The great P.T. Barnum once said, “Whatever you do, do it with all your might.” We like that concept and every once in a while we see someone who is actually doing just that. We saw Michelle Nordlander’s acting reel the other night and we felt that she was performing with all of her might. She was not only giving one hundred and ten percent, as they say, but her performance was seamless. By that we simply mean that she was fully into her character – Michelle had vanished and become someone else – literally.
We’ve always been in awe of actors and their ability to get up in front of people and hit their mark and say their lines without missing a beat. But then someone like Michelle comes along (all the way from Sweden, by the way) and blows us away because she brings something extra to the part. That something is many times too easy to recognize but at the same time too difficult to put into words. It’s sort of the “IT” factor. Look at the best actors in film today and you’ll see a common thread that connects them. What is that, anyway? Well, like we said, you can see it but you may not be able to define it or describe it. But whatever “IT” is, they each have some of it and that’s what we saw in Michelle.
Her very short reel had everything a producer or director would need to see in order to want to hire her immediately. She has “IT” and all she has to do is walk into a scene and everyone’s attention will refocus on her. We could call it presence or charisma or any of a number of other things but whatever it is – she has it in abundance.
Michelle has been a true actor in her heart since she was a kid listening to her father read stories to her. She would close her eyes and visualize that she was one of the characters in the story and then she would feel what that character was feeling and love the way the character was loving and hate just like the character would hate. It was all about feelings and experiencing and expressing them. Michelle, by learning to empathize with other people’s feelings at such a young age, has become a master when it comes to being able to fully feel what her characters are feeling. That is what acting is all about.