Date of Birth: 29th November, 1973
Location: St. Julian’s
Star Sign: Sagittarius
Main occupation: Corporate Communications & PR Manager
Media-related occupation: Actress
Gertrude Borg Marks’ life is one long juggle between her very demanding job, her two children, her partner Lewis, drama and what’s left of herself.
“I would say that I’m passionate, spontaneous, spiritual and a lateral thinker. I can never do anything unless I put my heart into it. From my fondly given childhood to some worse experiences in recent years, I’ve trained myself not to put my happiness into anyone else’s hands. I’ve trained myself not to let what anyone else think, say or do affect my inner being. I believe that every emotion – be it love, hate, anger, envy, happiness, sadness, loneliness – all start from one single thought. If we manage to control and change that one single thought, then our body will react differently and so send a different message to our sentiment. Contentment is a state of mind, and I try to choose it every time.”
Gertrude is the proud mother of Kira and Dean, who in between their daily yells and tantrums, manage to keep her sanity and make the perfect trio. “I really don’t know how to live without these two. Together, we create such energy to spark us up for days to come. They’re my strength boosters.”
Then there’s drama! Drama is Gertrude’s passion. She studied and adapted the Stanislavski method in which one becomes rather than acts. “The art of ‘being’ different characters relaxes me. Something which surprises me all the time is how no matter what character I enroll – be it a theatrical or a TV character – they all leave something behind in me to adapt and become a part of who I really am. I sometimes question myself if these were all positive or if I was stuck with some negative leftovers too!”
If any of my readers were interested in trying to break into acting, what would you recommend them to start with?
Start now! Take a course – a real course. Unfortunately, in Malta there is this tendency that any popular actor can or has become a drama teacher. I started studying acting when I was already 26 years old, reason being that there was never a school or a teacher or an actor who convinced me enough to put my trust in him/her when it came to evolving one’s skills. Then in 1999, I came across an advert for Lemonhead Productions – a newly formed school run by Bryan Muscat – a name I had never heard before – who was trained in London. I attended the first introduction meeting, and I never looked back. It was 6 years of back to back courses and non-stop drama-related courses of all kinds. Bryan’s teaching was profound, starting from the very core of our beings, reaching and surfacing the emotions from within. This is what I would recommend – study – and study with a real teacher, and not an actor.
What support systems would you like to see for local drama?
An actors’ union. It will give the actors the same rights that producers hold.
If you could, would you change anything about yourself?
I would stop living with guilt. Leaving my children every time I go to work, and then leave them again for filming/rehearsals leaves me with immense guilt. I still can’t convince myself that every artist is egocentric when it comes to his talent. So I live with this guilt whilst indulging.
What role does technology play in your life?
Switching on and off my laptop, and calling my smart phone ‘stupid’ several times a day is as far as I go!
Do other people’s moods affect you?
If they’re in a funny mood, I might try some motivational talk with them, but they never get to me. I never let anyone’s actions affect my reactions.
When things get tough, how do you keep yourself going?
For me, this is where I work my chakras. I try to really see the sense in Gandhi’s quotes, and repetitively listen to Charles Chaplin’s Smile. These give me a different sense to my life every time. I even set it as my ringing tone at times. And when none of these work, I just think of the more commercialised mantra: If you’re going through hell, keep going!