Interview with Viola Abley
(photos by Shimon Karmel)
1. I know you, but some people may not.
So could you please introduce yourself to the world?
”Hello! I’m Viola Abley. I’m not afraid to try new things. I’ve been acting since grade 2 and I just started grade 7. I enjoy lots of different activities outside of acting. I enjoy creating art, drawing and outdoor activities like hiking and golf. After school, I usually attend circus training, piano lessons or voice lessons, but on different days! I still have plenty of time to relax and play my favorite video games.”
2. What was your first job in the entertainment industry?
Also, what did you do before that?
”My first job ever was a commercial for a 3D printer designed for kids. I booked it on my third audition when my dad was thinking of asking me to quit acting because he said it was a lot of running around. Thankfully I booked the job and my parents changed their minds! Before that I was just a regular grade 2 student. I’m still just a normal kid.”
3. Did you study acting before getting into the industry?
”No. I didn’t start studying acting until after I booked a few things and the auditions got more challenging. My mother decided that I should take some acting classes because auditions are timing consuming and she doesn’t like to waste time. I studied at different schools - in person and online. For bigger roles, I get private coaching.”
4. If you could work with anyone you'd want,
who would that person be and why?
”I don’t have a favorite person that I would like to act with. Working in the entertainment industry is a real pleasure and I’ve enjoyed working with everyone I’ve met.”
5. What does a normal day in your life looks like?
”Getting ready for school in the morning, going to school (which I really like), doing an activity or audition after class, piano practice for about 10 or 15 minutes, maybe some homework or playing some video games and then getting ready for bed.”
6. Where is your favorite place to be and why?
”I love being on a cruise ship because they are amazing and always super fun. And I love the food. And you get to see new places and explore. I hope to be able to do it again in the future.”
7. What is one of the best advice that you've got?
Who was the person that gave it to you?
”The best advice I got was from my mother which was: not to care about what other people think. It doesn’t matter what other people think as long as you are happy with yourself. She says most people aren’t thinking of you anyways.”
8. What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
”I think it’s being able to balance my professional life with my schooling. I like to do well in both. I also learned how to ride a unicycle this year.”
9. If you could book any role in the next years to come,
what would that dream role be?
”I would love to be a series regular in comedy or action show. I like fun stories.”
10. Is there anything you can disclose about your the production, Schmigadoon!?
”Schmigadoon! is a musical comedy on Apple TV+ that was filmed in Vancouver. It was so much fun because I got to meet a lot of actors and dancers my age for our musical dance number on the show. I also got to work with Tony Award winning choreographer Chris Gattelli and his assistant choreographer Derek Piquette from World of Dance! We had to do some tricky tap dancing on these tiny little school desks and there was a stunt coordinator there to make sure we were safe. When we were practicing there were mats on the ground but for filming there were no mats. My scene was with Ariana DeBose and Keegan-Michael Kay. I was sad when my time was over on that set.”
11. Can you describe Zaneeta, your character on Schmigadoon! in a few words?
”My character was named Zaneeta. And she was one of the school house children. My character was spelling in the scene before it became a song and dance. We had to practice the dance number quite a few times on different days before filming. The whole thing was filmed inside a studio and it was so colorful. The school house looked amazing in real life.”
12. What is the best part about life on set?
”I love crafty on set and being able to get hot chocolate and snacks during breaks.”
13. What is your favorite part of your job and why?
”The best part is meeting new people, having new experiences and having fun!”
14. How is your job different now, during the pandemic?
Did it change the vibe around set?
”When I’m on set it’s still really fun to me and I don’t really notice the changes. Wearing a face mask and getting tested is no big deal. For auditions, they are all on self-tape. At first they were really time consuming to do but we are used to them now.”
15. You have recurring role on a new animation series
for Dreamworks/Apple TV+, based on a popular children’s book.
What can you tell us about this exciting new production?
”This new animation series should be coming out later in 2022. It’s going to be a great show with a female lead character who is relatable and strong. She makes mistakes and learns from them. I play her best friend who is tough and strong as well. I’m very excited about it.”
16. In the end, is there anything you'd like to say to the people who support you?
”I’d like to thank my friends and family who support me. It means a lot to me. I wish you and your readers a lot of luck in achieving your goals and dreams.”
Viola Abley is an actress. She is best known for her work on projects like: Scaredy Cats, Schmigadoon!, Noelle, Chip and Potato, Salmagundi, It's a Boy, With Love, from God, Fight etc.