Carolyn Kennedy Interview By Scott McGlynn
Carolyn Bridget Kennedy is a Canadian actress, writer, producer & director. After a long career as a paralegal, a friend encouraged her to attend her first acting workshop leading her, in 2012, to experiment and create a one-woman webseries, “The Bridget Linden Show”, about a single 30 something woman exploring new life experiences on her own and giving advice and encouragement to others.
She produced 125 episodes, which have 800,000+ views & 1,550+ subscribers on YouTube. In 2015 she created her first scripted comedy webseries “Danger Pay”, playing “Michelle Scott”, a paralegal who accepts a job that pays more than usual to work for a bizarre lawyer. It was nominated as 2016 Best Pilot by WebFest Montreal and was mentioned by Tubefilter as an “under-the-radar series to watch”.
In 2016, Carolyn also wrote, produced and starred in her first short comedy film “Super Speed Dates” about a group of women who attend a Super Speed Dating event and wonder if the men have another side to them. “Super Speed Dates” is an Official Selection at the 2016 Super Geek Film Festival in Fort Lauderdale Florida, part of Paradise City Comic Con. “Super Speed Dates” was also on the Long List at the 2016 Winchester Short Film Festival. Carolyn has also been cast in numerous other productions, credits for which are listed in IMDb.
Carolyn’s creative drive continues to propel her forward with her future projects as an actor, writer, producer and director, including feature films. Carolyn is enrolled in acting, filmmaking and producing apprenticeships. Carolyn has attracted international attention about her career. She has overcome many obstacles, including losing over 110 pounds & keeping it off for over two decades. Her optimistic personality and perseverance has endeared her to the public. Her down to earth nature and unique sense of humor have earned her a strong following on social media. She has been featured in online publications and print magazines, and has appeared as a special guest on American talk shows, podcasts and radio shows around the globe.
Scott McGlynn: How did you get into acting?
Carolyn Kennedy: I had been working as a paralegal for 20 years when, in late 2011, a friend encouraged me to consider acting because of my personality, sense of humor, and comedic timing. I took my first acting class and it resonated with me.
At the acting class, I was told that if you want to be an actor, you have to be realistic and not expect to be “discovered” while sitting on your couch at home. You should consider creating your own character and web-series.
That acting class inspired me to create a bunch of skits about a single 30 something woman exploring new life experiences on her own and giving advice and encouragement to others. “The Bridget Linden Show” was born – a one woman show that I wrote, produced, directed and acted in.
I was hooked!! I loved creating something out of nothing. I loved the reaction I received from other people to what I was doing. By 2014 I started to pursue acting and film making intensively. Since then, I have invested greatly in my training both as an actor and a filmmaker by studying with my regular acting coach, Neil Schell, practicing in my home self-taping studio, and taking an intensive director/producer apprenticeship. Also, I have taken introductory courses relating to many of the jobs performed on set as I feel that it is important as a director and a producer (and even as an actor) to have some knowledge of these roles.
SM: Did you know from a young age it was something you wanted to do?
CK: When I was young, I always enjoyed being engaged in creative play and using my imagination. In junior high, I was part of my school’s drama program and had a major role in a school play. I was drawn to music and played the alto saxophone in my school band. In high school, I shifted my focus heavily to music.
I played lead alto saxophone in both concert band and jazz band and travelled with my school for international competitions. I also attended International Music Camp in the United States every summer. Then after graduating, life took its course and I chose a “practical” career as a paralegal. However, life has a way of returning to its beginning. Having rediscovered my passion for the creative, I am now doing what I love.
SM: You’re multi-talented, not just acting but directing/producing as well. Is there anything you enjoy the most?
CK: Acting, directing and producing are three entirely different pursuits. Along with writing, I enjoy all of these aspects equally, but for different reasons.
As an actor, I enjoy exploring and discovering the character both inside the text and inside me.
As a director, you get to formulate the initial vision of what is being filmed but, you get to enjoy how that vision is augmented by the creativity of the actors and this can be magical. Engaging with the cast and crew and drawing out the best in everyone is part of that magic.
Producing is about problem solving and logistics in order to gather and coordinate a cast and crew. Problem solving is its own reward.
Writing is a raw creative outlet. There have been times when I have woken up in the middle of the night with a new idea that I just have to write down. Out of love and necessity, I have written my own productions and I plan to continue to do so. Being a part of each of these roles enhances my abilities in the others.
SM: You’re filming a movie right now called “Jindua”. Can you tell me about it?
CK: I was cast as Canadian Immigration Officer “Julie Denton” in “Jindua”, a Bollywood romantic comedy that filmed this summer. “Jindua” is about two people who are not actually a “real” couple, but who pose as one for immigration purposes. I enjoyed my scenes with superstars Sakhawat Naz, Jimmy Shergill and Neeru Bajwa. The film was shot in both Canada and in India. It is expected to be released in the Spring of 2017.
