Tanja is a small town farm girl at heart having grown up on a farm outside Bapsfontein in Gauteng. Showing talent from early on, she started competing in various equestrian disciplines such as Three Phase Evening, Show jumping and Dressage, skills which developed within her, an innate sense of discipline and an unquenchable drive to succeed.
After completing her high school certificate in Pretoria, Tanja moved to Sydney, Australia to complete an Advanced Diploma in Contemporary Dance and Choreography. An injury in her second year rendered dancing nearly impossible but she chose to continue, majoring in choreography. The following year she also completed a Diploma in Music Composition. Upon her return to South Africa she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and Creative Writing at the North West University. Whilst at the NWU she coached and did various vocal arrangements for Residences at the university for the ATKV Nasionale Sêr Kompetisie. She also did a variety of shows and plays during her studies and got nominated, by Henry Mylne, for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of “June” in the play Hoedemoeles.
She has been in the entertainment industry full time since 2014 in a variety of ways including doing Voice Overs for radio and Television commercials, Singing in the Idols Choir and featuring in various TV Commercials.
Her passion for film has grown as she has pursued the discipline of film acting more fervently. Playing Jo-leen Steyn on the KynNet soapie Binnelanders was most certainly a highlight and an experience from which she gained most valuable insight. Most recently she played the role of Dr Marie Loots in the short film Mallemeule which had a screening at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, the Zanzibar Film Festival and is also in consideration for the 2019 Student Oscars.
With regard to stage work, Tanja has also added interesting roles such as the feisty Drizella Tremaine from the beloved children’s tale, Cinderalla to her repertoire. Her role as Sister Aloysius Beauvier in the critically acclaimed play Doubt: a Parable,which won the Kopanong Prize for Theatre at the 2017 Kopanong Arts Festival, remains one of her most challenging and memorable roles to date.
Last year she made her directorial debut with the work “Nice to meet you, now let’s take off our Pants”, written by Daniel Geddes and Mark Tatham at the POPArt Theare. The work is in pre-production for an extended run towards the end of 2018.
She is a keen and impassioned writer and a researcher of life and is zealous about building the creative industry in South Africa as a writer, director and performer.