As part of our continuing aspiring talent series, we had a chance to catch up with Kirsten Wight. Kirsten is an aspiring actress who resides in Belleville but works out of the Toronto area.
As a child, did you want to be an actress, or did it fall into place through other activities?
I came into acting pretty late. I was 20 years old when I filmed my first short film, and had never really considered acting before. At the time I was in my last year of university doing a completely unrelated major. My husband is a Senior Producer at a production company and one of his colleagues and his wife (who we now call great friends) were making a short horror film and had asked if I wanted to audition. In the end, I got the role and haven’t looked back since. Looking back at my childhood however, I always loved great stories. I remember sitting in my room and reading for hours on end. Maybe there was some part of me that always wanted to bring great storytelling to life.
Who inspired you to follow your dream to pursue acting?
I have a lot of people in my life who are really supportive of my dreams, but my husband is my rock. He is the one who has to film my self-tapes, be my reader, listen to my excited rants about upcoming projects and he always gives me that extra boost of confidence to go for it.
What challenges have you faced in the entertainment industry? What has been your most rewarding experience?
Auditioning is always tough. Right before I go into the audition room my heart starts to pump and I get really nervous, especially if I am really excited about the role. It is such a tough industry to crack in to and you know you are always competing against so many other amazing actresses. I have learned to relax and enjoy the process and use each audition as a learning opportunity. My most rewarding experience so far was the critic feedback from my first short film I did. After it was completed, I got some really good reviews about my performance. That was the moment I thought, okay, maybe I can do this. Overall though, anytime I complete a project I am always so happy. To be honest, I feel like any movie getting made is a miracle and being a part of such an incredible process with so many creative minds is so rewarding.
What is your favourite type of character to play?
I love playing really dramatic characters with lots of layers. I have been fortunate enough to play a few really strong female characters that I could really bring an interesting backstory too that elevates the performance. Any character that I haven’t seen before when I read the script, or gives a typical character a new flair is one that I love the chance to explore and make my own.
What market do you currently work in? Are there other areas you would like to work?
Currently I work in the Toronto market, but have high hopes and dreams to one day work either out west in Vancouver or LA. Time will tell I guess.
What advice would you give to someone new trying to make it in the acting industry?
I am still pretty new in this industry so I don’t know if anyone should take my advice, but I would say continually put yourself out there. Even if you don’t have an agent, like myself. Submit yourself to roles every day, audition every week, try to make industry contacts, and take in every bit of education you can. Listen to interviews or podcasts where professional actors talk about their process, watch classic movies with great performances, read scripts, take acting classes. If your passionate, have talent, and an entrepreneurial spirit to make your own opportunities, someone will notice. I have a rule that I do ONE thing every day that brings me closer to my dream. I think that is a great start.
What fuels your passion?
Every time I watch a great movie or TV show. Like I said before, I think it is a miracle that any project gets made, let alone a great one. It is such an incredible process with so many moving parts and collaboration between all entities. When I watch a movie or show that comes together so perfectly all I can think about is how amazing it would be one day to act full-time. Film has a way of allowing the viewer to forget about life for a brief moment. Or they hold up a mirror to society and help to create change. If I can continue to be a part of that process at any level I will be happy.
What is something about you that most people would never guess?
This is a hard question…since I feel like I am a pretty open book. Maybe that I can get really competitive. I played rep hockey when I was younger, and I think I have carried that competitiveness throughout my life since. Overall, I think it has been a help to my acting career but I might get a little out of control when I am playing a friendly game of charades…
If you were to do it all over again, would you do things exactly the same? Do you have any regrets? Successes that make you proud?
I tend to not regret things, as they got me where I am today. That being said, I kind of wish I discovered acting sooner. I know there is absolutely nothing I can do about that, but it would have been nice to recognize my passion at a younger age. Everything happens for a reason though and maybe I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I have now if I went a down a different path. One of my recent successes that made me really proud is my newest film The Woodsmen by Five Year Plan which is currently in post-production and coming soon. This film was written by my two friends Victor and Jodi Cooper. My husband and I joined their team to make Five Year Plan, a production team dedicated to bringing compelling characters and storylines to life. It was the first time I was able to be a part of the entire process and watch a film come to life from beginning to end. I loved it and hope I can produce my own content in the future.
Tell me about your products in production and process.
I just talked about The Woodsmen, which is coming out really soon. I wrapped filming in October and am really excited to for everyone to see it! We are calling it the “Best Bigfoot Movie Ever!” Our Five Year Plan team is all horror lovers (I have learned to love it after being terrified of scary movies for many years), and I think we have created a really unique film that Bigfoot and horror lovers alike will enjoy. I am also currently shooting another film titled Melatonin where I play a lead role. I can’t say too much about this one, but I am SO excited about it. It is a departure from other characters that I have played, which is great. I knew I wanted to be a part of the project from the moment I heard the concept, so I am really pumped to watch it come to fruition.
Written By: Darlene Morrison
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