Saturday, 24 May 2014

WORKING SMART: Rosie Murray’s Career Survival Guide

TAKING HOLD: Murray heats up the stage, with Fabian Barracks, in 2012's Wine & Roses.

There’s no better time than the present to pause and reflect on where life has taken us and where we’re heading triumphantly. That’s precisely why Thespy-nominated actress Rosie Murray, 55 – one of the busiest women in the biz at the moment – makes no bones about acknowledging the tried-and-proven strategies that catapulted her to the top of her game and now holds her in good stead for the journey ahead:

Emulate the trailblazers in your field:
“Leonie Forbes is why I do what I do today,” Murray confesses right off the bat. “As a kid growing up there weren’t many persons in theatre and television (and I had the passion for both) who combined [both areas] well, having my kind of [physical] features. Somebody who looked like me was on television! You had the overseas people, of course, but in terms of a Jamaican who was really doing it, that was Leonie.”

Pick the right parts:
“When I get a script I have to go through it to, first of all, see if it is someone that I would play well,” she says of her approach to her craft. “I don’t like characters that are close to me; I really like characters that will give you some work and stretch you as an actress. And I’ve been lucky to work with some really good writers and producers over the years.”

Spread your wings:
With a career spanning stage, TV and radio, Rosie Murray is a loyal subscriber to the credo that versatility is paramount. “I wanted to do it all, but back in the day you felt like it was a dream that wasn’t possible,” she admits. “But you have to dream, because if you don’t then what do you have to aspire to?”

Empower yourself:
“There are some simple people in life that I talk with, the ones who never get the opportunity to do some of the things they dream about. And these are the same people who inspire me because it’s like I’m doing it for them,” she shares. “In terms of work ethic, you have to be disciplined because, to be honest with you, this is not an easy business. Matter of fact, I would tell any person who wants to get in that the first thing they have to have is the self-discipline. You have to be true to yourself, and I try to live by that.”

Establish a firm spiritual base:
“I feed my soul with a lot of inspirational books (she’s a huge fan of Iyanla Vanzant), and the fact that God works through me. I’m not aligned to any particular religion but everybody has God inside of them; it’s just for you to connect with that spirit and just allow it to move you and motivate you. I keep informed and I keep repositioning myself and listening to other people’s stories, as well.” Introspection is an effective tool in her experience. “I talk to myself a lot; I’m my biggest critic. I can’t recall a show I’ve done which I left 100 percent satisfied. And because I look at myself in that critical way I stay motivated. I always feel that I can deliver a little bit more.”

> Catch Rosie delivering in For My Daughter, opposite Leonie Forbes and Terri Salmon, at the Pantry Playhouse through June.

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