WATCH OUT: Wendii Fulford
SC: I want to welcome you all to another edition of Watch Out. This week I’m excited to bring you a very special guest actress. Please give a warm welcome to Wendii Fulford. Wendii has been in such movies as Ginger Snaps, In Too Deep, Blizzard and such shows as Flashpoint, Vampire High, 1-800 Missing, Show Me Yours and many more.
Welcome to Watch Out, Wendii, it is so great to have you here.
SC: One of the first roles I saw Wendii in was a show called Vampire High. I know what you guys are thinking..vampires? No shocker..LOL..I know..
Here is a shot from the show.
SC:Tell the readers out there a little bit about yourself and how you got your start in acting.
WF: Well I was born in Holland and moved to Canada (Quebec to be exact) when I was ten. In grade six, or when I was 12 years old, I was cast without audition as the lead in Anne of Green Gables. I had long braids at the time, you see… it was all about who looked the part ?. However, it wasn’t until my last year of High School that I was finally inspired to pursue acting: I had taken a drama class more by default than by desire, but I fell in love. That was when I decided I would take acting courses in College.
SC: How long have you been acting for?
WF: Well, my stage debut was at age 12, and my first professional gig was at 20. Soo, counting Anne of Green Gables all those years ago, I guess that would make it 30 years!! Yiles! 😉
SC: You’ve had the chance to do projects with some big Hollywood names such as Whoopi Goldberg, Pam Grier, LL Cool J. What was it like working with such great actors?
WF: Well, I wish I could say I worked directly with them all, but sadly I never did. Whoopi did the voice over for Blizzard which meant her work was in the recording studio, and I was never in any of Pam’s nor LL’s scenes in In Too Deep. I did, however, have the honor of being in the scene with the fabulous Jake Weber from Medium, and of course Omar Epps. I played Jake’s wife, and being in the scene with him felt completely natural. It was easy to work with him, and I’m sure that’s what made my job seem so effortless. In Too Deep is still one of my favorite experiences.
I also got to work with Jon Voight many years ago in a movie called The Fixer. I played his character’s physio, but sadly the scene got cut from the movie. However, working with Jon I will never forget. It was long before Angelina became a household name, so I really was working with Jon the actor and not Jon, Angelina’s dad. I can honestly say that working with Jon was breathtaking…! He is such a profound actor and brings such strength to whatever scene he’s doing that it’s almost distracting. He’s that good. And generous: he had tons of advice and pointers for me, and for that I will be forever grateful.
SC: What is a typical shoot day like for you?
WF: Showing up on time is first and foremost. That’s a non-negotiable. Then, it’s off to the dressing room to put my things away. If I’m early enough, it’s a short trip to the craft truck: it’s nice to grab a hot drink and breakfast before starting.
Then it’s off to Hair and Makeup. I will read over my lines and the order of shooting while that’s being done, and it’s possible the director will stop by or at least one of the Assistant Directors to give any updates if there are any.
If things are rolling along, it’s back to my dressing room to get into wardrobe and head off to set. That’s where the fun really begins: the butterflies, the checking my lines, talking with the director and other actors, and just generally making sure my mind is in the game. I love the focus that acting requires, it’s a kind of escape for me if you will. I get to put all my efforts in those few minutes after the director yells “action”. I can forget anything else that is going on and just focus on my job. It’s a great feeling, even if I’m feeling the pressure of a tough gig.
When my scene or scenes are done and the director is happy, it’s a nice reward to be done for the day. It is then that I don’t have to worry about messing up my wardrobe or my makeup!
SC: What’s your favourite project that you have done so far?
WF: I would have to say, perhaps surprisingly, the Muslix ads and the GM auto shows in 2005 and 2006. Muslix because I’d worked with the director before and we got along very well. We ended up doing three ads so there was a groove that was happening. I got along well with my tv husband as well and I actually enjoy the painstaking, detail oriented nature of creating an ad.
The GM auto shows for the incredible hard work it took to get the show on its feet. The pressure was tremendous at first, since it had been years since I’d done a live stage show. Our first official show — which in live shows can be one of the weakest since we have just finished rehearsing — was in front of all the GM bigwigs, so screwing up was not an option.
But what I got out of it was a discipline I’d not needed before and the satisfaction of completing long and unpredictable days.
SC: If you could choose one actor and one actress to do a project with who would you pick and why?
WF: Oh, must I pick one of each only? Lol. OK, I will choose… In the actor category, it would have to be Christopher Plummer. He’s Canadian, and so talented! I’d be proud to work with him and not a little intimidated! I would have to bring my A++ game but I love a good challenge and that would be one for sure. I would have to take risks working with him, but what motivation! I would have a lot to prove working with his caliber but I would love the chance to do just that.
Meryl Streep. Need I say more. She is unbelievably gifted and generous as an actor, and I have always been blown away by her precision. It would be like stepping into a different dimension with her, and what a once-in-a-lifetime experience it would be to work with the superstar of all superstars…!
SC: Do you still get nervous going for auditions?
