Women in the Entertainment Industry: Laura Kamis Wrang
We are asking women in the entertainment industry around the world some key questions about their life and career. Here is Laura Kamis Wrang based in Copenhagen, Denmark.
1. In which part of the industry do you work?
Audio description – writing and narrating for Drama series and documentaries on DR Danish National Television, Voice artist in audio guides at art museums.
2. Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women in the entertainment industry? How have they inspired you?
Helen Mirren has always been a great inspiration to me, as she is a representative who has been seen and heard in all genres within the theatre and in the movies – be it serious drama or comedy. Being an actress you need to be able to constantly challenge yourself and enjoy being brave enough to stay versatile in your portrayal of the world through your acting, your audio work and always stay true to yourself, when facing critical worldly issues. Helen is not afraid to bring up controversial issues and stand up for them especially on the themes which are about being a woman in her own right.
3. What would you tell young women who are just starting out? What would you like them to know?
Always remember the inner spark, which made you dream and light up in desire to share your joy of the art you love. Be forever curious and dare to invest time and energy into this time consuming life of passion.
4. What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
You are much more than what you do – so remember to enjoy being you, when you are doing what you love to do…
5. Please share one of your toughest challenges in your career. How did you overcome?
I completed a musical show once, when my colleague fell ill only hours before the show. To the question should we cancel I answered “NO! Let me do what I can to let the show go on.” On stage I sang my colleagues and my own lines. Even singing a duet with myself, as I swirled around in the arms of the main male actor. The 450 children in the theatre were not to miss the show, they had bought tickets for. It went well I am happy to say.
6. What is your favorite musical or play?
West side Story is an all time favourite of mine. Its ties to Romeo and Juliet’s trials to make love possible despite the many hardships we meet on our way down life’s winding and challenging road, is forever important. Cultures meet, fight and reunite. Love and understanding is key for this to happen.
7. What is your morning routine?
Every day I begin my days with breathing exercises and stretching. In this way I meet the day with my chin up and eyes awake and alert to all that is to come.
8. Drink of Choice?
Water with freshly squeezed lemon and shredded ginger.
9. What is a phrase you are known for saying?
Here I dare to bring Swedish Pippi Longstocking’s words to life “I have never tried it before, so I should definitely be able to do it” – even when I have to silence the slight quiver at heart.
10. At what point in your career did you become a mother? What was your entertainment industry job?
I was 31 when I had my first daughter. It was a luxury to stay at home after several years of touring with children’ shows around the country. Soon after I had my second child. This period of time with small children in the house awoke my storyteller, who came to life and has stayed with me ever since. Being an actor and storyteller combined with new skills as an editor, who knows how to “Kill your darlings”, have helped me create a nuanced language in my work within Audio Description.
11. What allowances (or not) were made to accommodate you as an expectant mother?
In Denmark we have a great support system, which allowed me to go on a paid maternal leave for 6 months. I completed a teachers course in the years that followed, allowing me to supplement my voice work, acting and storytelling gigs with teaching courses, where I guided Corporate leaders to perform with more ease and joy during their presentations…
12. What childcare options were/are available to you?
I was privileged to be able to send both my Children to part time day care from the age of 2.5 in a Montessori kindergarten.
13. What are the biggest challenges of being a mom in the industry?
Finding a balance between being true to your creative self and being part of the family with its demands is not very easy at times. Going off to the theatre in the evening and not being able to be part of your child’s nightly routines is a challenge when you perform for adults. Not being there to send them off to school is the challenge you must deal with when you perform in schools. Always being at work when all the other parents are enjoying their weekends can be tricky for children to deal with.
14. What are the biggest rewards of being a mom in the industry?
Being an inspiration to your children by showing them, how what you dream of doing can also be your way of income is great. Being a strong role model for your children in the way of being able to create art that deals with issues, which you believe are important and need to be brought up is also very important. You can find a way to make a change through who you are and what you do. The stage and the media is a place to create debate, bring up issues and invite interactive dialogue. Staying playful and creative keeps you young at heart and stronger as you grow older. We stand on the shoulders of those who have lived before us…
15. Any tips for balancing work and parenting?
Bringing your child along with you, when you are “busy” doing what you need to do. Learning from being in the middle of the motion with all its highs and lows is a great place for children to get a broader idea about the crazy dynamics of life and how to deal with it.
16. What advice would you give to other women in the industry?
Dare to speak up for those, who you feel may not be heard at any time.
Theatre and art are for all – even for those who may be in need of a few aids to be able to enjoy the performance, as everyone else in the room. Audio Description and Captions help to create this bridge and need to be incorporated into the arts in an even better way than it is seen today. In Denmark we have AD for a select amount of new Danish Movies as well as Drama series and documentaries. Only one museum has an audio described guide and there is no AD at theatres or for cultural events. Hopefully this will change in the next few years. As a pioneer I am doing what I can to make a difference in this area. I wish I had been brave enough when I was younger, to dare to take this torch and with it light up the new path I am helping to create today. Dare to be brave and dare to follow your inner guidance and you will know which is the right path for you. As a creative artist you have an inner gift to share with the world – go and make a difference!
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