Interview with Sibongile Modimoyeng!!

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  1. Did you like acting since childhood?

Well, first and foremost I knew I had to be creative while growing up. I enjoyed dancing, drawing in addition to favoring Arts and Culture subject. When growing up I used to play with my friends, and I was told that i liked entertaining people. I enjoyed mimicking personalities and that made people to like me dearly.

2. When did you decided that you want to become an actor?

My schooling was from grade 1 until matric with no intentions of furthering my studies despite been talented in “ACTING” due to lack of knowledge about the industry. Honestly speaking, I only decided to become an ACTOR when I was still in matric in 2013. I knew I need to choose something that I am passionate about and that will make me happy every time I do it. I chose ACTING and that was the GREATEST decision I had ever made in my life.

3. Tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Sibongile Modimoyeng, and I am 27 years old. I hail from Sebokeng, which was formerly known as Vaal Triangle. I am from a family of beautiful, talented, and educated women as can be evidenced by my mother and my young sister. I attended Primary School at Park Ridge Primary School whilst my Secondary school was at Suiderlig Hoerskool.

I relocated to Johannesburg in 2015 to pursue my passion for acting. I enrolled at AFDA (JHB) where I received my Higher Certificate in TV, Film and Entertainment Production in 2016. I later registered with City Varsity School of Media and Creative Arts in Braamfontein where I acquired my Diploma in 2017. To date I am on the verge of sharpening and honing my skills through creative opportunities that comes my way.

4. What do you like about acting and or Film Making the most?

ACTING help Me tell real and lively stories to the world. I am skilled in a way that I can play multiple characters with different personalities. I enjoy relating to a story, and when watching a theatrical play or a film I get absorbed by the play to a point of making me feel as though I am also playing a character in the play and ask myself questions about what i would do if i were a character in a particular situation?

I believe that a story should be conversational, which means when making a short film/film ONE need to be able to connect with their audiences. I advise Producers/Creators to always keep their (target) audience in mind when creating a story because this is the only way to make the film a success.

5. Can you introduce yourself to our audience?

I am Sibongile Modimoyeng, and I am a Professional Actress, an aspiring Filmmaker, and an Entrepreneur in making.

6. When did you start acting? What got you started?

I started ACTING when I was still studying at “City Varsity in the School of Media and Creative Arts”. What got me started was the “INTENTION to proving myself wrong as i had conflicting ideas about my passion. There is a story about my first class at City Varsity: there was a brief for us to prepare a Monologue through which to showcase our talent to the Lecturers.

I did not do well with the presentation of the monologue because i had completely forgot my lines. That was my very first-time experiencing stage fright, and to date that experience made me bolder and confident to a point where I don’t want to ever experience something like that again. It is just crazy how that experience is more like my motivational move.

7. Do you like something other than Acting?

Yes, I am now into Scriptwriting, and it’s something that I want to major in and master in the near future.

8. Why did you choose Acting and or Filmmaking?

I am a story-teller who uses her body to tell real life stories and using my body as an instrument to connect with the audience and their world. I chose ACTING because of my UNIQUE ability to portray different characters who appears in different ways: (physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually). I am confident that through the role that I play I will be able to CONVEY the INTENDED message across to the audience, and it will help them to face their challenges head-on and to emerge motivated.

9. What attracted you to begin a Career as an Actor and or a Film Maker?

I always loved the idea of seeing myself on Stage and/or on TV Screen in addition to being able to tell my stories in my own way suited to the audience. Just imagining a story, writing it down, and transforming it into a beautiful masterpiece.

10. How are you feeling now after getting the “Ishashalazi” Award?

It made Me feel worthy, and it gave Me an assurance that I am on the right path. It boosted my confidence level and made me aware of how talented I am, and that I should never give up regardless of the challenges.

11. Who are your biggest influencers

My influencers are the creative people across the world, from whom I have learned and been inspired by their creativity ,more especially because in the acting industry we learn about diversity. And telling stories differently.