WF: I hardly get nervous anymore going for auditions.. I used to, but it’s really only if the director and producer are in the room that I might get nervous still. If I’m well prepared and feel really connected to the role, then I’ll feel a positive anxiousness, like, I can’t wait to show then what I’ve done with this scene. However, for the most part going to an audition is actually fun, and I look forward to them.
SC: If you were not an actress what would you love to be doing?
WF: I would love to be a writer.. I would also love to design clothes. I’m a bit of a closet fashionista, although you wouldn’t know it by the way I dress when I’m not working (I’m pretty casual for the most part). But my childhood dream was to compete in the Olympics. I love riding horses, and I was going to win gold medals in the Olympic jumping competitions.
However, I can still be a writer… ?. (I know you would approve, lol).
SC: Any future projects we should keep an eye out for that you will be in?
WF: Well, if the ad is approved, there will be a Canadian Tire ad out for the holidays. I play one of three sisters, we all have curly hair and we’re all in a kitchen. One sister is using her Cuisinart to prepare food, whilst another sister and I are at the kitchen table eyeing our sister. I’ll be the one without the dog on her lap. ? I also did an episode of MayDay, but I’m not quite sure when that will be out.
SC: You’ve had the chance to work on a few of my favourite shows one being Show Me Yours. What was your experience to be a part of the show?
WF: You know, I never thought I’d get on that show. I went for the audition but not once thought I’d get it. I almost didn’t want to get it since I don’t easily consider nudity. However, I’m quite happy with it today, as I realize this role was a bit of a risk but it turned out ok.
I was worried and nervous when I was on set, since I’m not exactly a Victoria’s Secret model, lol. But the other actors and also the crew were great to work with and very respectful to us. After all, they got to keep their clothes on! ? Also, the director shot quickly and got the job done in a short amount of time, which was great since I’m really much more comfortable with my clothes on, ?.
SC: With each project you’ve done, do you think you’ve grown as an actress?
WF:I do feel that each project helps me grow. Acting is not like assembly work, where things happen in a certain sequence and every step is predictable. There is a pattern in acting to be sure, but every step is so malleable and unpredictable. So, every gig is like a treasure hunt: there is a map to follow, but the real territory is nothing like what the map proposes. It is far more – and sometimes less – than that.
SC: What kind of opportunities has acting given you?
WF: Well, I haven’t become the spokesperson for my favorite charity or hosted a telethon, ?, but it has given me a certain level of freedom.. With acting it is feast or famine of course, but during the times when I was working consistently I did have the luxury of not having to run to a day job as soon as I finished working on a project. This gave me a lot more control over my schedule, and allowed me to take a two-year photography course with lots of time to shoot material. That is one of the best opportunities I can say acting has given me.
SC: What has been your biggest achievement in the field of acting?
WF: It may come as a surprise but I would have to say the GM auto show. It may not sound glamorous to nominate that project, but it was such demanding work for such a sustained amount of time that it was a real test of my abilities. It was demanding because the material was very technical and didn’t have a natural flow to it. It took a lot not to get the lines confused and as such required a whole new set of acting muscles. Also, this was the main show and was presented on a large stage with all the bells and whistles, therefore we always had a large live crowd on hand. And over a period of ten days, we did approximately 87 shows… so there was a real sense of accomplishment when the show successfully wrapped.
SC: When you first started in the acting business did you have anyone who took you under their wing and mentored you?
WF: There were two people whom I can say thought I might have any talent as an actor. In fact, it was well before I decided for myself that that’s what I wanted to pursue when these two people supported me. One was a teacher at my high school who had seen me in Anne, and the other was my music teacher. But, I moved away from home and away from these two supports, so I didn’t have them for long! Noone really took their place after that so I can’t say I had a mentor, sadly.
SC: What kind of roles to you prefer as an actress?
WF: Extremes! Victims, crazies, or on-the-fringes-of-society characters. Tough characters I like as well.
SC: Any advice for readers out there who want to get into acting?
WF: I would never say “Don’t do it”. ? But my first bit of advice is to be very, very, very honest with yourself and to be realistic about your talents and weaknesses. Only then can one know what needs to be worked on and where one can excel. Once there is a healthy level of realism, it’s all about working diligently at honing your skills. It won’t come overnight, but slowly and surely talents will begin to develop and it will become more and more rewarding. And last but not least, don’t ever give up!! It doesn’t matter if you need a “day job” for a while, just enjoy the experiences you’ll have because there will be many. Trust your instincts, work hard, be true to your word, and keep at it. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you can create.
SC: Where can readers go to find out more about you and your work?
WF: Well, IMDB.com is probably the best place to go. It has the most up-to-date list of work done, plus links to the projects themselves. I’m hoping to have a website up at some point, but for the time being IMDB would be the best place to start.
SC: Wendii, thank you again for taking out to join me for an episode of Watch Out. It has been a pleasure to have you give us an insider look into the life of an actress. I wish you all the best with your future projects, and I can’t wait to see them.