Share

cover art for EP 109: Sundance Potpourri

Second Act Actors

EP 109: Sundance Potpourri

Season 1, Ep. 109


Today's episode is a special one, straight from the heart of the Sundance Film Festival. I've titled it "Sundance Potpourri" because it's a collection of mini interviews with some incredible talents I had the pleasure of meeting in Park City, Utah.

First up, we have Ian Bawa, a director from Winnipeg, who shared his journey from "failed law student" to a filmmaker. His short film "My Son Went Quiet" premiered at Slamdance, an indie film festival adjacent to Sundance, and it's a powerful piece based on his true life story, complete with the real 911 call from a pivotal moment in his life.

Next, we chatted with John Mawson, a Merchant Marine-turned-actor, who's now involved in an audio drama project. He shared his transition from the sea to the screen and the importance of creating your own content.

We also hear from Chris Nash and Pierce Dirks, the director and director of photography, respectively, of "In a Violent Nature," the only Canadian film at Sundance this year. They discussed the challenges and improvisations during filming, including reshooting with a stripped-down crew and budget.

Next, I had a heartwarming conversation with Sallieu Sesay, a med-surg nurse turned actor, originally from Sierra Leone. He spoke about the discipline required in both medicine and acting, the importance of a solid financial foundation, and the emotional drive behind his career change.

Finally, a short conversation with actress and filmmaker, Amira Lopez, about the importance of creating your own work and having proper representation within our industry.

Each guest brought their unique perspective on the industry, and it's clear that no matter where you start, passion and perseverance can lead to a fulfilling career...AND A TRIP TO THE SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL!

More episodes

View all episodes

  • 130. EP 130: David Pinard: Reality TV Star Turned Actor

    51:27
    In this conversation, Janet McMordie and, reality TV star turned actor, David Pinard discuss the importance of networking and building a community in the entertainment industry. They highlight the need for actors to support each other and pay it forward. David shares his journey of discovering his passion for performing arts and taking the leap to pursue acting full-time. They discuss the challenges and unpredictability of the industry, including the impact of reality TV on acting careers. David discusses the challenges and opportunities for Canadian actors, particularly in the context of Christmas movies and M.O.W.s. He highlights the lack of a star system in Canada and the need for ACTRA to support actors in their career growth. David also shares advice for aspiring actors, emphasizing the importance of consistency and developing additional skills. He discusses the limitations of typecasting and the challenges of filming Christmas movies and M.O.W.s. Finally, David shares memorable moments on set and his excitement for upcoming projects.TakeawaysNetworking and building a community are essential in the entertainment industry.The entertainment industry can be challenging and unpredictable, but perseverance is key.Aspiring actors should pursue additional skills outside of acting to stand out in auditions.Consistency is key in building an acting career, and actors should strive to do something every day to progress towards their goals.Christmas movies and M.O.W.s provide valuable learning experiences for up-and-coming actors and can serve as a platform for growth.Actors should maintain a positive mindset and focus on the learning opportunities and growth potential in every experience.
  • 129. EP 129: Andrew Meikle: Actor/Writer/Producer

    49:40
    Apologies for the audio issues...my whole recording set-up is on ye olde FRITZ. Je ne comprend pas technology but I'll fiddle once I recover from PRIDE WEEKENDJoin us on an inspiring journey as we explore the career of ANDREW MEIKLE! Listen in as we navigate the unpredictability of the film industry, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. The conversation also touches on the sense of community within the Toronto film scene and the importance of mutual support to compete with industry giants like LA and New York. We also reflect on the potential of revisiting early projects with new resources.Andrew has a ton of practical advice for aspiring creators and the power of networking. Learn how to leverage everyday tools to create content, and hear tips on seizing networking opportunities, even in unexpected places. We also share behind-the-scenes insights from the creation of the web series "Two Brothers," discussing the journey from a micro-budget first season to a more resourceful second season. Hear heartwarming stories of camaraderie on set and the recognition the series has received. Lastly, we celebrate the relationships and memorable moments that fuel the passion for filmmaking, leaving you with words of wisdom and encouragement for your own creative pursuits.TWO BROTHERS SEASON 2 LAUNCH PARTY TICKETS: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/outtvs-two-brothers-season-2-launch-party-tickets-911757048877
  • 128. EP 128: Melissa Melottey: Child Actor Turned Marketing Specialist/Writer/Actor

