You are a trailblazer who dove into the digital world early.
, you were the first to shoot a series on the RED
camera and all green screen. How do you stay on top our
continually changing digital landscape?
: We didn’t realize just how many trails we were blazing with
. If we had, we might not have been so gung-ho about it
all. We knew we wanted to create something that was different
and we had the very naive idea of creating a multi-platform web-
site with content, merchandise, gaming and social networking.
Sadly, we didn’t have the budget for what we wanted to do and
we ended up putting in a lot of our own money. I wouldn’t
suggest that anyone do that.When we launched this thing they
call the “intraweb” we really didn’t know how to monetize the
eyeballs that were watching it. The platform has changed since
then. The one thing the eyeballs did was bring us to the
attention of the networks and it was from there that we were
able to make theTV show. We were privately financed and went
after international sales country by country. Every year we
needed certain people to come to the table to move forward. It
was a real Rubik’s Cube. We were for all intents and purposes
an independent television series without the umbrella or sup-
port of a studio. We were a writer, a director and an actor who
also became producers.The thing we are all most proud of are
the 59 episodes we produced and the stories we were able to
collectively tell. It was incredibly gratifying and by far the most
work any of us have ever done.
If you could tell another actor new to the business one thing
about this business, what would it be?
: Breathe.This business can fold you up like origami and knot
you up like expert macramé. It can be stressful and angst-inducing,
and create tear-your-hair-out crazy-making insanity... And I
believe that if it can do that to you, then you have the passion, the
energy and the spirit to survive it. Breathe.When it brings joy, and
it will with such alarming clarity, you will want to fill your lungs
up with it. Perhaps, most importantly, be kind. To yourself, to your
fellow actors, to the crew, basically to everyone you meet.
Kindness is not a word often associated with this industry, but I
have found it in the most unexpected places and have always
been very grateful when I did.
As ACTRA'sWoman of theYear, do you have any additional
words of wisdom to share with our members?
: I don’t know what to say really. I’m utterly gobsmacked to be
in this position. I’ve never taken for granted the jobs or
experiences I’ve been fortunate enough to have. I so clearly
remember the thrill of getting my ACTRA card. I was overjoyed.
It validated me as a professional and quite honestly made my
chosen career more acceptable to my parents. I felt I was a part
of something. I have always felt that way. ACTRA has always been
there for me and I have watched ACTRA take care of members
in need, and of members who are ill and their families. I am so
proud to be a part of this union. I am humbled by this incredible
Amanda is well known for her role as Samantha Carter on the science fiction TV series
. She is the star and executive
, the first Canadian web series to make the transition to TV.
Amanda has earned four Leo Awards for Best Actress, has been nominated for two
Gemini Awards and four Saturn Awards, and won the 2005 Saturn Award for Best
Supporting Actress. She played Naomi in the TV series
and is a recurring
. Her recent film roles include
Random Acts of
Hell in a Handbag
. Amanda received a Best Director Leo
Award nomination for
and her directorial TV credits include
Amanda's charitable foundation "Sanctuary for Kids" has raised hundreds of thousands
of dollars for causes both locally in Vancouver and worldwide. She supports numerous
charities such as The Coast Foundation, a support agency for people with mental
disabilities, The Canadian Cancer Society and UNICEF. Amanda also supports the charity
V-Day by performing in
The Vagina Monologues
to help end worldwide violence against
women and girls. Amanda has been honoured with the “Woman of Vision” Award by
Women in Film and Television, received the YWCA Women of Distinction Award and was
recently awarded the Jules Verne Award in Paris for her humanitarian work.
Magazine Summer 2015
ACTRA National Women’s Committee members
Ellie Harvie, Jodi Sadowsky, Cary Lawrence,
Christine Willes, guest of honour Amanda Tapping,
Jo Bates, Winnie Hung and Ferne Downey.
Photo: Russ Neely
Amanda on set directing
Primeval: New World.