My talented friend Ryan Fisher of Rainyfresh Photography let me check a bucket list item off my list: being a historic cowgirl. I have always loved Calamity Jane (from Deadwood was an amazing interpretation!) and Back to the Future 3 – heck I live my life in the times of the Gold Rush, but I’m stuck in Toronto 1850s not the Klondike! My costume in this photo-shoot was inspired by Calamity’s classic look from her 1880’s portrait, too. I have been training to be her with stage combat, whip work, gun work, and of course horseback riding.
My friend Phil from Stageworthy Podcast wrote this when he saw the Rainyfresh edit of the photos:
“Red Anna. Some’ll tell you that her hair wasn’t always red. That it turned blood red from the entrails of the men she killed. Others say that it’s red because it was touched by the flames of hell. Still others say that its the dark mark upon her, placed there for some sin too dark to mention. What the truth is, none can say. But she’s earned each and every tale that’s told about her, and more.”
So here is Calamity Jane’s 1880 portrait I used to inspire my costume that I put together myself:
I was on set for The Spell Tutor as the creator Herman Wang asked if I would want to play a Victorian witch, knowing full well that 1. I am a huge geek 2. I am a Harry Potterhead 3. I am a Victorian for most of my time at the museums. So naturally I said yes! I played Dorthy Kelpie, a Victorian woman trapped in another dimension.
This is their final season and it looks like I will be in episode 4 of it. I had my scenes with Parissia played byAlexandra Bayer. I don’t want to spoil the plot but I will definitely post the final result when it airs as I haven’t had much fun with green-screen and this was a treat to do.
Thanks for having me on the show! And congrats on 4 seasons!
One of the many hats I wear is shaped like a bonnet – well, at least that’s my usual hat when I’m at the museums. I am a storyteller and sometimes the story I have to tell is that of Toronto’s history at some of the historic house museums. You can learn about my endeavors on my Historical Interpreter page and see more about my historical dramas built for site specifically on my Playwright page.
The Toronto History Museums and I have a long standing history (pun intended) of creating experiences for patrons to explore history in a different/immersive way. I have created several theatre-in-situ/site specific stories based on artifacts, letters, diaries, and photographs. Here’s my little piece in the museum magazine about it:
So fun! I can’t wait to see what our next creation will be 🙂
I have this dream to be in a Western movie… maybe it’s because I have spent the last 10 years working in the right time period at the museums I teach and tour at. Maybe it’s because I started to ride horses when I was a kid and grew up to show horses in Hunter/Jumper class or Barrel Races. Maybe it’s because I have been fascinated with archery and single action lever rifles. Maybe it’s because I have always wanted to be a badass woman saving the day. Maybe it’s because I fell in love with Back to the Future part three or Deadwood tv series (because Calamity Jane played by Robin Weigert blew up my heart and mind!)
Whatever the reason, when my friend Ryan Fisher of Rainyfresh Photography wanted to do something other than weddings and I immediately suggest an old Western photoshoot where I could pay homage to the likes of Calamity Jane and badass ladies in general.
The day before I hung out with my brother at the gun range as we both have our license and trained up on bolt action rifles and pistols, I have to be a markswoman if I’m going to duel at dawn in 1847! Turns out I’m a pretty good shot – look at that grouping and target hits below:
And a preview of what’s to come from the photoshoot: here is one of Ryan’s awesome photos of me in my full Calamity Adri costume get up!
I love history, more over I love me some local Canadian history – to be fair I have been immersed in it since 2007 when I got my first museum job as a Historical Interpreter here in Toronto. But wait! I also did Renaissance Faires and a Pirate Festival before that (which were probably the best summers of my life,) so I feel like anywhere from 1790s up to 1914 I have a fair understanding of what was happening in the Western world.
But then I got to play a heroine of mine: Kit Coleman who was an Irish immigrant who came to Canada, Toronto in fact, and was a journalist – the first to be a female war correspondent, and a fantastic feminist who challenged people to judge her work by what she wrote rather than what gender she was or what she wore.
The full episode airs on CBC at 9pm on Sunday April 17, but for now here is a mini-episode with me as Kit!
I’m not going to lie, I love getting cast as an officer. Recently I had the chance to be an FBI agent on See No Evil, coming soon to TV.
There is something about being the authority figure and not the victim in stories that I really dig. Maybe because I am a fan of equality and not just having men in places of power, but dang does it feel great to be a powerful woman in front of the camera.
It’s no secret I’m a huge geek. Nerd? There are times when I am both! Like in my latest photoshoot with Photos by Jo (and make-up by Coral who wanted me to really dive into my geek branding as I’m now hosting Geektropolis and of course I said “Affirmative. Engage.” and quickly had a panic attack about which shirt to wear – I have SO MANY geeky t-shirts!
Here’s my Brady Bunch set:
And the best Captain America I can do without fully cosplaying it in camos: