Sasha Shirono is yet another talented local who was accepted into one of Sydney’s most prestigous performance schools.
> What do you love best about performing?
There are so many rewarding attributes about the performing arts. I think that expressing yourself freely in front of an appreciative audience is the most rewarding experience. I love the dramatic arts, as it is a chance to step into someone else’s emotions and to express their views to the audience; it is up to your interpretation of a script as to how the audience sees a character, and that is the beauty of performing.
> How far has dancing and performing taken you?
Dancing has created many opportunities for me. Even if it only meant I could freely express myself on stage that would be enough. However, experiences such as getting to perform for people like Dame Joan Sutherland have made me grow as a performer. I think one of the best opportunities for me as a performer was being in the stage play ‘Anything Goes’, as I got not only to sing and act in a production, which was good experience, but I also got to work with some amazingly talented and truly inspiring people. Ruth St. Denis, the first dancer who successfully combined theatrical and concert dance traditions, said; “I see dance as a communication between body and soul, to express what is too deep to find words for.” I think that sums up the way I feel about dance; I believe in putting all of my heart and soul through the performance and to evoke feeling through each expressive movement. As you can see, I get passionate about performing!
> You have however, been unable to perform lately because of an injury. How much does this put you back?
It has put me back a lot with my dance especially. It makes you realise how much you take mobility for granted once it is temporarily taken away. I think the most disappointing thing is all the hard work it takes in preparation for the school, and the audition, and then to have an injury that stops you from doing what you came to learn. I was given an amazing opportunity to learn dance from some of Sydney’s finest, and I was denied a good section of that … however, I took a lot of notes! I am looking forward to getting back into it next year; however, I know that both the strength and the balance in the foot will be affected.
> You now live in Sydney and go to a performance school. Tell us about that and what you love most about it?
Sydney is amazing; it really does open a world of opportunity. I have friends that are involved in three or four stage plays at once and recording advertisements at the same time! The combination of performing dance, drama and singing at various eisteddfods, concerts and other public events gave me the confidence to apply for Newtown Highschool of Performing Arts (NHSPA), where I now attend.
To have the possibility to do performing arts as my school subjects is fantastic; it makes school a very exciting place to be. The constant spontaneity of each performing arts subject keeps you creative and on your toes. Another great aspect of Sydney is the Sydney Eisteddfod, where I have been performing for many years now. The standard of competition is very high, so it is very rewarding when you achieve placings.
Definitely the most exciting thing for me this year was after the drama eisteddfod. I was approached by the adjudicator, who is a director that works at NIDA but also does individual works and has worked with names such as Nicole Kidman and Toni Collette. After talking to me for a while, he has given me the opportunity to possibly be involved in his productions in the near future, which would open so many doors for me. I am so blessed to have that opportunity.
> I love performing on stage because …
… you have not experienced freedom until you have delved into someone else’s imagination and expressed it to people appreciative of the work you’re doing.