Actress Ariel Roberson began her acting career at the age of eleven when she was cast as Cinderella in her fifth-grade play. She took a break to focus on music throughout the rest of grade school. She has a background in photography and film. In college she was cast in “Arsenic and Old Lace” and as Marilyn Monroe, and a small part in the play “Time of Your Life,” amongst other projects. She attended Irene Ryan in Amarillo, Texas.
Now residing in New York Ariel has studied at The Barrow Group theatre and studied with acclaimed instructor Bruce Ornstein. She has been cast in multiple immersive events.
In January and February of 2020, she assumed the role of a boogie man in a one-act play titled “Monster Plans” at The Secret Theatre in Long Island City, Queens.
Ariel regards small parts as important because their impact on the audience can be massive and help shape the narrative of a story, if executed properly. She recently discussed her career and her hopes for the future via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you discover your love for the arts and why do you gravitate towards theater?
Ariel Roberson (AR): It was easy for me and when I couldn’t connect to people I could always connect to writing, painting, and making people laugh. I love theatre and performing, my cousin was really into acting growing up and my brother played guitar in a band- I always wanted to be like them.
MM: You started out acting in school at age eleven, so how did you prepare for the role of Cinderella?
AR: I just memorized the lines… the acting part came easy. Not to toot my own horn, hahaha, but it was incredibly natural. Memorizing the lines was unnatural and what I initially struggled with though I’m better at remembering now…it’s kind of nice all I had to do was grunt when I played a boogey(wo)man in “Monster Plans.”
MM: You were also interested in music when you were growing up, so what were your favorite styles and how, if at all, did they impact your acting?
AR: I liked pop music, and Selena but I also listened to Korn. I loved classical music and started playing that in school, I played the flute for about ten years. As a teenager I really liked punk rock. I liked the attitude and the high energy not only of the music but the culture. My mother raised me to be very classical in my personal style and I sort of needed punk rock as the extreme opposite. Music helped shape my acting, it taught me breath control, and how to stretch my empathetic capacity from a classical base to a punk rock edge.
MM: How much did your childhood in Louisiana influence your creative drive?
AR: There’s such a soul emanating from Louisiana and I’m very proud to be from there. Thanks to my mother I had, for the most part, lots of creative freedom. Growing up she decorated my room initially but, when I got a certain age, she let me paint my walls and I used them as a canvas for how I was feeling. Would also decorate with lighting, black lights, Christmas lights, disco balls…Having a mother like mine is what influenced my creative drive.
MM: What made you decide to move to New York and has it been tough to make a living here?
AR: I’ve been pretty honest while living in New York. New Yorkers and other good people pick up on that and will believe in you if you believe in yourself. So, no, it hasn’t been hard.
MM: You’re also a photographer, so what are your favorite subjects to shoot?
AR: I like shooting other artists. They’re not afraid to show out for the camera. Though sometimes I enjoy a challenge. Some people really don’t know how to act and the photo session becomes an interview to make them comfortable.
MM: How do you go about finding acting gigs and what are your favorite types of characters to play?
AR: Backstage, mostly. I was taking acting classes and that helped. I also have friends that are filmmakers, I’ve mostly just been in the back thus far, but I’m ready to move forward and be in the front.
MM: What’s your favorite book, movie, and/or TV show of all time?
AR: Anything by Augusten Burroughs; he’s a wonderful mix of crass and intelligence! My favorite movie is “Interview with the Vampire” and “The Tenth Kingdom” is my favorite show.
MM: What are your ultimate career goals?
AR: BE A BOSS!
MM: What projects are coming up for you soon and is there anything else that you would like to mention?
AR: I want to create a zine soon and fill it with photos of people in love. That could be me manifesting my own relationship status, haha. I can’t really think of anything else.
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To learn more about Ariel Roberson, visit her official website. She can also be followed on Instagram via @jell0beens