Matie alumna and Stellenbosch-local Simone Biscombe is well-known for her role as Bianca Fourie in the popular kykNET soapie Suidooster. It was her first starring role but would set the stage for her to appear in other kykNET productions including Treknet as well as Villa Rosa.
Simone completed a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies at Stellenbosch University (SU) and describes the environment at the Drama Department as one where students were able to grow their creative skills and were supported.
“Luckily drama was also one of the more ‘informal’ courses at the university. I remember those days fondly – the department was like one big happy family. You had the freedom to express yourself creatively whether it be in your craft, clothing or hairstyle without having to be judged. I am still in contact with many of my fellow students and lecturers to this day,” she says.
Simone is also a classical singer and pianist. She started studying classical singing at the University’s Konservatorium as a learner attending Lückhoff High School and continued the subject throughout her drama studies.
After completing her BA, she enrolled for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) at SU because she wanted to have skills in more than one profession. “It opens up more doors for you in life.”
As soon as she graduated with her PGCE, she appointed an agent to secure acting gigs for her. Other than TV work, she has appeared on stage in Afrikaans productions like Die Vagina Monoloë, Die Kaapse Kabaret, Iets uit Niets, Verse – ‘n Kabaret and Deurbraak. But success does not come overnight.
“I did waitressing if there were no acting jobs. I went for many, many auditions, shot commercials, and did a lot of theatre projects, corporate work, and singing gigs.
“Clients and directors are very specific when it comes to what they want in an actor and more times than not you are not what they are looking for. A wise friend told me the best thing to do is to walk into an audition, do the best you can, and then forget about it. I also learned that if you get rejected it is not personal, they just have something else in mind,” Simone adds.
All those rejections eventually landed her a role in Suidooster.
She says she has been fortunate to receive support from family and friends as she pursues an acting career.
“I am blessed to be in a working environment where people genuinely care for each other. I had Covid earlier this year but never felt alone. My family at Suidooster would check up on me daily, buy me food and just chat to me to keep my spirits high.”
In the tough moments, she has drawn on the words from Marianne Williamson’s poem called Our Deepest Fear: “You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”
“It just somehow puts things back into perspective for me. Chances are you will be disappointed [in life], but see this as a test to see if you really want it and remember that if things were bad yesterday, you cannot go back, only move forward.”