Featured Portfolio | Diana Shmukler

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By Meg Swain

Diana is ready for the world to be her stage. A born actor and performer, her driving force in life is entertaining others. ‘I love being able to take people away into another world and make them feel something or understand a side of life they may never have been exposed to before’, she explains. The versatility of her portfolio reflects her love for performing and transforming into different characters.

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Diana grew up in a Russian household, with Russian as her first language. This shaped her into the bold, vivacious woman she is today, as she describes, ‘the multicultural part of me is where my big and eccentric personality comes from. The kind of character that thrives on a stage or in front of a camera’. Diana’s mum enrolled her in Calisthenics when she was three-years-old. At the age of seven she moved on to the sport of Rhythmic Gymnastics, where she stayed for ten years. She represented the state of Victoria at National competitions, and even coached and nurtured her own group of beginner gymnasts. Gymnastics had a huge impact on Diana, she explains ‘it taught me discipline and the importance of hard work, and most importantly it gave me something beautiful and unique to show the world’. It was where her love of performing was born.

The event that truly changed the course of Diana’s life, was when she was cast in her first school musical. She played Lucy in the Charlie Brown musical. After that, she knew she had found her calling, explaining ‘that was it. I found it. MY thing. I wanted to be an actress’. From there, Diana launched herself into countless productions, drama classes, skits, any opportunity to act that she could get her hands on.

Diana’s passion for performing helped her grow through a difficult childhood. She believes that her hardships have helped build her character, making her an interesting person with an exciting story to tell. She never let her struggles bring her down, instead using them as motivation to tell her story through her art.

Diana wants the world to know that even though she is comfortable on stage and in front of the camera – she still has insecurities and fears. She revealed to us that she struggles with Generalised Anxiety Disorder. She uses the camera and stage as her catharsis, a way to help and heal herself. She explains that even though she may look ‘perfect’ in a photo, on stage, or on stage – that is not the real story. There is more to her. When you are looking through these photos of her shoot, keep in mind that it is not reality, but a performance. She advises others who deal with insecurities to ‘find something that heals their soul’, just like what she has found in performing to thrive in life.

Diana’s background in acting helped her navigate her photo shoot. She was able to mould to become what was needed to get a great shot. As a creative, she is used to working in a team. She respected everyone’s specialties on the shoot, letting them excel to bring her vision to life. An example of this is the styling of her shoot. ‘I dumped my entire wardrobe into a bag, brought it into the studio and let the stylists take it from there’, she explains.

The versatility of Diana’s shoot meant that she dipped in and out of her comfort zone. She describes her personal style as ‘anything black and form fitting’. In her everyday life she balances grungy style with classy and sexy pieces. So, the colourful, floral look was extremely scary for her. ‘I had been wearing black exclusively for 3 years!’ she exclaims. The happy, vibrant feel of this look pushed her limits. Why does Diana rarely wear colour? Well, she says, ‘I feel like my personality is too bright to also wear bright colours on my clothes. It would be too much for the universe!’ We are glad that the galaxy did not explode when Diana wore colour. We love that her shoot allowed her to experiment with styles that she would normally avoid! Photo shoots are the perfect time to take risks.

Diana dreams of one day being a working actress, performing and entertaining people as her job. If she achieves her dream, she wants to use her platform to make a positive impact on the world. We are so blown away by Diana’s drive and passion for performing and we know we will see great things from her in the future!

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