ACTRA members enjoying Fall Conference 2018


ACTRA Toronto Members Conferences are held in September (Fall Conference) and February (Winter Conference).

Members Conferences provide a fantastic opportunity to hear directly from your representatives on ACTRA Toronto Council, improve your professional skills and connect with fellow performers.

If you haven’t been to a conference, you owe it to yourself to check it out!

Free childcare is available.


The next conference is:

2019 Fall Conference (September 21st, 2019)


Table of Contents:
 Conference Program
 How to Register
 Master Class Registration
 Getting There
 Organizing Committee


 The Fall Conference Program


8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.  – Registration & Breakfast


8:30 to 9:30 a.m. –  TiP Film Screenings

Kick off the conference with some coffee, breakfast, and a screening of a few selected Toronto Indie Production (TiP) films. The TiP program is a micro-budget Canadian dramatic film production program that cultivates and supports new and emerging Toronto filmmakers. Hosted by Amy Keating & Jana Gillis, and followed by a Q&A with TiP Coordinator, Tasso Lakas. Please enter quietly.


9:45 to 11:45 a.m. – Morning Sessions


1. Self-taping gear—What you need to do it like a pro!

Are you self-taping in a dingy basement with your phone duct-taped to a lamp? Find out all about the gear you need to make your tapes look professional! Director and cameraman extraordinaire Bryan Kowalsky and the gear pros from Vistek will show you several kits from simple to superb and how to get the most from all of them, as well as how to edit it all together. With host, John Nelles. Come and check the tech.


2. Masterclass for Teens with Catherine McNally. Bringing your best self!

Here is a chance for teens to be coached by celebrated professor, actor, teacher, coach, producer, and director Catherine McNally. With her direct no-nonsense approach and in the spirit of collaboration, discovery and respect for the actor, Catherine will coach participants in a prepared scene to help bring a unique interpretation to the role. This is a masterclass and those chosen will receive their scene ahead of time.

Hosted by Pierre Simpson

Reader: Addyson Douglas

Participants will be pre-selected. Please see MASTER CLASS application details.


3. Improv for Kids

Led by Second City instructor, Kevin Whalen, kids will participate in improvisational games and activities that will help them trust and accept offers from a partner and start to build scenes with them. Kids will also learn skills to take home with them in order to help prep for future auditions.


4. Anxiety, Depression and Mental Health Self-Care

Stress and anxiety levels tend to be higher in artistic communities in part because artists are prone to invalidating environments. These invalidating environments can stem from the competitive nature of our jobs, significant physical and emotional demands, vulnerability, rejection, criticism and the feeling of always needing to be “on”.  In this session, former Cirque du Soleil performer, counselor and co-ordinator at the Artists’ Health Centre, Matt Eldridge (MSW, RSW), will discuss mental health self-care tools, skills and resources that are specifically relevant for performers.


5. Casting Coroner: How Diversity Drives The New Hit

Ever wonder how the casting process really works? Who makes the decisions, and what this means for actors? For answers to these questions and more, join the creative team behind Coroner, Canada’s #1 new drama — a female-driven show where the majority of primary characters are people of colour, Indigenous and/or LGBTQ+. This is a unique opportunity to hear how a top production team works, why diversity in television is critical, and how a focus on inclusive casting shapes an entire series.

Panellists: Adrienne Mitchell (executive producer/director), Morwyn Brebner (showrunner), Seneca Aaron (co-producer/writer), Nathalie Younglai (co-producer/writer), Motion (executive story editor/writer) and Lisa Parasyn (casting director)

Host:  Nicole Stamp

Trigger warning: A 1:23 minute trailer for Coroner will be shown. Some of the images include drowning, slapping, swearing, the sight of blood, dead bodies and body parts and some sexual content.

6. Masterclass: From Background to Principal Performer

Join casting director Jesse Griffiths as he discusses the audition process from breakdown to casting. Learn how to prepare for an audition, slate, work with a reader and a camera person, and book your first big role! This masterclass is ideal for background performers as well as other performers such as dancers, stunt performers, singers, and hosts, who are putting in the work to transition into becoming principal performers. This masterclass class will be run as real auditions with a Q&A. Members who wish to participate will need to apply.


