Check out our interview with talented Australian actress and musician Amelia who wrote, produced and starred in her own short film called Short Sleeves. Short Sleeves is about teenage mental illness and self harm.
Amelia’s short film is an official selection in 3 US Film Festivals and has a massive 7 nominations at the ASIN awards (Australian Screen Industry Network) including Amelia for Best Actress, Best Writer and Best Film.
Amelia has also started up her own production company AHA Pictures Pty Ltd and plans to produce more films about issues relating to teenagers.
Follow Amelia at @ameliaayrisofficial
Hi Amelia, please tell us a little about you?
I am an only child living in Queensland, Australia where it is sunny all year round. I am 13 years old and in grade 8 at school. I’m an Actress, Singer, Musician and a Writer.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Creative, Humorous and Loyal
Who is your role model?
I’ve got a few role models that I look up to but I think I’d have to say Lady Gaga. Her talent is next level of course. She can sing, she can play instruments, she can write songs and she can act. But I’d consider her as my role model because of how hard she works and she never gave up on the dream. She took the knock backs and worked harder and smarter.
How did you get started into acting?
I sort of fell in to acting. I’d always loved to perform on stage with my dance school, but I never even thought about acting until I came across a free workshop at a local mall. I loved it immediately, and that was the start of the journey. Theatre first, and then Screen.
How has this changed your life?
It’s changed my life in the fact that I know that I want to do this for the rest of my life. I feel like It’s my calling to be involved in the industry. I’ve also been fortunate to have worked with and met some amazing people on this journey. And I’ve had experiences where the memories will last a life time. But in some respects it hasn’t changed me at all. I am a normal, friendly and grounded teenager who just happens to be fortunate enough to be able to do what I love.
Tell us about your work in the short film “Short Sleeves?”
Short Sleeves was the first short film that I wrote. I had a vision and a message, and just started writing. When I’d finished, I sent it to a colleague who had worked on 200 plus episodes on Australian TV, who gave me some pointers and then I redrafted until I was happy with it. We decided that we wanted to bring Short Sleeves to life so we approached a well respected Director and it snowballed from there. We were lucky to put together an amazing cast and crew. I was pretty proud to watch it after the final edit and know that I had not only Written it, but Produced and played the lead role. And most importantly I was able to bring awareness to self harm and mental health issues in teens.
And about the success and nominations this short film has?
I’m pretty excited and proud to be honest. Currently Short Sleeves is an Official Selection in 3 US Film Festivals with some really positive reviews. We also have 7 nominations in the Australian Screen Industry Network Awards which includes Best Short Film, and myself up for Best Screenwriter and Best Actress. I’m really excited to see what happens, but just to be nominated is such an honour.
What other projects you have been part of?
I have worked on many films and tv series in Australia. I had a feature film called One Room released earlier this year in which I played a lead role. One of my favourite projects was the Australian Tour of the Sound of Music which was a fantastic experience. I also recently played the lead voice over character in an animation currently in production.
Tell us about your company AHA Pictures Pty?
After producing Short Sleeves I decided to start up my own Production Company. What I want to achieve is making films that are centred around issues that affect the World, particularly my Generation. I’ve written a short film about Cyber Safety, and one about the Environment. AHA are my initials, thus the name.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part is the people I meet and the people I work with. I really enjoy getting a script and bringing the character to life – giving it my spin but staying true to the writers vision.
What is your favorite healthy food?
I love all fruit.
And your favorite cheat food?
How would you explain your fashion style?
It definitely changes over time, but I like to think my style is a cross between Serena and Blair in Gossip Girl.
How would your best friend describe you?
I’d say loyal, funny, over expressive and a little loud sometimes.
What’s next for Amelia in 2019/2020?
I want to produce some more of my own work. I’m currently Home Schooled but heading back to mainstream school next year on a full scholarship where I will concentrate on Drama and Music. I have some projects in the pipeline in LA, so hoping these opportunities work out the way we are planning.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Happiness is being content and confident in who you are whilst doing what you love. Combining this with being surrounded by friends and family.
How is a normal day in your life?
During the school term, I am on line for school from 8am until 2pm. I then do a 1 hour work out followed by 2 hours of being creative. This includes filming a self tape or singing or writing. I finish the day with homework, study and watching YouTube videos.
What is your idea of a perfect Sunday?
I definitely enjoy my downtime, so Sunday’s are pretty quiet for me. I like to watch movies, talk to friends, and indulge in some junk food.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Marilyn Monroe. She is so iconic. And I’d love to find out if there are secret tunnels to the White House.
Best advice ever given?
That in this industry, we have limited control over the decisions made, but we have control over our work ethic, attitude and how we treat people. So work hard, stay positive and treat everyone with respect.
Do you support any charity?
Absolutely. Supporting Charities is a huge passion of mine. I am the Junior Ambassador for Bravehearts which is Australia’s largest Child Protection organisation. I do work for them – fundraising and spreading awareness. I also regularly perform as a vocalist at fundraising events. I have had so many people support me on my journey, so I love having an opportunity to give back whenever I can.
Name 3 things you can’t live without?
Wifi, my phone and my family.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
In 5 years time I will have finished High School and hopefully balancing University with acting. Ideally I’d love a series regular role on a TV series. Just working hard and continuing to learn and perfect my skills.
Favorite song? Why?
Someone you Loved – Lewis Capaldi
He is such an amazing singer – so strong and unique. I think you can hear the emotion in his voice and it makes me connect with the song.
What music do you like?
I’m a singer and I play guitar and piano. I love all music, so I really couldn’t choose a genre. I think I connect better to songs where the vocals are strong.
What do you think of Social Media?
I see good and bad things in Social Media. I love using it to keep in touch with friends, and to share my journey. I think if it’s used properly it’s an amazing tool. I just don’t talk to people I don’t know, I stay positive and I don’t take things too personally. My mum manages my public accounts which is a good balance.
Where we can follow you?
Quote: “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” – Marilyn Monroe
Favorite Singer/Artist: Ariana Grande
Movie: Kissing Booth (Jacob Elordi fan)
Travel Destination: LA, but New York and Paris are top of the bucket list.
Sports Team: Being an Aussie, I’m an Australian Rules Football fan. The Adelaide Crows are my team.
Tv Show: Friends.
Book: Harry Potter
Photo credit: Tommy Flanagan