Victoria Jeffrey is one of five children and was born to parents who were both actors - Peter Jeffrey and Yvonne Bonnamy.
As an actress Victoria has worked extensively in all facets of the industry and has had a very varied career ranging from playing Gertrude in Hamlet in front of 1000 people in Copenhagen, to performing in the West End to selling out at the Edinburgh Festival in an award winning Female Comedy Double Act called 'The Totally Naff Tarts' to appearing at the Comedy Store London and performing live improv at the Lincoln Centre New York.
Victoria has recently had her first foray into the world of West End producing. It was a production of Doktor Glas which she first saw in Stockholm and then bought it to The Wyndham's Theatre London for a limited run. It starred Krister Henriksson (Swedish Wallander and Krister is currently filming the 3rd and final series of The Fall in Belfast) receiving huge critical acclaim with 4 and 5 star reviews. This led to her interviewing Krister Henriksson at Nordicana in front of 1,000 die hard Krister fans.
She is a keen singer and has recently been signed by Downton Artists to record a couple of songs one of which 'Sporting Widow' she hopes to release later this year to coincide with the Euro 2016 Championships. She also plays the guitar and sings regularly at her local Jazz Club in London and she is currently writing a one woman show that she intends to take to the Edinburgh Festival this year …..
Being an actress Victoria has had an eclectic career in the job market ranging from stacking shelves in a supermarket aged 14 (she lasted one shift), waitressing, working behind a bar, promo work, to running Madness's fan club. She managed to build it up from 2,000 to 17,000 members in the space of 18 months. After two years, she promptly gave this all up to go to Drama School. Now however when not treadng the boards or talking in front of a camera Victoria works in the corporate sector as a roleplayer, coach and facilitator which she very much enjoys.
We are delighted to bring you...Victoria Jeffrey...
LS: What is a typical day like for you?
VJ: I’m very lucky in the fact by the very nature of my work, and the different companies and people I work for, my days are often very different, so I don't really have a typical day which I love. Being a typical Gemini I can bore easily so this is an aspect of my life that I love.
LS: What would you say has got you to this point in your life?
VJ: Hmm interesting question. Just by living my life I suppose. Embracing all the different challenges along the way - And there have been many. I have most of the time done it on my own terms and I have always been and still am a bit of a rebel. If someone says you can’t do that - my first question is always ‘Why?’ …
LS: What have been your biggest life lessons?
VJ: Within the last 10 years I have been in the unenviable position of losing, in quick succession, my father and two siblings who I adored. You very quickly learn how delicate and precious life is and how important it is to grab life and try to make the most of every day and really go after your dreams. If you have the balls to do that, it really is amazing what you can achieve and what fabulous adventures you will have along the way. People often talk about living in the moment, I do try and do that, but it isn't always an easy thing to do.
LS: This magazine focusses on leadership. Who has been a great leader in your life?
VJ: Without the risk of sounding cliched - probably my father. He was also an actor and I have never heard anyone speak badly of him. He was an immensely kind, caring, funny and wise man and he carried those attributes with him whenever he worked as well as a being a true professional. He taught me very early on in my career that if you were the leading actor in a company you were, to all intents and purposes, leader of that company of people as well. So he taught me that it was very important how you conducted yourself off stage. People naturally look up to leaders and so it is vital that you lead by example. All of which are attributes I aspire to.
LS: When times are ‘not so good’, how do you lead? What processes do you put in place?
VJ: By listening and getting people to talk about how they are feeling. I find that often really helps. Being a good leader is also understanding that everyone is different, so its adapting your approach to each individual where possible and I’ll say it again really listen. If you do, then often the answer to the problem is in the conversation you are having. And laughter. That is vital. You need to laugh every day. Especially when things are not going too well.
LS: What gets you through the day?
VJ: Caffeine - a double shot, conversations, lots of them, connecting with people and places and being creative. I struggle when I am not. And then having a plan and structure. As a freelancer you have to be disciplined and there are times when that can be tricky …. Oh and laughing a lot … I think I have mentioned that before.
LS: Best person you have ever worked with and why?
VJ: This is such a hard question for me to answer as I am in the fortunate position being first and foremost an actor. I have met and worked with so many talented, funny and wonderful people. Its impossible for me to name one - suffice to say there have been many.
LS: What gives you courage?
VJ: Not over thinking things. Conversations with good friends and just to trust that it will all work out in the end. Most of the time it does. One just needs to keep the faith.
LS: What brings out your dark side?
VJ: Rude people, bad manners, tiredness, flights or trains being delayed, queues, queue jumpers, badly cooked food, no food, the cold, ignorant people. I could go on and on …
LS: What are you certain about?
VJ: That the last letter of the alphabet is Z. … And that my gut instinct is always right. And things do tend to go pear shaped when I don't listen to them. However part of the joy and scariness of life is that you can never be really certain about a lot of things. It’s what makes life so thrilling.
LS: When you get up on stage, what would be your go to ‘lucky’ item?
VJ: Most actors are extremely superstitious. I don't have a lucky item per se - but once a run in the theatre starts then I quickly become quite OCD and have to stick to the same routine and put things down on my dressing table in exactly the same place. A therapist would have a field day with most actors.
LS: How do you create balance?
VJ: Two or three cheeky glasses of Sauvignon Blanc and I feel fairly balanced ……
LS: How do you stay calm?
VJ: I do have my moments as my life can be very hectic and it can feel like it is going at a 100 miles an hour so I can get quite panicky. But then I will take a moment and a breath and do some deep breathing exercises. That usually works. Other 'go to' remedies are: listening to music or singing and playing my guitar. Music is incredibly important to me and can transport me to somewhere else immediately. Cuddling and having a chat with my wee dog and a long walk whatever the weather. I walk a lot and it is my time of the day to gather my thoughts, make plans and come up with ideas …
LS: What do you dream about?
VJ: Most things. My dreams are always in colour, very vivid and often really crazy and nonsensical.
LS: Who would employ you?
VJ: Hopefully someone who thinks that I am talented and great at what I do and fun to be around - that would be a really good place to start.
LS: What is taking up your thinking space right now?
VJ: My mind is a crazy place right now. I often have more than one project on the go. But the main thing taking up my grey matter is a one woman show I intend to take to the Edinburgh Festival this year which I am currently writing. A bitter sweet black comedy.
LS: Favourite book on leadership/life/dream-making abilities?
VJ: I hate having to choose - so many!! But two stand out books for me are “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron a wonderful book about re connecting and unblocking your creativity and “Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway” By Susan Jeffers. This book was enormously helpful to me at a time in my life when I was extremely fearful about a lot of things. I think so many people have such phenomenal capabilities inside of them. They just need to shut that annoying negative voice up and just do it.
LS: How would others describe you in 3 words?
VJ: I could be flippant and ask you to answer that... However, I think probably eccentric, funny, and a grafter …
We definitely agree with funny and eccentric having met Victoria and cannot wait for her show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
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