Wearing the badge again

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.

The Last time I was in full uniform was for the CHUM FM commercial I did back in 2014:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEuyPd5b4Gg  

Here’s to many more roles where I bring in the bad guys.

 

Rebellious Women: Remount!

Rebellious Women: Remount!

Next year, our great nation will be celebrating 150 years of Canadian history and culture! Now the history nerd in me is going nuts with all the great programming that I know is coming to the museums I work at – but also that I will be in an episode of Canada: The Story of Us on the CBC is exciting!

PLUS: it has been confirmed that my one-woman play about Mrs. Gibson and the women of the Upper Canada Rebellion will be remounted at Gibson House Museum in August!

I’m stoked to look back at this play I wrote back in… oh man, 2010?! Dust it off and send it back into rehearsal/the parlour. It is a site specific piece that tells the woman’s side of what happened in December of 1837…

Rebellious Women: Teasoons Raised
Rebellious Women: Teaspoons Raised

 

“November 1851: In the front parlour of Mrs. Gibson’s newly built home in Willow Dale, a table is set with cake and tea. Mrs. Gibson and her guests: Mrs. Cummer and Mrs. Sheppard, have gathered. Gibson House hosts the three unique women of Willow Dale whose lives were touched by the events of the 1837 Rebellion. Based on letters and journals, discover history through the perspective of the wives, daughters, and mothers of those men who fought for change on Yonge Street.”

 

 

 

More updates on tickets and specifics to come!

Actor Bucket List

Actor Bucket List

I know every actor has a character/role bucket list (like mine includes being a superhero, Katerina from Taming of the Shrew, Queen Margaret in Richard III and I want to ride a horse in a Western!) but there is another bucket list:

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1. Be doubled

2. Do a shoddy accent (and still get the part)

3. Do a brilliant accent and don’t get the part!

4. Play the “young” version of a character

5. Play the “present”/old version of the character

6. Get into a choreographed fight on stage and screen

7. Say no to the stunts (leave that fire gag to the professionals!)

8. Say yes to the stunts! (C’mon it’s a glass made of sugar!)

9. Awkward make-outs with the scene partner you JUST met

10. Getting down to your birthday suit

11. Eat something you’re allergic to just so you get the part (yes I have done this…)

12. Get paid to sit and read a book all day and in the 7th hour they use you for 3 mins

13. Wear next to nothing for that sweet shot outside (bonus if you have to go swimming in October through April)

14. Drive a vehicle with a GoPro staring at you

15. Dye/cut your hair for a role

16. Learn a new skill for that role (dancing, combat, singing… something that you have absolutely NO idea how to do but you said yes in the audition so you’re screwed now!)

17. Loose/gain weight for a part

18. Voice Over yourself (probably because an airplane ruined your shot the first time)

19. Be the director/producer/writer/actor/marketer/make-up artist/choreographer/fight director/FOH/everything for a show you believe in with zero dollars just because you love the show so much (and eat PB & J for at least a month to make it work)

 

I’m sure there’s more – what have you experienced? Add to the list!

 

Behind the audition table

Recently I was behind the audition table on the panel for Urban Bard Productions as they are doing Comedy of Errors this summer downtown Toronto. Here are my observations to be taken in stride for anyone who thinks my opinion/advice is worth anything more than the breath I spent saying it 😉

1. If there is a script, STOP and read it. And if you don’t read it, do not announce that you have not read it! This happened more than once believe it or not. Just do yourself a favour and read the script.

2. If there is a sign on the door STOP and read it. Huh. I sense a theme here.

3. If it calls for an accent then do it. If you can’t do it: try. The panel wants to see you play – your willingness to just do it. (“the scripts are called Plays for a reason, so PLAY!”someone once told me.) Or if that scares the bee-jebus out of you, decline the audition because that’s the gig. But please don’t lie to the panel and say you can do a *insert region here* accent because they will likely ask you to do it: and when you come up short EVERYBODY FEELS AWKWARD. Own what you know. Work on what you don’t. But don’t try to get away with a lie.

4. Do NOT bring a knife to your audition. And then use it. And freak out the panel. Or just me.

5. Do have fun! When you are having fun we are having fun! Most audition panels are made up of people who have been in your shoes once-upon-a-time and we get it: it’s a weird thing to showcase all of you in 2 mins or less. What they want to see is your willingness, that’s 80% of the audition. There are some non-tangibles like “do you look the part” which may just be in the directors brain and never shared, or if you fit the costumes that were pre-made/rented. But really it’s your willingness to take direction, be relaxed with these certain people, showing us your homework without showing us your homework – all that in 2 mins is HARD and they know it. So just have fun and it will all be okay.

