“A Day in the Life” with Toronto filmmaker Samantha Wan

Samantha Wan is an award-winning actor, writer and producer based in Toronto. She’s tough, young, and ambitious, but the first thing that will strike you on meeting her is her warmth and openness, which are genuine and disarming. (And if they don’t work on you, she knows kung fu. One way or another, you will be disarmed.)

Not long after graduating theatre school, Sam wrote, produced, directed and starred in her own martial arts themed web series, Sudden Master, which was picked up by OMNI Television. She also co-created and starred in Second Jen for City TV and OMNI, a sitcom that kicked all the gender/race TV conventions in the face by featuring not one, but two female Asian leads. It is hilarious.

She’s been interviewed by all the media. She’s asked to speak on all the panels. She has received, and presented, all the awards (I know because sometimes I get to be her date, and although I’m usually only half conscious from stuffing myself with complimentary booze and hors d’oeuvres, I can tell you she always makes it to the stage at some point, looking effortlessly poised and sexy and glitzy, like she was born to be there.)

Sam has worked, to critical acclaim, with both the theatrically revered Paul Thompson and the televisionly revered Jason Priestley, on whose show, Private Eyes, she currently appears as a series regular. This show airs all around the world, which makes Sam an official Canadian commodity and export. It gives me great pride to know that quite possibly, right now, say on a television screen in a dimly lit bar in the rugged Tazmanian mountains, Sam is delighting the locals by back-talking Jason Priestly. And even though the sound is off, they still know her comic timing is “perfection.” Because they can read the TV, eh? review. (They may be rugged, but they have the internet.)

Sam is a formidable, talented, pioneering artist with a heart of gold. And because the sky is her limit, you should really keep a look out for whatever she chooses to put her hand to next. Personally, I can’t wait.

-written by her dear friend and super fan, Tara Koehler

"A Day in the Life" with Toronto filmmaker Samantha Wan
Stool + Suitcase + Bucket + Amazing Friend = Long distance self tape. The wonderful Tara Koehler everyone! Even being in LA, there are few people I trust as much as Tara to help me with an audition ( or life!)
"A Day in the Life" with Toronto filmmaker Samantha Wan
Directing my episode of Second Jen on season 2. Currently working on blocking notes with Amanda Joy. Our fearless leader and showrunner Carly Heffernan in the back.
"A Day in the Life" with Toronto filmmaker Samantha Wan
Second Jen season 2. The tiniest writing room (Carly, Amanda and myself) but that never stopped us from having fun. We are super pumped to be nominated for Best Comedy Series by the CSA’s this year.
l love panels. I’m not a showrunner, but I was one of the creators of Second Jen. Reel World Film Festival brought me on to talk about that experience. Honoured to be with friends Ins Choi ( Kim’s Convenience) and Marsha Green ( Mary Kills People)
l love panels. I’m not a showrunner, but I was one of the creators of Second Jen. Reel World Film Festival brought me on to talk about that experience. Honoured to be with friends Ins Choi ( Kim’s Convenience) and Marsha Green ( Mary Kills People)
Editing a new pitch project. Playing with some stop motion here.
Editing a new pitch project. Playing with some stop motion here.
Watching a Private Eyes episode and live tweeting with dear friends and star Cindy Sampson
Watching a Private Eyes episode and live tweeting with dear friends and star Cindy Sampson
Second Jen season premiere party. Cast members from Kim’s Convenience, Blood and Water, and Second Jen all came together. We’re all friends. It was important for me to organize something that showed the Asian community is supportive of one another, not competitive. Tokenism ends when we have more than one.
Second Jen season premiere party. Cast members from Kim’s Convenience, Blood and Water, and Second Jen all came together. We’re all friends. It was important for me to organize something that showed the Asian community is supportive of one another, not competitive. Tokenism ends when we have more than one.
My boyfriend and I love boardgames. We are always trying new games when ever we have free time. This is a ridiculous one where we are racing to stack puzzle pieces using out heads.
My boyfriend and I love boardgames. We are always trying new games when ever we have free time. This is a ridiculous one where we are racing to stack puzzle pieces using out heads.

What ‘hood are you in?

I’m currently in Liberty Village, but I’m always moving. I started out east in the Beaches, moved to the Gay Village on Wellesley, then west of Little Italy, now Liberty, but I’m thinking about transitioning to LA part time. I’ve loved every place I’ve lived in, it’s the adventurer in me that doesn’t let me sit still.

What do you do?

I’ve settled on calling myself an actor/ director. I started as an actor but got into filmmaking because I didn’t feel I had enough agency in my life. I also felt strongly about needing to create more representation on screen. I produce and write as well. Really what ever it takes to get the project made.

What are you currently working on?

I’m going to be shooting the next season of Private Eyes this summer. I’m super excited to be back with my TV family! In between shooting I’ll be devising my next project. Probably write/direct some shorts to expand my reel.

Where can we find your work?

People can follow me on instagram and twitter @TheSamanthaWan and www.samanthawan.com.

My Top three projects. • Second Jen – my sit-com with Amanda Joy – watch online with City Tv and OMNI Television. • Private Eyes – Detective dramedy with Jason Priestly. Catch episodes on GlobalTV.com • Sudden Master – Martial Arts Digital series I created. www.suddenmaster.com.

 

 

 

Joel Levy
About Joel Levy 1749 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography