by Zhe Liu, 2018
Trained in film and stage acting, I have my own methods to get into character and bring my real life experiences to the roles I play. My training began in college under guidance from excellent theater professors at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. In LA, I filled many roles in the theater world, including stage manager with The Industry’s Hopscotch to writer with the Eastside Queer Stories Festival, to lead actor in Maia Villa’s intercession with the Atwater Village Theater.
In 2016 I moved to Scotland and began training in screen acting. I trained in Glasgow with Mark Westbrook’s studio, Acting Coach Scotland, and in Edinburgh with Act and Shoot Scotland. During this time abroad, I premiered my first original solo show, Punk and Pussy. I like to consider this premiere the marker of my acting style’s debut because the solo show granted me total freedom to share and express my queerness, which largely impacts and influences my artistry.
I love pushing the boundaries of my own creativity. This involves traveling to new places and gaining new experiences that offer fresh perspectives. In 2017, I wrote and acted in a short film, I’m Not Ready, set in a cold Scottish forest. That summer, I took part in the Summer Media Studio in Juodkrantė, an island off the west coast of Lithuania. I was selected as a writer for the Studio and co-wrote a short film, Stiklakūnis. When I moved back to California in 2018, I continued making films under the desert sunrise and the golden hour sunsets. My first experimental short, For Nadoyel, was featured in the 2019 CUNTemporary Festival in London.
In Los Angeles, I continued my acting training under Javier Ronceros’ instruction with Casa 0101 Theater. I began doing more on-screen acting around the city, with several LA-based directors, including short films, PSA’s, and music videos. Early 2021, I had my first theater directing gig with the 2020 Eastside Queer Stories cohort (Zoom rehearsals, as per pandemic restrictions – quite the remarkable first time experience, to direct theatre without the theater).
My passion for acting stems in my queer indigeneity. I believe in the power of sharing narratives to uplift queer indigenous communities, and to uplift myself. I do not shy from bringing my entire self to each role I play and each set I walk into.
My name is Izzy Bravo. Have we met?