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Behind Closed Doors with Claire Dewar



Movie Marker Magazine went behind closed doors with Australian actress Claire Dewar to spill the tea on her starring role in the Christmas play “The Gift of The Magi” for the Holidays.

Welcome to Movie Marker Claire! Tell us a little about yourself.

Thank you! I am Claire an actress originally from Australia. I grew up by Moreton Bay near Brisbane. From a young age I took drama lessons and began working in theatre productions. It didn’t take long to catch the acting bug. After graduating high school, I chose to further my education and hone my acting skills at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts. I was grateful for my time there as working hard and showing my ability earned me a position in the Academy’s Los Angeles Company for 2022-2023.

Congratulations, that sounds exciting.

Yes, it really was. I was given the privileged opportunity to appear in many plays and films as well as taking on vital roles behind the scenes. It helps to be motivated in fulfilling your dreams and of course utilizing the skills I have experienced along the way was crucial.

That is so important, and now you are preparing for your role in “The Gift of The Magi.” What is the play about?

Thank you, so “The Gift of the Magi” was first published by O. Henry in 1905 and this play was a rendition by Helen Bolgers. It is a play within a play set in modern times with Mr. Henry telling the story of the Gift of the Magi. Without giving the story away, it is about Della and Jim who are a young married couple who want to buy Christmas presents for each other but do not have the money to spend on gifts. It is a lovely Christmas show and teaches us a valuable lesson about loving, caring for others and the act of gift giving.

I play the role of Alex, a bit of a sassy character. It is definitely fun to portray someone who is not like me.

As an actor you have to morph into character even when it is not like your own, so how are you preparing for the role?

Initially, we had a week of zoom rehearsals before going into the theater. We read through the play on zoom and talked about the various relationships between all the characters. It is always hard to develop cast relationships over zoom so it was wonderful to finally get into the theater and meet everyone in person, grow together as a cast and finally bring a delightful story to life for audiences.

Alex was a younger person in her late teenage years, she was a bit sassy and cheeky in nature, nothing like my personality. To help me morph into Alex, I tried to remember all the cheeky people I have met and brought my fun, playful side of my personality to Alex. Being young, I could associate with Alex’s age and the challenges she was going through, her relationship with Mr. Henry and her friends.

Costuming, a set, lighting, sound, and a cast of wonderful actors, each playing their part in telling a magical story is a really special experience for actors and I hope audiences too.   

Some fun facts are that the play is being held at The Helen Bolgers Theater in Long Beach, California, which is supposedly haunted by Helen Bolgers. During rehearsals one day I was standing backstage waiting for my cue, when the curtain blew, and the table shook but I didn’t feel any breeze and no one else was around. I thought, well that’s a bit odd. I wasn’t scared but I did wonder whether Helen was in the theater not only watching over her theater but also over this production of her rendition of the play. I’m not an overly superstitious person but this was a little odd and it did make me a little suspicious.

Oh wow! How did you get involved?

Following my performance in “Monster” with Long Beach Shakespeare Company, I received an email from them inviting me to audition for “The Gift of The Magi.” It looked like a good Christmas play that I really wanted to be involved in, so I auditioned and was offered the role of Alex.

How can people see the play?

The show is at the Helen Bolgers Theater in Long Beach from 24 November and 10 December – tickets can be found here:

What’s been the pros and cons of pursuing your acting career?

One of the pros to an acting career is every day is different. I enjoy meeting and working with new people and the friendships that are formed. No two days are the same and I can portray doing any job in the world or be whoever I want to be. One day I can be playing a Disney Princess and the next day I can be playing a Doctor.

The biggest con of acting is probably the rejection. Being an actor there is a lot of rejection and it is not always easy in this industry. You can apply for over 20 jobs in a day and only hear back from 3 or 4. I try not to let that rejection get to me since I know there are hundreds of people applying for the same roles as me. I always try to stay positive about life and not get affected by negativity. Persistence, patience, hard work, and determination has gotten me to where I am today, and I believe these are some of my strongest qualities.

Aside from the play, do you have any upcoming projects in 2024?

Yes! In the new year I will be starting pre-production of “Much Ado About Nothing” that will be performed at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in June 2024. I’m working as the Stage Manager and with Nick Brovender, the director-producer. I’ve also been working on a number of films including something for Netflix and Sony Productions, that will be released next year but unfortunately, I cannot talk too much about them yet – so stay tuned!

Thank you, Claire! How can people keep up with you online?

It’s best to check out my IMDb, Instagram and Website. Thank you so much for having me!

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