6. STAPLE your résumé to your headshot for the love of Shakespeare!!!

7. Read the room. You may not be able to do this yet but it is a skill every actor should have. If the panel keeps looking at the time, or has one word answers for you maybe you should wrap up your candid post-monologue chit-chat and get outta there. If they are looking at your résumé do not start your monologue until they look up! It’s the little things. 

8. Go there. Just do it. The whole “we would rather see too much than too little” is fine for a theatre audition (again read the room and do your homework to see if this is contrary for that situation) but mostly just GO THERE. Fill the room. I’m not saying “be loud. be impressive. be a diva” no I’m saying own it. You got the audition now take it and make it yours. Don’t apologise (oh us Canadian actors) just do it!

I think that’s it. They seem so obvious but nerves and life get in the way. The trick is to not bring that into the room. That is the hardest part of all. But that’s what auditioning is. Take all in stride and keep going to get better at the audition part, and sometimes you will even GET the part 🙂

And now if you’ll excuse me I have to practice what I preach…

 

 

The Tango!

So even though Secret Lives of Lovers is on hold – the director Marc Morgenstern put some of the raw footage together to get a feel for the Tango we all worked so hard on.

Remember: I am not a dancer! This was a personal triumph and I thank Five Strangers Films so much for the opportunity…

 

That’s Jason Martorino and Siobhan Richardson as my dance partners.

The dance goes on to turn into a fight! I hope we can see the footage of that sometime in the future too as Siobhan was so great to work with (read: so patient!).

 

The Tango

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The sunrise was most promising – getting up at 6 am is not something one usually looks forward to (personally I think getting up at dawn is for two things and two things only: getting on a plane in time and getting to set on time.) but I was getting to set on time.

It was the dreaded TANGO FIGHT DAY on set for Secret Lives of Lovers that I had been prepping for (in rehearsals on and off for a month) and today was the big day. (Well, yesterday…)

20130211-084546.jpgThe costumes were awesome – thanks to Ginger Martini, and I could fly away by eyelash alone after Kim Haddad got through with me! Look at them lashes! It was like I was doing push-ups with my lids ALL DAY – it was a weird feeling…

The set put me at ease because it was a theatre I knew and loved: The Annex Theatre. I did a Dracula the Un-Dead staged reading here and I have seen many a Fringe show here.

It was great to be someplace I felt cozy and homey with:

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20130211-084611.jpgIt was almost a 12 hour day. I need to remind you that I was dancing in heels, full make-up (with push-up lashes), this awesome red dress (see below) and using a sword for most of that.

I am proud to say I did not cry.

Filming is a different beast than theatre and I must confess I don’t know exactly how to make it my pet yet.

 

As you can see here – this is about half way through our day (the lovely Jason Martorino – also not a dancer – was my partner for the tango in this scene) and already my face wants to fall off. Bless the make-up artist! She kept me beaming all day!

 

In the end I’m pleased and proud I did something that challenged me mentally and physically. I have been watching movies with a different filter lately too… Now I always watch movies with the “oh cool, that must have been a crane shot” or “oh cool, I wonder how they got the hoverboard in in post?!” and stuff like that. But lately I have been tipping my hat to any actor that does something FOR REAL that requires them to do something they ain’t. Like Natalie Portman in Black Swan – she USED to dance, so maybe it wasn’t such a huge leap – (no pun intended) – okay better example, fight scenes in tv shows. They get zero time with their choreographer (okay they get some but really? For the amount of time they do to the time they have to mark and finalize it?) It takes an amazingly fast mind and dedicated will to let your mistakes go and just DO IT. I tip my hat to all you talented artists out there. If you can let me in on your secrets I would love to know them! Until then – I will take this weekend as a win and let myself ice my right thigh from all the lunges I did over the past 24 hours…

Thanks to everyone working on set for Secret Lives of Lovers yesterday and making it a really great day for me when the whole time I was scared to death of the Tango Fight. You all rock. You all rock SO HARD.

Tango Tango

I have started my tango lessons – and guess what? I’m not entirely lame at it! I was told by my partners that I follow their lead really well and that I will pick it up in no time. Here’s hoping.

In case you didn’t hear I got a leading role that has some tango attached to it. I, in fact, do not dance. Or at least, I’m not a dancER. I like to dance, and I’m finding that I like to tango. That is, I just started so the basic steps are fun at this point. I can’t wait to get to this level:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9XGsp8FpOQ

Tonight I have a sit down table talk with my director Marc Morgenstern from Five Strangers Films about my character Grace and who she is. I’m excited to get deeper into this project!