…“don’t be too hard on yourself” — this industry is tough enough as it is. There will be lots of lows but the highs, when they come, are amazing. Focus on your craft and trust the process. If you stay focused and work hard, I promise you, you will see results.
As a part of my series about pop culture’s rising stars, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing French born Actress and Producer Oriane Pick.
After having lived in various countries in Europe, Africa and Asia, she moved to London in 2013 and has been involved in various projects since, including award-nominated short films and web series. In 2019, Oriane produced and starred in the multi award-nominated short drama ‘Say Your Name’, for which she received two nominations as Best Actress. Having dreamt of creating her own series, Oriane is also the co-Showrunner, Executive Producer and one of the lead actresses in short form dramedy “Call It a Day” which already gathered over 20,000 views on YouTube. With many more projects in the pipeline for 2020, including a short drama shedding light on mental illness, Oriane has recently co-created her production company Candid Broads Productions. Follow Oriane on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe to her new series to stay up to date.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Thank you for having me! Originally born in France, I spent most of my childhood abroad. Every four years, my parents and I would move countries — and sometimes continents, moving across Western Europe but also Nigeria, Myanmar and even Russia! Every country was completely different and, as a kid, I had to constantly make new friends and change schools, which was challenging at times, but also so rewarding as it allowed me to discover many different cultures and meet amazing people I would have probably never gotten the chance to cross paths with otherwise. It taught me more than I could have ever hoped for. I only moved back to France after I turned 18 and entered a French Business school after two intense years of studies and exams. It’s only after I graduated from Business school that I decided to move to London to start my career which, funny enough, was not acting related. At least not yet.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Acting has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. Even when moving countries, I still managed to join a young performers’ theatre course. When I moved to London and started a full-time job, I realised that acting would be so much more than a hobby. Working for an advertising agency at the time, I would envy the cast in front of the camera on those commercial sets. In between takes, I would go and talk to them, asking questions about their acting career. The advice I was given was as follows: do what fulfils you, get an agent, act, don’t stop. Best advice I was ever given.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Definitely creating my award-nominated web series “Call It a Day” with co-show runner Rachel Mariam! After a (few) glass(es) of wine, the idea suddenly popped in our head and two flawed, but very real young women were brought to life thanks to the amazing writing of Rachel.
As this was a self-funded project, we had to limit the shoot days and therefore took it upon ourselves to shoot a whole season within … 11 days.
Being a show runner, a producer and an actress was by far the most challenging project I’ve ever been a part of. And yet, it’s the project I’m most proud of today.
The dedication and energy our crew and cast have put into this project went above expectations.
I remember Rachel and I getting really emotional when we watched the first episode in the edit suite and don’t even get me started on when we received our first official review…!
I can’t wait to see what “Call It a Day” brings next! Who knows, perhaps this will get made to a TV series like Broad City did. (I’ll let you in on a little secret, this is exactly our aim).
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?
One of my first projects was a short drama treating of domestic abuse. The Writer/Director had written a very interesting last scene involving… snakes. I stupidly thought it’d be done in CGI somehow. Little did I know…
I arrived on set and two real (big) snakes were there! I have always been incredibly scared of two things in my life: snakes and clowns. And of course, the scene also included an actor with a clown costume! I was petrified.
I didn’t want to let anyone down so decided to embrace my fears. My character was to be in bed with the two snakes on the duvet and the clown standing next to me. My worst nightmare! Every time I moved, I felt those snakes move as well or (thought I saw them) stare at me!
The Director was amazing at making me feel comfortable, I was incredibly lucky as it could have easily been a disaster!
We managed to shoot it all and I’ll never forget that whole experience which taught me one very valuable lesson: never assume anything, communicate with your crew and Director at all times!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Whilst “Call It a Day” enters the web series’ festival circuit, we’ll focus on writing the TV pilot and pitch it to networks in 2020–2021 so we can make it a TV series.
I’ve also just co-created my production company “Candid Broads Productions”. With this production company, we will focus on telling stories portraying complex young women that are far from perfect but merely 2020 relatable women, mixing drama and comedy and creating unique and authentic films for our audience.
Right now, I’m in pre-production on a short drama called ‘I AM’ which I’m producing and acting in, that sheds light on schizophrenia, a mental illness that is unfortunately way too often misunderstood and misinterpreted in movies.
We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
The entertainment industry is slowly changing for the better, which is very exciting. There is however still a long way to go.
Post #metoo, we are finally seeing a change happening with more women being cast as the leads or simply witnessing a more realistic and authentic approach of women in cinema, not that polished and sexist version we so often noticed on screen in the past.
