At just 17 years old, Mount Eliza resident Ellie Stafford is representing Australia at the World Monologue Games. She’s placed first at the regionals in the Youth (Main + Sprint) category for Australia and New Zealand in Judge’s Choice, and third in Audience Choice. With theatres and film sets forced to close during the pandemic, more than 3000 actors signed up for the event in its inaugural year – with almost 200 reaching the regional live stream finals and fewer than 70 from 20 countries progressing to the global finals. This means that Ellie has performed the best monologue by a youth in Australia.
“I flew off the couch when I saw my name come up on the TV, I was so happy and thrilled,” said Ellie. “I’m so honoured to be up against the best actors from all around the world. It’s truly amazing.”
The event is judged by senior industry experts from across the globe, comprising successful performers, filmmakers and heads of international acting schools. With 100,000 viewers participating in the qualifiers and regional live streams, event founder Pete Malicki is overjoyed with how the games have been received.
“I have loved to act ever since I was little,” said Ellie. “It has been my dream to become an actress, so any opportunity I get to perform I take. When I saw this opportunity to be shown around the globe, I was super excited. I found the whole experience really incredible. Watching my piece of acting that I had written make it all the way to the global finals was super rewarding and it has instilled a lot of confidence within myself as an actress.”
Ellie admitted to us that she’d always taken centre stage at kindergarten concerts, where she’d sing her little heart out and dance like crazy. Yet she didn’t properly begin acting until she was in Year 5. From there she joined acting classes at Helen O’Grady before moving on to Broadway Academy and taking lead roles in school plays and productions. After realising her passion was for TV and film acting, Ellie moved to Austin Acting Studios, which saw her land roles in three short films, including a lead in the horror short film NYMPH.
“I love that when I act I get to be someone else,” said Ellie. “In this whole different world I get to create in my mind away from reality. My role models would have to be Emma Watson or Millie Bobby Brown as they are both such incredible women and actresses who stand for what they believe in.”
The Youth (Main + Sprint) finals were scheduled to be held on Saturday, October 24, at 9.30pm, with the winners announced on Wednesday, October 28 at 7.30pm. Mornington Peninsula Magazine went to print before the finals, but you can check how Ellie went at https://youtu.be/ycZ-oGolGc8, and make sure you catch her raw and chilling monologue on her Instagram page @elliejstafford