Having the opportunity to work with director Martin Scorsese is what a Kelowna model hopes might be her break to developing an acting career.
Ingrid Schram worked with Scorsese on a fragrance commercial, working alongside French actor Gaspard Ulliel.
“It was an incredible experience and a dream come true. I worked with a crew that had been working together since Goodfellas and it was truly amazing to see that these creations are truly a family affair,” Schram said in an email interviews with the Capital News.
“Thelma Shoonmaker who edited the commercial, has many Oscars and has worked with Scorsese since the beginning. And the director of photography, Stuart Dryburgh, came from such beautiful films as Jane Campion’s The Piano. It was such an honour. I learned so much from being on set with such talented individuals.
Schram has found success in the modeling world, and she is now trying to translate that into an acting career.
Schram says she started modeling after graduating from Okanagan Mission Secondary.
She had grown up in the Mission area and had been active in the local theatre community.
“I knew I wanted to work within the creative arts from a very young age, but had no idea I would be spending these years after finishing high school and into my early 20s as a fashion model,” she recalled.
The modeling opportunity opened up to Schram while she was working at the Marmalade Cat Cafe in the South Pandosy commercial district when she was 17.
“A friend of mine called to pick me up from work and had told me about a talent convention she had heard on the radio. We both were curious and also looking for ways to travel and explore and experience the world outside of our hometown of Kelowna, so we drove down and both ended up with agents.”
She says modeling after high school has been a great opportunity to travel and meet people from all over the world.
“In my first year after school I spent the summer in New York, then Italy, France and lived in London, England, where I was also lucky to take workshops at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts there,” she said.
“I had always been an awkward dreamer time of person (and very tall) so the industry of fashion has been a very creative outlet with so many avenues to stroll down and many interesting people.
“Also I have learned a lot of business skills due to having to travel and work with clients at quite a very young age and on one’s own.”
Schram was also able to avoid some of the pitfalls that come with the negative side of being a professional model.
“Coming from my experiences, if you have a mom and dad that can travel with you while you are starting out, that is the way to go. A lot of the time I look back at my experiences and was surprised I was put in a ton of vulnerable situations at a very young age. I thank my upbringing and the way I was raised to have assisted me during those times.”
That upbringing came from her parents, her father being a doctor in Kelowna and her mother working in the education field.
“My parents immigrated to Canada from Africa before I was born. My mom is from Zimbabwe and my dad is from South Africa. I have three brothers also that live in Kelowna.”
Schram has studied at Stella Adler Studio of Acting while she lived in New York exclusively for six years above a 10-year-old Italian restaurant in the East Village part of Manhattan. She is now splitting her time between New York and Los Angeles.
Schram admits luck has a lot to do with building an acting career, but you also need to have talent and perseverance.
“There is an art to auditioning and if you come off as green you are not called back,” she said.