Creativity Spotlight: Gina Ruysen
Our Creativity Spotlight series features advice on artistic practice, inspiration, and a glimpse into the worlds of artists working in a variety of disciplines.
Meet Gina Ruysen, an actress and all around talented human. She plays Kate in our production of Friday Night Love Poem.
"I find my friends very inspiring, not only in the work that they create, but also the other non-work-related pearls of wisdom they have about life, families, and generally being a person navigating the craziness of this world."
Tell us about yourself
I’ve wanted to be an actor since my seminal role of Daisy the Cow in Jack and the Beanstalk aged 4. After doing the “sensible” thing and first getting my English Literature degree at Leeds Uni I started applying to drama schools. Four gruelling years later, after many recalls, first stages, final stages, and rejections I got into the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in 2015.
Since graduating I have worked at the Charing Cross Theatre, Camden People’s Theatre, Southwark Playhouse and most recently in the independent feature film Boiling Point starring Stephen Graham. I believe that the arts are an invaluable way of allowing people to engage with their emotions and explore different aspects of what it is to be human, and I feel very grateful to be contributing to this in my own way. Alongside acting I’m also a yoga teacher and I’ve just started learning the guitar, still very much a beginner but I’m excited to work towards my dream of becoming the next Dolly Parton. Watch this space.
What does your creative practice like?
I’m pretty standard in my approach to acting roles. There’s a lot of script analysis involved; looking at what the character says, what others say about them, what’s going on between the lines etc. I like to do things like actioning, through lines, circumstances, and then basically throw that all out the window and go with my gut! Collaboration is also really important to me; I love to hear what other people have interpreted about a character I’m playing and generally throw lots of ideas about between us and see what sticks. I am a firm believer that two (or many) heads are better than one.
How do you stay inspired?
I find my friends very inspiring, not only in the work that they create, but also the other non-work-related pearls of wisdom they have about life, families, and generally being a person navigating the craziness of this world. If I’m ever feeling uninspired a quick chat with any of them will sort me right out. I also love reading fiction and when I’m truly immersed in a great read, I find that to be a wonderful bit of escapism from where I can start to build my inspiration back up again.
What advice would you give to other creatives?
It’s a bit of a cliché but it’s a marathon, not a sprint. It really is. Just keep plugging away and good things will come.
What is the best advice you've received?
You being you is not only wonderful, it’s enough. Comparing yourself to others is pointless and unhealthy and as soon as you do this you take your eyes off the prize and it’s only you that will suffer.
PLUG TIME! What are you working on at the moment?
Having just finished working on Friday Night Love Poem with Crossline I’ve got a little bit of a break coming up. I’m always chipping away writing my own bits and pieces for theatre, and obviously that Dolly Parton dream won’t come true all by itself!
To stay up to date with Gina's work, here are her handles: