Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna-Katharina Benz.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I grew up in the Principality of Liechtenstein which is a small country between Switzerland and Austria. I had an apprenticeship at a trust company when I decided I wanted to leave and become an actress. I was 16 and I attended a 3-month intensive course in Brighton, England and attained the Cambridge Advanced Certificate.
Then I moved to Los Angeles to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. I was the jungest in my class and the first student from Liechtenstein to ever attend the school. I completed my Associates of Occupational Studies. and then joined the 3rd year Company Class. After I graduated there, I am now a company member at the Loft Ensemble in NoHo and Sherman Oaks.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has definitely been very difficult to give up one life for the one that I want. I had to prove myself a lot and learn how to fight for myself and what I want and not let people convince me that they know what’s best for me. It can be very confusing when you start out, especially when you are very young. And of course, it’s always more difficult to be an artist and actress when you come from a place where those are not considered real jobs. When your family asks you questions like “but how are you gonna make a living?” and “why don’t you just get a real job first and then act as a hobby”.
At some point, I got so sick of those questions that I just decided not to limit myself to answering those questions but showing them the answer to those questions. “Here’s my paycheck from one day on set” and “Here’s my schedule, I don’t have time for a real job”. I managed to see it as a motivation instead of a limitation. But besides all that, I never would’ve made it this far without my Dad. He was there for me every step of the way, holding my hand sometimes and pushing me other times. Laughing and crying with me when I needed it. I am so beyond grateful for this human being.
What else should our readers know?
If I could have one wish granted I would ask for you to go see a shoe in a local theater. The company that I am part of (Loft Ensemble in NoHo) showed me how important it can be to support local theater. So I urge you to go see a show and experience it yourself 🙂
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