TV Personality & Actress: Zoe Naylor

Zoe Naylor is a well known, much loved Australian personality.

She is perhaps best known for her role as co-host on the 7 Network’s Gladiators and for her role as Regan McLeod in McLeod’s Daughters, the long running and much loved 9 Network drama.

Zoe has just finished filming the lead role in Andrew Traucki’s eagerly anticipated thriller The Reef ( that will premiere at Cannes in May.

As an actress, she has appeared in countless productions including the title role, Jane Durant, in the critically acclaimed New Zealand drama Orange Roughies along with the American productions Evil Never Dies, Fearless and Virtual Nightmare as well as Australian feature film, The Book Of Revelation.

Zoe has also hosted her own radio show and worked as a producer and presenter across a wide range of Australia and New Zealand’s best known television programs including MTV Australia, Escape with ET, RA, 20 to 1, The NRL Footy Show, Sportscafe (NZ) and The Spearman Experiment.

Holding a BA (Communications) from University of Technology Sydney (UTS) as well as a Masters in Fine Arts (Drama) from Queensland University Technology (QUT) she frequently works as an emcee on a vast array of events. Zoe has recently become an opinion leader for Tourism Australia, a regular contributor for Australian Traveller and Road Rider magazines, as well as the national ambassador for Ducati motorcycles, riding her very own Monster 696.

Describe yourself in 3 words:
Open, spirited, courageous

What is your life motto?
‘Life is a fun park!’ And my latest one is ‘be the change you want to see in people’.

When did you start pursuing your career and how long did it take to become successful?
When I was at school I had dreams of becoming Jana Wendt and working on 60 minutes. I wrote to all the news readers I liked and asked them what I should do to get into the industry. They all wrote back and suggested I go to Charles Sturt Uni in Bathurst to do the Communications degree there, which I did. I won the Channel 7 scholarship to study there. While at school a group of friends and I also entered a competition called the young newscasters award, which we won. The prize was to film a story on teenage smoking for A Current Affair. While at Channel 9 I then popped into the newsroom and offered to do work experience. They took me on during my uni holidays. I also won another competition, which amounted to 6 weeks paid work experience as a production assistant on Australia’s Funniest Home Video show. Once you are in a flow the doors start to open and you find yourself in a natural career progression. One opportunity leads to another and that’s how my career has always evolved. Once I started reporting for MTV, for example, that led to doing TVC’s, which in turn led to small parts is tv series and films. I have always had a strong passion for the Arts and had been heavily involved with speech and drama while at school. Although I had dome some short courses at ATYP and in screen acting once my acting career really started to flow I wanted more formal training so I then went to drama school for 3 years.

I guess I’ve always been good at setting goals and working hard, studying or doing any of necessary training to help those goals come to fruition. I’m keen to constantly grow and learn and am not lazy in my pursuit of that.

How many hours did you dedicate to pursuing your dream?
I love what I do so its very easy for me to do everything I can to help me achieve my goals. I always go the extra mile and don’t leave any stone unturned in my quest for excellence. When you love what you do you want to work hard and it doesn’t feel like a chore.

Describe how difficult the business really is?
It’s tough. I’m lucky that I have developed many facets to my career and I commit equal hours to develop and cultivate each part so I never really feel like I’m sitting around waiting for the opportunities to arrive. To maintain your momentum and self-esteem after all the rejections is particularly tough though. It requires constant focus and discipline not to lose yourself to that. Believe you me I have cried so many tears after giving my heart and soul to auditions and not landing the job.

What is the mistake that taught you an extremely valuable lesson?
Fear often holds us back – we are our own limitations….I am really trying to work on my own limiting self beliefs at the moment. Often our potential is greater than we can comprehend. I’m also trying not to be too hard on myself. Sometimes when you are a perfectionist you can become obsessive about things that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of the universe. I think it’s really important to remember that life is just a ride and to have fun on the journey.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given to date?
If you need help with something get it…..whether that be in regards to your relationships, your spiritual, emotional and physical development or career development. Listen more, meditate daily and get in touch with your true nature.

What is the worst piece of advice?
I think you can learn from all advice. Sometimes it may not resonate with you but then I think that is just helping you define who you are. Also sometimes it’s the advice that we don’t want to hear that is the one we need the most.

In your mind, is formal training essential?
No – but a constant dedication and focus towards achieving your dreams is important. Nothing comes from nothing and it is not going to be handed to you on a silver platter. Work hard to reap your rewards and never give up.

What are some steps emerging talent can take to start/further their career?
You have to move the energy to make things happen – you have to go out and put the wheels in motion…then also know when to sit back in the flow. You can push too much and try too hard; try to stay in equilibrium

What kept you going when you felt like giving up?
My faith. Sometimes when you feel like you have nothing left take some time to sleep, exercise, re-coup and nurture yourself. Surround yourself with things you love and people who love you. Chill Out! Breathe and trust that it is all going to be ok. Mindless stress gets you nowhere.

Do you believe that ‘making it’ is about luck and being in the right place at the right time?
I believe that if you believe in something enough and you direct your energy and focus towards it then the universe will deliver. If your vibration is truly aligned with your desires and you have worked hard to cultivate that vibration you will see your dreams come to fruition.

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