Life lessons: Shavaughn Ruakere, Actor

Shavaughn Ruakere shares her life lessons. Photo / Supplied
Shavaughn Ruakere shares her life lessons. Photo / Supplied

Sometimes I think acting's so weird. It's you, but it's not. The feelings are true, but they're not. On the positive side, it's filled me up in a way I guess I haven't felt before, all that good funny-in-the-tummy stuff. But on the negative side, it's made me a bit of an overly emotional dick sometimes who can't for the life of me get to sleep at night because I've spent the day having a million "big feelings" and they're still churning round.

I think I'm quite a goof. I quite like that. I'm also a terrible worrier. Thank you Catholic guilt. I'm also an insane procrastinator who lives in a dream world most of the time.

I have a very dear friend called Helena who has cancer. One day post-chemo and radiotherapy she'd gone to the doctors to see whether it had spread from her breasts to any other part of her body. I rang her and she said, "I need a drink."

When she arrived at my house 20 minutes later I opened the door and watched her walk towards me down the path with the slightest tear in her eye.

I hugged her tight. She said, "you don't even know why you're hugging me" but I did, because she'd never teared up in front of me before. She doesn't cry in front of anyone because she doesn't want to make them sad. The whole time she's been such a staunch chick looking after the rest of us but in that moment she was scared. I don't know what else to say about that.

My "flat family" provide constant amusement. One of them is always DIYing so I'll come home and there are like three dudes in the backyard with an electric saw and they're fashioning some new zone for the garden.

It's not a total waste of money but sometimes going out to breakfast with and parting ways with 50 bucks just seems a little obscene.

I pick the middle of my top lip a lot. I think mostly when I'm deep in thought. Sometimes I go too far and make it bleed. This feels like a very odd thing to be telling you.

I think I have more than the average quantity of scuzzy undies. My boyfriend got so sick of them that he went and bought me a whole lot of saucy new lingerie for Valentine's Day. He took in one of my dingiest old bras as a guide for the Bendon ladies but because the size had long washed off the label they asked him for my name so they could look me up in their database. They knew who I was. I have still not forgiven him for this.

Shavaughn Ruakere joined the cast of Shortland Street as nurse Roimata Ngatai in 2011. It is her first acting role, following years as a radio DJ and television presenter including co-hosting What Now.

- NZ Herald

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