

Mimmette Roldan

With her heart set on an acting career, Daniella Serret is doing everything she can to ensure her Hollywood dreams come true, discovers MIMMETTE ROLDAN.

Daniella
Rising star Daniella Serret.

With a laser-like focus on working in Hollywood, Daniella Serret exudes a confidence and maturity beyond her years that can convince almost anyone she’ll be in the next summer blockbuster.

It doesn’t hurt her chances that she’s also been endowed with exotic good looks from her French father and Filipina mother. At least definitely not in the US where L.A. casting directors would comment on how she must get a lot of work back home. Sadly, Serret has to correct them and tell them the disappointing truth.

“Ethnic actors still have it tough here in Australia, not like the US where they love them,” she said. “Australian media isn’t reflective of the ethnic mix we actually have.

“Most of the time they’re looking for a ‘look’ and most of the time they tell me I don’t have the right look.”

When the entertainment industry is slow to get on the ethnic bandwagon like they’ve been on for years in the US and UK, jobs for actors like her are scarce. But there are some out there and competition is fierce.

It’s no surprise that Serret has been working hard to build on her portfolio. She’s appeared in an episode of All Saints and played the lead in Tallulah Falls Apart, an indie film that also features fellow Filipino actor, Felino Dolloso – plus numerous other theatre shows and shorts.

The last couple years have proved the most fruitful after she was chosen from thousands to attend the Professional Actor’s Workshop in Los Angeles in 2009 and again, this year.

“We went to L.A. and did workshops with the best casting directors who gave feedback, told us what they liked and didn’t like about us and told us the behind the scenes secret about what goes on inside the casting room.”

With a laser-like focus on working in Hollywood, Daniella Serret exudes a confidence and maturity beyond her 22 years that can convince almost anyone she’ll be in the next summer blockbuster.

It doesn’t hurt her chances that she’s also been endowed with exotic good looks from her French father and Filipina mother. At least definitely not in the US where L.A. casting directors would comment on how she must get a lot of work back home. Sadly, Serret has to correct them and tell them the disappointing truth.

“Ethnic actors still have it tough here in Australia, not like the US where they love them,” she said. “Australian media isn’t reflective of the ethnic mix we actually have.

“Most of the time they’re looking for a ‘look’ and most of the time they tell me I don’t have the right look.”

When the entertainment industry is slow to get on the ethnic bandwagon like they’ve been on for years in the US and UK, jobs for actors like her are scarce. But there are some out there and competition is fierce.

It’s no surprise that Serret has been working hard to build on her portfolio. She’s appeared in an episode of All Saints and played the lead in Tallulah Falls Apart, an indie film that also features fellow Filipino actor, Felino Dolloso – plus numerous other theatre shows and shorts.

The last couple years have proved the most fruitful after she was chosen from thousands to attend the Professional Actor’s Workshop in Los Angeles in 2009 and again, this year.

“We went to L.A. and did workshops with the best casting directors who gave feedback, told us what they liked and didn’t like about us and told us the behind the scenes secret about what goes on inside the casting room.”

The workshop is fantastic for actors wanting to break into the Hollywood scene because it gives them a chance to be seen by some of the biggest casting directors such as Joseph Middleton who cast the young vampires and werewolves of New Moon. Barring connections through already famous names in the industry, for a budding thespian, a reading with the likes of Middleton is nearly impossible.

This is why vying for a place proved more challenging this year as the workshop opened up to the other Commonwealth countries, while in 2009, it was only Australia No matter, Serret beat actors from New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and the UK, proving yet again she belongs to the international cream of the crop.

Serret was desperately keen to go back to Hollywood and show she’s got what it takes to break into the scene. To make sure she impressed the directors she studied her craft well and trained because, contrary to popular belief, acting is not just a matter of getting up in front of people and pretending to be someone else.

“I had to learn exactly what my type was,” she explained. “In the industry over there they say know who you are and who you come in as, because too many actors go to a casting call and say they’re this person or that but they give off something completely different.”

Not only did she have to be crystal clear about who she is, she also had to learn what her strengths and limitations are and she did this by doing acting classes. As many as she could possibly attend.

“You wouldn’t compete in the Olympics without training every day for four years would you? I think it’s the same thing with acting,” she said.

If her determination and positive attitude is anything to go by, it’s safe to say that Serret’s foundations for a successful career in acting is quite solid.

Feedback from the Hollywood directors were priceless, too. In 2009, she got a mixed bag of mostly good feedback and some constructive ones. But this year, she got nothing but love.

Daniella Serret may have stars in her eyes but they’re never off the prize. Hollywood better be prepared because she’s already on her way there.

Is she going to make it? With great certainty she said, “I know I can make it.”

* For more information on the Professional Actors Workshop Series, visit www.aipapaws.com.au

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