12. How and when exactly did you realize you had the passion for acting?

I realized that I have a passion for acting when I performed a personal piece for my lecturer Ntombi Nkuna, who helped and molded Me into the ACTRESS I am today. It was an EMOTIONAL PIECE that helped Me discover how talented I was in the manner that I PRESENTED the MONOLOGUE.

13. Which role that you have played you liked the most?

The role that I liked the most is a story written and directed by Charlie Samson (A Legend in a Making) called TOXIC which is airing now on “YouTube” under “KWETHU ARTS”. I played a CHARACTER called Amanda and her ROLE in the story was just about SCREAMS of a woman who is drowning in a TOXIC relationship because of “All in the name of Love”, but soon realizes that love is never enough and knowing your worth is the sweetest medicine to knowing what’s best for you.

14. Tell us something about your appearances on Mzanzi Magic Movies & Small Screen Appearances?

This year around June I had an appearance for a Mzanzi Magic movie called PHAKATHI EGOLI, brilliantly written and directed by Thabiso Mkhize, starring Trevor Gumbi and Siyabonga Twala where I played a mean RECEPTIONIST who is does not CARE about the visitors, but about seeing herself at home. It was a drama-comedy, and I enjoyed every part of it.

15. What, according to you, is the best part of your work?

The best part of my work is waking up every morning and knowing very well that my work doesn’t feel like a job. The greatest feeling ever!

16. Tell us about the toughest part of your work? And why do you think it is tough for you?

The toughest part about my work is not getting stable employment, and the stress of getting a gig after a gig which is a bit frustrating, but I completely understand because I signed up for that. That’s why it is important for me to have different sources of income by creating or expanding my skill set in this industry.

17. If anything, you would be asked to change about your work, what would be that one thing?

One thing that I would change about my job is the “lack of trust in this industry”, but since this is a competitive industry it makes sense. I have learned to grow and never repeat the same mistake again.

18. The entertainment industry is said to be full of stress and pressure; what do you do to tackle the pressure that comes with your work?

I believe that my journey is mine alone, and I should be able to be patient with my success and never compare myself with anyone. With that being said, I always have a “GOAL in ACTION”, and I always make sure it is set and done, and that keeps me going. I always strive to IMPROVE my CRAFT every day, which is to take care of my mental health and wellbeing.

19. Which is your best role so far?

The best role so far as mentioned is Amanda from TOXIC web series on YouTube.

20. Describe your last experience on stage.

In 2018, I attended Duma Ndlovu Academy for a year, and my last experience on stage was performing my graduation piece where I performed a novel called “A RAISIN IN THE SUN”, a play by Lorraine Hansberry, altogether with Bongie Khotso, Thabiso Mkhize, and Percy Mbanjwa.

21. What was your longest-running role on stage?

My longest-running role on stage was when I performed “The Kaffirs”, written and directed by Charlie Samson, it was a 60 minutes long piece and I played the CHARACTER named Lisa at The National Arts Festival in 2017.

22. Do you have experience ACTING in Television or Film?

Yes, I do the movie is called PHAKATHI EGOLI and it aired on Mzanzi Magic in June 2021.

23. What is the first thing you do to research and approach a role?

I research the character’s background and their influencers (supporting characters) regarding their personalities/ interests. This gives me a clear foundation on who the character really is and that helps me as an ACTOR to play around with different emotions and to understand the core of the character.

24. What experience do you have in developing accents for specific roles?

The experience that I have regarding developing accents was for “The Kaffirs” and I had to do a colored accent for Lisa’s role.

25. Are you flexible enough to work on short notice as a stand-in? How quickly can you assume a new role?

I would like to believe that I am flexible enough. The role Lisa for “The Kaffirs” I did not audition for it. I was an understudy for at least 2 weeks, it was a challenging role because 1st I had to improvise my whole dialogues with the other actors, 2nd I had to develop a Colored accent, 3rd I had to be on beat with my jokes because it was a theatrical drama-comedy.  And to wing this role made me realized how much potential and talent I have after all you can never teach anyone that.

