Ann is currently starring in the hottest TV series to debut this season on KykNET en KIE’s telenovela; Arendsvlei, taking on the role of Claudia Cupido.

Ann Juries-May was born in Eerste Rivier,  Cape Town. She completed her degree in Theatre and Performance at the University of Cape Town in 2012, throughout her training she was popular for her dedicated work, her detailed character transformations and her eagerness to learn, she received various awards including bilingual class medalist 2009 and graduated on the UCT Deans merit list.

She is known for her commitment in “workshop” theatre plays and was part of The Homeless Orchestra, which received the “Best Student Production Award” as part of the National Arts Festival in 2012. Ann always tries to contribute to community development; she was part of The Magnet Theatre Clanwilliam Arts Project as well as The McGregor Youth Arts Project, a Mother Tongue Project initiative.

In 2013, Ann became part of Arepp Theatre for Life; and performed in educational plays to the youth all over South Africa.

In 2014 Ann moved to Vietnam, where she dedicated her time there to studying the martial arts form of Vovinam. She is also a founding member of the Hai Phong Youth Theatre, where she held weekly drama and movement workshops; it is still going strong and continues to grow in numbers. During her time in Vietnam, she used drama to coach students with pronunciation issues and directed various school performances including The Toad Sues the Sun and Fruit from Home.
And then in 2016 she returned to Cape Town and has been refining her presenting ability, She is currently the English presenter for all Shoprite Checkers training videos, which is viewed by Shoprite employees all over Africa. Ann also had a role on Showmax crime series, Die Byl Season 1 and features in the Afrikaans Feature film: ‘n Ander Mens, directed by Quentin Krog.

This year, Ann was part of the all women cast of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew at the Maynardville Open air Theatre, she played Gruimio. She is also a seasoned voice-over artist; her work includes radio and television commercials, animation and public service announcements. 

RUAN: Could you share with us about your rise to fame as an actress in the industry?

ANN: After graduating from UCT Drama School, I spent nearly 2 years performing in educational plays in schools all over SA. While I was touring I tried my best to audition for as many projects as possible, in television, film and theatre. A lot of the time I was rejected, but every now and then I’d book something wonderful. My first television stint was actually for an American series, and thereafter I realised I all it took was dedication and preparation. I also decided that I needed to continue traveling and moved to Vietnam for two years, where I performed and learnt Martial Arts. in 2016 I returned to SA and came back with a new found confidence, continued to audition and network and slowly people started noticing my work, I have since had the opportunity to work with many different people in various mediums,

RUAN: You have enjoyed extensive acting experience internationally but fairly “unknown” in the SA TV and film industry. Also you have connected with local audiences in meaningful and powerful acting roles that will establish her as one of SA’s top actresses in the future. Would you say acting has been easy for you from day one?

ANN: Acting has always been part of my life because I was exposed to storytelling at a very young age. Every project presents different challenges, but I am grateful to have had the opportunity to study and attend courses that have equipped me with skills to deal with those challenges. So I guess it’s not easy, but it’s not insurmountable either

RUAN: Being a part of the first local Afrikaans telenova must be anybody’s dream; can you share with us how it’s breaking boundaries in the local TV industry?

ANN: It is the first all coloured cast and both the protagonist and antagonist are women. Which is exciting because we are telling these stories from our point of view. It discusses issues within our communities and reflects a true depiction of the day-to-day struggles and triumphs. We also address universal issues like bullying, homosexuality, infidelity and so much more. It’s truly an honour to be part of this cast, because the feedback from the audience is often that they have been waiting for something like this and are so happy to be represented, representation matters.

RUAN: Proudly born-and-raised in Eerste Rivier in Cape Town you have always dreamed of becoming an actress – and living your dream. Would you say that has happened to date?

ANN: I always enjoyed performance, my first dance performance I was about 4 years old. I think I always knew story telling would be part of my career, and I guess acting was the natural path. I think that I am definitely living my dream, being able to work with these incredible artists, being on set everyday and telling stories that people want to hear is a privilege. But, my dreams are constantly morphing, so there is so much more to achieve.

RUAN: Your dream to work as an actress hasn’t always been easy but sharing your story can help other identify with your passion to tell NB stories that reflect the correct representation of people and stories in society. Can you share any of those stories with us?

ANN: When I moved to Vietnam, I travelled for 3 months before settling in the North, in a town called Hai Phong. I faced a lot of racism and was rejected all the time. My spirits were low, because I had left my home to grow as an actor and person and I was excluded based on prejudices. In the third month I really missed performance and reached out to some of the local artists and expats. We organised a performance space, in a bar, created an event and rehearsed for 2 days. 

The stage was a pool table, but the venue was full of audience members, and that night I had my first performance in Vietnam. On the pool table. The feedback was overwhelming, and people showed interest in this African women and her story. I made great connections as a result of that performance and ended up working in film, there and education. I realised they had very little knowledge of South Africa and its people, and by sharing my story through my art, we were all able to communicate and connect.

RUAN: You take fitness seriously and you currently have a yellow belt in Mixed Martial Arts so I am sure you don’t scare easily. Where did your love for Martial Arts come from?

ANN: I started my Martial Arts journey in Vietnam, My master was very strict and I trained 4 times a week, he never spoke English, so sometimes we used Google translate, but I had to be very focused to not fall behind, because lessons were conducted in Vietnamese. Over that period my master introduced me to the mantra of Vovinam; be strong to be useful and this stuck with me. I love that I feel strong and able to defend myself, I have benefited in health, friendship and discipline. And I’ve learnt how to take a punch and get back up.

RUAN: If you could give yourself a hashtag (#) as you see your life today. What would it be?

ANN: #relishinginNow

RUAN: Do you have any inspirational words to share with our current youth who might be struggling in living their dreams and reaching the same goals as you have?

ANN: Have the courage to pursue your dreams, even when people tell you it’s ridiculous, even when you can’t see immediate results, in the long run it will pay off.  And when you are stuck, change your angle and remember you are worthy.

RUAN: Lastly on which social media platforms can we continue to support and follow you on?

ANN: Facebook: Ann Juries -May (Actress)
Instagram:  @annjuries.may
Twitter: @juriesmay

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