Nadine, 26, is an actress in Ottawa, Ontario. She also teaches drama to children and youth at the Ottawa School of Speech and Drama and various community centres in the Ottawa area. Her BA in drama is from the University of Waterloo, where she studied for four years. Between acting jobs she has also worked as a program coordinator for a disabled-persons group, an information officer for the federal government and a camp director.
Stephanie: What made you decide to become an actress?
Nadine: When I was 12 years old, my mother took me to see the musical Les Misérables and it blew me away. When we left the theatre, one thought kept running through my mind: I HAVE to do that. And I've felt that way ever since.
Stephanie: What do you like about your job?
Nadine: I love creating a character -- inventing their histories, figuring out their personality quirks, and so on. It's like a big game of make-believe. I also enjoy the rehearsal process. The cast and crew often bond while putting a play together. I've made some of my best friends in the rehearsal studio. Finally, I love the applause. I know it's shallow, but there's no ego booster like having a room full of people clap their hands for you.
Stephanie: What is your least favourite part of the job?
Nadine: The rejection -- for every person who thinks you're fabulous, ten will think that you're 'not what we're looking for' and they tell you that to your face. That's hard to deal with, especially when you're already having a bad hair day.
Stephanie: What advice do you have for someone considering becoming an actor/actress?
Nadine: Really know what you're getting into. Acting is really hard work. It's extremely difficult to find jobs in the field and then the work itself is very difficult. Acting requires a LOT of tedious repetition and sitting around in rehearsal. If you're going into it to be famous, I'd suggest another line of work. Very few professional actors reach the status of 'stars' and most of them had to struggle for years before they 'made it.' For the vast majority of actors the pay is lousy, the hours are long and the sacrifices are many. The only thing that's going to get you through all of that is loving what you do. If you can say, 'I'd do this even if no one paid me to,' then you're in the right profession.
My other big piece of advice is BE PERSISTENT. If someone tells you 'no', don't let that stop you. If a hundred people tell you 'no', don't give up. If someone tells you that you don't have what it takes, go home, have a cry, eat some chocolate, say unkind things about that person, and try again tomorrow. If you want it enough, you CAN do it.
Stephanie: What kind of an education did you get to be an actress?
Nadine: I have an honours bachelor of arts in drama. I also take acting courses whenever the opportunity and the funds arise.
Stephanie: What's your favourite movie, and who is your favourite actor or actress?
Nadine: I have about ten favourite movies and their rankings change on a weekly basis, so I will answer the other question. I think that Toni Colette is one of the most talented actresses I have every seen in a movie - her best-known role was probably the mom in The Sixth Sense. I also think that Reese Witherspoon and Kirsten Dunst both have a very appealing screen presence (although I may just being saying that because I have a little crush on both of them).
We are always trying to find new careers to feature in the spotlight! If there is a career you would like to know more about, please let us know what it is, and we will do what we can to include it on the site. E-mail your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.