ESRA UGURLU

by Sherif Awad

Esra Ugurlu

-I am of Kurdish. I was born and raised in Switzerland as my parents had moved there in the 1980s. I am from a working class family: my mother worked as a cleaner, my dad first worked in the factory and, later on, he had his own supermarket and restaurant. When I did my A-Levels, one of the courses I had taken was Theatre Arts. I really enjoyed it and so, at the age of twenty, I decided to become an actress.

-When I was growing up, I didn’t really have idols, whom I had followed, but people like Nelson Mandela or Gandhi inspired me. I was inspired by their freedom, courage and greatness to do what they believed in.

-Going to drama school was a lot tougher than I had expected it to be. I thought that studying acting would be very easy going and relaxing. When I started my acting course at the School of the Science of Acting in London in 2009, I learned that being an actress or an artist means to have a craft where careful design is necessary. As an actress that means that I can’t just act in any way that I might feel like, what’s relevant is to do an analysis of my character and then think the thoughts of my character in the play or in the film. Being an actor involves a lot of reflection on people, on situations and ones self.

-I am very satisfied being employed at the Theaterhaus Stuttgart and being part of the acting ensemble here. I am not aiming to have worldwide stardom, however there are a few film directors that I would love to work with- for example Fatih Akin, Esen Isik, Cihan Inan or Rolf Lyssy.

-The challenge of being an actress is that generally there are many more actresses than acting parts for actresses. Generally there are more male parts in films or theatres. So it simply means that working as an actress is highly competitive. Another challenge is that men have a strong presence in film and theatre, I.e as directors or writers, which means that views can sometimes be one sided.

-Germany, where I am located now, is a country with a long history in arts and culture. It is very common that German cities have a state theatre. Yet on the whole the cultural sector doesn’t receive as much funding as other sectors i.e. the cultural sector suffers from financial cuts and many cultural institutions fight for a better status and for more financial support ultimately.

-When acting a part, I use the Science of Acting, which is a method that has its roots in the Stanislavski method. The approach is influenced by psychology and aims to portray a character in a realistic way. So when I act a role I first study the characters consciousness and her thoughts in the play or script. Then on stage or screen I act the character.

- Yoga and meditation is part of my day. Practicing hobbies such as sports, playing piano or traveling on holidays helps to keep an equilibrium between work and my private life.

- Currently I am acting at the Theaterhaus in Stuttgart. In the future I would like to also work as an acting teacher and as a director for theatre and film as I am also a trained director. Other projects that I have in mind is an NGO related to arts, have an international theatre group and a film production company. My main intention with theatre and film is to contribute to society with arts.