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Iris Svis: “Be yourself and don’t try to impress anyone”

Don’t wait for anyone or anything. In this day and age, anyone can create their own content. So create, get inspired and inspire others! This world needs brave and independent artists now more than ever. I had the pleasure of interviewing Iris Svis. She spent her early childhood in Western Russia where she fell in love […]

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Don’t wait for anyone or anything. In this day and age, anyone can create their own content. So create, get inspired and inspire others! This world needs brave and independent artists now more than ever.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Iris Svis. She spent her early childhood in Western Russia where she fell in love with theater and acting. This love has been a driving force in both her creative and personal journeys; one that has taken her all over the world and eventually brought her to Los Angeles. She has been living, creating, and building her community in the City of Angels for almost a decade now and is proud to be a member of L.A.’s creative fabric.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Thank you for giving me this opportunity. It’s funny, but I am not sure if it was a single story or a combination of things. When I lived in Moscow I’d go to theaters to see new plays almost every weekend. I was taken in by the acting, ambiance, and the worlds that you would get pulled into for those few precious hours. It was breathtaking! I don’t know why, but I still remember a show where one of the actors played drunk. He was so convincing I started to wonder if he really had some liquor in him that night. When the cast went to bow at the end of the show, he was back to his normal sober state. I could not believe it! Certain moments just stay with you forever. The specific power of a performer to truly transform him/herself and influence someone’s perception of reality has been fascinating to me ever since.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I can speak a few different languages and was once speaking German with a friend right before an audition. As I walked into the room, the casting director was very friendly and asked me a few questions. I responded but was met with only a long awkward pause. Then It hit me…the English speaking casting director had no idea what I was saying. We joked about it afterward, but now I make sure to stay present and talk to no one right before an audition, especially in German!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’ve previously produced a few smaller projects, and now I feel like it’s time for a full feature. It’s going to be a horror film, which is one of my favorite genres, and is currently titled “TREES ARE SILENT”. My partner Michael P. Bolus and I are very excited to bring it to life.

I am also working with Rick Taylor and John Lazear on a trailer for the feature. It’s a Sci-Fi action-comedy, just what we need right now the most. I can’t wait to work with these talented artists again when productions resume.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

People in our industry are all interesting and memorable (you kind of have to be), so it’s hard to choose just a few. If I had to choose, I’d have to go with Frances Fisher. She is one of those people that makes you smile. She is an amazing human being as well as a remarkable actress. She made me feel at ease on the set of “A BEAUTIFUL DAY”, directed by the fantastic Phedon Papamichael and written by the mega-talented Angeliki Giannakopoulos and Casey Cannon.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not burn out”?

Don’t wait for anyone or anything. In this day and age, anyone can create their own content. So create, get inspired and inspire others! This world needs brave and independent artists now more than ever.

Can you share with our readers any self-care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.

I definitely like to exercise. I usually do it early in the morning around 8 am. It helps me to get some energy for the day and clears my head.

When I have some free time I like to read, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually prefer paper books to digital ones. It keeps my imagination wired and helps me to relax. Short walks to my favorite coffee shop help to get some fresh air and add a little bit more caffeine into my life.

My skin routine is crucial, especially for close-ups because cameras can be quite unforgiving. I personally like to use a lot of masks. One in the morning and one at night. Here is a little trick to avoid the dreadful under-eye circles: soak cotton disks in dark tea and put them on your eyes for 10–15 minutes.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. When a casting director asks you to do it again, just do it again. Sometimes they want to make sure you are consistent or they want to see if you can relax into your character even more.

2. Always know the tone of the show. If it’s a current show watch it! You have to know the world of the show to fit into it.

3. Wardrobe is king. What are the existing characters on the show wearing? Try to find a similar style. Same goes from makeup and hair.

4. Research the casting director you are auditioning for. Thanks to social media, it’s never been easier. They might want to talk to you and that information can come handy.

5. Be yourself and don’t try to impress anyone. Casting Directors will be impressed by your talent if you lead with it. Stay humble, stay focused, stay honest.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Rejection gives you more power to push forward.” The world of an actor is a world of rejections. The sooner you learn to overcome rejection, the faster you can get back on track. I’ve just produced and starred in a short film called “SHOWDOWN” directed by the gifted Alex Azmi, and it took many NO’s before we even had the first filming date scheduled, but the beauty of this is that you realize how much drive and power you’ve got inside you to overcome all obstacles and make anything happen. It was one of those projects that every time you tried to go forward, it spiraled back. But with an amazing team, I could not give up, so we DID IT! The lesson learned: surround yourself with people you trust and don’t give up.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

A huge shout out to my amazing manager Lisa Connelly, agents Alisa Banks and Lisa Castle. They are the ones who believe in me beyond imagination. We inspire each other and most importantly our relationship is built on friendship and trust. That’s something you want to hold onto for life. I also want to thank Amy Lyndon for being my “Russian Coach”. She is a powerhouse when it comes to auditioning techniques.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I am a big animal lover and I would encourage every person to adopt a pet. That way you are getting a friend for life and you saving them from the awful fate of being caged for life. What can be better than having freedom and friendship?

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

It’ll be Meryl Streep, no hesitation here! Last year we both worked on “THE LAUNDROMAT” directed by the incredible Steven Soderbergh and casted by the outstanding Carmen Cuba. I was hoping to see her on set, but unfortunately, it didn’t happen. She is everything I love about movies and is my role model.

How can our readers follow you online?

I can be found on FB as Iris Svis

Twitter: @IrisSvis

IG: iris_svis

YouTube: IRIS SVIS — Actress

Web: www.irissvis.com

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

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