Glass-half-full kinda chick
I’m so happy to share this Q&A with the amazing Victoria Murdoch who will be tackling the role of “Denial” for FIRST HAND WOMAN’s NYC debut this August. Let’s begin! ~Sarah
Hi Victoria! I’ve got a few questions for you. First up, how will you approach playing such an archetypal character?
In my humble opinion, denial is a universal experience; something we all use to cope with pain at some point in our lives. At times, life can be too raw, too rough, too overwhelming, and denial is a soothing balm we can spread over our wounds to stop the sting. It’s very tempting to hang out in denial; it can be a comfortable, cozy soft place to linger. Everyone has a unique story, place of pain and set of circumstances. “Denial” is an archetypal character, but it rises from each of us as individuals; we all identify with the need to shield ourselves from life when things get tough. When I approach playing this character, I will try and focus on why we choose denial, what is it that we’re hiding from, and by facing that truth, what delicious personal discoveries can be made!
What are the similarities and differences between “Victoria” and “Denial”?
Like “Denial,” I am definitely a “glass-half-full kind of chick!” As difficult as it can be at times, I’m an optimist at my core. However, I maintain what I think is a healthy dose of realistic pragmatism when it comes to everyday life – something “Denial” isn’t quite on board with! For example, both “Denial” and “Victoria” would relish the idea of a fabulously pleasurable trip exploring all the beauty, people, food and culture that another part of the world has to offer! In order to relax and fully enjoy that trip, “Victoria” would do a bit of homework and budgeting before she left, “Denial” – not so much!
In one sentence, describe your job.
To create an entertaining, moving and identifiable experience for the audience that allows for self-reflection and growth.
What was your first paid acting gig? How did you celebrate that important milestone?
At eleven or twelve, I was a student of the drama program at Young People’s Theatre in Toronto (which I highly recommend to any parents/youngsters out there!) and a casting notice circulated for an “extra role” in an Indy Film being shot locally. I auditioned for the role by reading a short monologue they provided when I arrived. Even though an “extra” doesn’t have any lines, I remember being so excited that this is what “real” actors do! I didn’t hear anything for a few weeks, and assumed I didn’t get booked. But one day, just after dinner, the phone rang and my mom answered. For some reason, I knew before she said anything that it was someone from the production, and sure enough I “got the part!” I was so excited! I screamed and jumped around the kitchen, just loud enough so they would hear on me the other end! When we got to set, I was quickly introduced to the “hurry up and wait” phenomena that we all know and love, and after a few hours of waiting – and some tasty snacks – we shot a simple classroom scene. I was placed directly behind the lead child actor. I was so excited to get on camera that I over acted my “extra” role, hoping they would focus on me! I never saw the movie, but I had such an amazing time feeling like a “real actor.” I believe I “celebrated” by putting the cheque for $25 in my new savings account. I was so pleased to see the numbers on paper and to know that I earned it “acting!” I remember knowing that the kids with lines got $50…I wanted to do that next!
What do you do during your downtime?
I’ve loved yoga since my first semi-private class over a decade ago, and over the past year, I’ve been fortunate enough to practice a great deal of hot Yoga at a very special Moksha Studio on St. Clair Ave West in Toronto. It’s a wonderfully nurturing community, and I really feel at home there! I’ve also always loved to cook, and when I have free time, I like to either host my own “mini dinner parties,” or go to other people’s homes and play cook with their ingredients! It’s a game I like to play! I quite literally open your fridge and cupboards and creatively devise a three-course meal from what you have on hand. You provide the kitchen, the company, the conversation, (and a glass of vino doesn’t hurt) and I’ll do the rest! I haven’t been stumped yet! In addition, I have been living gluten/dairy free for over six years, and when I get a free minute, I love posting on my food blog “Gluten/Dairy Freedom!” where I share my recipes/tips on living a tasty and satisfying gluten/dairy free life! Check it out at www.glutendairyfreedom.com!
Thank you so much for the goodies Victoria!
Now, here’s where you come in. How do you think denial helps get you through tough times? What purpose does it serve? Express yourself by leaving your comments below. I can’t wait to see what you think!
And as always…
Sarah Michelle Brown
~ First Hand Woman Actor, Playwright + Producer