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Actor of the Month

Brigitte Kali Canales

Interviewed by:  Jessica Sherman, CSA

1) Has there been a Casting Director that has encouraged and/or supported you in your career?

Absolutely. Jessica Sherman! She was the first CD to give me a real shot out here in the West Coast when she booked me as Rhonda on the Indie-Thriller film THUMPER. She wouldn’t know this, but this booking gave me the confidence I needed at the time to know my dreams and goals were possible.

2) What work are you most proud of?

For me, every job has it’s challenges as well as “wins”. It’s hard to pick something I’m most proud of because each project seems to lead me to, or pave the way for the next one. With that said, I’m proud of all of my work! “The good, the bad and the ugly.” Haha! I see this career as a constant process of growth. My hope and what I’m constantly working towards is to be better on each and every project I am blessed to be a part of. But if we’re talking about those “pinch me moments” of life…I would have to say joining the STAR WARS family was quite the pleasant (get a hold of yourself Brigitte) surprise!

3) What or who inspired you to pursue acting as a career?  

I grew up in a full blown Latino household, which meant no English spoken at home. For this reason, the beginning of my curiosity for acting began as a result of the many foreign films I was watching. At the time I was engulfed in anything and everything Pedro Almodovar created. This exposed me to Penelope Cruz and Gael Garcia Bernal. They quickly became my muses and everything they were a part of was imperative for me to watch. They both had such graceful crossovers into the American market. I was able to witness this and was fueled with inspiration because of it. When you grow up in the US but culturally feel nothing like your friends, your common ground becomes the arts. As a child, you quickly understand this. Friendships begin because of a song you both love or movie you are equally passionate about. Penelope Cruz had no idea she created that connection for me with those around me. Vanilla Sky was probably one of the most pivotal films of my life. I could see myself in her, fully. That moment of realization revealed to me what I wanted to do with my life. I decided that I wanted to help people feel the way Penelope helped me feel. Like I belonged. I belonged on film, on TV, on stage and anywhere and everywhere else for that matter.

4) What was your first IMDBPro credit and how did you feel when you saw it? 

I think it must’ve been a soap opera titled ‘Olvidarte Jamas’. I was working in the local spanish networks as a host and climbing my way up into the acting scene in Miami. Soap operas make up a big market in the acting world of Miami, so I decided to test my luck. It was first attempt at a soap opera and I was fortunate enough to land a recurring role as the leads best friend. It was all filmed quickly and to the point, which is exactly why I never watched my footage. I think at the time I was scared I wouldn’t like it and so I opted against it. I didn’t enjoy watching my work when I was younger, but that has all changed for me significantly. I now love every aspect of creating the characters world. I also learned through experience about the power of every team members job. From the environment to set design, from the music to the specific choices I make for each take…it all matters! And nothing is more magical than seeing it all come together.

5) How has IMDBPro helped you market yourself to filmmakers?

It’s a way for fellow colleagues to know what you’ve been a part of and share fun stories about similar projects, actors, directors, creatives or even crew members we’ve been able to work with. It also gives people that are not in the industry a chance to see more of your work if they feel compelled by the performance in one of your projects. It’s a great tool!

6) Any funny casting room stories?

Gosh. Where to begin? I’m not going to expose anyone but I will never forget the time I had an audition and was so nervous my mouth became the Atacama Desert. I was in the middle of a heartfelt monologue where I was expressing the severity of the situation we were in, suddenly out of absolutely NOWHERE a chunk of spit flew out my mouth and onto the CD’s carpet. It was as if time stood still for the most humiliating moment of my life thus far. I wish I could say I got the role, but I didn’t. Ha! That moment still cracks me up. You see in life you’ve got two choices…sink or laugh. I constantly choose laughter. I recommend you do the same!

7) Tell us a fun fact about you outside of acting:

I love music! In my free time I play my ukulele, blast my jams, and workout hard! There is nothing like a challenging workout for me. It really shifts my mindset and helps me stay focused on the things I CAN control. I also love to hang out with my pups and husband, cook and garden! Gardening is such a sweet disconnect from the outside world. It’s a sacred and meditative experience for me. I feel there is nothing more beautiful than helping a plant, flower, fruit or vegetable flourish. It makes me feel like I’m part of something greater. If you’ve never tried it, please do. I tell ya, to be able to see a sunflower bloom and then a tiny precious bee pollinate that sunflower and the ones around it, is a true miracle of mother nature and all its beauty.

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