Christina Bloom is an actress, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.
She is about to appear in her one-woman play, Inside Out as part of Maiden Speech Festival. We find out a bit more about Christina.
1. What queer characters have you played to date?
None. Although I have played Marilla Cuthbert in Anne of Green Gables, and who knows there may have been another reason why she never married.
2. Do you prefer performing in LGBT performances, if so why?
I don’t really have any experience of performing LGBT pieces other than what I have written myself and I can’t say I’ve enjoyed that more than playing straight roles. In preparing for a role, whether it be straight or LGBT, I would undergo the same technical process. Then as a character, on and offstage, your needs/wants/desires are no longer your own, so it shouldn’t make a difference to the enjoyment of playing.
3. What has been the highlight of your career to date?
Appearing in Guitar Hero Live as Stina Hart in the folk band, Portland Cloud Orchestra. The video game was the first to use actors as characters, as opposed to animation, so it was a lot of fun doing motion capture and filming for this.
4. If you could be on screen with anyone else at all, who would it be and why?
I’m not sure my wife would be too happy with my answer for this, but Shane McCutcheon - the character played by Katherine Moennig in the L Word. I watched this back to back when I was at College and it played a big part in me discovering and coming to terms with my sexuality. I had a huge crush on Shane, so I guess I’d have to appear in the new L Word (that’s apparently in the pipe line - can’t wait), in order for me to be on screen with her...
5. What director or producer would you love to work with on future projects, if you could pick anyone?
Baz Luhrmann - I love his films! I love the way he shoots, how much of a visual feast they are and the way the music feeds into the emotion of each shot. I’d love to experience working with a director that has that vision.
6. What advice would you give other LBGT actors about finding and working on LGBT media?
If you’re interested in LGBT media then don’t wait for it to come to you - get making or facilitating new work so it’s better represented. Then treat the work the same as you would any other project. All characters have needs/wants/desires, so figure out what that is for your character in the same way you would any other.
7. How did you get into this profession?
I was introduced to music from a very young age. My Dad was a cellist with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and he started teaching me to play when I was about 4. Shortly after, I started the piano, singing and songwriting and went to a Stage school for dance and drama three times a week. Then when my Grammar School wouldn’t allow me to drop one of the ridiculous amount of subjects for GCSE, in order to make time to practice, I attended a specialist Music school which naturally led onto to my first degree studying Cello at the Royal College of Music. I then did a Masters in Musical Theatre Performance at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. So it’s been quite a natural progression from a young age.
8. When you're not working what do you like to do to chill out?
Spend time with my family and eat! But when I’m on my own I like to write. Words, music, sometimes together and sometimes not. I find it very therapeutic. Although this is strictly speaking, work, it’s always been an escapism for me. If I’m not doing that, I love to travel and discover new places, or take a book I’m stuck into and lie in the sun somewhere.
9. What is your guilty pleasure?
The giant packs of salt and vinegar kettle crisps with taramasalata dip!
10. Who has been the best person you have worked with and why?
I’ve worked with some really talented and inspirational actors, Directors and Musical Directors during my training and since, but don’t know if I could single anyone out yet at this point in my career. Sorry that’s a very boring answer.
11. Do you have a particular process you follow to get into character?
There’s a trick I learnt when working with a director on a project during my Masters, that I have found really helpful just before I go onstage. We all make up ‘stories’ about ourselves on a daily basis, based on the way we see ourselves and the way others do. For example if you drop something, someone might call you clumsy, which then sticks and you begin to believe that you are a clumsy person, and you begin to fill that role, a bit like a self fulfilling prophecy. Instead of rejecting these stories that get attached to us by saying no - I’m just a person who dropped something, we cling to them and they become part of our identity. When researching a character, I like to find out what the stories are that are attached to them, then just before I go on stage I repeat them to myself to enter into their thought process.
12. Tell us one secret about yourself.
Well I actually have one ear bigger than the other and didn’t know until it was pointed out to me when I was about 15. All the better for hearing you with. Who looks at both your ears at the same time anyway..?