interviewed | In conversation with Virginia Frankovich

Virginia Frankovich is an award-winning actress who loves crafts, making stuff and pretty old dresses that come with a story.  She’s featured in various theatre productions, short films and the odd television series.  We caught up with her ahead of the opening of her latest production, opening at Q Loft’s stage tonight.

Can you tell us more about the production?
Not Psycho is a kaleidoscopic mash-up of slasher films set in 90s Manchester.  We follow the story of a young man named Matthew who works in a video store. He meets a circus of misfits who help/hinder his recollections of past events

What role are you playing in it?
I play Maz (Marion). A chaotic young mancunian woman who loves to play with fire. Her real name is Marion Samuels – a 90’s nod to Marion Crane from Psycho.

How are you preparing for the role?
I’ve done lots of research on Manchester – the accent, the lifestyle and the feeling of the late 90s pre-millennium paranoia. It was a really interesting time in history post-Thatcher and I’ve been delving into the Manchester rave scene – which was huge. I’ve also done lot’s of research on female killers as well as revisiting key slasher films. There’s been plenty of films/TV shows that have helped inspire the character development for Maz. She is a feisty creature and it’s a lot of fun playing somebody a lot more bolshy than myself.

You’re quite the busy bee, besides Not Psycho you’re also directing and devising another production. Can you tell us more about this?
Ahh yes. During rehearsals for Not Psycho I’ve been directing a cast of 19 in a play written by Ben Henson (writer/director of Not Psycho) and devised by the cast called ‘Bed’. It was for Auckland Theatre Company’s ‘Next Big Thing’ festival and it was such fun to make. It’s been a case of compartmentalising, so that when I leave one rehearsal to attend the next, I can fully focus on the project at hand. It’s good to be busy. I’m a lot more productive when I’m overwhelmed with work.

What advice do you have for anyone wanting to get into this industry – acting, producing or directing?
I began by being involved in un-paid theatrical projects I was interested in with people whose work I admired. It’s good to Invite agents/artists along to watch you and then try to arrange future work. There are some wonderful teachers who come to NZ to do workshops and it’s always great to try and put some money aside so that when those opportunities arrive, you can take part in them. And lastly, make your own work. It’s the most rewarding thing you could ever do and it’s far more productive than sitting at home complaining that you’re not getting any paid acting work. The more you make, the more chance you have of being seen by people you want to create within the future.

Finally, what are your plans for the rest of 2015?
I am helping Julia Croft make ‘If there’s not dancing at the revolution, I’m not coming’ – a performance collage that will take place at the Basement in September. I’m then off to Sydney/Melbourne for a month and am hoping to bring back to Auckland a show called ‘Gorge’ that I made with Phoebe Mason a few years back. Beyond that, I’m hoping to start up a female sketch group.

NOT PSYCHO | AUGUST 15 – 29 | Buy tickets here