Fern Beth Conquers Australia!
David Black interviews the indomitable Fern Beth
Hi everyone. Today, I’m chatting to an actress who came to Australia in 1992 and is now conquering the Australian acting industry.
DB — Hi Fern. Thanks for taking the time to come and chat to me. In just 3 years in the industry, you seem to have done quite a variety of roles in all media, from TV commercials to feature movies. Can you tell me a bit about how you started in acting and some of the roles you’ve done since?
FB — Thank you David. I have a lovely friend who is an agent for period films, my favourite genre. She submitted me for roles such as ‘A Place to Call Home’, ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ and ‘House of Bond’.
I loved it so much that on my first day on set, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, I was so excited! I then branched out to include TV commercials, corporate videos, web series and short films. I have also been very fortunate in meeting some amazingly talented actors and crew who I see from time to time on different sets.
DB — You moved here from the USA in 1992. It must have been a bit of a culture shock! Have you found that your American background has helped you bring something unique to Australian productions you’ve been in?
FB — It certainly helps when an American accent is needed! I do think that Americans sometimes act differently in some situations and I hope that my interpretation of a role may be unique in that respect, but we are far more similar than we are different.
The culture shock was not too bad. I was pregnant when I arrived so having a baby and raising children here had some differences. I remember the local bus driver telling me, unasked, the virtues of breastfeeding!
DB — You’ve done a nice variety of roles so far Fern, which one has been the most memorable?
FB — My recent featured role for The Salvation Army TV commercial was deeply moving and I’ve been told it has brought tears to the eyes of those who watched it. I am so proud to have helped such a worthy cause.
Many people who saw the ad didn’t know that the Salvos have a service to help find missing relatives, I didn’t know that either!
DB — Although every set is different, what are some of the common challenges that you’ve faced, and how did you overcome them?
FB — On occasions when I was in the spotlight, becoming confident and conquering my nerves was a challenge that I am now using to my benefit in giving a performance. I try to practice as much as possible to always get the best result.
Speaking on camera is a common challenge and it takes practice to feel comfortable. Overcoming nerves is also very common and even the most successful actors have techniques to deal with this. Another challenge can be learning lines as this takes time and concentration. It gets easier as you go.
DB — Fern, after all these different roles, where would you like to steer your career? By that, I mean what sort of roles are you looking for, and do you have a preferred medium? E.g. TV, feature movie, commercials, presenting etc
FB — I’d love to be a part of more feature films but I am equally interested in all sorts of mediums, they are all excellent means for me to learn and improve.
I’m usually cast as the mother of grown children or a grandmother to small grandchildren. This is what I am in my personal life, so getting parts that are different would be a happy challenge. I’d be interested in comedy and a horror role to add to my experience.
Why do the men my age get the roles as judges, doctors or church leaders? These are roles that should be filled by women more often and I’d be excited to portray any one of those roles.
You certainly are amazing with all you have achieved Fern. I’m sure that we will be seeing a lot more of you in film in the future. Can you share any links here so that the readers can keep up with your career?
The Right Fit: https://theright.fit/talent/fern-k
David Black regularly writes for Oz Indie Cinema — https://ozindiecinema.wordpress.com/
And is the lead singer/ bass player for Darkness Visible — https://www.facebook.com/DarknessVisible/