Since I was five, it has always been my dream to act and come to Hollywood… My mom said only one in a million have a career in acting and I said, why do you think I am not that one person.Anna Voitenko, LSTFI Alumna
From a very young age, Anna Voitenko, LSTFI Alumna from Ukraine, dreamed of becoming an actress. She wants to “be the first Ukrainian woman to win an Oscar,” and she is well on her way. After finishing at The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute Los Angeles, Anna moved back to Ukraine. Since returning home, she has booked a number of gigs, including an Israeli TV show titled Ron, that is “popular in Israel and France.” They filmed in English, which was helpful for Anna as she would like to return to the United States to act in the future. “Everyone was so professional… the work days were very long. Shooting started at 10 AM and finished at 3 AM. I was so tired, but so happy.”
Time at Strasberg
Anna did the One-Year Conservatory Program and now comments that Strasberg is her “favorite place.” “It was the healthiest part of my life,” said Anna. “It’s important to always be ‘in shape’ with acting,” and Strasberg gave Anna the tools to be an actor who is ‘in shape’ and well disciplined. For auditions, “relaxation really helped me not to be nervous… I used what I learned [at Strasberg] and I booked it,” referring to her Ron audition among others.
While at Strasberg, she took many Film Combat classes and this puts her at an advantage in Ukraine. “Not a lot of girls know how to do that in Ukraine.” She also sharpened her film acting skills in classes with David Salsa. “He showed me who to play sincerely… he told me ‘you can! You can!'”
Anna would love to return to Los Angeles at some point, but right now she is developing her career (and beauty brand) in Ukraine. She thinks fondly of her time and experiences at Strasberg, “everyone who works there is so professional and now it is my job to use [the Method] in my work.”
Love & Loss: Beauty for All
Since returning to Ukraine, in addition to acting and auditioning, Anna has created her own beauty brand called Love & Loss. “Love because you should love yourself and loss because you lose self-doubt.” The brand was inspired from Anna “wanting to create something natural… that isn’t so popular in Ukraine.” Her message is that everyone is beautiful- “All girls are beautiful… women of all ages are beautiful.” Though it has been a difficult start-up process, Anna made it through, “I believe in myself and I’ll do it!” Anna has a variety of lotions, body scrubs and masks available on Instagram.
Love & Loss is now on Instagram and Anna is accepting orders through Direct Messaging.
Looking to the Future
Anna has many big dreams for her future, and she is only 22. “My dream is to open up an acting school in Ukraine.” This school would teach acting to interested students and would instruct in both English and Ukrainian, says Anna. “I love children so much. I want to create something for children.” She has been inspired by a friend of hers who opened a theatre after his wife died of cancer. He sends most of the proceeds he earns to hospitals who help children with cancer. “I’d like to do something like that too,” remarked Anna, “as actors… we need to do something good.”
Currently, Anna also translates American scripts into Ukrainian as a way to make more money in addition to all of the TV shows she has been booking. An acting career takes “hard work and believing in your dreams,” and Anna Voitenko has no shortage of either.
The Alumni Blog for LSTFI Los Angeles is run by Aly Homminga.
If you are an alumni and have a story you think should be featured, please email [email protected].