Interview: Actress& Model Katerina Vlasenko (L.A.)
Can you tell us a little about you?
I’m a model and actress from Ukraine, live in Los Angeles since 2016. Ever since I was a little kid I performed on stage. First it was lead roles in a kindergarten, then for 7 years I danced ballet. I remember that I lived from performance to performance, that’s how I liked to be on stage. But when I was a teenager I decided dancing ballet is not cool anymore and became a model. I’ve never thought about acting, but it came naturally to me, I graduated from an acting school in my hometown Odessa.
If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
That’s a very deep question actually. I’m sure that all weak qualities that a person could have it’s his hidden power. If you’re able to work on that qualities you’d find new opportunities. So, I don’t want to change anything in me, and not because I think I’m perfect, not at all. But because I want to become a better person than I was yesterday by working on my weaknesses.
How did you start modeling and acting?
At the age of 16 I was discovered by a modeling agent. It led me to a lot of modeling jobs, I don’t know how many kilometers I walked on Runway. I have won a few beauty pageants, worked as a brand ambassador, spokesmodel for many companies. I was modeling for designers, became the face of women’s clothing brands, appeared in magazines. At some point I felt like modeling wasn’t enough for me and I enrolled into an acting school. It was a new world for me! In modeling I always stayed myself, but in acting I had to be someone else all the time. While I was studying I played in a few short films. And I was completely thrilled when I found out that both of them have won awards at different Film Festivals. And also, one of the shorts was shown on the biggest Ukrainian Film Festival. I shot numerous of Commercials, I was a guest star and co-star in very popular Russian and Ukrainian TV series. But if you want to work regularly as an actor, you need to be in a place where the whole Industry is located, and of course it’s Hollywood. I moved to Los Angeles in 2016 and after 2 years I accomplished a lot: I graduated from an Acting Conservatory, I signed with an agent and manager, who by the way found me through my social media. I starred in many short movies and had smaller parts in feature films. I shot more than 10 music videos, lots of Commercials, played a recurring featured role in HBO's Westworld.
What do you think of the work as a model and actress?
As I already said for me it’s two different worlds. Personally, I find modelling much easier than acting. In modeling you need to be yourself, and if you’re comfortable in your own skin you’ll be fine. In acting you always play different personalities. But modeling helped me with acting too, I already knew how to work with camera, had a stage presence. But the most what I like in modeling and acting is meeting wonderful, creative people from all over the world! Especially in Hollywood: a few times I was on set where wasn’t a single American there, only foreign people from different countries, which happened to be on the same set. And of course, I love travelling through work, even if it’s local places. Just two weeks ago I worked as a brand ambassador in San Jose, California.
What is your beauty regimen?
Yoga every morning, cardio almost every evening, dance classes a few times a week. I don’t eat junk food, I prefer to cook at home, so I know for sure what’s in my food. Sleep enough. It’s all normal things to do, nothing extravagant.
What are your personal qualities which distinguish you from others?
I believe that you’re the only one who responsible for your own life and you have to do something to make things happen, don’t waste your life waiting for anything to come. That’s why when I realized I don’t want to be a financier, even though I got my Master’s degree in Economics, I tried different jobs trying to find my passion. And eventually found it in something I already had – in Modeling, but from the other side. I founded my own modeling agency in Ukraine and became a modeling coach. I ran the agency for many years, but my true desire was acting. And when I felt I want to focus on acting more than on anything else, I moved to Hollywood to pursue my acting carrier.
What are your plans for the future?
As you can see from my interview I’m that kind of person that can change everything in one moment. I know what my goals are and now they are all about acting: I’d love to shoot a National Commercial, I want to be a series regular on a TV show, I want a part in a Marvel movie. All my goals are very ambitious, but in the same time I don’t want to stick to it, I think when you’re focusing too much on something you can easily miss new opportunities that Universe sends you. So, I want to stay open for whatever could come to my life.
Recently I’ve been offered to start online Modeling course to teach kids and adults how to be a model. Honestly, I thought that part of my life is over, but it came to me again.
What are some of your favorite experiences so far?
Every time when I’m on set I find something that blow me off: amazing actors, professional crew, atmosphere. I met lots of celebrities: from Justin Timberlake to Anthony Hopkins, Eva Longoria and many others. As a model I’ve done some very cool stuff too: a project with Virtual Reality was an interesting experience, a shooting in a desert literally in the middle of nowhere.
Do you have any advice for those who want to start modeling or acting?
Don’t be afraid to ask people for collaboration. For modeling it’s to find photographers, build your portfolio. For actors I think it’s very important to find an acting school, where you would feel safe to express yourself. Build your resume: work on as many projects as you can, even unpaid like student films, smaller theatres. It all will pay off and you’d feel more comfortable on a bigger set or at audition room.
What do you think of the magazine?
I read many interviews in your magazine and found it absolutely inspiring! When people share their experience they also share their energy. And it amazed me how many talented people live all over the world!