Hey firecrackers! I’m back in Halifax shooting the next season of ‘Mr. D’ and I want to give a huge shout out to my amazing cast and crew out here! If you haven’t been to the east coast, you should get out here, it’s absolutely beautiful. Our guest this week is Rachel Wilson, an incredibly talented actress from shows such as ‘Republic of Doyle’, 'Total Drama’, and (throwback) ‘Breaker High’. Most recently she starred in the film ‘First Round Down’ which is available now in Canada on iTunes and On Demand. It will be available in the US, August 1st on iTunes and On Demand, so check it out! We talked for hours about how to balance our personal lives and career, all the amazing projects she’s been apart of, and she truly is a firecracker! Enjoy!
Quiet on set, mosquitos! Hey Firecrackers, I’m up north in the Kawartha’s Lakes area this week and feeling inspired by my environment. Yet, I’m also thinking about what’s happening in the city since The Toronto Fringe Festival is currently on. Firecrackers, if you are in Toronto, I recommend getting out there and seeing a show. There’s nothing like live theatre and as you all know, I love it! I’ll post a link to the festival on our website, as I mention in my intro, I recommend seeing ’13 Ways The World Ends’ and ‘Hands Down’ but give it a peek and go see whatever you think you’ll find inspiring. Next, we have Gail Harvey as our guest this week! Gail’s career has been behind the camera, as a director. Her resume is a mile long those credits include ‘Lost Girl’, 'Heartland', and ‘Murdoch Mystery’s’. I got to sit down with her just before she left to shoot her next film, ‘Never Saw It Coming’, which is adapted from the novel of the same name by Linwood Barclay. We chatted about her work, her family, and much more. Enjoy!
Happy birthday Canada! This weekend we celebrated our countries 150th and many Canadians, including myself, escaped the city and spent some time with our beautiful landscapes. I spent my time by the lake and I have to say, there’s nothing like watching a lake in the those early hours of the morning, it’s really a sight to see. What did you guys do for your long weekend? Let me know on social media! Next, we have our guest, Inga Cadranel. You guys may know her from her roles on ‘Lost Girl’, or ‘Orphan Black’ and I’ve know her since we were young. We’re talking about those crazy years teenage years and the amazing career she embarked on thereafter. Enjoy!
Hey firecrackers! As we gear up for Canada Day, our big 150, I want to know what kind of music you’re listening to? Which Canadian musicians really resinate with you? Let me know on social media! Next, we have our guest, Tracy Dawson, who you might remember from ‘Call Me Fitz’ or ‘The Gavin Crawford Show’. Well, Tracy just sold her first sitcom to TBS and has another one in the works with another firecracker, Megan Mullally! Woot! We’re so excited for Tracy here at the department and so glad we got to dive into it all with her. Have a listen and enjoy!
This week at the department, we have an exciting giveaway for passes to the advance screening of ‘The House’! Listen to the podcast and head to the “contest” tab on our website to find out how to enter! Next we have Carla Gallo as our guest! Her and I met through her husband, Mark, and you may know her from ‘Bones’, ‘Undeclared’, or ‘Carnivale’. We talked about motherhood, writing for film and television, and taking risks. She’s hilarious, smart, and super talented. Enjoy!
This week we’re starting off talking about that one magical person in your life, the person who’s always believed in you. For me, that was my Aunty Marie, always trusting me to take on these small but important tasks, which made me think “oh ya, I can do this”. This kind of respect definitely helped shape my personality and my confidence. Our guest this week is the lovely Marypat Farrell! We’re both Second City Toronto alumni and her acting credits include 'The Gavin Crawford Show’, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ and ‘Anger Management’. We’re talking about the importance of happiness and pursuing everything you can in your career. She’s inspiring, hilarious, and an all around firecracker. Enjoy!
Laura Hall is one talented musician, one of the (many) things that makes her unique is her incredible influence on the comedy world. From being a pianist for 'The Second City’ to the band leader on ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ her music has accompanied some of the most iconic comedic shows. You’d think this meant she came from a musically driven house hold, but that’s not the case. As Laura mentions in this episode, she thinks her father is tone deaf and she begged and begged for piano lessons. Well, that sure did pay off! You guys need to check out her band ‘The Sweet Potatoes’ and listen to this Firecracker light up the stage!
Colleen Murray Peyton studied improv and sketch comedy at the infamous Second City in Chicago, from there she went on to do a variety of shows on the stage. While building her career, Colleen also dealt with the death of her mother, a topic that we dove into. Even though this was devastating, she went on to create and star in the comedic music video, “Shark Week: Attack of the Menses” and the comedic pilot “Darcy and Tess”. As she says, "even in death, there’s moments of joy and things are really funny - people do really weird shit”. I think you guys will take a lot from listening to this one, enjoy!
During this interview, Jenn recounts that at a young age she would listen to her father call into a radio station and do comedy bits for a morning show - according to her, he did a pretty bang-on impression of Queen Elizabeth! This was Jennifer Robertson’s “norm” growing up and probably one of the (many) reasons I think she’s absolutely hilarious, and without a doubt, a comedy queen. We really dove into the beginning of it all, from her time on The Sean Cullen Show, to her struggling with her role on the Republican dominated This 1/2 Hour News Hour, right up to her current role as Jocelyn Schitt on CBC’s Schitt’s Creek. This Firecracker really knows how to light up the screen. Enjoy!
