Up and Coming Talent: Shayla Tharp

Shayla Tharp is an actor who hails from Iowa, USA and is currently living in London. Former personal assistant to comedic actress Kristen Johnston, Tharp has spread her wings and pursuing her own acting path.

I love being sent new talent to watch!

Shayla Tharp is an actor who hails from Iowa, USA and is currently living in London.

Former personal assistant to comedic actress Kristen Johnston, Tharp has spread her wings and pursuing her own acting path.

When asked what actors influence her work, Tharp referenced powerful women who are ‘fierce and brave’: “I’d say Mariska Hargitay, Laurie Metcalf, Judith Light, Sigourney Weaver. I love that they’re unafraid to push the boundaries in their craft, to be able to play all sorts of characters.”

In the short that I watched of Tharp playing her interpretation of Annie Wilkes from the 1980 horror Misery, her confidence held my attention. Her ability to channel Wilkes’ characteristics without copying Kathy Bates’ performance was unreal.

I don’t know a whole lot about the art of acting, but thanks to the advice that Emma Thompson, and Michael Caine, offered in interviews I know this:

  • Don’t cry unless absolutely necessary
  • Don’t sigh (it’s a cheater’s way to buy time)
  • Don’t blink (it weakens you)

Shayla Tharp certainly ticks the boxes! Her performances keep your eyes on the screen for sure.

I’m really looking forward to see where her career takes her in the UK, and wouldn’t be surprised to see her on television in a dramatic – or maybe even a comedic role like Kristen Johnston.

“I’d say my goals would be simple,” Tharp said. “To make a living doing what I love. There’s a reason I’ve studied so long for this career and worked my tail off, it’s because I want to do the thing that I love. Don’t we all want that?”

Check out Tharp’s work on her website, and follow her on Instagram.

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