Manon XARDEL
Actress

Manon received a grant to finance her studies at the Théâtre National de Strasbourg.

What is your artistic background?
I started with music by singing in the choir of my neighborhood church. When I was eight, I was told about the Maîtrise de Radio France, a school with a special timetable where music is played every afternoon. I was at that school until I was 15. I took classes in music theory, piano, guitar, vocal technique, harmony and choral practice. Outside of the school, I had the chance to take classical and contemporary dance classes for 12 years. When I was 15, I joined my high school's theater group and then continued at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Boulogne-Billancourt. After my baccalauréat, I spent a year at the MC93's equal opportunities prep school, where I prepared for the TNS competition, which I entered in September 2020.

How do you see your profession today?
I won't venture to define my future profession at the risk of diminishing it, but today, I see the profession of actress as a mission of sharing. The theater is a place of gathering, a place of "searching for meaning together", a purely human playground. My role in the play is perhaps that of the transmitter, the one who forms the link. I position myself as a spectator of the audience and not "only" as an actress. For me the theater is born of a communion between human beings, it is not me, or the author, or any other individual, but the force of our plurality which makes art.

How do you see yourself in five years? in 10 years?
In 2021, the space for daydreaming is quite limited. Even when you are 20 years old. The current context nevertheless emphasizes the need for this reverie and underlines my wishes for the future. I want to be able to participate in a theater that is more accessible and more open to the world. I want to be able to speak for those I love and for those who do not have enough. I want to distribute life at least in some hearts. I wish myself meetings and creations with the people of my generation, a generation that has its eyes closed for the moment to the next five to 10 years. I want myself never to worry about the result but to experiment. More than ambition, I wish myself joy.

This interview was conducted in 2021
Photography credit: Julia Grandperret