"We want to become a relevant and reliable partner in international projects. Slovenian actors are great, well trained, good with languages (most of our members speak at least three foreign languages), and they have a specific charm – they show strict discipline on the one hand and have a Balkan appeal and feel to their work on the other. "
How did you develop the concept for the new Actors Guild of Slovenia?
The concept is based on five principal levels — fighting for actors’ rights that Slovenia has not yet acknowledged, representing all professional actors who work in film or TV, providing help in legal matters, organizing workshops and education seminars for our members and helping them with the audition process, and last but not least, presenting our members in a professional way to domestic and foreign casting directors, producers, directors and casting platforms.
We tend to be more flexible than other similar organizations and wish to help our members with every question or dilemma they might encounter and try to find the best possible solution.
Are there any specific requirements for actors and actresses who want to join the guild?
Yes, we have decided that only professional actors can join the guild, but the conditions are not strict because we want to gain as many members as possible. Actors and actresses who have finished the Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television or other similar educational programs will be granted membership if they apply. However, there are some other requirements they have to meet: a main role in a feature/TV film, or two supporting roles in a feature, or a main role in a series/sit-com, or three supporting roles in other television productions, or a main role in two short films. But even if they do not fulfil these conditions, they can still join the guild as long as they are active professional actors in other fields
What were some of the challenges/rewards of creating a new organisation?
A huge challenge was how to get the guild started and how to make it function. All of us who started the guild and run it are volunteers and at the same time busy and active professionals working on numerous projects. At the moment we still don't have any administrative help — that would mean a full-time job for a single person but we are sure we are going to find sookmeone willing to do it, eventually.
The next challenge was how to get the future and potential members to apply for the membership and join the guild, because we have never had such an organization in Slovenia. We had to explain to each and every one of them why we are doing this and what do we stand for. With time it got a lot easier because the members started talking among themselves and sharing good experiences they had with the guild. For example, we organized a successful workshop with e-TALENTA, provided free tickets for film festivals in Slovenia, held more social events where they could meet directors, producers, etc.
In Slovenia there are about 400 professional actors and actresses and I guess we did a pretty good job, considering the fact that the guild at moment has 250 members compared to only 15 members a year ago. But I have to say the biggest reward for us is that we have succeeded in making a very colourful guild where members fully support each other regardless of their background, status in the cultural sphere or their work status (employed, freelancers, students).
What is the general feedback from other actors/actresses?
What professional training is there available for actors/actresses in Slovenia?
Is there a distinction between theatre and screen acting?
What is the current structure of the film industry in Slovenia?
What do you hope to achieve at an international level with the guild?
How important is it for the guild to have an international outlook/presence? Many Slovenians speak other languages, is this taken into account in the guild?