There are some pretty talented women in acting here in Canada and Patrice Goodman is one lady we love to keep our eyes on. Recently, Patrice, along side her cast-mates of Sunnyside- a sketch comedy series that followed the lives of funny and interesting characters in an urban neighbourhood – received 5 nominations and 2 wins at the Canadian Screen Awards. Unfortunately, we’ve just learned that this show has not been renewed. What? I know. I’m confused too.
But Patrice is not just known for her role on that show, she’s worked on many others including Road Crew, Maximum Dimensions and Platinum. She has also appeared on The Firm, Bloodletting, Cracked, Being Erica, Odyssey 5, Doc, and Wild Card, as well as acting on stage in New York City with the award winning play First Hand Woman. Oh, and did we mention that she’s also an acting coach with workshops in Germany, Spain and here in Toronto.
We caught up with Patrice to learn more about her journey and the challenges of acting here in the city.
You’ve been acting, directing and choreographing for over 23 years. What has been the most fun project for you?
Definitely the most fun acting project has been Sunnyside. Anytime you get to wear that many wigs in a day – you’re having fun!
What has been the most challenging thing about acting?
Getting work! In this industry, you always have to prove yourself. You can never rest on your laurels. It’s a very competitive market, and it’s difficult to make a living acting in this country. But I love doing it, so clearly I’m crazy.
You’ve also done some interesting work with Sofia Coppola and John Ridley. Can you tell us about that?
I worked with them on the TV show Platinum. Sofia Coppola was the executive producer, and I didn’t meet her, but I know she was very proud of the show. John Ridley was the showrunner, and the man is a genius. He was wildly daring and creative and never apologized for any of his choices. He was kind and an exceptional show runner. But more importantly, he was passionate about his work and that inspired people to do some of their best work.
You’re also a drama and dance teacher. Any fun tips about being on-camera?
No blinking! For some reason, when we are nervous, we have a tendency to blink a lot. But watch Glenn Close on screen. She’s an example of a brilliant actor who never blinks. I’m sure her eyes are as dry as raisins.
You also do comedy! What don’t you do? All kidding aside, what would you want people to know about sketch comedy?
Sunnyside was my first foray into sketch comedy, so I’m sure there are people better qualified to answer this question. But I would have to say good sketch comedy is all in the writing. And I was given a lot of guidance on set from our brilliant co-creators and sketch comedy veterans Gary Pearson and Dan Redican. One piece of advice they gave that stands out – was to play everything like it was absolutely real.
What’s the best career advice anyone has ever given you?
Do the audition and forget about it. Let it go. If you book the gig, it’s a happy surprise.
Random question.. where are the funniest places in Toronto?
There are these sleeping cow statues in a parkette in the financial district – the randomness of them make me laugh. And I love the Comedy Bar of course!