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Meet Helena Avila

Today we’d like to introduce you to Helena Avila.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Helena. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was still living in my hometown, Pico island, in Portugal, and I started acting in school when I was 13 years old. Back then I played a very dramatic role, a mother who lost her child. With that experience, I realized that acting was what I wanted to do for life. I went to college and study Theatre and Education. After I graduated with my Bachelors of Arts degree I started working as a Drama teacher at Elementary School.

But soon I got a lead role in a play, a musical comedy called “Rosa Enjeitada”, we were sold out every night it was an amazing experience and after that many others followed just like that. I developed a good relationship with the director, Fernando Gomes, and the theatre company, so they would call me back every year for a total of seven different acting jobs and also for teaching. In between these projects I got into TV shows very popular in Portugal, such as “Morangos com Açucar”, “Dancin’ days”, “Mulheres”, and others. The Motion Picture industry brought me to L.A.

I have been an independent production, one of them was “My Little Princess”, a very emotional role in a vanguard style movie brought by the director Andre Cabra. The premiere at the TCL Chinese Theatre was an amazing experience with a great feedback from the audience. While in Los Angeles I enlarged, even more, my network contacts and I’ve had some invitations for future jobs. I am looking forward to start all these projects, and I hope I can continue living in L.A. in the future.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
In acting there always challenges. This career is constantly throwing you obstacles and you just have to have the confidence to believe in yourself, to believe that you are enough and continuing to push forward. Every new role represents a new research, a new investment of yourself sort to say. And after that, there’s the technical stuff…

For example, I had never sung a solo in public when I booked my first lead role in a musical. I knew I could sing, but… this was something else. And go figure I already did at least six different musicals. Here in L.A., there are so many diverse roles needing someone with an accent, but still… I choose to work on my American accent. I always have to be working on something else.

Nevertheless one of my biggest challenges right now is living away from my family. Being away it is not easy, although it is worth it.

Helena Avila – Portuguese actress – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am a Portuguese actress living in Los Angeles. I have been working as a professional actress since 2009 and it has been an incredible journey. All through musicals, comedies, dramas, on stage, TV, film, commercials, I have done it all. I could not pick my favorite. I can say that lately, I have been focusing a lot more in drama rather than comedy. I am very proud to say that all the companies that I have booked with always called me back in.

For some actors, acting is about covering up and hiding themselves from the audience. For me is exactly the opposite. Acting is all about being truthful and in order to bring that to the scene I have to reveal myself more than ever. When I am acting, it’s when I fully express myself, express what I am really feeling towards whatever the scene is about, that it is being present in the moment.

Working this way has brought a lot of success and the audience feedback is so passionate that I can see that somehow I did inspire them and that’s why I love acting and that’s why I could not do any other thing for a living.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
For me, success in an acting career is to touch people’s lives, to inspire the change to a better state of things. Success in an acting career is to be recognized for your work by people in the industry whether they’re actors, filmmakers or casting directors. Success is to always be working, one job after another. And of course, at some point win the Oscar.

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Image Credit:
Paul Gregory

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