From Copywriter to Actor
Every actor has a story that starts off somewhere... mine arguably began when I took interest in acting as a child; taking part in camp plays. But as an adult, though my family was in the business and I basically grew up on set, I moved onto other things - because I needed to forge my own path. So, I landed a job in advertising and then spent the next several years hustling to get to the top.
And then I did - working for SID LEE in Montreal. And then it hit me: I wasn't happy. If the climb had provided any personal satisfaction, having reached the summit, I no longer felt it. And I was at a total loss because - after years of searching, of trying so many things - I wondered: "Is this work? Is this what work is? Being miserable?" (Yes, I've had great clients - and still do - but luckily I get to be much more selective these days).
So, I turned to my dad, my best friend, lifelong confident, and asked what I should do next. And he asked me: "Well, what would make you happy?" And the first thing that jumped to mind seemed to be the most obvious of answers, as thought suddenly dug up: acting.
For years, I had found ways to entertain people, through content creation and self-depreciative humour. I wasn't shy in front of a camera. And I knew sets. And they felt like home. So, why hadn't I jumped in sooner? Well, given that my dad has a name for himself in the business, I guess I was shy to be compared. To not have a name of my own but to be the daughter of. Not that I'm not proud to be - I am - but there is something about wanting to make it on ones own as a woman in this world. Something to prove, I guess.
But I quickly realized that, if you're going to get anywhere in this business, while having family in the business can be a pro, no one will give a shit unless you have talent and skill. So, I worked on that.
I began taking acting classes, and asked my modelling agent at the time to start submitting me for auditions. And, out of sheer luck, I got in for A Worthy Companion (now called Allure) and booked a role alongside Evan Rachel Wood. Talk about first time serendipity. Not only do I admire and respect Evan's talent and resume, but it was also a feature film. Which I've always wanted do do. I like to think there was some sort of universe backlog going on.
The following year was filled with auditions out of Montreal. Which, compared to Toronto, was hella slow. But I kept training (and did every workshop I could get my hands on to make up for the lost time) and managed to book a few other roles which quickly got me into ACTRA as a full member.
Needless to say, the confirmations were pushing me to keep going. Not that I would have stopped.
It's challenging to transition careers at 26, after having worked so hard to achieve what you thought you wanted. But what I've realized is that - even in the most competitive business, like a flower in spring, I've still managed to sprout and shape some petals. I've learnt that that there is no shame in changing directions, or changing gears. And everyone's path and story is different. It takes time, but it's possible. And, above all, that you should always be doing work that makes you happy.
As for me, no matter what I'm working on - or towards - I'm on my life's path now. I can feel it. And that's enough to put a smile on my face, every day. Every step of the way.