AFTT Acting graduate Emma Horn auditioned for and successfully land a role on an upcoming Australian feature film Kairos by Paul Barakat in her last few weeks of study. Over the past two months since finishing her course, she has been on and off filming and pursuing her passion.
“From graduating high school and studying dance full time I realised that the emotion and story behind a dance was actually what I loved and once I identified this it just felt right to move on to acting.”
We chatted to her to find out how the real-world is treating her post-study.
Emma! Tell us what you’ve been up to since graduating?
Well, over the past 2 months out of college I have been on and off filming the first and second shooting blocks of Kairos and really focused on the film. I am super humbled and lucky to be able to be a part of this film itself as it is such an authentically written story and one that really deserves to be seen. Kairos covers the journey of a young aspiring boxer with down syndrome and the relationships he creates along the way.
At the same time, I’ve been gaining some casting audition experience which has really just made me hungry for more. What I strive for most is just to keep busy in all aspects of my life and open-minded to the world and people around me. I find that it leads me to discovering elements of myself and my work that in turn make me a better actor and just all around person.
How do you think studying acting helped to prepare you for the industry?
From the beginning of Tier 1 AFTT doesn't hold anything back and you basically are thrown into the deep end in a really safe way, I mean it was the first semester and we get given an Anton Chekhov play? That pretty much says it all. Beginning studying under the Eric Morris technique was incredibly challenging and very confronting but for me, it was just what I needed to start making progress and over the first year I really started to form my own ideas and specific ways that worked for me as an actor. AFTT is so special in the way that it really aims to help shape actors as separate individuals and urges us to find and be completely aware of what works for “you”.
In my final year going from heightened language to my graduate performance, I found professionalism and work ethic to be key. It really became apparent that the amount of work and passion you put into this career and craft will show and does show. At AFTT I was blessed with beautiful peers and tutors whom I continue to work with today, so now being in the industry, I have found that the college really prepared me for work relationships.
So then, how important do you believe the networks and connections you make during your study are?
“It’s such a small world”, It is a very true statement and it is no different in this industry. Yes, it is a huge worldwide industry, however the community within it is so very small and close knit. The people you meet when you are studying are most likely going to be your coworkers at some point in time! Being able to spend several years with people who have the same love as you and are all so different is something to definitely cherish. I think it is incredibly important to find those people who you enjoy working with and can really connect with on a creative level, maintain that relationship, take an interest in them and learn from them.
What were your favourite things about studying at AFTT?
Getting to work with and learn from so many different, amazingly talented tutors who are still working in all aspects of the industry. Collaborating with the film students was also such a learning experience for us actors to be constantly challenged with new scripts and new students directing us each time. Having a campus full of actors as well as directors, writers, cine students etc is such an advantage and great for building work relationships.
Performing and working in Belvoir St Theatre for my graduate production of Love and Information was definitely a highlight of my time at AFTT, getting the honour to work in a professional theatre and atmosphere. Having the opportunity to see a lot of brilliant theatre shows really motivated me to work even harder.
Finally,The Pitch Project! At the end of the last semester, being faced with the task of creating my own production was such an eye opener to the real world and reiterated the fact of how important it is to have your own strong ideas and work ethic. I created a web series, and I’ll never forget the feeling of presenting something that I worked extremely hard for.
What do you hope to be doing in 5 years?
Acting will always be a part of me, and something that I will continue to do throughout my life, so if the next five years brings me further opportunities and success as an actor than I will be filled with gratitude every step of the way. However, my main goal into the next stage of my life is to step out into the community, use my voice more and inspire others to do the same. As a young woman, I want to be playing characters that I would want to see on TV and film, bold statement characters that continue to push the boundaries and speak for those who are unheard. I don’t want to put any sort of time limit on my goals, because there is no end goal. Each audition I attend, each job I do or don’t get, every person I meet are all steps in growing as a person and if I’m growing, I’m learning and that’s all that I can ask for.
What advice would you give to current students?
Be passionate, I can’t stress to you how much this has gotten me through the years of studying. It is okay to hate acting sometimes! (or whatever you are studying) you are human. However, the key to getting back to yourself is identifying your reason for doing whatever it is in the first place. If you find a purpose then you can always get back. I call it coming home. Speak up. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and have opinions! Be yourself and continue to take every opportunity as a learning experience and don’t sweat the small stuff. Most importantly my friends, live an exuberant life! Make sure being an actor doesn't define you, find the moments and people in your life that bring positivity and empower you to be you!
As artists we have to create stories based from something in life, so what better way to do this by actually living and experiencing life? Get out there, dream big but work even harder. Be the person you would want to work with, and remember there is no end destination.
You can support the film here, or check out the teaser trailer below!
Find out more about studying Acting or apply now.