An Interview with Alena Von Stroheim
Alena Von Stroheim is an actor known for her work on Hacker’s Game, Found Footage 3D, and The Activist. I spoke with Alena about her background in the industry, her experience working in horror, and projects she has been working on during lockdown.
Was acting a career you always wanted to pursue?
Unequivocally, yes... since as early as I can remember, I have always wanted to be an actor; I was always performing. The fantasy early on was to study at one of the conservatories in London, which I did try for (it just wasn't in the cards, it seems). I went to university in San Francisco and finished there with a double degree in Classics and Medieval History. I studied acting at a private school in the city, and also did a bit of theater. Afterward, moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting work in film.
Who, in the industry, have you been influenced by?
Too many to begin to name? I have a lot to learn and make a point to study everyone/thing that I can. I feel very fortunate to have access to so much incredible film material at any given time online.
You worked on a horror film shot in 3D. Could you tell me more about this experience?
We had a blast. We filmed in Texas in July in the middle of nowhere... it was hot, it was sticky, there was blood, there were guts, and it was simply, absolutely, so much fun. In truth, I had a lot of homework to do before filming, horror was a not genre I knew a lot about, and especially not found footage. I think, because often shaky camera work can be one of the pitfalls of these types of film, and especially because this was shot in 3D, the director (Steven DeGennaro) and fantastic DP (Drew Daniels) were hyper-sensitive to the audience's experience. The cast had a full rehearsal process before we started filming, and while we were given a lot of free reign to improvise in between takes (to keep the material feeling very natural), ultimately most everything that ended up in the film was scripted and choreographed. There was great respect paid to how movement would read on camera. It was a terrific learning experience.
Have you currently been working on anything?
Oh goodness... what a year. I have largely been using the time to work on personal projects. I do have a number of friends and colleagues who are starting to go back on set, which is hopeful. I recently performed in a short radio play (in podcast format) with a group of playwrights here in LA. I am excited to see what the long term creative effects this great pandemic shift might have on storytelling mediums. I'm certainly eager to get back to work and am grateful for people who are using this time cleverly.