Five minutes with Viva student Bella

“I love the experience. Even though I’ve been coming to Speech and Drama for a really long time, each lesson I learn something new.”

In this interview, Viva Voice student Bella describes the skills she develops within her Voice and Acting™ classes, and how they help her when it comes to acting and making films.

At age 13, Bella is already a multi award-winning director! Her latest short film This is Me won Best Film and the Royal Bank of Canada Touch of Pink Award at the REELise Film Festival in 2018. Fellow Viva student Belle D’Amico also starred in the film. Bella’s films have previously won Best Junior Film at REELise Film Festival in 2016 and 2017.

Bella talks to us about how strong, clear communication is vital to get your message across when directing.

This is the second in a series of interviews with Viva students.

Can’t watch the interview right now? You can read the full transcript below.

I’m Bella and I’m 13 years old. When I grow up I want to be an actor or a director.
I started coming to Viva from the very beginning which was four years ago. I love the experience and even though I’ve been doing Speech and Drama for a really long time, every lesson I learn something new.

We learn about projection and how to work with other people while performing, and how to use our voice clearly. Speech and Drama definitely boosts your confidence. If you didn’t have confidence you wouldn’t be able to get up on stage and do your very best, and if you don’t speak clearly the audience won’t understand you and will be thinking, “what are you saying?”.

How did you become a filmmaker?
I was inspired by my Grandfather to make films. He knew a little bit “how to” so he started me off, and then I learnt from there.

I have been making films since Year 5, and I’m in Year 8 now. I started by entering my film into a competition which brings awareness about how film piracy destroys the film and acting industries. From there I’ve done lots of films about bullying, and how that’s a really big problem today – not just regular bullying, but cyber bullying.

I really enjoy making films, and at Viva Voice learning all these skills have really helped make an impact with my films and acting. I think it’s important for a director to have a clear voice as everyone needs to understand what you’re saying. If they don’t receive something you’re saying they might misunderstand you, which could affect the whole team. It’s important that you get your message across.

I have lots of favourite pieces that Viva Voice have offered me. They’ve assisted me with writing speeches, so I might count that as a piece. Also, I wrote a monologue and Viva Voice saw it and gave me advice, and I think that was one of my favourite pieces because although I wrote it, getting feedback from them was very useful.

What I like about the Showcase is performing with my group in front of friends and family and showing what we’ve learnt throughout the year.

My favourite activity that we play is definitely the games. They’re a lot of fun, like SpaceJump where you have to make an impromptu scene which is a lot of fun. Especially impromptu games as you never know which way the scene if going to go.

Poems or monologues?

Roald Dahl or J.K. Rowling?
J.K. Rowling.

Books or films?

Favourite film?
Probably Harry Potter.

Caramel or chocolate?
Ooo, chocolate.

Favourite director?
Steven Spielberg.