An interview with Amanda K Morales

Amanda K. Morales’ star is on the rise as she gets set to co-star in Dagger’s Kiss which begins airing online this month via  In the series, Morales stars as Katia.

“Katia is no damsel in distress, which I love," she told me. "In general, the females in the show get to be on both sides of a rescue at one point or another. Katia has a storied past, not all of which I can reveal here, but like most seemingly cavalier heroes, there is a mixture of fragility and strength at work in her. She calls herself 'a woman who makes her own way,' an appropriately cryptic answer to a probing question from Tucky's character [Tucky Williams helms and stars in the show]. I like that response. She has been through tribulation, but it's not over yet and she's still interested in falling in love. Her necessary toughness and traumatic past have not robbed her of that. Being a super-fan of Fantasy/Sci-Fi like Lord of the Rings and Dune, I'm totally psyched about getting to participate in a story that has some of those adventuring elements, but that also focuses on the relationships between these women.”

It is hard to believe the air of professionalism Morales carries concerning her acting career, but then you find out she has always been acting, even as a child and the professionalism makes sense. “Honestly, in my earliest memories, I'm performing," she said. "I've wanted to be an actor since I was a child.  I began in community theatre, doing mostly musicals.  I played a pick-pocket-boy in Oliver and I was hooked. I branched out into regular plays as a teenager and continued along that path, though I still do musicals here and there.  I tried to fight that elusive 'acting bug' by working in corporate jobs, but I've straightened out.  I'm no longer afraid to pursue my oldest love. Now, my primary focus is film.”

Morales cut her acting chops on stage playing such roles as Blanche from A Streetcar Named Desire and Vanda in Venus in Fur.  “…I love both theatre and film!" she said. "They both offer so many different challenges and opportunities for story-telling.  Right now, I'm really interested in film, particularly series work, because I love the idea of being able to tell a story over a period of time and getting to have a character arc that spans over hours of story, rather than the limited time you get onstage.  I love the potential for falling on your face in live theatre.  There is an edge that brings to your performance--a certain spryness you must have. On the other hand, no one can zoom in on your expression. You can't direct a person's focus so acutely on a stage as you can through a lens.  I love both mediums. They both take certain skills and you really have to remember which medium you're working in to be successful at conveying your message. For instance, auditioning for film and television, you'll often be filmed in the process or submit a video audition yourself.  You have to bring everything down.  You're allowed to be subtle. With theatre, you've got to show everything so that one person can experience you the same as one thousand can, yet you can't go about shouting all of your lines and losing the reality.  It's a tricky game.  I love it all.”

Morales also does a large amount of voice work and I was curious as to her process in this medium.  “I try to make any role I play as realistic as possible, no matter the medium," she said. "It's funny, I still tend to move a lot when I'm doing voiceover, even though no one can see me; helps me to stay in the reality of it. I spend some time thinking about how to pitch my voice (and sometimes using a completely different character voice, for instance, with an audio book where I'm playing multiple characters) so that whatever the audience cannot see about that person is present in the voice. I still imagine how my character would walk, carry her/himself, how the physical appearance of the character would affect the vocal style.  You've just got to put all the same things you normally think about for a character into only one sense.  It's a wonderful challenge!”

Even as a model, Morales has found a way to incorporate modeling tips into her acting. “Modeling was really a bi-product of my wanting to perform," she said. "One of the things I've carried from modeling into film and television is the ability to handle extremely long days, that can often get boring in between scenes and shots, and still keep my spirits up.  I also think that having a sense of how you appear to whomever is behind the lens is really important too. You get to know more about your body.  It's amazing how awkward my positioning sometimes feels during a photo-shoot, and yet this won't come across in the photos at all!  It's similar with film. You have to find that balance between believing your own performance, and compensating for the fact that your performance is going to have all of these other layers on top of it--editing can change everything. Modeling has also helped me to relinquish some of the control I prefer to have over my appearance--It's important not to forget that you are fulfilling someone else's artistic vision -- not your own!  And, unless I've written something of my own, this is typically the case with film and TV as well.”




Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

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