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Talented Teresa Britten

BY FELINO DOLLOSO – Teresa is a singer and actor, originally from Alice Springs.
She studied Music, Education and ARTS (Theatre), completing her studies at the University of New South Wales. It was here where she worked under the direction of Rochelle Whyte and Mark Mitchel in the production of The Memorandum. She then combined her skills in voice and acting with dance at NIDA, training in Musical Theatre under the tutelage of Simon Masterton, Mitchel Butel, Emma Hawthorne and Nicholas Brown. Teresa continues her music training with vocal coach Simon Masterton. She furthered her ON-CAMERA acting skills at NIDA in late 2016, studying Screen Acting with Emma Jackson.
She worked on the development of Jatinga, as part of the Invisible Circus Women’s Festival at Kings Cross Theatre in 2016 where she was invited to play a lead role in the 2017 – sold out – world premier, under the direction of Suzanne Miller for Bakehouse Theatre Company. Thereafter, Teresa has been involved in various short films and content for online and on screen, including guest appearing in short film ‘Girl and Body’, directed by Charlotte Mars (Gayby Baby) and starring alongside Hugh Jackman in QANTAS’ Celebrating Australian Diversity campaign amongst her 2018 endeavours.

Why did you decide to pursue a career as an Actor?

I’ve always been the type of person to use creative imagination in my life to solve many problems. Thinking back as a child, I did this A LOT. Many times it was role playing scenarios or pretending to be someone else. I was a very shy person around those I didn’t really know and I didn’t have much confidence, so I guess I loved the idea of pretending to be another in order to explore and release a part of me that I was too afraid to express around others. I have always been seriously empathetic too. I become severely afflicted by the plight of others’ lives, to the point that I would even cry while watching the toilet paper ad with the cute fluffy puppies in them!! I think this curiosity as an empath gives me inspiration and fuel to the fire when seeking to be in positions of storytelling that truly exist to move people in big ways.

From what age did you know of your interest in the Performing Arts?
I would probably say, from the age of 4 or 5. My friends and I used to perform at family BBQ’s and my uncle, who is a singer, came to live with us when I was around that age, I think. He introduced me to singing lessons, and Le Miserables. Once I saw Leah Salonga, I was hooked! She has been an inspiration to me ever since. I grew up in the middle of nowhere, in a small community called Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory and I thought, if a Filipina could be plucked out of how ever many millions of people for an American show like that, well by damn a little girl in the middle of nowhere could make something of herself with her passion too.

What projects or work have you been involved in Australia and or overseas?
A highlight of my career was playing guitar around a campfire with Hugh Jackman for Qantas’ Diversity campaign a few years ago. But I would have to say the most meaningful projects I have worked on would have to be Jatinga, directed by Suzanne Miller for KXT Bakehouse and Kasama Kita, written by fellow filo Jordy Shea and directed by the wonderful Erin Taylor. Jatinga moved me because it was about the plight of the poor in India, based around a beautifully crafted fantasy land full of song and powerful art, but told the story of how interconnected we are as humanity and how we are not much different to one another. We are literally all in this together.
Kasama Kita felt so wonderfully home to me, and it was powerful because I felt the women portrayed in that show. I felt them because I knew them, and it was beyond wonderful to be able to bring that sense of family to the stage. Go filo’s! We are literally EVERYWHERE in this world – and so underrepresented creatively.
Other projects I smiled upon were a small role in ABC’s The Unlisted with Sean Miguel Perez (also filipino) and being 32 weeks pregnant learning two characters’ script and songs for The Things I Could Never Tell Steven at Limelight on Oxford.

Who would you accredit as having the greatest influence on you and in what you do?
That’s a huge question. My biggest support is definitely my husband, who has encouraged me in this career through the zero dollars and all and is always by my side, but in terms of influence, I would probably put it down to three; whatever I was born with and my parents – even though my mum would definitely rather me having taken the straight and narrow path, my uncle who is a singing teacher and overall inspirational person, and God. I literally never would have ever had the confidence to step out into the unknown to be possibly ridiculed and critiqued without faith that a Higher Power had my back. Jesus is my homie for life.

Who would you select as the most enjoyable person/s you have worked with and why?
Easy answer. My fellow cast mate of Kasama Kita, Monica Sayers. Maybe it’s because we were all Asians in that cast, but there was just such a feeling of being able to be… me. Working with Monica is like working with a close cousin. She knows how to have a laugh and get the job done, and she is not only an inspiring actor, she is the kindest friend.

Any current projects you are currently working on?  
My most recent project was having my second baby and being in lockdown this year, haha! I was blessed to do a little work from home with fellow filipino artist Cap Carter and a major VoiceOver for Pepsi Australia but apart from that – I have been trying to survive lockdown in a major LGA of concern!

What else would you want to accomplish?
My absolute dream role would be Play School, if I’m being honest! I would also love to land a character voice on a kids television show as I have sooo much character to give to any role (ask any of my friends how many times I like to impersonate or create characters on the spot, haha).
If I ever had the opportunity to be on stage with friends, that would be what I want to accomplish. I also want to be able to be there for my kids, and be a present mother, wife, daughter and friend.

What advice would you give to other aspiring Pinoy-Aussie Actors who are keen to establish themselves in the industry?
If you love acting. Just do it any chance you get. This is a small community, believe it or not. Keep saying yes (within reason, don’t forget we’re also navigating Covid and need to protect those vulnerable in our community). Keep your passion alive for your LIFE. Don’t try to be FAMOUS. Fame is not the goal. The goal is to be content at any given moment. To be able to sit; flaws and all, in your own life and say, “I’m here, and I’m still smiling”. Have faith that you are not alone. Reach out when you need some sun to brighten up your day. Look up and keep going darling. You’ve got this xx.

article by Felino Dolloso © October 2021

Teresa Britten
Article by Felino Dolloso