My first job was…

the paper run when I was 10 years old with my twin sister. We would work together, one on either side of a street, while our dad followed us in his truck for three hours. Needless to say, it was a team effort.

It taught me… the importance of earning my own money and the hard work that comes with that. My twin sister and I spent our first pay cheque at the local dairy, each buying a whole bag of 5c lollies.

My big break came… Shortland Street was a career-defining moment for me. Having come from a singing background, I was still very fresh when it came to screen acting. I had just finished my first on-screen role playing Chantelle in Ahikāroa Season One when I got the call from my agent about a potential role. I had actually auditioned for about four different roles on Shortland Street over the space of a year before I landed Becky Burrows and I was glad it was her I was chosen to play.


The last job I quit was… I've never quit a job. I guess you could say I'm pretty determined to finish out a job to the very end.

The most famous person I've ever met is… Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, used to be 11th in line to the throne but now thanks to the new arrival of baby Archie, he's 12th.

He was… I had to sing for him with a friend during college at the Huka Lodge in Taupō. It was all very hush-hush and we didn't know who we were performing for until we got there. He was lovely and even took a photo with us afterwards. Normally physical contact with a royal is a no-go, however, I missed that memo and wrapped my arm around him during the photo. Whoops! However, he was very gracious about it and smiled it off.

The best time I've had on set was… I always loved working with my friends Jayden Daniels (Curtis) and Jack Barry (Tank) during my time on Shortland Street. They are two of the funniest men I have ever had the pleasure of working with. There was never a dull moment on set as those two can banter like there is no tomorrow. Often it would take me a little longer to get their jokes, which they found hilarious.

But the worst was… having terrible asthma on my first day of filming and trying to find little places around set to use my inhaler. I was so worried about making too much noise and disrupting other actors so it wasn't a great time.

My dream project would be… starring in a movie written and created here in Aotearoa. Having te reo Māori in it would be a dream. Otherwise starring in a musical theatre show overseas. Mary Poppins would be my dream role as it's not only a musical but she also gets to work with children – bonus!

Awhimai Fraser stars in the second season of Ahikāroa, streaming now on Māori Television On Demand.