26. Are there things you want to do other than Acting?

Other than acting I am in the works of building and strengthening my Media Production Company called “LEOZAC PICTURES, this baby of mine will help me tell my own stories from start to finish and give potential creatives equivalent opportunities to tell their own stories too.

27. What are some of the difficulties of the acting business?

I have experienced a lot of difficulties and from those experiences, the one that stands out is a whole entire idea being wrongfully stolen from me. From drafting to how it should be executed-. So, my advice to young creatives out there like me is to copyright, copyright, and copyright your work.

28. What’s challenging about bringing a script to life?

Well, I don’t have any experience in this, but what I would like to believe is writing a script that is too complex and that is generally not involving the audience emotionally will make your story unsuccessful.

29. What is your reaction to the people, who mimic you?

One word clownery. Ha-ha its crazy how people who really know me gets to mimic me, “Insanely Funny”.

30. List some of your accomplishments in the field of Acting.

Wow! Where do I even begin? Winning the “Ishashalazi Awards” for the Kaffirs, being part of the best-production for The National Arts Festival in 2017, doing “The Kaffirs” rehearsal with Agus Gibson – the Iconic South Africa Film and TV Director, Co-Writer for numerous documentary series and TV Shows, being a Lead Actress for TOXIC Web Series and honestly working with GREAT and GENIUS actors and actresses in my field of work.

31. Describe your most challenging role to date.

I am not sure that I understand this question. HAHA

32.Where do you see your career in five years as an Actor?

Honestly, life is unpredictable to try and read where will you be in 5 years but surely, I believe that my ACTING Career would have had a breakthrough and I will still be seen on Local TV Screens and Stages, while my media company is operating successfully for it to produce incredible real-life stories. But most importantly I will still be happy and grateful for the decision I took of being an ACTRESS.

33. What is your strength as an Actor?

My strength is the EMOTIONAL moments I bring to life and STILLNESS in every moment of the SCENE. Also, the focus and consistency of the character.

34. How do you rehearse a scene if the other ACTORS you need to interact within the scene are not available?

I always learn my lines first and once that’s done, I learn their lines too. So, I am aware of when it my turn to say my lines. This helps me to flow through my DIALOGUE with other ACTORS. As well as building up obstacles to evoke emotions.

35. Where do you go to Practice Loud Vocal Exercises?

The safest space to do that is in my bedroom.

36. Who do you consider to be your ACTING role model whose Career you would like to emulate, and Why?

If not Thuso Mbedu, I don’t know who else. She is a remarkable young drama actress who is an Emmy Award Nominee (now that speaks volumes to me). With her talent and passion, she always channels her extraordinary emotions without a miss and executes her roles always. She is such a humble soul but a beast in every role she gets. Surely, a star was born and for me learning from someone like this is the greatest achievement of all.

37. What techniques do you use to create a believable character?

Stanislavski System – the “art of experiencing”. Where the actor channels himself in the character’s conscious thoughts and that helps the ACTOR to be activated and less- controllable coming to psychological processes such as emotional experience and subconscious behavior whether it is systematically or indirectly. This really helps me to become more of the character and believable too.

38. When did you first realize that you want to work in the entertainment industry?

I first realized when I want to work in the entertainment industry the moment, I chose to study to become a Professional Actress in 2015.

39. When did you realize that this is the field that you would want to explore?

Well, when I noticed how broad this field is and how everything connects to one thing. I can either be behind the scenes, be in the limelight or both. And I must say I prefer both.

40. How do you prepare in advance for a role?

I do a brief reading of all the character’s backgrounds, read through the whole script just to get a better understanding of the character’s goal. This helps me as an actor to know who I am dealing with emotionally and the obstacles at hand. Then I start being creative and play around with the script, as I continue to discover my character bit by bit.

