EVEN while she soaked in the sun on the beaches of the Canary Islands, Ruby Servinis couldn't shake the thought that her life was meant to go in another direction.
The 24-year-old Mount Waverley resident had always wanted to be an actor. At Caulfield Grammar School in Wheelers Hill, she starred in student productions and fell in love with the stage and the screen.
But her parents were unenthusiastic about their daughter's newfound ambitions. Servinis' father, a musician, didn't want his daughter entering the entertainment world.
"It wasn't an environment that he wanted his daughter to be in. He just thinks that it's not stable enough," she says. "He's an extremely protective dad," she says, laughing.
So when high school finished, Servinis enrolled in a psychology degree and acting became something other people did.
She was successful in her academic career, earning a place in an honours program and accepting a job as a statistics tutor. But while she loved teaching, her heart was elsewhere.
"I think by the time I was doing honours, I was just doing it to finish it. [Acting has] always been on my mind. I'm definitely not made for nine to five."
It was the people she encountered on the Greek island of San Torini, and on the Canary Islands that inspired her to pursue her dream. The musicians who made up a part of the crowd reminded her of how much she loved performing.
Back in Melbourne she enrolled in a short course at the Victorian College of the Arts to be sure the talent she remembered had not disappeared through lack of use. It hadn't.
Her parents accepted her decision with grace. "They're just happy that I'm happy," she says.
Last month, Servinis was cast in Clique, a new television drama being made by Worthwhile Productions, a novice independent film and television company. The show revolves around a group of friends finishing high school and dealing with changing relationships, complex friendships, substance abuse and family problems.
Servinis will play Laura, a newcomer to the school whom audiences will love to hate. "I'm going to create a bit of trouble," she says. "Laura gets in the way of other people's lives. She doesn't have too many redeeming qualities about her but she'll be a really fun character to play."
The show's pilot episode premiered earlier this month at Melbourne's Loop Bar, which screens independent films.. The show's producers will soon start pitching to the television networks.