Afrikaans actress reaches for the stars


What is just a dream for many is becoming a reality for Liza van Deventer. The 20-year-old Pretoria woman is studying drama and dance technique in Los Angeles and is making a name for herself in the competitive entertainment world.

She always wanted to act, says Liza. “I love escaping into my imagination.” Her dancing career started at the age of six when she began dancing to develop her legs after undergoing a leg operation. “I fell in love with dancing immediately.”

Liza says she enjoys life in Los Angeles, which she calls a fantastic place. “I can relax on the beach in Santa Monica every day, go mountain climbing or go for walks in the luxury streets of Beverly Hills.” She enjoys the diversity of her environment and says her classes comprise 50 per cent American and 50 per cent international students.

Liza recently signed a contract with a manager who will help her get work in the competitive industry. “Last week I went for an audition for a big film because the casting agents specifically wanted an Afrikaans girl. It made me feel proud.”

Liza, a former pupil of Die Hoërskool Menlopark, once received drama lessons from well-known drama lecturer Michelle Danner. Michelle is known for tutoring well-known actors such as James Franco, Penélope Cruz, Gerard Butler and Zooey Deschanel.

A highlight of Liza’s career was performing at last year’s World Dance Awards. “I danced for my dance role models. It was on the well-known Sunset Strip and we had to walk the red carpet. It was exciting.”

Does she miss home? “Yes, very much,” she says. When she does, she reads a good Afrikaans book or listens to Laurika Rauch. “I also regularly talk to my family and friends at university on Skype.”

-Suzaan Hauman

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