Don’t try to look like or be like someone else. You will never be as blond as Reese Witherspoon, as beautiful as Gal Gadot or as funny as Ellen DeGeneres. On the other hand, nobody else can look like you and bring the character you bring. So be yourself all the way.
As a part of my interview series with popular culture stars, I had the pleasure of interviewing Shira Eden. Shira is an actress and a writer based in Tel Aviv. She is the writer of “Tinders”, “Anything But Love”, and “Everyone Needs To Go To The Desert, One Day.”
Thank you so much for joining us Shira! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
My story is a bit unexpected, like any good story starts. My career evolved to what it is today, after I went through a terrible accident during my first acting role, right after acting school.
I lost my hearing on my left ear and the left side of my face was paralyzed for six months. So I needed to understand what I was going to do from now on. I decided to do my BA and MA and start writing plays and scripts. That’s when I realized that I wanted to mix writing with acting. It wasn’t easy at all going back to a “normal” life.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
As part of what I just shared, I think that acting, writing, and creating brings about lots of interesting stories. The follow one happened just a year ago:
I was touring in northern Israel with my show called “Tinders”, telling the story of four people who are in the dating scene. The day before the show, someone hit on me on Facebook. A few minutes before the show was about to begin I got a call from him saying he’s outside and coming to see the show. He drove about 30 miles just to surprise me. I was shocked and a bit excited, but after we started performing everything was fine. Spoiler: We dated just twice, if that first unusual date counts.
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?
Sometimes I can be the most clueless and clumsy person I know. On this one audition, I badly wanted a leading role in a drama series. I was so nervous, so at the beginning of the audition when I had to hold a sign with my name and the agent’s name, I was already serious and sad because the scene was about a brother who killed himself, and I held the sign upside down with this sad face and didn’t pay attention.
It wasn’t until the casting lady started to laugh that I saw it too. We laughed for a minute or two and then I understood that stress won’t help me get good roles.
Another time I went to the wrong audition room on the wrong day. They eventually gave me a call back even though I wasn’t supposed to audition, so maybe sometimes I’m benefiting from my personality.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
These days I’m working on a number of exciting projects. My first short film “Anything But Love”, which I wrote and also going to play in the leading female part, is about to shoot.
My show “Tinders” is being adapted to a TV series. I’m also working on a TV series with one of the busiest and impressive film directors in Israel, Erez Tadmor.
Also, I am about to finish my first novel! It is going to be a crazy and exciting year.
Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?
The people in the TV and movie industry in Israel are amazing.
One of the most interesting people I’ve met and interacted with over the years is the Oscar-winning Guy Nativ (for his movie “Skin”). He is one of the first directors who believed in me and is a true inspiration for me.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
- Eat breakfast — you don’t know when your next break will be, and you’re not a nice person when you are hungry.
- Surround yourselves with people of good vibes and not people who create an atmosphere of depression and lack of confidence.
- Always remember that you are so privileged to make a living from the thing you love the most.
- When you meet a director or a producer or actually any person for the first time, read about her or him before the meeting and see or learn more about some of her or his works.
- Eat breakfast!
You are a person of great 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 know it might not sound that important, but I think the world needs a siesta movement. A break from everything from 2–4 pm every day, sleeping. I think the world would be a better place and that people will surely be happier!
Or maybe I just need to move to Italy or Spain where the siesta is a must have ☺
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
- There is no replacement for creating. Always try to create if you have the talent to write. Nobody will write the perfect role for you as well as you can. Also being creative all the time is making life better and healthier instead of waiting for the phone to ring.
- Don’t try to look like or be like someone else. You will never be as blond as Reese Witherspoon, as beautiful as Gal Gadot or as funny as Ellen DeGeneres. On the other hand, nobody else can look like you and bring the character you bring. So be yourself all the way.
- Your volubility is your power. The minute I understood that I’m an actress because of my volubility and that is what people can connect to, I became a better actress and writer.
- Don’t stop learning and developing as a person. Read books, see movies. Listen to music and go watch the sunset. Nature has all the answers.
- Nobody can tell you what you can or can’t do. Remind yourselves this every morning, because people will try to tell you that all the time.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
If You’re Going Through Hell, Keep Going — Winston Churchill.
The accident I’ve been through changed my life completely. I still face its consequences every day. But as long as I keep on going, acting, writing, creating my art — I am the winner.
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. 🙂
Oh, that’s a tricky question, because there’s a lot of people I would be so happy to meet for lunch or even a quick coffee.
But if I have to choose one, it would be the legendary Meryl Streep. She is an inspiration to me as a woman and an actress. I would love to meet her.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!