Congratulations on your role in Into Invisible Light! Can you tell us about that experience and character?
Being on the set of “Into Invisible Light” was the most eye-opening experience. This was the most recent movie I took part in and I felt it was the production that allowed me to find new levels of confidence through my acting. I played the role of Monica Astrov: a passionately artistic teenager and very gifted dancer. She is completely invested in establishing a career in dance and although she has an innocent persona about her, she would stop at nothing to achieve these goals. From my first audition till I heard “that’s a wrap on Monica”, I was wholeheartedly invested in this production. My character was easy to love and hopefully whoever watches it will find Monica as relatable as I did!
When did you become an ACTRA member, and what was your first union gig?
I became an ACTRA member as an Apprentice after my first role in 2015 as a member of the Sentinals Dance Crew in the movie “Bravetown” featuring Josh Duhamel, Laura Dern and Lucas Till. Once I got a role in Season 1 of “Channel Zero” TV series and a radio commercial, I then became eligible to become a full ACTRA member at the end of 2016.
How has being a member of ACTRA benefited you?
Being a member of ACTRA has benefited me in many ways. Once you’ve become a member, you begin to receive information on all upcoming roles and training workshops that are offered through ACTRA. It has given me the opportunity to audition for roles and to connect with major casting directors in Winnipeg who have been so helpful in making my audition a comfortable one. I found that once the casting directors developed a familiarity with me, they assisted me in submitting for the roles they felt I would be best suited for. Being an ACTRA member also means that you are part of a union that will support you whether it means dealing with any discrepancies you encountered on set or any question you may have regarding ways to build on your training. You can take part in a number of workshops throughout the year that will help you to improve as an actor. For example, American Accent Workshop – with so many movies requiring the American accent, ACTRA makes it possible to practice these skills by offering workshops with instructors who understand what the industry is looking for in your audition.
What has been your favourite or most memorable role thus far?
In 2017, I was involved in seven movies that were all shot in Winnipeg. Three were extra special to me as they were all speaking roles. In the TV series “Burden of Truth” I was cast as Riley Smith, a mean jock at the high school. In “The Perfect Match” I was cast as Emma Jordan, a girlfriend and intelligent med student. As far as my favorite role thus far, “Into Invisible Light” playing Monica as mentioned earlier would be my first choice. This role asked me to venture into a world that I was already a part of – let’s just say there were aspects in this movie that were simply “Me”. I grew up in the dance scene of competition where working for that scholarship went beyond technique. I understood the pressure that was involved and mixed emotions that Monica seems to develop within herself. Working with such experienced actors such as Peter Keleghan, Kari Matchett, and Jennifer Dale enabled me to grow in my craft and follow their professionalism. A major contributor to my positive experience on set as Monica would be thanks to the director, Shelagh Carter. She cared for her actors as people not just the characters, taking the time to help us build our relationships before we walked on set. This was my largest role, meaning I was on set much more often than other productions. This allowed me to become fully comfortable within takes, in turn making lines feel effortless and the execution more clear for the audience.
What is your dream role?
This is a tricky question! I have had the opportunity to play a wide spectrum of characters since I ventured into this world of acting. I have always thought that playing a hockey player would really embody me as I played competitive hockey for 12 years of my life.
With the exposure I currently have, I would love to be the “Lead” role on an Action TV Series where I am able to demonstrate my physical abilities and energetic personality.
How do you stay sharp? Do you have any training suggestions?
Although I plan to be more involved in upcoming training opportunities in Manitoba, I did a lot of my initial training in LA just after graduation. I find it important to analyse the script to find ways to contribute to the role that will grab the director’s attention. Directors want to see your choices and want to see you can own a scene in front of the camera. So be you! When preparing for an audition I want to emphasize that being prepared and knowing your lines does not go unnoticed. The knowledge of the script or character will make the re-directs in the audition room easier on you. So practice the scene in a few different ways, be ready to give options because you never know what that audition room will present you with!
Do you have any advice for other actors out there?
If you are a beginner, start by getting your headshot and resume into the hands of background casting agents. Any time on set is time well spent. Those small roles are important and should be your time to be reliable, alert, and a good listener. If you are feeling uncomfortable in front of the camera, attend training workshops. This way the directors see you and you get time to find what works for you. I would also suggest getting a professional headshot and resume as it shows directors that you are investing in your talent!