It's a Women's World: Part One

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

International Women's Day is March 8 and what better way to celebrate than to hand over this blog to four wonderful and talented actresses.

Part One Domenique Fragale (Universe of Gods, Knights or the Damned) and Alida Pantone (My Baby Shot Me Down, Miss Julia) talk about what it is like to be a woman in an industry plagued with stereotypes and male studio bosses.

Domenique (@Domeniquex) : 

Equality in the acting industry is getting better and has become a much more listened to issue in today’s society, however there are still aspects that I wish I could change yet unfortunately I know realistically won’t any time soon. The manner of stereotypes, particularly in LA, are still prominent and women a lot of the time are only used in some casting calls I have seen as an ‘eye pleaser’; using a woman on the screen for attractive appeal for the watcher. We all understand marketing and we all know that sex sells but the amount of time I see a casting call for a female role ‘aged 18 – 28’ that would require the actress to be nude or topless, with a few lines, if any, can get tiring. As a woman in this industry you need to ensure that you know one hundred percent what you are submitting yourself for because still in this day and age, people aren’t always as trust worthy; there are people out there who know some girls will do anything to ‘make it’ and will take full advantage of that. That is the biggest aspect of being a woman in this industry I don’t like. I have had many men approach me, a couple very notable names in the acting world, who ‘will do anything they can to help me if…’ (Notice the if? Exactly.) If (now this is a good if) could give just one piece of advice to a fellow female in this line of work, it would be to know your worth. You don’t need to take that role where you’d be just down to your underwear for the entirety of the film or kiss that other actress because ‘the script says so’ and you can see no real reason why the character would – if that came up in a call or the audition, just leave, you do not need to waste your time on something or someone that is just wanting to exploit you. You can do better because you are better. 

Alida (@AlidaPantone):

I grew up with the inspiring example of a caring and at the same time, hard working mum. She started from the bottom and owned every step, all the way up to being a manager. With no excuses and no favours, I had to fight for my right to choose an uncertain career in the arts. Eventually my parents understood that I was more stubborn that any rational attempt to dissuade me and they even came round to paying for my acting course.

I started my acting career in Rome and I soon realised that I needed more. So I moved to London. Despite all the adversities being a foreigner brings, I quickly built a network of professional people I could grow with. Along the way I have met a lot of driven and inspiring actresses and we have supported each other and built a community together (now called ProActors). Running the London Rolling Film Festival I also had the pleasure to meet many female directors and I believe I know more female producers than male ones at the moment here in London.

In my opinion, in the historical moment and in this particular city, I don't think there is any rule that stops women competing and reaching the same level as men in the film industry. Of course they are more established because of the past male dominant society, but things are changing, and the only true obstacles I see we have as women in the business is our mind set and the jealousy and envy towards one another. We nee to get rid of this as together we have no limits.

Thank you to Alida and Domenique for sharing their inspiration and experience with us at Life of an Actor. Join us on Thursday for part two where we get more from Emma Ralston and Amy Kinder joins the gang.

Happy International Women's Week here at Life of an Actor.


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