Carly Maclsaac: Actress + Author of One Thousand Matches

Republished with permission from Be The Next Her an Evio Community Partner

Carly MacIsaac, Actress + Writer.jpg

Carly is an Actress and Author of one thousand matches.

What is your morning routine?

My morning routine has shifted quite dramatically in recent months. My alarm used to be on my phone and I’d find myself getting trapped in the internet vortex and then not having enough time to align myself for the day. The impact of doing a stretch and meditation before checking my phone or emails has increased my productivity significantly.

Tell us about your career path

I am an actor and a writer. I grew up in the prairies performing in theatre productions before moving to Toronto to pursue an on-camera career. After graduating film school, I became frustrated with the process of waiting to be chosen; patience has never really been a strong suit of mine. So I wrote a web-series where I could play whatever kind of character I could dream up, and created it with my producing partner Natalie Novak. Co-directing Easy V gave me invaluable experience behind the camera and a greater understanding of the filmmaking process as a whole. Discovering that I did have a say in the trajectory of my career was extremely empowering for me.

I also published a collection of my poetry this year, one thousand matches, which was an equally important milestone. ‘one thousand matches‘ is a reflection on my turbulent journey towards self-forgiveness. My hope with releasing the book into the world is that the people who come across it feel less alone because of something authentic they identify with. I hope my book can be a contribution to the conversation that no emotions are ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but are all valid and a part of the universal human experience. By baring all of my vulnerabilities and not-so-glamorous thoughts, I hope others can feel less ashamed to express emotions other than the ones society deems as acceptable.

What challenges do you or women face in your industry?

I think the challenge many artists experience is the mental stamina it can take to arrive at a place where your art – whether that be music, acting, painting, writing – is also your primary source of income. Maintaining a healthy confidence can often feel tricky after faced with multiple rejections from experiences you truly desire.

For me as an actor, my biggest challenge has always been overcoming body image issues. The idea that you have to be a certain size to be a compelling storyteller is ridiculous. I think the entertainment industry has put an immense emphasis on following very narrow beauty guidelines, but the size of your jeans has absolutely nothing to do with your ability to create.

What advice would you give to young girls who want to be the NEXT you?

Ditch the drama!!! Life is too short to surround yourself with anything other than high-vibrational people. Find the kindred souls who add positive value to your life and who support you whole-heartedly. Abandoning the energy suckers opens up space in your life for people who deserve to be there.

How do you separate work life from your personal life?

Because I don’t have a nine to five structure, my schedule is usually all over the map. As a writer, my brain is constantly “on”, hyper-aware of situations that amuse me, or conversations I overhear at coffee shops or on the streetcar; if you see me on transit chances are I am absolutely eavesdropping on your conversation. I am fascinated with human behaviour so if I see or hear something interesting I can’t help jotting it down and expanding on it later. Collecting these little pieces of dialogue and merging them with my own musings about the world feels less like work and more like a creative exercise that has the potential to be useful professionally down the line.

What inspires you?

Everything. A facial expression, a good book, poetry, a stimulating conversation with a stranger, documentaries, tarot card readings, foreign films. I am often sparked by the most random, silly, tragic details. The “meat” of a human being, the core of what makes someone tick is endlessly intriguing to me. I am always searching for that in my characters, both as an actor and as a writer.

When you’re off the clock, what are your indulgences?

Drinking red wine in my bathtub.