Ethnicity and Entertainment: Spotlight on Elisabetha Pejcinoska

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courtesy of photographer Joshua Shelton

I had the pleasure of voicing a fun character role in Elisabetha Pejcinoska’s compelling filmmaking debut “Lost Angeles” recently. Being directed by her was a delightful experience and I had a great time doing my different accents in the booth for a fun character role. I was lucky enough to meet her through my wonderful entertainment attorney, Nadia Davari, who I profiled for Ms. In the Biz a while back.

Elisabetha is a very striking, svelte, sophisticated and stylish European gal who is probably blessed with the world’s best metabolism, so this casually dressed Persian gal from the Maryland suburbs was beyond flattered that when we met for a coffee at Nespresso recently, our friendly barista assumed that we were sisters. And being a barista in Beverly Hills, she sees fashionistas dressed in designer clothes on a daily basis, but Elisabetha was so effortlessly chic in her Louis Vuitton crème scarf and checkerboard tote bag with super chic glasses and a great spring outfit, that the barista was beside herself and kept complimenting Elisabetha throughout our interview.

Elisabetha is of Macedonian descent and grew up in in the cosmopolitan and polyglot environment of Vienna, Austria. A citizen of the world, she speaks five languages fluently. A graduate of the Krauss Conservatory in Vienna, her classical three year training and talent were featured in many theater productions. She also performed in a leading role at the prestigious National Theater Vienna. In 2007 she was cast in the movie ‘Revanche’ which was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. Besides her acting work, this multi-talented artist built a professional career as a tango dancer. Yes, she’s that cool!

She then moved to Los Angeles in September 2008 based on an O1 Visa for Extraordinary Ability in Arts. Immediately after moving to the United States, she booked the lead role in the movie ‘Jackrabbit’ directed by Diane Ambruso (Concetta Productions) and has worked on several productions including a short movie for the United Nations that was entirely shot in Macedonian. She wrote and produced the web series ‘Beverly Hills Rehab’ where she also played the main character, ‘Ljubica’, an immigrant woman from former Yugoslavia. It was then, when Elisabetha found her passion for working behind the camera, especially in the fields of writing, directing and producing. She was always eager to learn and  trained with many renowned teachers, whether it was in acting or script writing. In 2013 she teamed up with Greg Swartz and Trevor Jones to produce her first feature-length film.

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Elisabetha with her tango partner Dennis Cante, who is a very well known LA-based tango teacher

In 2014 she had her directorial debut with ‘Lost Angeles,’ a gripping short film she wrote when she moved to the US. In addition, she is currently writing on her script for a feature film which she also plans to direct. Elisabetha is an eclectic yet humble personality full of positive energy with an extraordinary passion for the arts.

Without any further ado, here’s my interview with Elisabetha…

-What was it like to be born in Macedonia and then move to Austria as a child? It must have really affected your cultural identification.

I was actually born in Austria. I grew up in a tiny city close to Vienna that was full of prejudices against foreigners. Growing up in that environment was a very unpleasant experience. I felt like I don’t belong there, I didn’t understand why my parents moved to a place where they didn’t want us, where I couldn’t speak my mother language without being judged or looked at. For years I struggled to find my identity.

-You had some amazing accomplishments as a professional actress and dancer. Do you miss those professions?

Acting and dancing saved my life because they helped me to canalize my emotions, to work through my trauma from growing up with so much animosity. I found my place and identity through acting and dancing. It was a very rewarding time with many memorable moments and ultimately led to where I am. I don’t miss acting at all, I still dance and it will alway be part of my life.

-How did you transition into filmmaking?

Four years ago I got seriously ill and had to take a break from my acting pursuit in Hollywood. I had an “eat, pray, love” phase back home in Austria and reevaluated my life and decisions. I realized that acting didn’t match my personality any longer, that in fact I hated to be in front of the camera, to expose myself, to show my vulnerability and to live with the constant judgment was basically something that reminded me of my childhood and had no longer place in my life. When I returned to Los Angeles I wanted to give it a last try to see whether I was really done with acting. I wrote a web series and also a part for myself. I ended up directing as well and realized that the joy of writing and directing overtook by far the joy of acting. That’s how it all started….

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On set photo of “Lost Angeles” at the cemetery with Elisabetha and her extras

-Please tell our readers about “Lost Angeles” and any other interesting upcoming projects you have on the horizon.

“Lost Angeles” is about a Bosnian woman’s efforts to carry out the wishes of her dead brother and the obstacles she needs to overcome as a foreigner when her luggage goes missing at LAX. It’s about letting go and faith. I’m actually back in Vienna for the next couple of months because I want to get more involved with European cinema and the community there.

 

For more information on Elisabetha please visit here IMDB page HERE.

About Vida G

Vida G. is a multi-talented performer that is active on the Tinsel town scene as an actress,voiceover artist and a reporter. Vida recently shot a supporting role in Savage Cinema’s campy horror flick,”Pond Scum,” directed by legendary indie Aussie filmmaker Mark Savage, who has also cast her in a major supporting role in his upcoming thriller called “Circus of Dread” starring Bill Oberst Jr. Vida recently voiced two characters in an animated film called “Lovesick Fool” created by Emmy-nominated director Dominic Polcino (“The Simpsons,” “Family Guy,” and “King of the Hill”), which stars Fred Willard, Lisa Kudrow, and Janeane Garofalo also voiced roles in this film. “Lovesick Fool” is hitting the festival circuit and has won first place at the Topanga Film Festival and LA Arthouse Film Festival. It has also screened at the Burbank International Film Festival, the Manhattan Film Festival, and the NYC Independent Film Festival.