More nationalities and ethnicities are being portrayed as well, and in a less stereotypical way which is a good start towards change. But the mistake would be to stop now and believe that the work is done.
Thanks to more diversity in the entertainment industry, communities will relate more and finally feel listened to.
This will help challenge the stereotypes that are still unfortunately present and hopefully, one day, put an end to them.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
“Be ready for the biggest ride ever”. Nothing is easy in this industry, and I learned that the hard way. At the beginning of my career, I was cast in a feature film. I couldn’t be more excited. Unfortunately, both producer and director were incredibly unprofessional, and the film never got made. This brings me to my next advice…
“Do it for the art and the craft, not the fame”: You need to know why you want to be an actor, be prepared to work really hard for it. You will get more ‘no’s’ than ‘yes’ in your career and that’s ok. With every character I portrayed, I discovered myself and grew as a young woman. Finding out what makes my character tick — how different (or similar) we are to them. It’s incredibly rewarding to be a storyteller and take the audience somewhere else!
“Trust the process”: the beauty of this industry is that you’re constantly learning, and every project is unique. It’s ok not to know everything, trust it and take everything you can from each project to become a better actor and person. I very often wanted to control my emotions and was scared to let go. My best work happened when I trusted it all and committed to the role I was playing fully.
“Trust your gut!”: If you receive confirmation that a casting is being held in a basement of someone’s flat, what is your gut telling you? Rings many alarm bells, right? I experienced it once at the beginning of my career, never again will I be fooled!
“Learn from the industry”: Don’t just come on set and say your lines. Talk to everyone and ask them about their creative process, recognize their talent. A set should always be a collaborative environment. From costume to hair & make-up and how the set is designed, every detail on set will help you bring your character to life and make you a better actor (and a better human being!). Never forget that a film cannot see the light without each and every one involved.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
- The most obvious one would be “don’t be too hard on yourself” — this industry is tough enough as it is. There will be lots of lows but the highs, when they come, are amazing. Focus on your craft and trust the process. If you stay focused and work hard, I promise you, you will see results.
- Create your own opportunities. You have a story in mind you wish to tell — what is stopping you? Find people you want to work with and create something. It’s a lot of hard work but insanely rewarding.
- Surround yourself with creative-minded folks and ignore the negativity around you. Some people will understand what you do and support you all the way, some won’t and that’s ok. Just keep going, focus on the positive and work hard to achieve the goals you’ve set out for yourself.
- Remember to have fun! Acting is fun and you should be enjoying the creative process and jumping into someone else’s shoes.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire 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. 🙂
Tough question! I’d say… The Humour Brigade. We live in a generation that takes themselves so seriously that no one genuinely enjoys themselves. The Best way forward in life is laugh while you learn.
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?
Acting wise, working with my acting coach Gary Condés (who previously worked with the amazing Sam Rockwell or Helena Bonham Carter) helped me go deeper with the choices I make as an actor. Gary taught me to break down a script and embody characters by making bold and interesting choices which helped me bring the roles to life through a meaningful behaviour. Actors can very often make the ‘safe’ choice when breaking down a script, but that first choice isn’t always the best and, very often, by digging deeper, you’ll find a much more interesting approach to bring your character to life. I owe this to Gary 100%!
After our series ‘Call It a Day’ came out, we received such amazing support as well. One that stuck with me was “keep kicking a*s!”. When we decided to also create a production company with co-founder and actress Rachel Mariam, we received even more amazing support all around, not only our friends and family but also people who had been following our projects, including “Call It a Day”.
On a day to day basis, my family and my partner have been incredibly supportive. Every time I needed a pep talk, my partner was here to tell me to keep going and be no less than a boss lady!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Jared Leto said something once that really resonated with me: “Try and fail but never fail to try”. It couldn’t be truer in acting. You’re constantly learning and challenging yourself. Failure isn’t nice but it’s very much needed to grow as an actor and as a filmmaker. One thing I always tell myself is that “Everything happens for a reason”. If you did not land this role, then something better will come along. Just be ready for it.
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 just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
If I could meet with anyone for lunch or breakfast, I’d say Phoebe Waller-Bridge. She’s killing it at the moment! She’s inspired me on so many levels and deserves every single nomination and win she’s received lately for “Fleabag” and “Killing Eve”. I hope that, one day, our production company tells stories as funny, authentic and unique as hers. There’s so much to learn from her and her creative process! Plus, she’s just really cool, right?
How can our readers follow you on social media?
I always share news on my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts. My web series is also available to watch here and my production company Candid Broads Productions will have lots of great projects coming up soon. Make sure to follow the company on Twitter and Instagram.
This was very meaningful, thank you so much!