Pro­duc­ing your dreams

Sandy Duarte on creat­ing act­ing roles based on her own vi­sion

Annex Post - - CURRENTS - By Ju­lia Mas­troianni

With a Dora Award and count­less act­ing and pro­duc­ing cred­its un­der her belt, it would seem that Sandy Duarte has been act­ing since the be­gin­ning.

But Duarte says she was late to the party, first go­ing into fash­ion de­sign to fuel her need for creative ex­pres­sion.

“Ever since I was a kid, I loved creative things — danc­ing in the room, per­form­ing, fash­ion,” she says.

In her years at Bloor Col­le­giate In­sti­tute, Duarte says she had many op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­press her­self cre­atively.

“It was a re­ally good place be­cause it en­cour­aged you to open your mind, and that open­ness made me want to cre­ate stuff.”

But af­ter years in the fash­ion busi­ness, Duarte started feel­ing the op­por­tu­ni­ties for ex­ter­nal ex­pres­sion there weren’t enough for her. It was then that act­ing ap­peared on the radar for her.

Duarte be­gan tak­ing night classes at Sears & Switzer while still work­ing her fash­ion job, and within the year, Duarte says she made plans to leave her job and jump right into act­ing.

“I knew there was some­thing mov­ing me and shak­ing me and scar­ing me so much. I found my place there, my true pas­sion,” she says.

Duarte says she be­gan to mar­ket her­self with hon­esty and in­tegrity.

“I learned very quickly to do that, to love your art but to also re­mem­ber that it’s a busi­ness and you have to put down the step­ping stones to do as much ground­work as pos­si­ble.”

That ground­work landed her a Dora Award for Out­stand­ing Fe­male Per­for­mance in Blood writ­ten by Tom Walm­s­ley, which Duarte also pro­duced.

“I want to cre­ate stuff from my heart, but I can’t just wait for some­one to give it to me,” Duarte says. She says pro­duc­ing gave her the op­por­tu­nity to cre­ate based on her own vi­sion.

Duarte’s cur­rent vi­sion is Ruby’s Arms, a play writ­ten and di­rected by Barry Papick that Duarte will be pro­duc­ing and act­ing in. She says she took a cou­ple weeks to get around to read­ing the script once Papick gave it to her, but once she did, she was hooked.

“I wrote him and asked him, ‘What the hell do you want to do with this?’ be­cause it was amaz­ing,” she says.

The story is told through mono­logues that come to­gether with some di­a­logue be­tween the char­ac­ters, about a mu­si­cian who em­barks to L.A. to pur­sue his dreams.

Duarte feels es­pe­cially proud of the team sup­port­ing this project, one that in­cludes Efren Ramirez of Napoleon Dy­na­mite fame, Eileen Di­etz from The Ex­or­cist and Emmy Award win­ner Jeff LaBeau.

“The way I feel about Ruby’s Arms, I look at it like when you’re cu­rat­ing a gallery in a mu­seum. You have to cu­rate it with in­tegrity for each role. When you have the right team slowly grow­ing, it’s eas­ier to bring on more peo­ple.”

I knew there was some­thing mov­ing me and shak­ing me.”

Duarte pro­duces and acts in her up­com­ing play ‘Ruby’s Arms’ .

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.