Written by JJ Barnes
I am delighted to share my interview with the wonderful actress, Sarah Elizabeth Lewis. I had the pleasure of working with Sarah in her role as Cassandra Waters in Gracemarch in 2018, and it’s lovely to share her acting experiences and passions with you now.
Tell me a bit about yourself.
Hi, I’m Sarah! I have a gorgeous puppy called Digby (He’s actually 7 so not such a pup) and a gorgeous Fiance called Nathan! We’re currently in full swing of wedding planning, with our day coming up in September which is super exciting! If I’m not working you will usually find me binge watching Netflix, enjoying food and drinks with friends, or playing with the pup!
When did you first realise you wanted to be an actress?
Since I was barely able to speak I loved putting on little shows every time my parents had guests over, pulling my reluctant bigger sister into them but insisting I was the star of the show! I think it was just a natural move for my parents to get me into a local youth theatre group and it all went from there really!
What is your favourite thing about performing?
I love the whole process of taking on a different character and thinking like them. It means playing around with a personality that isn’t your own and experiencing things through different eyes.
What classes or training sessions have you taken to support your acting career?
I went to acting groups and classes from a young age. I then studied Performing Arts at College and went on to do a degree in Acting at University. Throughout this time I was also working on professional acting jobs and constantly learning from actors I was working with.
What was your first professional acting job?
My first big professional acting job was playing Susan in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe when I was 13. It was magical!
What was your most recent professional acting job?
My most recent acting job was filming Gracemarch, written by the wonderful J.J Barnes and Jon McKinney! Unfortunately with Covid and everything within the arts being put on hold, It’s forced me into a bit of an acting break.
Tell me a favourite experience in your career.
Something that stands out in your memories and makes you want to find more experiences like it. When I was 16 I played Anne Frank in a stage play called ‘The Dreams of Anne Frank’. I will always remember the last scene which was very emotional, when Anne and her family are discovered by the Nazi’s and taken away to the concentration camps. During my last speech I looked out into the audience and saw a group of elderly ladies on the front row crying their eyes out.
That’s the moment I fully realised the power of theatre. They then approached me in the foyer after the show and said how amazing the show was and told me that the older generation of their family were involved in the holocaust and the story of Anne Frank was very close to their hearts. It was a beautiful moment chatting to them and realising how much the show had moved them.
What was your toughest experience in your acting career?
I think the toughest part of pursuing a career in acting is the waiting game! It often feels like you are waiting forever to land your next job or for a new opportunity to pop up. But my advice would be to go out there and make things happen for yourself. Meet like minded people who are in the same position as you and create your own work!
Have you family and friends been supportive of your acting career?
My parents have always supported my desire to pursue acting as a career. They have never been ones to tell me to ‘get a proper job’, thank god! My friends have also been very supportive.
Tell me some career goals. What would you like to achieve?
I would love to land a regular role in a tv series, that would be the dream. It would be amazing to be on set most days of the week, working with inspiring, creative people, who all empower each other!
Tell me something you were surprised by, something you had never realised about being a professional actress.
It’s bloody hard! There is so much competition out there for jobs and I’ve learnt it is very much about being in the right place at the right time! Talent can only really get you so far, the rest is luck, getting yourself out there and not giving up!
What are words of advice you have for other aspiring actors?
Don’t give up! It could happen for you at any time. Literally! It could be 3 months into your career or 30 years in. That’s the beauty of the industry, it’ll always require people of all different ages, looks etc. it’s not something you are ever too old to do.