    49:55
    Melissa Melottey shares her journey as a child actor, her decision to take a break from acting and attend business school, and her return to the industry. She discusses the pressure and expectations she faced as a child actor and the impact it had on her mental health. Melissa also talks about her current focus on writing and acting, and how her perception of the industry has changed over time. She discusses misconceptions about the entertainment industry, the reality of the industry, resilience and perseverance, and the importance of valuing stability.TakeawaysChild actors often face immense pressure and expectations, which can have a significant impact on their mental health.Taking a break from acting and pursuing other interests can be beneficial for personal growth and self-discovery.Writing can be a fulfilling creative outlet and a way to create opportunities in the entertainment industry.The industry has changed over time, with differences in pay and opportunities for actors. The entertainment industry is often misunderstood, and the perception of instant success and constant work is not always the reality.Resilience and perseverance are crucial qualities for success in the industry.It is important to value stability and recognize the high risk involved in pursuing a career in entertainment.Taking classes and continuously learning is important, but it is also essential to listen to yourself and take breaks when needed.Finding joy in acting and creating characters is a key aspect of enjoying the industry.EPISODE SPONSOR: SIMCOE COUNTRY THEATRE FESTIVAL!Experience the third annual Simcoe County Theatre Festival in downtown Barrie! Powered by Theatre by the Bay, this year’s festival features SEVEN new shows by local Simcoe County artists. We’ve got a play for every taste, including a children's opera, a contemporary jazz dance piece, comedies, dramas, and so much more. Running July 10 to 21 at the Five Points Theatre in Barrie. Join us for the festival of the summer and get tickets at theatrebythebay.com or call 705-735-9243.
  • 127. EP 127: Jon Duque: Business Owner turned Actor/Writer

    01:04:40
    On this episode, Dr. Janet McMordie speaks with business owner turned actor, Jon Duque! Jon shares his inspiring journey in the entertainment industry, from pursuing a career in law enforcement to becoming an actor and writer. He faced numerous challenges, including a legal dispute over the rights to his script and health issues. Despite these setbacks, Jon persevered and is now working towards producing his feature film. His story highlights the importance of resilience and following one's passion. Jon emphasizes the importance of learning from mistakes and approaching life's challenges as lessons. He discusses how his background in security and athletics has influenced his creative process and acting career. Jon also shares his aspirations for his upcoming film and the impact he hopes it will have on others.TakeawaysThe entertainment industry can be challenging and unpredictable, but perseverance is key.Facing setbacks and obstacles is a normal part of the journey, and it's important to keep pushing forward.Having a strong support system can make a significant difference in overcoming challenges.Believing in oneself and the value of one's story is crucial, even when faced with rejection or skepticism.Use past experiences to fuel creativity and enhance performancesTake the necessary time and steps to pursue your passionSurround yourself with positive, like-minded individualsFind a positive side to every negative word or situationEPISODE SPONSOR: SIMCOE COUNTRY THEATRE FESTIVAL!Experience the third annual Simcoe County Theatre Festival in downtown Barrie! Powered by Theatre by the Bay, this year’s festival features SEVEN new shows by local Simcoe County artists. We’ve got a play for every taste, including a children's opera, a contemporary jazz dance piece, comedies, dramas, and so much more. Running July 10 to 21 at the Five Points Theatre in Barrie. Join us for the festival of the summer and get tickets at theatrebythebay.com or call 705-735-9243.
  • 126. EP 126: Joanna Syrokomla: Costume Designer

    01:03:43
    In this conversation, Janet McMordie chats with costume designer Joanna Syrokomla! Joanna shares her experience of starting a career in costume design and the process of developing costumes for productions. They also touch on the importance of working with actors and creating costumes that reflect their characters. Joanna emphasizes the importance of accurate measurements and the challenges of working with actors who do not provide their current measurements. GET YOUR MEASUREMENTS, PEOPLE!! She also discusses the transformative power of the fitting room and the joy of collaborating with actors to bring characters to life. She highlights the impact of technology on costume design and the increased diversity in casting due to self-taping auditions. She offers advice on maintaining calmness in stressful situations and the importance of a social media presence for actors. Finally, she discusses upcoming projects and seminars she is involved in.TakeawaysBeing in a room full of enthusiasm and creativity can be a truly marvelous experience.Trusting the path and making decisions based on growth and intuition can lead to fulfilling careers.The process of costume design involves creativity, resourcefulness, and collaboration.Working with actors and understanding their needs and preferences is crucial for creating successful costumes. Accurate measurements are crucial for costume design and actors should provide their current measurements to ensure the best fit.The fitting room is a transformative space where actors can find their character and bring them to life through clothing.Collaboration between costume designers and actors is essential for creating authentic and memorable characters.Technology has greatly impacted costume design, from digital cameras on set to the use of social media for research and inspiration.
  • 125. EP 125: Allisha Pelletier: Business Owner Turned Actor/Producer

    50:02
    In this conversation, Allisha Pelletier shares her journey into the acting industry and the challenges she faced along the way. She discusses the emotional connection she experienced with fellow actors and the impact of typecasting on personal identity. She also talks about her decision to transition from a career in aesthetics to pursue acting full-time. She emphasizes the importance of community and networking in the industry and offers advice for those looking to change careers and enter the entertainment industry. We also discuss her career as a producer and writer, with Allisha sharing her favorite moments on set and the joy of having her family involved. She talks about the importance of making her parents proud and how she feels she is living out her mother's dream. Allisha also reflects on the pressure and gratitude she experiences in her career. She shares her upcoming projects and the challenges she faced in crowdfunding for 'The H-Word'. Finally, she encourages others to take control of their success and not let superficial factors hold them back.TakeawaysThe acting industry can be emotionally challenging, but finding a supportive community can make a significant difference.Transitioning into a new career, such as acting, may require careful planning and a long-term strategy.Combining business skills with acting can be beneficial in managing a successful career.Building relationships and networking within the industry can open doors to new opportunities.Feeling pressure and gratitude simultaneously is a common experience in pursuing a creative career.Taking control of one's success involves being flexible and pursuing multiple avenues within the industry.
  • 124. EP 124: Nir Guzinski: Shy Kid Turned Actor/Creative

