Elan BEN ALI
Elan received a grant to help him finance his studies at the Théâtre National de Strasbourg.
What is your artistic background?
I started acting in my final year at the Lycée Jacques Brel, in La Courneuve, with a theatre module for the Baccalauréat. I liked it right away, because everything artistic interests me. At the time I was also rapping and I found a link between the two arts and I wanted to continue along that path. Rap or theatre, it didn't matter, I wanted to be on stage. After obtaining my literature Baccalauréat, I didn't pursue my studies, I chose to become a professional in the theatre world. I answered ads to play with amateur companies, until I came across the ad for the First Act Program at the Théâtre National de La Colline. I participated in this workshop in 2016. It is a programme aimed at young actors from diverse backgrounds. For about six months, we met theatre professionals and worked with them. In particular, I worked with Stanislas Nordey, Véronique Nordey, Stéphane Braunschweig, Caroline Guiela Nguyen, Blandine Savetier... which really helped my training. I then took classes with the theatre class created by the Association 1000 Visages, and the following year, in 2017, I decided to take the competitive exams of the Grandes Écoles de Théâtre. Notably the Conservatoire National Supérieur d'Art Dramatique de Paris (CNSAD) and the Théâtre National de Strasbourg (TNS). I was accepted at both schools and I chose to go to the TNS.
How do you see your profession today?
Now that I'm in a national school, I feel more responsible, because I've arrived at a moment in the history of theatre where many things are changing. I want to take part in that, I want to be an active player in the profession.
How do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?
I see myself living from my passion, alternating between filming and performances in the biggest theatres in the world, in the company of my friends with whom I started theatre and who are currently in theatre schools like me. Then giving Master Classes too, the transfer of knowledge is very important for me. If there hadn't been passionate people who had the desire to teach me, I wouldn't be where I am today.
This interview was conducted in 2018
Photo credit: Céline Anaya Gautier