When I was twelve I joined a collection-creation musical theatre group called Children’s Creations, and discovered that (in my mind at least) acting was my destiny. So alongside four years home-brew youth theatre I got subscriptions to a couple of trade magazines, Cinema Canada and Film World, and as each issue arrived I flipped to the ‘In Production’ section at the end and made cold calls. This process mostly involved staring at the phone on my lap and taking deep breaths. Sometimes I misdialed the last number on purpose (this was in the rotary phone days) just as an excuse to hang up and start again, giving myself another 30 seconds’ grace. I’ve never been good with cold calls. I’m still not.
Eventually I got work in French and English, secured actual union memberships and an agent, and started making a bit of a living while still in high school. The nuns who taught at École Secondaire Classique Villa Maria knew I sometimes missed class for work, but tolerated it because I guess I managed to keep my marks respectable. I’ve supported myself as an actor since then, only taking a two-year hiatus when I moved to Toronto and got my MA, and a ten-year sabbatical when screenwriting and showrunning unexpectedly became a full-time occupation in 2007.
So, in the years between, I’ve done a bunch of feature film —The Sweet Hereafter (Atom Egoyan), Maelstrom (Denis Villeneuve), Revoir Julie (Jeanne Crépeau) — TV (This is Wonderland, At the Hotel, CBC) — and theatre (A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Illusion, Stratford Festival; Romeo and Juliet, The Glass Menagerie, Globe Theatre). But despite having been occasionally involved in some pretty classy, award-winning, critically-praised work, it’s quite possible the most enduring claim to my fame (such as it is) remains that I provided the voice of Sailor Venus in the cult anime series Sailor Moon.
Awards of Distinction
- National Indie Treasure - Gemma files, NOW Magazine
- National Board of Review: (NYC) Best Acting by an Ensemble, Awarded for the cast of The Sweet Hereafter (1997)
- ACTRA Award: Best Actress in a Radio Drama nomination - for the role of Violet in Baby Machines (1989)
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