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Acting Graduate: A story told well is a powerful thing

  • Jessie Lawrence - Unitec Acting Graduate
    Jessie as Jeanette on Westside

JOB: Professional Actor

QUALIFICATION: Bachelor of Performing & Screen Arts (Acting for Stage & Screen)

"There is nothing else I have found in the world that makes me feel the way I feel when I’m on stage or working with a fellow actor on screen. It’s magic. I also believe the storytellers of the world are incredibly important. That’s what actors do. They tell stories in the most honest way they can. A story told well is a powerful thing."

"I have always been a performer. It wasn’t until high school that I realised it was what I wanted to do. Unitec’s acting program had a great reputation and I wanted to stay in Auckland so it was a no brainer to audition. Unitec was a hugely transformative time for me. I learnt the importance of being honest as a human being, the technical understanding and nourishment of my voice and the importance of how I use my body in space."

"Playing Jeanette in Westside was wonderful for me. I grew up in West Auckland and was a HUGE fan of Outrageous Fortune so being able to be a part of that storyline was pretty special. Also, playing Vanda Jordan in Venus in Fur at The Court Theatre was the biggest challenge I have had as an actor to date. I’ll always be proud of that production."

"My success has come from hard work, tenacity, curiosity, support and lessons from family, friends and mentors, teachers and the need to continue to learn. Also never taking rejections personally. My advice to aspiring actors is to figure out the intention behind why you actually want to do it. If the intention is strong, then go forth and give it your all. After playing Mark Antony at the Pop-up Globe in 2018, I moved to London. I want to become the best actor I can be in both theatre and film and television. I have big dreams and I’m gunning for them."

Jessie Lawrence - Venus in Fur

Jessie in Venus in Fur. Photo courtesy: Danielle Colvin