Sitting down with Zoie Palmer was more than a treat, this firecracker has had an incredible career thus far and it’s only getting better! We talked about her iconic character, Dr. Lauren Lewis, on Lost Girl and what it was like to see such an incredible response to the show. We dove into her newest role as the Android on Dark Matter, being born in England, and her family. She’s bold, smart, funny, and truly inspiring, enjoy!
This firecracker is currently lighting up the world with her new series Baroness Von Sketch Show but her journey to this point has been anything by easy. Having started at the Second City Toronto to being the head writer on This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Jennifer has a long list of comedy credits. I got to sit down with her and dive into what it takes to be a such a kick-ass firecracker! Enjoy!
Grace Lynn Kung, what can I say? This firecracker has been lighting up the stage and the screen for sometime now, and I’m truly in awe of her. From her roles in The Strain and Away From Her to her incredible advice: “Nothing can replace the belief that YOU can do it” we chatted about the challenges we face as well as everything that inspires us about the film and television industry. Enjoy!
From theatre, to radio, to television, to feature films, Diane Flacks does it all, literally. Her writing credits include 'Kids In The Hall', 'Baroness Von Sketch Show', and four one-woman shows for the stage. Her acting credits include 'Being Erica' and Sarah Polley’s 'Take This Waltz'. This wasn’t an easy journey though, Diane takes me back to what it was like writing for women in a time when we didn’t see powerful women on screen, and what she did to change that. This firecracker is a true inspiration to all women carving their own path. Have a listen and enjoy!
I’ve know Jessie for quite some time now, this firecracker has been influential in the writers room for a few series I’ve been been a part of, including the show I’m currently on, 'Mr. D'. I’ve always admired the way she’s been able to capture such unique characters, and how great she is at writing for my voice, especially. I love her style of comedy and I can’t get enough of it! From growing up in Montreal and working for 'Just For Laugh' to her feature film 'Cas & Dylan', starring Tatiana Maslany and Richard Dreyfus, all the way to heading the writers room of 'Mr D', I got a chance to hear and admire the incredible journey she’s on. Have a listen and be inspired!
You probably remember her from Bruce MacDonald’s Highway 61 and Roadkill, but Valerie Buhagiar is hard at work behind the camera now. She wrote and directed the feature comedy The Anniversary, starring my good friend Colin Mochrie, and is currently working on a new web series Life Coach. From being born in Malta, doing the one-woman show 9 Parts of Desire on stage, and being a professional Puppeteer, this firecracker is doing it all. I’m so happy we got to sit down and talk all about her journey, enjoy!
Writing, Directing, and Producing, this firecracker does it all! Mackenzie Donaldson has been behind some of the most creative and well done shows we’ve seen in the past few years. From 'Orphan Black' to 'Whatever Linda', she’s taken the reigns on creating roles for women that we normally wouldn’t see them in. This week, we sit down and dive into her career thus far, the challenges she’s faces, and we get to hear what’s its taken for her to get these incredible shows on the air. Have a listen and enjoy!
Deb McGrath, what can I say? This firecracker has had an incredible career and it just keeps getting better. From starting out at "The Second City", Toronto in 1983 where she was a writer, actress, and a director, to her work on “Little Mosque on the Prairie” and “The Ron James Show”, she truly is a queen of comedy. Deb and her husband, Colin Mochrie (another comedic genius, by the way!), are dear friends of mine so sitting down with Deb felt like old friends having a chat. But we weren’t just catching on the small things, Deb took me through her journey so far and I have to say, she’s a real inspiration!
As an actress, sometimes you get very lucky and you get to work with other incredibly talented people. It allows you to not only improve upon your own skills, but grow as a person. I have been very lucky to work alongside the legendary Bette MacDonald for the past few years on CBC’s 'Mr. D' and I can’t tell you how in awe I am of this comedic genius. From choosing to stay in Cape Breton early on in her career, to having the power to stand up for yourself, to taking her career in a new direction by becoming an author, we talked about so many inspiring things. So, here we go firecrackers, it's Bette MacDonald!
Being brave and taking the reigns on your own path in life is not an easy task. It definitely takes a certain kind of firecracker to push through the obstacles and stick to following your passion. In this weeks episode I’m talking to Tommie Amber Pirie, someone who does this every day and we should all take note from her book. From her role in the film “What If” and her kick-ass character on “Bitten” to moving out and being on her own at the age of 18, I got a chance to dive into Tommie's incredible journey thus far. I think you’re all going to get a lot of inspiration from this firecracker!
Talking with Annie Murphy is like hanging out with an old highschool buddy. From a quiet life amongst the tulips of Ottawa to starring in "Schitt’s Creek" and married to a rock star we’re gonna talk about her journey. She chose acting, over being a lawyer, and I am so glad she did because she is a delight as Alexis Rose on "Schitt’s Creek". We had a really fun, honest conversation about the fear of auditioning, her dislike of too much sunshine, and how writing can get you through the tough times.