    01:21:43
    This weeks episode celebrates the amazing Tik Tok sensation, NIR GUZINSKI!! He had a career in marketing before switching to content creation and acting. The conversation covers the challenges and journey of acting, the perception of talent and training in creative careers, and the evolution of acting on social media. It also explores the balance between acting and marketing, as well as the adaptation to COVID-19 and the creation of characters. In this part of the conversation, Nir discusses the evolution of social media platforms and the impact of TikTok's virality. He shares his experience of going viral on TikTok and the challenges of transitioning from social media to film and TV. Nir also emphasizes the importance of continuous promotion and marketing on social media. He discusses the role of social media in the acting industry and offers advice for actors to pursue their passion, utilize social media, and network. In this conversation, Nir shares his insights and advice for aspiring actors. He emphasizes the importance of following your passion and taking it slow, as well as using social media to showcase your work. Nir also highlights the value of networking in the industry and how it can lead to opportunities. Lastly, he reminds actors that acting is not just about talent, but also about understanding the business side of the industry.TakeawaysActing requires both innate talent and training to excel in the craft.Creative careers, including acting, are often perceived as less credible and require less formal education compared to traditional careers.Social media platforms have provided opportunities for actors to showcase their talent and gain visibility.Balancing a day job, such as marketing, with pursuing acting can be challenging but necessary for stability.The COVID-19 pandemic has forced actors to adapt and find new ways to create and connect with audiences. Social media platforms like TikTok have evolved and become powerful tools for creators to gain visibility and go viral.The virality on TikTok can lead to increased followers and opportunities for creators, but it is important to adapt to the platform's format and trends.Transitioning from social media to film and TV can be challenging, as the audience on social media may not necessarily translate to success in traditional media.Continuous promotion and marketing are essential for creators to maintain visibility and engage with their audience.Social media can play a significant role in the acting industry, but actors should also focus on honing their craft and networking to create opportunities. Follow your passion and don't let hurdles stop you.Utilize social media to show your process and work.Networking is crucial for success in the acting industry.Remember that acting is a business and understanding its dynamics is important.
  • 123. EP 123: Nicole Yost: Teacher Turned Actor

    49:49
    In this episode of the Second Act Actors podcast, host Dr. Janet McMordie speaks with Nicole Yost about her transition from teaching to acting. They discuss the similarities between her two careers, the importance of mentorship, and the challenges of seeking feedback in the acting industry. Nicole shares her coping strategies, including starting a YouTube channel and promoting her voiceover work. The episode also touches on the importance of trying new things and the value of persistence in the face of failure.  Main Lessons & Ideas:From Tragedy to Triumph: Nicole's journey from a dedicated teacher to a passionate actor, following the heartbreaking loss of her child, is a poignant reminder that our deepest sorrows can lead to new beginnings.The Art of Adaptation: We explore how the skills honed in one career can beautifully complement another. Nicole's teaching experience enriched her acting with a unique depth and authenticity.Mentorship & Lifelong Learning: The conversation underscores the importance of guidance and the willingness to learn, no matter where you are in your career. Nicole's story is a call to embrace every opportunity to grow.I'm beyond grateful for Nicole's vulnerability and the energy she brought to our conversation. Her story is a beacon of hope and inspiration, and I can't wait to see her star continue to rise.
  • 122. EP 122: Henry Tran: Accountant Turned Actor

    54:00
    My guest this week is accountant turned actor, Henry Tran! Our conversation explores the themes of self-expression, disagreement, and personal growth. It delves into the importance of expressing oneself authentically and the therapeutic benefits of doing so. It also discusses the challenges of disagreeing with others and the value of embracing different perspectives. Henry discusses his experiences with depression, anxiety, and the importance of taking care of one's mental health. He also talks about his passion for tennis coaching and acting, and how he incorporates principles from both into his life. Henry emphasizes the value of slowing down, embracing improv, and being true to oneself. TakeawaysPersonal experiences shape our perspectives and provide valuable life lessons.Self-reflection and learning from difficult situations are essential for personal development.Overcoming adversity can lead to self-discovery and improved mental health. Depression and anxiety can affect anyone, even those who appear to be successful and happy.Slowing down and taking a methodical approach can lead to a more enjoyable and effective experience in activities like tennis and acting.Trusting one's instincts and collaborating with others can lead to better outcomes in creative endeavors.