Sara Wiseman

Sara Wiseman


5/27/1974, New Zealand

Birth Name

Sara Wiseman


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Sara went to the Cathie Hughes School of Modern Dance & Limbs Dance Company in Auckland, New Zealand in 1992. In 1998 she received a Bachelor of Performing & Screen Arts at UNITEC, Auckland, New Zealand.

Her father is a sales rep and her mother a…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In 2012, Sara won "Best Performance by an Actress" for the telefeature What Really Happened: Votes for Women at the New Zealand Television Awards.

    • In 2011, Sara won "Best Supporting Actress in a Feature Film" at the Aotearoa Film & Television Awards for her role in Matariki. She was also nominated for "Best Lead Actress in a Feature Film" for her movie The Insatiable Moon.

    • Sara is married to fellow actor Craig Hall.

    • Sara says she was a big fan of Outrageous Fortune before landing the role of Danielle on the show.

    • Sara has performed in a number of short films, including Chalk (2007), Our Secret (2007), The Bridge (2007), This Is Her (2007), The Word (2005), Embers (2003), Gateway To Hell (2001), Home Kill (2000), Letter About The Weather (1999), and The Waiting Room (1999).

    • In 2008, Sara was nominated for "Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role" at the Qantas TV & Film Awards for her show Jinx Sister.

    • In 2005, Sara was one of the actors chosen to participate in the 24-Hour Deadline Theatre, which randomly teams up a writer, director, three actors and a mystery prop, who then have twenty-four hours to create a play for performance, in competition with nine other groups of thespians.

    • Sara's theatre credits include:
      (2013) Hate, Malthouse Theatre Melbourne, dir. Marion Potts
      (2013) Love, Loss, and What I Wore "Various", Fortune Theatre, dir. Lara MacGregor
      (2010) The Vagina Monologues "Sara", The Basement Theatre, dir. Sylvia Rands
      (2009) Killer Joe "Sharla Smith", Basement Theatre, Dir Cameron Rhodes
      (2006) Lashings of Whipped Cream "Mistress Dominique" Maidment Studio, Auckland, Dir Conrad Newport
      (2006) This Is How It Goes "Belinda Phipps" Silo Theatre, Auckland, Dir Jeff Szusterman
      (2005) Strange Children "Loti Wilmot" Herald Theatre, Auckland, Dir Michael Lawrence
      (2005) Lashings of Whipped Cream "Mistress Dominique" Downstage Theatre, Wellington, Dir Conrad Newport
      (2004) Danny & the Deep Blue Sea "Roberta" Silo Theatre, Auckland, Dir Caroline Bell-Booth
      (2004) Under Milkwood Silo Theatre, Auckland, Dir Caroline Bell-Booth
      (2004) Proof "Catherine" Lethal Set Productions- Little Maidment Theatre, Auckland, Dir Heath Jones
      (2003) Ladies Night "Glenda" Auckland Theatre Company, Dir Oliver Driver
      (2002) Leah "Albany" New Zealand Actors Company, Dir Simon Bennett
      (2000) Collected Stories "Miranda Harcourt" Auckland Theatre Company
      (1999) Cabaret "Lulu- Kit Kat Girl" Auckland Theatre Company, Dir Raymond Hawthorne
      (1999) Death of a Salesman "Miss Forsythe" Auckland Theatre Company, Dir Simon Prast
      (1999) Amy's View "Amy" Auckland Theatre Company, Dir Cathy Downes

    • Sara was a stunt woman for the shows Hercules and Xena, and also guest starred in several episodes of the shows. She knew Peter Bell the stunt coordinator of the shows, and he said that with her background in dance she could learn to do fight scenes pretty easily.

    • She was only beaten out for "The Best on the Box" "Best Actress" award of 2003 by one person, namely Jodie Rimmer.

    • Dane Giruad's feature film Luella Millar, in which Sara has the leading role, made the finals of Australia's digiSPAA awards.

    • In 2006, a competition called PlayRight for New Zealand authors of plays was created. A number of the best known actors in New Zealand, including Sara and fellow Mercy Peak star Renato Bartolomei read the plays aloud for the panel of judges in order to see which ones were worthy of going on to the finals.

    • Sara is an ambassador for Outward Bound, which is a New Zealand organization who's goal is showing people how they can reach their full potential through challenge and adventure in the outdoors. She says her experience with the organization gave her illumination of spirit, courage, inner peace and connection, a skinnier body, good friends, and the chance to walk, run, swim, sail, climb, sleep and paddle in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.

