Virtual School Victoria (VSV) VCE student, Olivia, has recently finished filming Disney’s Secret Society of Second-Born Royals, due to be released in September.
Landing a plum role as Princess Roxana, Olivia said she had a lot of fun playing a modern Disney princess.
‘The director gave me room to influence the character. I gave her a few characteristics like an English accent, a specific standing pose and a quirky facial expression,’ she enthused.
While Olivia is no stranger to acting – she has appeared in Australian film and TV shows since she was three and is best known for a four-year stint playing Raffy on Home and Away – the challenge of studying virtually is something she has had to learn to master.
‘I’m a very social person. I love people. I love bouncing ideas off others. Virtual learning was initially quite difficult, however I knew I had to adapt to pursue my dream of working as an actor and writer,’ she said.
‘Because my acting work is unpredictable and does require me to travel, I need consistency with my study.’
Olivia said a study routine has helped her become a better virtual student.
‘Every day I wake up, work out, have a coffee, shower and then start school. I set goals for each day and break my study into two hour chunks. I don’t allow myself distractions during these blocks. At the end of each block I take a five-minute break,’ she said.
‘Studying remotely requires a lot of discipline. You are the only one putting pressure on you.’
She mentions that this quality has helped her professionally too.
‘Self-discipline has made me calmer and more organised. I’m better at following up on things now. I was quite flighty when I was younger. Self-discipline has helped me be taken more seriously as a young woman.’
Olivia said her VSV teachers have been incredibly supportive of her juggling work – which can sometimes take her overseas – with study.
‘Normally I let the teachers know when I’m travelling and I coordinate the work with them based around the time zones.
‘I’m so grateful to be studying at such a supportive school where staff never make me feel bad for working – they care about both my study and work.’
While Olivia is very different to shoe-loving Princess Roxana, she notes that both she and the princess are on their own journeys of self-discovery to find their better selves.
‘I’m at an interesting point in my life. I’m about to be 18. I’m really excited about moving from adolescence to becoming a young woman. I can’t wait to become the person I look up to. The woman I want to be.’
Olivia is studying year 12 over two years at VSV.
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