Raquel Riskin is a local actress/model (website: www.raquelriskin.com and follow her on twitter @raquelriskin ) that is on the cusp of doing great things and is maybe the only person in the city that loves it more than I do.
You might have seen her on a few television series/movies shot around Vancouver. You can see her work in Whistler, Sanctuary, Supernatural and Percy Jackson, just to name a few. She lived in White Rock from age 4-9, then she moved out to New Brunswick until she graduated. Five days after graduation she was on a plane back to Vancouver. For this Vancouverette, Vancouver will always be home.
I’ll never live anywhere else – not without a really good reason and a plan to return. Vancouver is so beautiful, I never want to leave.
Raquel’s favourite things about Vancouver are the views, the mountains, the lush greenery and her favorite thing in life is driving over any bridge in Vancouver on a sunny day. Puts a smile on her face every time.
Here is the interview with Raquel:
Vancity Buzz: What made you get into acting and what was your first big break?
Raquel Riskin: I have been a performer my entire life. I started with ballet at age 3, which I pursued wholeheartedly for 7 years. After the move I no longer had access to the quality of classes that I had been taking, so I did figure skating for a year and then found myself in the drama club at school and loving it. I performed in plays (the lead every year, even though I switched schools 3 times) and when I graduated from high school I knew that I would pursue acting. I went to UBC first, then finally decided to get an agent and the first role I booked was the lead on a low budget horror film. I guess you could call that a break, however it was another 4 years before I really buckled down and understood the work involved and started chasing my dream with everything I’ve got. That was Feb ’09 and since then I’ve booked roles on several productions. The ball is really rolling now and it feels great!
VcB: What has been your best acting experience thus far?
Raquel: To be honest at this point I don’t have a “best” experience… every gig has been so different from the last… the roles are significantly different, the vibe on set, the people who I work with.. For example I enjoyed being on set for Percy Jackson however I’m only in that film for a few seconds. But it was fun to be on such a huge set being directed by Christopher Columbus and seeing how things work on such a large scale. However back when I did Killer Bash, my first role ever, I had no experience and it was a low budget production, but being the lead I was lucky to be involved with practically every single scene and it was a crash course in film making. I learned the terminology and how things work on set… rather than book a day of work here and there for the first year or two of my career, I was blessed to have that experience to learn so much in the very beginning. Definitely a great experience 😉
VcB: Alright then, worst acting experience, [laughs] the horror movie perhaps?
Raquel: Worst acting experience… hmm…. no my worst experience was on set for a show where it was time to perform a scene and it happened to be the exact scene that I had auditioned with, that booked me the role in the first place. I did it exactly how I had when I booked the role, and for some reason or another the director wasn’t happy with it. So he directed me and we tried it this way and that, I normally don’t crack under pressure and I guess I didn’t crack really, but with 50 sets of eyes on my by the 5th take I was really embarrassed. I hadn’t done anything wrong and I know the director was just trying to find what he saw in his head but it was just an awkward situation for me and when I nailed the next couple of days on set I felt a heck of a lot better 😉
VcB: The transition from actress to model, was that a natural move, and why modeling?
Raquel: I fell into modeling accidentally. I was asked to help a friend with a photography project, she had to shoot black and white film all over Van. We took some really cool shots, that’s when I decided that I’d like to get in front of the camera more often. Then when I started doing more modeling shoots, I quickly realized how helpful these photos can be when marketing myself as an actress. I also really enjoy it. I have no plans on stopping the modeling, I’d say my acting/modeling go hand in hand now. I’d love to do some actual campaigns in the future… but I don’t want to sign with a modeling agency so I guess the acting will have to come first – well have to see 😉
VcB: What are your future goals, both personal and professional?
Raquel: My future goals are to succeed in my career… ie be one of the best in the world at what I do – my goal isn’t to gain popularity in tabloids – my goal is to pursue my passion and be great at it. I want to be respected by actors who I respect. I want to be seen as an equal, a fellow actor, by the heavy hitters of Hollywood. That’s my career goal.
As for personal goals, the only thing I care about other than my career is my family. I am happy and I want to have a family one day when the time is right. If I can balance career and family and succeed at both, I will have lived my life how I want to – to the fullest.
VcB: Describe your dream role?
Raquel: I’d like to do all kinds of roles… I want to do drama, comedy, action.. everything. But my DREAM role is definitely some kind of kick-ass heroin role. I want to play a secret agent, spy, superhero, something! I want to be the lead and I want to kick butt and take names. That’s my dream role.
VcB: I heard you are going to be in FHM India, are there any other mags you’ve graced or will be gracing soon?:
Raquel: I’ll have a 6-8 page spread in FHM India, June issue. I also have a 2 page spread coming up in Summum magazine, as well as some stuff for Spike TV that’s in the works.