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Ada Nicodemou: my best times

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Taken from http://health.ninemsn.com.au/page.aspx?id=66942

Ada Nicodemou: my best times

Life's never been better for Home And Away's Ada Nicodemou who's also stepping it out on Dancing With The Stars. Here's her story...

"I never thought of acting as a career. I got my first full-time job on Heartbreak High when I was 15, but I was always anxious to leave acting and get a proper job. I left the industry for a year, and I studied and worked as an event coordinator. But then I realised I missed acting. I enjoy the lifestyle of being an actor. I like that the hours are different. I still don't know whether I want to do acting for the rest of my life, and I think part of that is because of the instability of the work. I never feel I can really rely on it. I've been lucky, though — I've been working for 12 years straight, and I guess there aren't too many actors who can say that.

"I wouldn't move overseas to act. My career is not that important to me. But my family and friends are very important to me. And I would never leave all of that to go to the US and be a struggling actor. There are so many other things I can do with my life in this beautiful country of ours. I want to one day be a mum and a wife and be able to take my kids to school, and I want to do that in Australia, where I was brought up. I wouldn't want to bring kids up in America. I couldn't think of anything worse.

"I'm very close to my family. I'm 28 and I still live with my mum and my brother, Costa, and I have no plans to move out. Why would I? I come and go as I please and Mum's a fabulous cook. Plus I like hanging out with my family. I think you've got the rest of your life to be away from your family. My dad has lived in Cyprus since I was about 15, and I don't get to see him very often. I've only seen him twice since he's been there, but it's fine, we find other ways to communicate.

"I am a bit of a homebody. I love being at home and sitting on my bed reading, or watching TV. There's something about being at home that's relaxing. Having said that, I also love being around people. I enjoy hanging out with my friends, and going to restaurants and that kind of thing. The older I get, though, the more I like spending time at home.

"Mum has always been very supportive of my career. One of the best things she has done for me is to keep me grounded. She's never been a stage mum. I think it's a lot harder not to get caught up in the fame thing of being on TV when you're young because, suddenly, you're faced with all this attention and money, and you're in a kind of surreal world. Mum always keeps me real. I still have to go home and help with the housework, and I had to stick with my schooling and wasn't allowed to spend my money. As I get older, things become easier and I better understand what I'm doing. I realise I'm just a product selling another product. But I can see how you can get swept up in it all. Suddenly, you're appearing in magazines, and you're being invited to this and that; it's a whole new ritzy lifestyle, but it doesn't last forever.

"I'm a very nurturing person. I'm a bit of a mum to the younger kids on Home and Away. I'm always getting everyone to eat well, to save their money and to stick with their schooling. And if they've ever got any problems, they come to me. I think it's important to try to talk them through stuff like that.

"I think my Greek heritage has influenced my life in many ways. Family is so important in the Greek culture, and so that affects the way you plan your life because you don't want to be away from your family. When I was growing up, I went to Greek school to learn the language and did Greek dancing and all of that. At the time I didn't like it, but I really appreciate it now because I know how to speak another language, and I can read and write it a little. It's an asset. I've also learnt more about my culture, and what we bring to the world and we should embrace that. I'm very grateful that Mum taught me about Greek culture.

"Looking after my health is important. The older I get, the more I realise that I'm stuck with this body for the rest of my life, and if I want it to work properly, I must feed it the right things. I'm lucky in that we ate lots of fruit and vegetables when we were growing up, and I've always been an active person. I find that some exercise in the morning gives me more energy during the day. I also like to do things for myself — I think it's good for the soul. I always have my "Ada days", where I'll go to the movies, or have a pedicure or massage. It really makes me feel good.

"To me, it's more important to feel good, than to look good. I've never played the siren where I've felt under pressure to look good. But, I am more aware of my body since appearing in Dancing with the Stars — I don't usually expose that much skin! I think I put pressure on myself to look good with this show, because I want to have that confidence when I'm dancing. In the first episode of the show I was wearing next to nothing. I was the first act and I thought I'd be really freaked out about that, but when I started dancing, I didn't even think about it.

Dancing with the Stars has been a real life-changing experience for me. I have learnt a lot about myself. I'm learning what it's like to be under pressure, and sometimes things get so hard that I want to quit, but I have to push myself through it. The show is really hard work, but it's a great experience. This year has been an amazing time for me. I think I've become more mature. Mentally, I feel 10 years older. And I'm much happier as well.

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