Victoria Lord, Com’10, feels her business degree is giving her an advantage in her new career as an actress. She tried to juggle a full time job and acting when she was working in the marketing department at Alliance Films (formerly Alliance Atlantis Communications), but she realized she needed to focus on her true passion. So Victoria followed her dreams and left her job to go to New York City to study at the Michael Howard Studios. She has now graduated and is pursuing her acting career full time in the Big Apple.
When did your love of acting begin?
Since the days when I used to dress up and perform for my parents and their friends at dinner parties. I'm only half kidding but that was when I was very young! The real moment for me was probably during my time in the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus (CCOC). They provided me with my first taste of musical theatre. I spent three years in the choir, after which performing really took hold. Even while I was studying at Queen's, I constantly had a craving to perform and would find various outlets to release that creative tension. It also helped to have parents who always encouraged me to find what resonated with me most and stick with that. Now I feel fortunate to be able to have the opportunity to act full time.
Was leaving your full time job at Alliance Films a tough decision?
Timing was actually very much in my favour for this. I was coming to the end of my contract with Alliance when the opportunity to move down to NYC presented itself. I'm very happy to have worked at Alliance as the experience taught me so much about the industry from a different angle. In the end however, I could not pass up the opportunity to move down to New York City and continue to act.
Can you explain how your business knowledge helps you with your acting career?
My bachelor of commerce degree has helped me in countless ways so far in the industry and will continue to do so. A BComm is a strong degree to have for any industry but especially with acting because you have to present yourself as your own brand to different players and be your own entrepreneur. Because it is such a creative field, actors often focus the majority of their efforts on developing their craft and miss this aspect entirely. They don't realize that to be successful they have to market and sell themselves just as any salesman would do with a given product. This is where I am very thankful to have my degree. Queen's Commerce provided me with a solid foundation of understanding the business aspect of this world so I am able to always strategize my best next move.
What is it like being an actor in New York City? The competition must be tough.
There is definitely some stiff competition. There's nothing like walking into a room full of 30 girls who look exactly like you! But it's also amazing to be around the best talent in the world. I've been seeing a lot of Broadway, Off-Broadway and even Off-Off Broadway shows that remind me in those harder days why I'm really doing this. The constant access to such talented actors and incredible material is simply unmatched to anywhere else. It also allows me to stay relevant to what's being produced in the city. And also the competition is what keeps you on your toes! You have to get creative sometimes and really go for what you want, an ambitious energy that I've always resonated with.
What are some of the acting projects you are pursuing right now?
There is a lot on the docket right now which I am very excited for! First and foremost I am coming back to play the role of Alexandra Marie Bates in the TV series, Envy. I shot the pilot this past February and it has since been green lit for production. I am also working with a well known brand to shoot the relaunch video for their website and doing a voice over for an international children's series that is coming to the US. I am also starring in an Off-Off Broadway show that's in its second year called Holiday in Heaven this coming August. We've already begun rehearsals and it's going very well.