Jana Holkova is an increasingly popular European actress who graduated from a five-year musical and dramatic art program in Bratislava (Slovakia) before starring in several very different TV series. Many of the programs were aired internationally, including ‘Surgery in a Pink Garden’. ‘Child Thieves’, ‘Dr. Ludsky’, ‘Gymnasium’, ‘Men Don’t Cry’ and ‘The Doctors’.
In this very personal and revealing interview, she told us more about her acting achievements.
Jana, can you tell us about your first steps into acting?
My first real contact with the stage was in a childhood drama-art studio in the small town in which I was born. When my best friend and I signed up they were in the middle of a rehearsal for the fairytale, ‘The Small Witch’. The director immediately cast me in the role of ‘forest fairy’. It was magical: I was hidden in the middle of the stage behind a part of the scenery. Everything was in darkness with only one spotlight ready for my entrance.
With just an initial short first sentence I then appeared on stage, backed with a little choreography.
“But in the moment while I was hidden, waiting for my part, I realised that this was the feeling I could not live my life without.”
Ever since then, I decided to devote my life to it. I went to an audition and I was accepted into a Church conservatory in Bratislava, where I studied and ultimately graduated from a five-year ‘Musical and Dramatic Art’ program. But, even before I finished my Master’s Degree, I performed as a guest star and in co-star roles in some of the most popular TV series, such as ‘Surgery in a Pink Garden’, ‘Child Thieves’, ‘Dr. Ludsky’, ‘Gymnasium’, ‘Men Don’t Cry’ and ‘The Doctors’; together with leading roles in various theatre plays, short films and one feature movie, ‘The Candidate’.
Right now, it feels like I’m starting over again. I moved across the world to the US, to a completely different culture and country, where I have had to use my second language (English) full-time and I am also working hard to learn an American accent, so I’ll have a wider range of acting opportunities open to me.
Where do you think is the best place to be as an actor and why?
I feel that the place that I should be right now is New York and that’s why I am here. Having said that, I guess for everybody it is different. It doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone who wants to pursue their acting should move to NYC or LA. I know there are many happy actors in my own country who even moved out from the capital to small towns to be a part of the ensemble in local, small town theatre. I believe everyone eventually finds their own path.
“I may not stay in NYC forever either, but who knows what the future holds?”
What are your best projects to date?
I have been very lucky in my life to meet so many incredible artists and to work with and alongside them in so many different and challenging roles. It’s hard to say what the best projects are because in their own way each of them is ‘the best’ for different reasons. I always enjoy what I am working on and I give it my best. I am very grateful too, particularly as within just a few months of moving to NYC I got the opportunity to sign my first actor’s Equity contract, enabling me to join the union. That’s one recent achievement that I am very proud of.
How did acting change your life?
I wouldn’t say acting changed my life but rather acting has been the lead motivator in my life and is still at the forefront of it. All the people I have met in my life, all the places I have lived, all the things I am doing now, were and are somehow influenced by the fact that I love acting.
Do you have any interesting projects coming up?
I am a very active person. I can’t just stay still without working on something, so yes, I do. There are a few projects lining up. I’ve been speaking with directors and producers about several projects scheduled during the next year but I can confirm that some or all of these projects are likely to happen at ‘St. Luke’s Theatre’ or even ‘The Actor’s Temple Theatre’ in New York City: wait and see, it is going to be an exciting adventure.