Hey Siri, Meet our New Year iPhone Competition Winner Olivia Fildes
Posted by Emily Draper on 23 Apr, 2020

Hey Siri, Meet our New Year iPhone Competition Winner Olivia Fildes

To ring in the New Year this year we celebrated by giving away a brand new iPhone 11 Pro to one of our lucky members! Nearly 20,000 of you applied (um, wow) and let us tell you, it was incredibly hard to narrow it down to just one person!

We resisted the urge to go full Oprah and are absolutely thrilled to announce Olivia Fildes, Melbourne based actor and singer, as the lucky winner!

Olivia is a graduate of the 16th Street Actors Studio in Melbourne and is currently pursuing a career in film and TV, having starred in multiple short films and TV commercials, and just landed her first lead role in the feature film, How Deep is the Ocean. We caught up with Olivia this month and asked her to share some of her best industry tips and to check in on how she's getting on during lockdown.

iPhone 6s user asking here... what's life like on the other side? Is owning the new iPhone 11 Pro everything you wanted and more? Pretty great! I’m never one to have the latest iPhone so it's a nice change. It took a bit of getting used to at first, not having a home button and using Face ID but I'm loving the new and improved camera. I've also found the battery lasts a lot longer than my old phone which is a big thing for me!

How did you hear about the New Year competition? I saw it advertised on StarNow's Instagram story.

You mentioned in your entry to win that an actor's life can revolve around a phone. Can you tell us how? Yes! As actors we use our phone for countless reasons relating to our careers. To film self-tapes, apply to castings, check emails from our agents, receive calls about castings, call backs and the congratulatory "you got the role!" call we all live for.

These days social media is also such a big part of our industry. It's an extra tool we have at our disposal to share content we have created, build a brand for ourselves as actors, connect with other people in our industry, as well as keeping up with the latest news about current and upcoming productions. As much as I believe social media can be toxic and actors shouldn't be cast based on the amount of followers they have, it really does give you a platform to be creative, get your name out there and also support your fellow actors!

Can you share any tips for filming self-tapes from your phone? I sure can!

  1. When filming a self-tape on your phone, always make sure it is on airplane mode or "do not disturb" so you don't get any calls or messages that may ruin a good take!
  2. Framing is also very important. I like to film in selfie mode so I can make sure I am centred in the screen but if you find that a bit distracting you can always get your reader (if you have one) to double check that for you. Also frame it from the middle of your chest and allow about two inches of space above your head.
  3. Make sure you are filming in front of a neutral background and are not wearing any clothing that may distract from your performance.
  4. If you have a reader, they should stand right next to the camera (without being seen), so your eye line is close to the lens and whoever is watching can connect with your performance.
  5. In terms of lighting, I usually use a couple of soft box lights to ensure I am well lit but I sometimes also use natural lighting if I am filming in the middle of the day.
  6. Lastly, make sure there are no distracting noises in the background!

How long have you been a StarNow member and what prompted you to join? I have been a StarNow member for over four years now! I joined when I decided to take my acting career seriously. Before then I had been working towards a career in musical theatre but realised that it wasn't for me and began to focus solely on acting. Still love a good sing and dance though!

What was your first acting job, and how did you land the role? My first paid acting job was a hair tutorial for Garnier back in 2015. I had to guide people step by step on how to use the Garnier products to create a top knot hairstyle. It was uploaded to their YouTube channel as part of a series and for a little while it became one of those ads that pop up before playing a video on YouTube. I'm sure I annoyed quite a few people who just wanted to watch their video already!

What's your biggest aspiration for your future as an actor? I aim to one day write a great film and act in it myself. That's the big dream. But more importantly I want to work with people who love what they do just as much as I do and have fun doing it. I love the experience of being on a set, getting to know people and learning from them. Any opportunity where I get to do that, I am grateful for.

What qualities would you say are most important for being successful in your field? The three biggest qualities I believe any successful actor must possess is patience, resilience and determination. It can be disheartening and frustrating waiting long periods of time between auditions or jobs and it can make you feel like your career is going nowhere. The ability to be patient is crucial in making sure you stay motivated as an actor, don't give up because you haven't had a big break yet.

No matter how great an actor you are, you will be knocked back from roles you desperately want and that can be devastating. It doesn't mean you are any less of an actor than the person who was cast, it just means you weren't right for the role. Writers and directors can go into castings with a very particular look in mind for certain characters and not everyone is going to fit the brief!

We all have off days and although it can be hard, you have to try your best not to obsess over why you might not have gotten the role or what you could've done better in an audition. Move on, continue working towards your goals and don't let the fear of failure stop you. Your ability to come back from hurt and disappointment will keep you going. Be determined to become a better actor and work hard. You'll thank yourself for it one day.

Who is your dream actor or director to work with? My god, how am I supposed to pick just one? At the moment my current obsession is Adam Driver. After watching his performance in 'Marriage Story' and the vulnerability he brought to the role, I doubt many actors would hesitate at the chance to work alongside someone of his calibre. As for directors, I'd love to work with a seasoned director such as Martin Scorsese. The amount of things I could learn from him about films and the industry would be such an invaluable gift.

How are you staying motivated and keeping busy at the moment, given the worldwide Coronavirus outbreak? In all honesty I have found it hard to stay motivated during this pandemic. The motivation comes and goes but when I am feeling less driven, I like to find something creative to do. Whether that is coming up with ideas for films or a TV series, writing songs or even drawing - it keeps me from going crazy! I have also been keeping busy by trying to learn some new skills including ukulele, guitar and French (which isn't going so well).

Stuck at home and looking to learn some new skills like Olivia? We've got a bunch of opportunities perfect for when you're working from home.

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