41. How difficult it is to establish yourself in the film industry?

It is hard to establish yourself in the film industry because, 1st you compete with experienced actors, 2nd you need to build up your brand, and it’s sad because social media plays a very big part of your success and talent is never enough. But like all industry, there is competition and you always need to prove yourself and within that process. I always tell myself fame comes easy but never greatness, so I need to keep on pushing every day because “Rome was not built in a day”.

42. You are involved in almost every aspect of a Filmmaking, be it Film Writing, or Producing or Acting, or Directing, which one do you like the most?

I am more involved in ACTING because that is what I majored in and that’s my first love (passion) right there.

43. Describe your ACTING STYLE?

My ACTING STYLE is diverse. I love challenging myself and trying different CHARACTERS. I feel like that makes me grow as an ACTOR.

44. How do your friends treat you after you became a CELEBRITY? 

I have a long way to be considered a CELEBRITY, I’m an upcoming ACTRESS and my friends have always supported my success from day one. They can never treat me otherwise because I do believe that title “CELEBRITY” can never change who I am but would change my lifestyle.

45. Which fictional character would be the most exciting to meet in real life?

It must be Jay Gatsby from the novel “The Great Gatsby” played by Leonardo DiCaprio. You must love this guy!

46. What was your motivation behind a successful ACTOR?

That my journey can never be compared to others. That I have something that someone out there is looking for. And giving up is not in my vocabulary.

47. When you decided to be an ACTOR, did your family support you?

Yes! Yes! Yes! My mother supported me 100%, she sacrificed so much for me to be in the best media and art schools. She did not really understand this industry, but she believed that I was born to be a star. I am sure now she sees the fruits that are starting to be realized.

48. Have you progressed in your ACTING Career as you have expected?

Well, this year must be the peak of my progressing acting career. I did not expect it to go this way, but I always had faith that something will come through.

49. How important is developing a personal style when it comes to ACTING ?

Well, I would say MENTAL HEALTH is more important than PERSONAL STYLE. Yes, you do need to be looking the part but if you’re not emotional, psychological, and physically fit then there’s no progress in your acting career.

50. You are also a Director; can you share with us some of your experience as being a Director? How was the transition for you from being an ACTOR to a DIRECTOR?

It is in my future list to become a director and tell my story through my vision.

51. What, in your opinion, is the most important quality in a Film Director?

I would say leadership skills as well as knowledge of the media production and constructive communication.

52. You are a creative person; how has creativity impacted your life? 

Being a creative person makes me see the world through a different lens. Sometimes, my creativity is so complex that it makes it hard for an ordinary person to get but that’s the pros and cons of being creative that you should know that not everyone will ever understand or like your ideas.

53. Entertaining people is the most difficult task; how did you become interested in this line of work?

I have never encountered such because I am always true to myself and as authentic as I am it makes it easier for people to like me or even get entertained for that matter.

54. You’re a multi-talented artist with a knack for both Acting and Film Making. What brings you more joy, acting or film making?

I should say acting because my responsibility is to bring the story to life and that is the best joy ever to know that the message was brought across for someone out there who needs it.

55. Tell us about somebody you look up to; a person who has shaped the way you think and behave?

It is my mother; she plays a huge part in life to the woman I am today. I am such a strong, talented, intelligent woman because of her given daily wisdom in my life and she continues to mold me in becoming a better person in life. I could write a whole novel just talking about the great influence of my mother in my life.

56. How has the depiction of violence changed in movies from the ’90s?

The 90’s movies concerning violence have definitely laid a foundation for movies that we watch today. From serial killers to blockbusters movies, it created a culture of being part of the filmmaker’s lovers, it was epic to watch an action movie even through a black and white TV because of how captivating it was to watch all of that fight scenes or explosions turned viewers into film fanatics till this day.