We haven’t had a #ThisNorthernGirlCan interview for a while but let me tell you this next interviewee was definitely worth the wait. She is a young woman with big ambitions and I just know that you’ll be interested to find out more about her.
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself.
A. Ey up! My name is Ionica Adriana and I’m an actress from Thirsk in North Yorkshire.
Over the last 2-3 years I’ve done a great range of stage and screen work ranging from the Genie in ‘Aladdin’, a police officer, I’m in ITV’s ‘Paranoid’ to music videos with artists such as; Cheryl Cole, Dizzee Rasacal and body doubling for Lily Allen. I’ve enjoyed filming this year for a new feature film;“Schadenfreude” alongside cast members; Steve Sweeney, Martin Serene, Edward Tudor-Pole and narrator, Judi Dench. I’ve attended several red carpet events over the last year and sang/hosted/guest spoken at many live events such as fashion shows, charity events and scratch nights but Thirsk Christmas Lights Performance is my personal favourite. After all, “Home is where the Heart is.
Q. What have you loved about growing up in the North?
A. I don’t think you really appreciate what you grew up with. I didn’t until moving to London. I grew up in the country and I had a very outdoor-sy childhood. I look at 2018 now and the younger generation with social media and I’m especially grateful for not having that in my growing up. I’m a proud Yorkshire lass with strong northern values.
Q. Did you have any challenges growing up in the North?
A. No. I feel I’ve grown up in a time where “anything is possible” and the attitude that if you work for something, eventually, it will happen.
Q. Have you or do you face any challenges being female?
A. Luckily, no. Not that I’m aware of personally but I do see it go on in the acting industry all the time. I think the one thing is the challenges around gender ratios in auditions before the employment even starts. When I auditioned at drama school one of my auditions (for a musical theatre course) had just over 60 girls and 13 boys, 4 girls got a recall that day and 10 boys got a recall and it very much sings the same tune in jobs I go for now – but that I don’t think will ever change. All that said and done and all the things I witness in the industry around me, we live in very exciting and changing times. I’m lucky to have people fighting for those up and coming like myself and giving strength and courage to those starting out to not stand for anything less than equality. There are still huge steps to be made of course BUT change and mindset doesn’t happen over night. If we remain strong and positive I feel the only way to continue is up.
Q. What or who inspired your journey to where you are now?
A. A lot of people, male and female, but not necessarily in the acting industry. People that do what they love for a living inspire me. Be it a teacher or a hairdresser, a dog walker, a parent or doctor. I think if you truly find what you love and talk to those that love what they do it’s a beautiful quality. A lot of the times their journey hasn’t been a smooth one but they’ve had the strength, patience and persistence to pursue it. That, you can’t fake.
Q. What advice would you to give to girls growing up in the North?
A. That in this day and age we have the globe at our fingertips. We can contact anyone in the world and generate work from our sofa; so don’t be pulled down by the stigma of “there’s no work up north”. Choose whatever it is you choose to do and never lose that northern charm!
Q. How do you think we can encourage more young people about the importance of gender equality?
A. Just look around. It’s everywhere, in all industries. It’s a hot topic in so many work places. Listen to what people say, find those that inspire you then find your own strength. Knowledge is power.
Q. Tell us some of your favourite Northern places.
A. Lordstones. Those that will have been there know that the view is just something to die for. Also Whitby, Scarborough and Goathland (Heartbeat country) are all places I visited frequently growing up so have a special place in my heart for no other reason than that I have a lot of memories at those places.
Q. Who are your favourite Northern people (alive or dead?)
A. Hands down Sarah Lancashire. I just think she’s a fabulous actress. I’ve grown up watching her work and whatever she does she does it justice. Also incredible women such as Jill Halfpenny, Maxine Peake, Denise Welsh and Victoria Wood. Again, I have watched them on screen since being young. They stand for important issues, they are incredibly good at their craft and they have had exceptional careers. That’s really what anyone wants as an actress and all these ladies show people how it’s done and done very well.
Q. Explain your love of the North in one sentence.
Q. What would you like to see the #ThisNorthernGirlCan movement do?
A. Just to continue and build on what is already great work. I think that when you talk one sentence can change someone’s whole outlook on life. One person’s mountain may be your molehill. We never know one another’s journey and what may seem like a throw away comment to you can have huge impact one someone else. That alone is an incredible thing.
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