    • Sara is a trained dancer, and can perform in several styles, including improvisation, contemporary, and modern ballet.

    • Sara is very good at water/snow skiing. She also enjoys rowing, swimming, horseback riding, and cricket.

    • Sara joined an Amnesty International protest on behalf of Algerian refugee Ahmed Zaoui, who was imprisoned in New Zealand despite being granted refugee status by New Zealand's Refugee Status Appeals Authority. She and others each spent 11 minutes, one for each month he had been imprisoned, in a cage 1.2cu meters in Auckland's Vulcan Lane.

    • Sara watched and re-watched the documentary video Bound for Pleasure to prepare for her role as a dominatrix in the one woman show Lashings of Whipped Cream. She said the copy she watched was quite worn, and had obviously been checked out quite a few times. She also read instruction manuals and interviewed a number of women to better perform her role.

    • Sara played a suburban dominatrix named Dominique in the one-woman show Lashings of Whipped Cream at Wellington's Downstage Theatre, and later at Auckland. In Wellington she performed before a very mixed audience, from "little old ladies who had a good laugh" to a group booking of dominatrices who came to see a matinee performance. When it was over, the dominatrices invited her to a party but she politely declined.

    • Sara is a tutor at The Performing Arts School of New Zealand.

    • Sara has studied accents, and can act using Standard US, LA, Eastside, Southern, NY, Standard British, RP, Cockney, Scottish, Australian, French, as well as her own Kiwi accent.

    • Sara has been nominated for "Best Actress" for the TV show Mercy Peak six times- in 2005, by the New Zealand Screen Awards, by the TV Guide Best on the Box Awards in 2003, 2004, and 2005, and twice for the New Zealand Film & Television Awards, in 2002 and 2003.

    • Sara is a qualified stunt professional, specialising in fights, falls, and weaponry.

    • In 2000, Sara was the winner of the "Best Performance in a Short Film" for Letters About the Weather at the New Zealand Nokia Film Awards.

    • Sara is tall 5'7 3/4" (172cm), with light brown hair and brown eyes.

    • Sara is represented professionally by the firm Johnson & Laird Management. In Australia she is handled by Mark Morrissey & Associates.

  • Quotes

    • Sara: I get nervous before a screening. You're going, 'Here's my heart and soul, are you going to stomp on it or hug it out?'

    • Sara: It's like going for a job interview once a week. Actors require a 'tough skin' but an open heart. It's an oxymoron. But therein lies the challenge. I am so grateful for all my opportunities.

    • Sara: (upon being compared professionally to top Kiwi actress Danielle Cormack) What does that mean? Um, I've always admired Danielle Cormack, but the only thing that I can hold on to is my individuality, so I wouldn't say that.

    • Sara: (when asked what advice she would give to aspiring actors) Believe in yourself and be prepared to take courageous steps both inwardly and outwardly. You need tenacity and the ability to adapt and change.

    • Sara: Acting is what I am most passionate about. I get a huge amount of satisfaction telling stories and affecting people by those stories.

    • Sara: I first decided to be an actress after working as a volunteer for Peter Jackson's film Heavenly Creatures. By watching Kate Winslett I realized that is what I wanted to do. It was like a thump in the stomach, an alarm signal or a reality check.

    • Sara: Bless the people on Shortland Street- I don't know how they can deal with being pumped into people's living rooms five nights a week. They get the brunt of the celebrity, 'you're-on-TV' thing. With Mercy Peak being on TV One one night a week and it being the kind of drama it is, people just sort of let you be. You do get recognised, that's part of being on TV, but I haven't been hassled at all.

    • Sara: (comparing live theatre to tv) It's just a shame it's so much harder to get people to come and see live theatre and be challenged by it and learn from it. Nothing beats playing to a live audience. Every night the play is different because the audience is different.

    • Sara: (on doing theatre) It's like a drug, it's challenging and it's passionate and it's unexpected. You get to go places because you're in such heated rehearsal process and do things that you don't have the time for, or the shot doesn't allow, in television. [Theatre] is more of a journey, a beginning to an end, and it's just you and a director so there's no down time.

    • Sara: (on her lead role for "Mercy Peak") It is tiring but it all comes from a good place, you know? It's a joy to be there. It sounds really naff I know, but it is. It's a buzz to get up at 6 am to go to work. How many people can say that?

    • Sara: (speaking of her role in the psychological thriller "Luella Miller") Dane [Giraud] likes to push his characters into those dark places most of us keep hidden. It's not every day an actor gets the opportunity to explore this aspect of the psyche, so I was intrigued with this story from the beginning.

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