Hosted by Elle A, with Shereen Airth

Participants will be pre-selected. Please see MASTER CLASS application details. As part of your application, please let us know what you have been doing to actively transition into becoming a principal performer.


7. From Page to Pitch 2.0 – Masterclass and Face-to-Face Pitch Session

Produced and hosted by the Toronto ACTRA Women’s Committee (TAWC), From Page To Pitch 2.0, is a two-part session that will delve deeper into the ins-and-outs of getting your original content produced via a morning masterclass and an afternoon face-to-face pitch session with industry decision-makers.

Morning Page-to-Pitch Masterclass: A panel of industry professionals will take us through some case studies before working through a live coaching of up to three member-creator elevator pitches. (Live pitch participants will be selected in advance via submission).


Tara Woodbury – Vice President of Development, Sphere Media Plus (The Transplant, The Stanley Dynamic, The Colony), RT (Thorne) – Filmmaker, Television Director and Music Video Director (Blind Spot, The Time Traveler, Degrassi, The Next Step, Alive), Christina Jennings – Founder, Chairman and CEO of Shaftesbury (Murdoch Mysteries, Carmilla, Frankie Drake Mysteries, ReGenesis, Life with Derek)

Moderator: Jenn Kuzmyk – Executive Director, Banff World Media Festival



12 noon to 1 p.m. – Lunch – Courtesy of ACTRA Toronto


12 noon to 1 p.m. – Candidate 101

It is election time at ACTRA Toronto. This fall, members will elect 24 Councillors to serve a two year term beginning in January 2020. Interested in running or encouraging someone to run? Join members of Council and the Election Committee to talk about what the ACTRA Toronto Council does, the role of Councillors, and tips for running for election.


1 to 3 p.m. – Plenary Session

Guest Speaker: Karen Thorne-Stone, President and CEO, Ontario Creates

Life Membership Presentation

Executive Report with Q&A

Plenary Prize Draw



3:30 to 5:30 p.m. – Afternoon Sessions


8. Audition Techniques for Self-Tapes

Self-tapes are here to stay. Lewis Baumander (Casting Central) will help you understand the adjustments actors need to make to impress casting directors. Working with a diverse group of experienced actors including Elva Mai Hoover, Pam Hyatt, Andrew Moodie and Tony Nappo, this session will help you up your self tape game.


9. Cyber Safety for Parents & Kids

Get cyber savvy! Keep your children safe as they surf the web with resources that will help you protect them online. Plus get tips on how to handle and stop cyber bullying, and learn what you need to know about social media safety. This session will be led by cyber safety specialist, Police Constable Megan McGarry, and hosted by ACTRA Toronto Child Advocate, Christina Collins.


10. Mind Your Face & Voice: Insights from the Industry’s Top Editors

This session is for new and experienced actors to help them enhance their screen time. Join actor Paula Kaye as she moderates a panel of some of the industry’s most highly acclaimed editors: director and picture editor Paul Day, CCE (Into the Badlands), picture editor Paul Whitehead (Dark Matter), and supervising sound, ADR, and dialogue editor Jill Purdy (The Shape of Water). Find out what helps your performance make the cut.


11. Get Your Game On: Auditioning For Video Games

Everything you wanted to know about approaching a video game audition. Practical advice from getting the audition to booking the role. Join our experienced working panel: casting veteran and director Kim Hurdon, video game dialect coach and performer John Nelles, multi award nominated actress and video game performer Ellen Dubin and special guest, Tim Atkins, voice designer at Ubisoft Toronto. Hosted by video game voice and mocap actor Nicole Stamp. We will help get you into the game! Bring your questions!


12. Career Sustainability & Longevity, Episode 2: Growing up in the industry

Join some of Canada’s hardest working actors for a vital conversation on what it means to have a sustainable career in this unpredictable business—and how to balance the demands of being on set with the rest of life. This particular panel will feature adult actors who started as kids, and how they’ve navigated the ups and downs of growing up in this industry.

