Maxi Blaha graduated from The University of Performing Arts and the Schauspielschule Krauss in Vienna. She is a member of the Wiener Burgtheater Ensemble and many other well-known theatres across Germany and Austria. She has also released 5 Solo-CDs and toured with her jazz/literature programmes all over Europe.
She’s currently in the country on the Australasian tour of Susanne F. Wolf’s play, Soul Of Fire: she fought for peace. This is the story of the energetic peace activist and first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize (1906), Bertha von Suttner.
The work debuted in the Austrian parliament and since then over 50 performances have taken place all over Austria, in Paris, Istanbul, Iran, Oslo, Maribor, Bratislava as well as in the US, Canada and Japan.
Maxi Blaha talks to The Street ahead of her Soul Of Fire: she fought for peace season.
How did you get your start?
I have always dreamed of becoming an artist, I went to see performances at the Wiener Burgtheater & State Opera since I was a child and went to the tests for the acting school there without any fears as I was still very young. I got accepted right away and then studied there. Much later I found out that it is not always so easy… Anyway, I am very thankful for my teachers, and my first Director at the “Wiener Burgtheater“, who gave me my first contract when I was still at Acting School!
Was there ever a point where you thought, ‘Wow, I’ve made it!’?
I suppose it would never be good for me to think that I have made it. I am always planning something new….
What have been the big moments of your career?
The highlights have been:
Being a member for years of the Burgtheaterensemble in Vienna
Being a main part at the Cultural Capital of Europe Theatre Festival in Linz
Playing SOUL OF FIRE in Japan, and doing a public performance in IRAN….
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“man kann viel, wenn man sich nur recht viel zutraut”(by A.Humboldt)
Which means, ‘One should dare most, and will be able to do most’.
What do you wish you’d known when you started out?
I wish I had known how time is fleeting…
How do you get into the head of a new character? Talk us through the process.
I get into a character by reading about the person and testing things out during rehearsal. It’s sort of a trial and error thing, until everything clicks. It helps to have a long rehearsal period. I like to have 6 weeks, at least.
And then there’s something really magical about watching people… You can learn a lot about a person (or people in general) by just observing.
Are you superstitious? Is there a process that you always like to go through before stepping out on stage?
I’m VERY superstitious! I knock on wood. I don’t whistle in a theatre. I don’t eat/drink on stage…
We say TOI TOI TOI before a premiere to ward off bad luck.
What’s inspiring you creatively at the moment?
I’m currently travelling around the world. I’m endlessly inspired by watching my 5 year old son Nepomuk and talking to my husband Franzobel, who is a fantastic writer.
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