Farrah Aviva is an actress and writer, known for Richard Says Goodbye, Lucifer, Supernatural and more. Farrah is also the founder of the “Bite The Bullet Stories”
1. For the people who might not know you, who are you and what do you do?
My name is Farrah Aviva and I’m an actor and photographer.
2. When did you know you wanted to get involved in the entertainment industry?
I don’t remember a day of my life when I didn’t know that was my ultimate dream but deciding to actually do it took a bit of time. I’m from Kelowna, a small city in Canada, and I didn’t fully understand how the industry worked. I read so many magazines growing up where the actresses they featured spoke about being discovered on the street so I just figured that was the way it worked. As though people were just plucked out of their day-to-day lives and given a film/tv career. So rather than pursue it myself by getting an agent I took part in theatre camps and I even worked part-time as a background actor when productions came to town. Hoping to be ‘discovered’ one day. I didn’t think becoming an actor was a career you could actually go after. So after high school, I enrolled in Fashion Design and moved to New York City for a job. I spent two years working with top fashion brands and constantly meeting celebrities. One day it clicked that the only difference between them and I was that they decided to go after their true dream. They weren’t just ‘discovered’. They had dedicated their lives to acting, trained since they were children and they were determined to have a career in Film/TV. Once I realized this I moved back to Vancouver and decided to start over in an industry I truly wanted to be a part of.
3. How did “Bite The Bullet Stories” come to fruition?
While training to be an actor I began photographing friends and other actors. I fell in love with it. It’s a very intimate experience where you get to know the person you’re photographing quite well. And after years of photographing a variety of people I realized that no matter who it was, each person had a story. Each person had a struggle. And each person had a passion or belief that I found inspirational.
4. What does “Bite The Bullet Stories” mean to you and where do you see it going?
To me, BITE THE BULLET Stories means showing bravery in the face of adversity. Conquering the fear of judgment by opening up with the hopes of inspiring others. My goal is to grow it into a community of people who are like-minded. Who believe that no matter who we are, we’re all perfectly imperfect. That not only do our vulnerabilities make us stronger but they can also help those beside us. I’m in the process of developing it beyond the current social platform it lives on and into what I believe can be a book, a docu-series, as well as speaking events around the world where people come together to hear one another speak and share their experiences.
5. What did you learn about the industry that you can share with aspiring actors, writers, producers, directors?
You have to truly love what you’re doing to succeed. There is so much rejection in this business that if you don’t absolutely love what you’re doing you’ll most likely give up. But the biggest thing I’ve learned is that the rejection is never personal. There are so many factors that go into play when a production chooses their actors and even writers/directors. Putting together a show is a monstrous job. And there are politics behind each decision. There can be mandates that have to be met in regards to hiring people who gain the production tax credits, to making sure casting fulfills diverse representation, to even making sure not everyone has the same hair color. So if you have an audition and you don’t get the part, the reason can even be as simple as you looking too much like someone else that has already been cast. The other thing I’ve learned is that it’s incredibly important to have hobbies and passions that fulfill you while you wait for auditions and bookings. It makes your work better, and it definitely eases the stress of trying to be completely fulfilled by a career path that isn’t always as stable as we’d like it to be. That’s how I found photography and I now truly can’t choose which one I love more.
6. What is the scariest part of an audition?
For me, the scariest part of the audition is hoping I did the script analysis properly. That I’m serving justice to what the writer created in terms of tone, backstory, and performance. There are times when you receive sides to memorize that have almost been completely blacked out and all you can see are your own lines. You usually have less than 24 hours to prepare and you spend a lot of that time trying to figure out what it is they’re looking for. Researching who’s involved and what their past projects have been so you can make an educated guess on what to do. Over time it’s definitely become easier, but I never feel 100% confident that I’ve nailed it before I go into the room.
7. What show could you do for years?
My whole life I thought I’d want to be part of a drama series. But in the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to play more character roles- usually comedic, and I absolutely love it. So I truly can’t say what show I could do forever. I love a variety of genres.
8. What would your dream role be?
I love roles that are so layered they allow me to step out of myself and become unaware of what I’m doing. Something that lets me use my own history of experiences or wild imagination of “what if’s’” to get into character. There’s something so freeing when you tap into a character that is so far removed from who you are that it lifts the pressure of “being you”. So perhaps a type of Tim Burton or Wes Anderson character. Almost anyone Helena Bonham has played. She’s had an incredible career of transforming herself into the most outrageous and compelling characters.
9. What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?
Definitely, BITE THE BULLET Stories. I’ve always strived to combine art with a way to create change, inspire and help others. And this project truly seems to do that. It holds a very special place in my heart, and I look forward to accomplishing even more with it.
10.If you could choose, what three actors would you really want to work with?
Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman and perhaps Steve Martin, or Tina Fey.
11. What are some of your favorite movies or series?
This is always a hard one for me to answer. But the first two that come to mind are MOVIE: Rosemary’s baby, SERIES: The Affair.
12. What are some causes that are dear to your heart and hope to bring awareness to?
Definitely the environment. It’s so crucial that we all do our part. That we educate ourselves about the changes we can make to help ease global warming and the destruction of our oceans. We can’t rely on our politicians or even our education system. So whether it’s deciding to change your diet, or to stop consuming plastic changes need to be made. No matter who you are or what you have in your life, the one thing we share is this planet. We need to look after it and be proactive with our choices.
13. Who are some people you would love to share their “Bite The Bullet Stories”?
I would love to do a story with either Moby or Leonardo Dicaprio because of they’re devoted activism for the environment. I’d also love to do one with Johnny Depp because he hasn’t lived a conventional life but there is something so very human about him. I don’t follow much of what the news reports on his latest struggles, I just find him to be a fascinating person with a life full of experiences, both good and hard.
14. Do you have something to say to the people who support you and “Bite The Bullet Stories”?
It absolutely means the world to me. It touches my heart to know there are so many like-minded people who believe change is possible. Who don’t judge others for their struggles but instead applaud them. The community of people it’s bringing together isn’t something I’ve ever witnessed before, especially on a social media platform. The Internet is famous for spreading hate and negativity. But with BITE THE BULLET Stories people are sharing their most vulnerable beliefs and experiences, and so far it’s only been a positive response of gratitude and encouragement from the people reading it.
Thank you so much to Farrah for agreeing to the interview. She is one of the most hardworking, talented people I know and it has been a pleasure to get to know more about her and Bite The Bullet Stories. You can find Farrah on IMDb, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Whoever feels inspired by Bite the Bullet stories can click on this link to donate and help her grow this wonderful movement.