No Man's Land

by Elisa de Lima
(Portugal)





QUESTION:

Hi, and thank you for your help in advance and for providing this useful website.

I am Portuguese born, though globetrotter since early age. I have been involved in the arts since I can remember, from dance to music, visual arts, writing, etc.
I left my home country (alone) 14 years ago, am about to be 32 soon. I have lived in 4 different continents, travelling and working. I also spent 8 years in London and studied at Art College for 5. Due to my musical ear, I even had English people thinking I was English, or Irish if I had been talking with my Irish friends for a while. I thus acquire accents quite easily and for that reason learning Mandarin whilst working in China was not difficult to me.
I have done all sorts of jobs, from working in the Amazon jungle with indigenous tribes, teaching English, advertising creative at JWT, etc, and on the side have always done my art projects (music, films, writings, etc). I didn't know where I wanted to focus due to my multiple interests and skills, and for that reason I travelled the world to find out. I spent almost 10 years doing so. Then I came to the conclusion there were only 2 things I would risk anything for: cinema and music, which come together, anyway, and which encompass all arts.
So now that I have this certainty, I am trying to take the right steps to get there. I am not afraid of my age, I know I carry valuable assets in my "ten year luggage", and maturity brings an essential feeling of belonging and "mission to accomplish".
Problem: I know one of the right steps is to get good and noticed in your home country and develop from there (and find a quality acting school). The thing is, I don't feel I have a home country at this stage of my life (right now writing for art and culture publishers in Saudi Arabia) and not that it worries me, or makes me feel uncomfortable, but I read and understood that advise you gave to other foreign aspiring actors. And Portugal isn't where I want to be or go and live. But I do plan to move to Brazil perhaps. They have great cinema and music scene, plus it's Portuguese spoken, though a complete different accent.
Finally, my question is, do you think this would be the smartest move, start taking the right steps from there? Or should I really return to Portugal even though I feel with my hands tight there? Because risking going directly to the USA doesn’t feel natural to me, it actually feels like the long way around, instead.
I know what I want: cinema. I would like to try every role that could suit me, and perhaps even TV series, but not Commercials neither Theatre, not as a career anyway, of course I'll do what it takes (I am used to it, anyway). Thank you, again.

ANSWER:

Wow, you had such an interesting life so far. I think it's definitely different in your case, especially since you don't have an accent. I would say you can pick to start your career anywhere where you know you can pick up the accent and there is a thriving cinema industry. You must have so much to tell, you should think about writing/directing your own projects also.

Good luck

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