The next Have You Met interview is with actress Sapphire Elia.
You may recognise her from TV shows such as Britannia High, Dream Team and Emmerdale, find out more about her career and hear her advice for future performers.
What’s your name, where’d you come from and where do you live now?
Sapphire Elia, from London, living in London again.
Tell us who you and what you do?
I am a brit with greek cypriot heritage, actress and singer.
What age did you start performing? Was there a defining moment that made you realise that the life of a performer was for you?
I was a child model from the age of 3, appearing in magazines and commercials until I was 8 when I auditioned for Sylvia Young Theatre School. I wouldn’t say that I decided that THE LIFE was for me, but that I loved performing enough to pursue it probably when I was around 8. At that age, I had no idea what living the life really meant. Lol!
You have had a great career, appearing in hits shows like Britannia High, Emmerdale and Dream Team, can you tell us a bit more about your journey to those roles and did going to a stage school set you on the right track?
For sure it set me on the right track, auditioning became second nature and we even had audition technique classes as well as the intense training in all areas of the field. However, it can only get you so far. We are still competing against others with the same level of training and talent and the competition is part of the process.
Eventually I learnt to walk out of the room and say to myself that it was the end. So whenever the phone rang to say I had got the role, it would always be a shock. You should never set yourself up for a disappointment, it’s not that I expect to fail either but you have to have realistic expectations. Leave it all in the audition room is what I TRY to do, I am not always successful and restless nights take hold when I really want a part.
Can you tell us what has been your best and/or your worst audition?
That’s a tough question, my worst has to be for a musical quite a few years ago now, I froze in the middle of my song and had totally forgot all the words after so much preparation, I still don’t know how that happened.
Best audition… is probably those ones where you walk in and you know the casting director, you have some banter and everything goes smoothly, you walk out thinking “definitely got that one!”. Then you don’t hear anything. Haha!
You took a little break from acting and focused on fitness and travel. Do find this has given you a second burst of energy to follow your passion for performing?
Without a doubt. I learnt a lot about myself during my break and realised that I didn’t want to stop doing what I am passionate about no matter what that means, weather I never work again, I will always be an actress and I can’t walk away from that, it’s part of my being. I put less pressure on myself now, I am focused but I see success in a totally different light. I make sure I give all I have in everything I do in my career but ultimately it is not what gives me value.
What did 5 year old Sapphire want to be when she grew up?
I remember at one point wanting to be a firefighter, then a figure skater, then a Disney princess, I settled on a pop star eventually by age 7.
Do you have any quotes you live by?
My faith as a Christian is important to me and even when I go off course sometimes, my faith always brings me back home and refocuses my heart on what is truly important. Jesus said the two greatest commandments are these “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul and with all your strength” and “love your neighbour as yourself”. Pretty good quotes to live by in my opinion.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time?
I try not to look that far ahead anymore. My father passed away 5 months ago and it made me realise that at any moment it could be the end. I only hope that I can learn to be grateful for what I have now and keep trying to be a better me as each day passes. If I am still here in 5 years, I see myself with a family of my own. Still doing what I am passionate about.
From the indie film ‘Undercover Hooligan’
Do you have any advice for budding performers?
Being a performer has its struggles, you may not always have much money in your pocket and you will probably have to support yourself with other jobs till you get a break (and when you do, save your money!) but if you truly love what you do its all worth it, after all it’s not about the destination anyway, it’s about the journey, so enjoy the ride!!
And you can read more interviews with other performers here : Have You Met?