• The Actors Temple

Precious Little Talent?

10 Questions with Alumni Marta Kane

We talk Meisner, Middle child syndrome and Making her own work!

Why did you choose to become an actor?

Middle child syndrome. I kid! I’ve always wanted to tell stories and move

people - as a kid I spent hours imagining characters, stories and playing them

out in my head. Often I felt like I had more empathy than most of my peers,

almost too much for my own good, so I turned to books and writing to protect

myself and lived in my imagination. But I wanted the stories I was reading and

writing to come true and actually happen, which led me to acting. I think

performing finally gave my sensitivity an outlet (and probably saved me from

a psychiatric ward…)

What has been your most challenging acting role and why?

The title role in a short period film Lula, where I play a pregnant woman in

1944 Poland who has to choose between saving her unborn child or her

husband. There were technical things, like having to learn German

phonetically (as I’d never spoken it before) and portraying a pregnant woman.

There was also the fact that Lula was a true story, which brings about its own

challenges when trying to portray a real-life (and still living) character

truthfully. But the biggest challenges were emotional, getting to quite dark

places and staying in them for numerous takes. Having a super supportive

cast and crew helped make these challenges easier.

Actors Temple Alumni Marta Kane

You recently appeared in ‘Precious Little Talent’, what inspired you most

about your role?

I love that Joey’s a survivor. The sheer amount of sarcasm and negativity that

come out of her mouth could make you think she’s given up on trying to

improve her - it might seem - failed life. But despite her demeanour she is

constantly on the lookout, constantly searching for that tiny thing that will

make tomorrow a little bit better than today. She never loses hope and it’s her

grit that ultimately transforms her from a girl into the woman she is by the end

of the play.

Do you have a pre-show ritual for nerves?

I make sure I’m warmed up - physically and vocally. Feeling prepared to go

on stage helps calm the nerves. I also warm up emotionally - if I’ve spent the

whole day hustling to pay my rent, walking around a city as lonely as London

and generally putting on a brave face to fit into the modern society I need to

take all the armour off before going on stage in the evening. I take time in

silence to connect to whatever I’m feeling that day, touch on the nervousness

and remind myself that I’m here for genuine connection with another human

being - my scene partner.

What brought you to The Actors’ Temple?

I had a very brief introduction to various acting techniques from one of my

tutors at Goldsmiths College in 2013 and Meisner was the one that somehow

clicked with me. I did my research and found an Introduction Course with Tom

Radcliffe, Sandy Meisner’s student, at The Actors’ Temple. That week long

course was a life- and career-changing experience. I wished I could dig

deeper and do a full two-year programme but at the time they were only

available in America. Luckily, a few weeks later the Temple announced that

they were going to start a full Meisner training course and I signed up straight


If you could play any character- who would it be and why?

Luckily, I just got a chance to play one of them - I had wanted to play Joey in

Precious Little Talent for the bigger part of four years. I think our personalities

are quite similar with one major difference - Joey grew up speaking her mind

and not caring whether she hurts others in the process while I’ve been guilty

of bottling things up and people-pleasing. I knew it would be eye-opening to

experience what it’s like to be on the opposite end of the spectrum.

There’s a lot of things about Joey I find familiar, for example her constant vibe

of ‘I’m not enough’. It’s so bad that the thought of someone liking her makes

her uncomfortable. I’ve been there, I get it. It’s hard to let someone love you

for who you are when you don’t like you. As for the future, I love playing women whose vulnerability makes them stronger. I’d love to delve into the character of Helena in Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, or someone enigmatic like Natalie Dormer’s Anne

Boleyn in The Tudors.

What motivates you?

Knowing that I can help people in the audience feel acknowledged and

understood. After one of the screenings of Lula a gentleman who works with

Holocaust survivors told me through tears that we did their stories justice.

During the Precious Little Talent run I’ve heard audience members who had

lost someone to dementia (which the play deals with) saying they could relate

to Joey’s pain. It’s those moments I remember the most and they spur me on.

I want to create art that makes people feel less alone.

Was there a reason you decided to start producing your own work?

I’m not really a ‘sit around and wait’ kind of person - I believe in creating your

own opportunities. If I didn’t, I never would have moved from Poland to

London. I know this business doesn’t always allow you to play the characters

that you want to portray, often for superficial reasons, so I choose to produce

projects that I might not have the opportunity to do otherwise - because I’m a

brunette, or too ‘girly’ to play a masculine thug, or too Polish to play an

English girl on an off-West End stage.

If you could write a letter to your younger self, what would you say?

You are enough. Nothing and no one can change that. Also, stop

daydreaming about getting a fringe, it’s a bad idea.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about training with The

Actors’ Temple?

Try it. You’ll know if it’s for you within the first week - and if it resonates with

you as much as it did with me, then you’ll be reaping the benefits from it for

the rest of your career.

Marta Kane is an actress and producer based in London. Since studying theatre at

Goldsmiths College and finishing her Meisner Technique training at The Actors

Temple she has worked on numerous projects, both on stage and screen. Her

portrayal of the title role in the period drama Lula has earned her a Best Actor in a

Female Role award at the 2017 Richard Harris International Film Festival. Marta

recently finished a three-week run of Ella Hickson’s play Precious Little Talent at The

Courtyard Theatre in London and her latest short film, The Easy Lift, is due to be

released in 2019.

To find out about any of our courses please email bookings@actorstemple.com

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