Sunday, November 3, 2013


Hey Abyss,

Tomorrow I, along with my class, will be heading into rehearsal for the second show of our graduate season: Our Country's Good by Timberlake Weretenbaker. I am not really sure why, but I am extremely excited for this process. My class and I had the opportunity to see Tadeusz Bradecki's work at the Shaw Festival earlier this year, as he also directed Guys & Dolls. I had a blast at the show, and perhaps that is why I am so excited to work with him. Although, there is a difference between a 1950's musical and a historical piece that is set in 1788, Australia.

This week we were working with Jackie Maxwell, who is the Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival, on scenes from Three Sisters. The class was intended more for the 2 directing program students, and focused on balancing crowds on the stage through dynamic and relationships, which in turn continues to feed the actors. It was an interesting experience and helped me to not just see my relationship to the other characters, but also the big picture and how there can be a domino effect. Working with Jackie was great. She is super chill and really easy to talk to, which surprised me. Personally, I have always been rather intimidated by AD's, so that fact that she was extremely approachable and kind made working with her a breeze and began to debunk my theories.

Her class was the only one we had which made it a pretty lax week, in terms of NTS. We finally got a full two day weekend after  Lion in the Streets and we had another one this weekend, which I assume was to be used to prep for Our Country's Good. Needless to say, I used the time to breathe and actually get some of my "everyday" things done.

This past Friday, the student body went to the Monument National to be privy to the reception of this years winners of the Gascon-Thomas Awards: Colm Feore and Suzanne Lebeau. Both of them are extremely inspiring and talented artists and if you don't know who they are, I recommend clicking their names and finding out.

Colm said some really pertinent things, in his seemly improvised speech, that have continued to resonate with me over the weekend. He spoke about preparedness in the young actor, and how it is essential for survival to be constantly honing your craft. How at any moment one must be ready to do what is asked. That is the key to getting work and having longevity. One must invest and prove that they are capable and ready. 

Honestly, I couldn't agree more with him.

But as I nodded my head in compliance with his bold and energetic speech, I came to the realization that I needed to work harder. Now, I always work hard in the moment, that has never been a problem whether on stage or behind the camera. The work that Colm was speaking about was when no one is looking, when there is no one to be accountable to other than yourself and your bank account. And in that moment listening to Colm, I saw how lazy I can be. In the past, I have blamed it on the busy schedule we have at the school, or that I am tired and have other things that need my focus. But actually, nothing needs my focus more than my career. And that is the truth.

Along with this acceptance of my lazy tendencies, I have also accepted that I need to stop doubting myself as an actor. It is a continued process of relinquishing control, and now running along side that is my abandon of self doubt. There is nothing wrong or arrogant with knowing that I have something to offer, that I have talent. I can accept that I may not know what my artistic vision is yet, or what deeply motivates me to create, but I do know that I have something unique to bring to the table and I am good at what I do, which is being an actor. And accepting that is a huge step. I have doubted my abilities and strengths since first year, and it is only now that I can see that I do have them, and I am special, despite the cliché of that sentence.

Heading into Our Country's Good with this state of mind, and my excitement for the work that is to be done with this show makes me feel extremely confident about the next few months and my progression in my final year at NTS.

As my conversation ended with Colm he said to me, "When we meet again, make sure to remind me that we met here in the lobby of the Monument." I replied, "Don't worry, I will."

Great News: All the Wrong Reasons had it's Canadian theatrical release and is playing in all the major cities make sure you get out to see this amazing film featuring the Canadian talents of Karine Vanesse, Emily Hampshire, Kevin Zegers and the late Cory Monteith. Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for yours truly. You can check locations here --> Showtimes

Also, as a reminder, on Novemeber 16th, BONE DEEP will premiere on CBC for your watching pleasure, and it will be uploaded to iTunes later that day if you don't have cable. I was nominated for an ACTRA award for my performance, so if you like me, you might like the film!

Night Abyss.