Ask Brooke / August 2001

I heard you liked to sing, are you an alto or a soprano? Have you ever considered singing as a career?

I really enjoy singing. From a young age I was constantly involved in the school and community choirs and musicals. I've only recently begun to train privately with a singing teacher (since last fall) to develop my voice as a solo performer. With lots of practice, hopefully one day I'll be able to perform on stage in some musical show! I'm a mezzo-soprano.

You always rave about how cool and fun acting is, but what do you think are the downsides to pro acting?

Although the downsides to acting are far out-weighed by the positive aspects, there are some. For one, you have to try and develop a thick skin.

Sometimes it's intimidating going into the audition situation where an actor has to let their personality shine through and present a compelling performance in front of a very serious-looking bunch of people who are there to judge you! Rejection is also a very real part of the business that has to be dealt with constantly. And the competition for young women in the business is great, particularly in Canada where the opportunities are limited. So, it takes a lot of hard work and practice to maintain your confidence and enthusiasm.

Do you use any special technique to help you memorize your lines?

The audition is the only time when I have a lot of memorization work to do in a short period of time. I've been faxed anywhere from a few to several pages of dialogue in the evening to have ready for an audition the very next day. And the only way to get through that is REPETITION!! After the auditioning process, if you book the part, there is much more time to go over the entire script and digest the lines. When it comes to on-camera work, either for film or t.v., the shooting for the day rarely consists of more than five or six scenes so the memorization work is minimal compared to that required for auditions!

What actors/actresses inspired you to join the industry?

When Anna Paquin won an Oscar in 1993 for her performance in The Piano, I decided at the age of eleven that acting was definitely a direction in which I wanted to head. Other young actors which inspired me are Reese Witherspoon and Natalie Portman and my favourite, Julia Roberts.

What would you say is most similar between you and 'Rachel' in Animorphs? Is there any similarities?

I think there are a number of similarities between myself and the character of Rachel from "Animorphs". We share some basic characteristics but Rachel is way more intense. For example, I'm a confident person, ready and willing to try new things, whereas Rachel is a fearless adventurer who would jump feet first into any new experience without giving it a second thought. I think we both share a level of stubbornness and don't allow the actions of others to influence how we would choose to lead our lives.

What are some of the characteristics of your hometown you like the best?

I love Toronto. It has everything a big city has to offer and it's very clean and safe. I especially love that there is an endless amount of opportunities here to experience the arts and culture. One only has to travel to various parts of the city like Little Italy or China Town to experience a taste of different cultures and cuisine. And from the various multicultural festivals to the street parades including Caribana and the Gay Pride Parade to the vibrant theatre scene, Toronto is a pretty happenin' place!

What do you look for in a boyfriend?

Hmmm. . . Well, I don't think I have a well-defined, preconceived notion of what I look for exactly in a boyfriend, but there are certainly some characteristics that I find attractive. A good sense of humour along with self-confidence. Sensitivity and honesty are also very important qualities. I enjoy a down-to-earth guy who also has a zany side!