Born in Austria, Ursula has been working as a dancer, model, and actress since her early teenage years. Shooting with some of the world’s biggest stars as well as winning awards for her talent, she knows that even though the industry is challenging and a lot depends on luck, she truly believes in the power of discipline, dedication, and willpower to achieve your goals.
We got the chance to talk to Ursula and ask her some questions.
Hey Ursula! What‘s your biggest lesson learned?
Life is unpredictable. Comparing yourself to others leads to unhappiness as you never know how much help they may have gotten. Unfortunately, a lot of people get ahead because of who they know and who they are related to. Also: you never know what tomorrow may bring.
What’s your biggest success ?
Winning the award for best actress was awesome, but I consider it a huge success whenever I am cast in a new project and able to work with great people.
When did you get started in this business ?
I started dancing and performing at the age of 13, and taking acting classes when I was 16 years old. I quickly booked commercial acting work and have always worked as a model on the side.
What helps you book roles, what makes you unique?
My uniqueness comes from being bilingual in German and English as well as being an athlete having been a professional dancer for most of my life. That, in addition to being a trained actress, gives me an advantage when it comes to certain roles requiring athleticism or someone who is able to speak German.
What are some things you have worked on recently?
Last year I had the chance to work with plenty of outstanding talent, including Willie Gault, Affion Crockett, Jessica Moore, Tommy Davidson, Julian Jackson and Stacy Lyles and many, many more.
I have been flown to Nevada to work on a film that highlights the accomplishments of phenomenal women throughout history and I have been shooting videos for a big athletic brand, but I am not allowed to talk about that.
Since you have been an actress and performer for many years – how did the 2020 Pandemic change things?
2020 has changed everything. For a long time the industry was completely shut down, meaning no auditions or projects whatsoever. I was in LA and you weren’t allowed to leave the house. Complete lockdown. Then, auditions slowly started coming back, but no in person auditions, it’s all self tapes now. Meaning you have to record everything and just send the videos. It’s tricky because you have to find someone to be your reader, and you can’t get any input on how to do your reading differently, which you could if you were able to perform your scenes in person. But there has been a trend towards self tapes before the pandemic already. I did have in person auditions since the pandemic, but only for callbacks. Other than that, there’s a strict covid protocole on shoots and testing is mandatory. You can’t grab your own snacks at craft services, you aren’t allowed to touch anything. Cast members have to stay apart from each other and masks have to be worn anytime you’re not filming.
Sounds like a lot of things have changed. What are you looking forward to when it comes to the next year?
I am excited for new projects, I have some great ones lined up. I am hoping for a year of no lockdowns, lots of work and am potentially signing with a new agency, which would be phenomenal.
You are from Austria, do you ever go back home?
Yes I do, I often go home for Christmas, unless, you know, there’s a pandemic or something!
What does it take to get cast in projects?
I wish I could say it’s just talent, discipline and how bad you want it, but a lot depends on luck and being in the right place at the right time. Unfortunately, nepotism is a big problem in the industry, people casting their children, friends or relatives all over the place. It is understandable, who wouldn’t want to help their kids and keep it in the family, but it’s sad for everyone trying hard for years and years only to lose against the ones with the right last name. It can be really disheartening. But I know that me booking things, winning awards at film festivals and having been signed by an agency for many years solely happened because of the effort I put in.
What are some difficulties of being an actress?
Auditions can come at any time, and sometimes they are due immediately so you have to drop everything and start preparing. Many times, you will spend a lot of time and energy on an audition and it won’t lead to a booking. That’s part of the deal. As far as shoots go, days can be very long starting super early and finishing late. Some days are busy, others are not. No week is the same. But it’s all worth it!
What keeps you motivated everyday?
My goals and dreams. All the things I still want to do.
What is your routine ? What do you do in the mornings?
Ideally, I like to get my workout done first thing in the morning. That makes for the best days. To do a good workout I need around two hours, ideally three, and that doesn’t include the shower afterwards. So I don’t always find the time to do it at the beginning of my day, but I try to. Afterwards: coffee.
What’s something to remember when pursuing a career in entertainment?
It’s important to remember that everyone’s path is unique and to enjoy life while chasing your goals. Comparison leads to unhappiness. Unfortunately, I know that very well.
What would you tell your 10 years old self right now?
Don’t worry so much, believe in yourself and take more risks!
How do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope to be happy and successful, with a great career that fulfills me.
Want to know more about Ursula Maria? Follow her on instagram and twitter @ursula_maria_ or check out her facebook page www.facebook.com/page.of.ursula.maria