Sahar ... his acting influences are Jennifer Lawrence, Natalie Portman
Q&A with a budding new talent of stage and screen
I found the co-star of Billy Elliot in the second floor walk-up of a modest housing project on a small and quiet street in the heart of Tel Aviv. About five minutes from the Golda Performing Arts Center, where Sahar Lev-Shomer danced, sang and acted his heart out as Billy’s best friend.
A huge, daunting stage for a fifteen and a half years old, who seems a sweet and tender sylph of a boy, yet has the firm handshake of an adult.
Sahar has been in 16 musicals, several short films, a commercial and 2 TV series. He speaks perfect English and Hebrew.
Since he has just completed filming The Bar Mitzvah, a 10 episode internet series in English which will be airing soon, (written by Gal Ochovsky, directed by Eitan Fuchs and also starring Amanda Barrie), Sahar seems on the brink of diving into the “real world of showbiz”.
A good time to ask him a few questions:
How did you come into acting?
When I was growing up in California, I joined a drama class in second grade, took part in school plays and really liked it. My mom Hadasa encouraged me and when we returned to Israel with my Dad Assaf and younger sister Yael - I continued that route.
What kind of a boy are you?
I’m pretty outgoing. I like to be around people. But I also need quiet time. I prefer order and to know what's expected. To-Do-Lists are perfect for me.
What have been your peak moments until now?
In acting – the first performance of Billy Elliot after months of practice was a huge Wow moment.
In studies – getting into Telma Yellin school for which I had to prepare a monologue and sing (McCavity from Cats). We study six days a week, of which two relate to dancing, acting, movement, speech.
What do you think is your strongest talent?
I think acting, because I learned the most about it. But in musicals ALL my talents come together and people tell me it’s amazing because there is such strong presence.
(This was also my experience watching his performance live and on video.)
Sahar with Amanda Barrie, his co-star in The Bar Mitzvah
Where do you see yourself at 30?
On a big stage or on screen. On stage, the audience is like behind a black screen. You only see and interact with the other actors. I learn a lot from the adult actors and enjoy it but it is also nerve wracking and exciting.
You need to project your voice and make big movements. Camera acting is more held back, smaller and more precise and realistic.
My first professional gig was as Louis in The King and I in a private production directed by Tzedi Zarfaty, which played in Tel Aviv and the North.
My acting inspirations are Jennifer Lawrence and Natalie Portman. They are so real and make you feel something. That's how I want to act too.
So it appears we have a budding acting career to follow.