SM: Your show “The Bridget Linden Show” is just hilarious, I love it!
Will we be seeing more anytime soon? (Fan On Twitter Question)
CK: Thank you so much! I was unsure of what the popularity of “The Bridget Linden Show” would be or what it would become. I am amazed that a project I wrote, acted in, produced and directed on my own, has evolved to what it has – over 800,000 views on YouTube!
Over time, the impact I was having on people became apparent. Messages began to pour in to “Bridget”, with people letting me know that my videos were not only funny, but inspiring. One person wrote me to say that one of my videos was the “shot in the arm” he needed at just the right time. People have also told me that they are inspired to now write their own book or create their own web-series after watching one of my episodes.
Currently, my focus is on writing scripted shows. In 2016 I released a new web-series “Danger Pay”. However, “The Bridget Linden Show” is, and will always remain, very close to my heart as this was my first project. So, although there are no immediately plans, it is possible that “Bridget” may re-appear on YouTube for some new adventures in the future.
SM: Do you ever suffer from nerves? If you do, how do you deal with it?
CK: Yes, of course, I suffer from nerves like most people do. I prefer to frame it in a positive light so that rather than viewing it negatively or allowing it to affect my work in a negative way, I instead think of it more as “nervous energy” or “excitement” and use it. There is no point in fighting it if you are feeling it. Accepting it allows you to be more present and focus on the work at hand. I find that centering myself with deep breathing and meditating helps me feel grounded and able to control the nervous energy rather than being controlled by it.
SM: Who inspires you in your acting career?
CK: I admire strong comedic actors who are not only acting, but who are also writing, producing and directing their own projects. I am inspired by people who make their own work and who create their own roles.
I know how much work it is to bring even a small project to life, like a web-series or short film, so I can imagine how much more is involved when it is a feature film or a television series. I am drawn to the comedy genre as a writer and creator, so I would have to say that I am inspired by the likes of Ben Stiller, Tina Fay, Seth Rogen, Mindy Kaling, Amy Schumer and Amy Poehler.
SM: Have you ever visited the UK? If yes, what did you like about it? If not, WHY NOT?! HA!
CK: I have not yet visited the UK. I came close to travelling there this Fall when I made the Long List at the 2016 Winchester Short Film Festival with my first short comedy film “Super Speed Dates”.
Had the film been chosen, I likely would have attended. I was also recently contacted by a film director in the UK regarding a possible role in a feature film. Unfortunately, that is all I can reveal at this time about that project. So, for now my travel plans to the UK are on hold. But who knows, perhaps another opportunity will present itself in the near future with another film festival or a role.
SM: Can you tell me an embarrassing moment on set or an audition?
CK: I once had an audition where I had to park several blocks away. I paid for three hours of parking as I thought this would be sufficient. While wearing a new pair of high heels, I descended down the several flights of stairs of the parkade, walked the several blocks outside in 30 degrees Celsius heat, and climbed up the several flights of stairs where the audition was being held.
The auditions were running late, and at some point I realized that my parking was going to run out. With a few people still ahead of me, I decided to run (not walk) all the way back to my vehicle, paid for more parking, and then ran back to the audition – again in 30 degree heat and my new high heels. By the time I made it back, I was sweating and had worn huge blisters into my feet from the shoes.
As soon as I walked down the hallway, I was greeted with the door opening and “Carolyn? We’re ready for you, come on in”. I walked in, and didn’t mention a word about my ordeal. So, glistening with sweat, out of breath and every step now causing excruciating pain, I completed the audition hoping no one would notice my predicament.
SM: What are your plans for 2017? Have you got any more TV or Movies planned?
CK: In 2016, I released 6 webisodes of a scripted comedy series “Danger Pay”, which I wrote, produced, acted in and also edited. It’s been released on YouTube at www.youtube.com/dangerpayseries and also on Funny or Die at www.funnyordie.com/carolynbridgetkennedy.
My current focus is on developing “Danger Pay” as a television series and writing a 22 minute pilot for it. However, other webisodes of “Danger Pay” are also possible as I have sketched out story lines for a further 22 episodes.
Also in 2016, I wrote, produced and acted in my first short comedy film “Super Speed Dates”. This project hasn’t been released publicly yet as it is being submitted to a variety of film festivals around the world. However, a teaser trailer is available for viewing on my personal YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/carolynbkennedy.
I am working on developing other short and feature films. I was a “Director in Training” for “Super Speed Dates” and would like to direct one of my short films this upcoming year.
I continue to audition for roles in other productions. Stay tuned on social media to find out what I will be working on next.