NEVER DIM YOUR LIGHT
SLOVENIAN CONTENT CREATOR AND ACTRESS BARBARA HORVAT ON ENTERTAINING AND INSPIRING OTHERS
Barbara first stepped on stage at the age of 7 for a school performance. She played a little girl who was lost in the woods. As she walked around the stage and called for her mom, parents in the room were moved to tears. Barbara recalls that this was a core memory for her. This is when she found her calling. As a teen, her favorite afternoon activity was re-enacting scenes from films and TV shows like The Parent’s Trap and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “I loved the idea of telling so many different stories with one person and all the emotions you can make people feel and things you can let the world know through this art form,” she adds with nostalgia.
Today, Barbara is an actress who has also created a whole brand for herself in the content creation world. When we sat down with her to chat, we were impressed by her curiosity and commitment to her career. Her energy is contagious. Barbara was one of the first YouTubers in Slovenia - she started in 2012, way before the big boom of content creation in the 2020s. Her main channel, The Barb (Barbara4u2c), has 193k subscribers. She creates comedic skits where she plays various characters. Her style is full of irony, and her skits are highly relatable: “Goodbye Gluten: A conversation with 2012 me” is very timely for 2022. Her channel has earned the YouTube Silver Button Award. Barbara’s brand doesn’t stop here: She also has a successful podcast and is a well-known Tiktoker.
Fig 1. Barbara Horvat's YouTube channel featured comedy videos such as "American Problems" that Europeans Don't Understand," which has over 486k views
While comedy is her forte, as an actress, she also excels in all types of roles and genres, including drama. She’s been a recurring character on the Slovenian television series Razred Zase where she played the role of Ingrid. But in Goose and Gander, a short film by Nexus Productions, she plays Mia, a young woman who is having a crisis with her partner. The dialogue is entirely improvised, which shows Barbara’s impressive dramatic skills. She’s also acted in feature films such as Nekaj Sladkega, directed by the infamous Slovenian Comedian Tin Vodopivec or the Amazon Prime series Admit One.
Fig 2. Barbara Horvat starring in a commercial for the Slovenian appliances brand Gorenje
She has also lent her comedic timing to a myriad of television commercials for clients, including Otrivin, Kia, Under Armour, Lenovo, Mobitel Commercial, Simobil, and Erste Bank. Acting in a commercial is much more fast-paced, and she enjoys the challenge - it is similar to making her YouTube videos. Barbara enjoys working for different formats - feature and short films, commercials, and video content. Barbara also states that she finds inspiration in other people and their lives, emotions, opinions, viewpoints, and experiences. “Strong women inspire me to keep going, and people who were dealt really bad cards but came out stronger and kinder are my favorite,” she explains before adding: “I want to inspire others and make a positive change in the world through my art. Art has helped me find myself during my worst times, and I want to create and portray stuff that will be a safe haven for others.”
Fig 3. Barbara Horvat and actor Lucas Vilaça in Desert Storm, a short film directed by Danielle Leksich
Barbara continues to dream big. She wants to keep booking challenging roles. She recalls a project she was involved in, a short film called Desert Storm she shot in 2017. She specifically enjoyed the intense physical training and the demanding scene: “I had to run repeatedly through sand in the middle of nowhere with high temperatures and blazing sun. But that’s the thing with acting - at the moment, you’re not paying attention to your body or the pain. You’re just making art. And at the end, I was covered in gold sand from head to toe, and it looked like I was from another planet.” For the future, she wants to continue creating meaningful films “that make people think or leave them wondering.” She enjoys mind-bending projects and would love to work on a film with an aesthetic similar to David Lynch’s. She will be busy over the next few months with the release of two of her projects: Offline 2020, a short film written & led by Lara Pictet, where she played the role of Ariel, and Aftermath, a short film directed by Stephen Walsh where she played the role of Bridget.
Fig 4. Barbara Horvat in Aftermath, short film directed by Stephen Walsh
Barbara remains level-headed throughout all the challenges. She recommends that those interested in pursuing a career in entertainment to understand there is a mandatory business side to their craft. “Your comfort zone is the first thing that has to go.” She adds: “you can’t be sitting at home hoping for the best. Don’t let people dim your light either; it’s hard to tune out all the noise sometimes and keep on swimming against the current even when it doesn’t make sense”. Barbara understands that what makes you unique in the entertainment business is what is going to make you stand out. It needs to be embraced. Ultimately, it will inspire others.