Panellists: Megan Follows (October Faction, Reign), Dalmar Abuzeid (Anne with an E, Pure), Jake Epstein (Suits, Designated Survivor), Mouna Traoré (In Contempt, Murdoch Mysteries), Jenny Raven (Designated Survivor, Black Mirror)

Host: Izaak Smith (Killjoys, The Girlfriend Experience)


13. From Page to Pitch 2.0 – Masterclass and Face-to-Face Pitch Session

Produced and hosted by the Toronto ACTRA Women’s Committee (TAWC), From Page To Pitch 2.0, is a two-part session that will delve deeper into the ins-and-outs of getting your original content produced, via a morning masterclass and an afternoon face-to-face pitch session with industry decision-makers.


Afternoon Face-to-Face Pitch Session: This hands-on session will give an extended selection of members the opportunity to implement what they learned in the morning session. These selected member-creators will participate in a short form, face-to-face elevator style pitch with industry decision-makers. If time permits, the day will finish up with a short feedback and Q&A panel discussion. *In order to be considered to pitch at this session, members must attend the morning masterclass.

Afternoon Panelists:

Tecca Crosby – Executive Producer & Senior Vice President Scripted Development Canada Television, EOne (Mary Kills People, Private Eyes, Being Erica)

Gosia Kamela – Production Executive Original Programming, Drama Series & Feature Film, Bell Media (Orphan Black, The Disappearance, Degrassi, The Next Generation, Flashpoint, Carter)

Beth Iley – Director of Development, New Metric Media (The Next Step, Orphan Black, X Company, Killjoys)

Kathleen Meek – Manager, Original Content, Drama & Factual – Corus

Nicole Mendes – Executive in Charge of Production – Drama, CBC Scripted Content, English Services


14. Making BG Work For You – How to Book More Jobs

Navigating the needs of today’s industry means you need to be prepared. Up your BG game with some new best practices, on-set etiquette and tips to book more jobs from top BG casting director Roisin McGilly, OSLO/ACTRA Instructor Angelica Alejandro and ACTRA Staff.


5:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Reception



 How to Register

The conference is FREE to ACTRA Toronto members who register.



 How to apply for a Master Class

Master Classes have both an audience and selected participants. To be in the audience of a Master Class, select a Master Class as your workshop choice. To be considered as a PARTICIPANT, you must apply with your picture and resume.

You may apply as a participant and register to be in the audience of the same Master Class, so you can attend if you are not selected as a participant. We encourage performers with disabilities to apply.



  1. Web address: If you have a website with your picture and résumé, email the web address to
  2. Email your picture and résumé to
  3. In Person: Complete and print out this form – Drop off your picture and résumé and this application form at: ACTRA Toronto, 625 Church Street, 1st Floor. *Be sure to indicate which master class you are applying for.
  4. We encourage members to submit using profile


 Register for Childcare

Childcare for attendees is being provided by Improv Care Group Child Care Services. Improv Care Services for Children is providing ACTRA Toronto exceptional group child care services at the 2019 Fall Conference. Activity plans are developed according to the age and the interests of children and are delivered in an active, engaging way by the Improv Care Team.To register please complete the following online form, or call 416-642-6741 for more details. Space is limited, and will be booked on a first-come-first-served basis.



 Getting There

The Fall members conference is being hosted at Ted Rogers School of Management (55 Dundas Street West).


**Entrance to parking located on Bay Street, south of Dundas**

 This conference is brought to you by…

The following members of ACTRA Toronto’s Conference Committee


Rebecca Applebaum (Co-Chair, Executive Liaison), Jocelyne Zucco (Co-Chair)

Amy Keating, Angelica Alejandro, Ash Catherwood, Bonnie Wong, Christina Collins, Dan Iaboni, Don Lamoreux, Donal Hansman, Elle A, Ellen Dubin, Geraldine Ronan, Jana Gillis, Joanna Swan, John Nelles, Krystle Ferdinand, Lisa Michelle Cornelius, Nicholas Banks, Meghan Swaby, Paula Kaye, Pierre Simpson, Scott Farley, Shereen Airth, Sochi Fried, Tee Schneider, Theresa Tova

 2019 Members Conference Sponsors

  • Office Location
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  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada · M4Y 2G1
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  • Telephone: 416-928-2278
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