• victoriajvalliere

Actor, Writer, Director = Artist

Updated: Dec 11, 2019

My origin story. Not sure if I'm the hero or villain yet though, I guess that's up to you.

Tom Patternson Theatre, Stratford Shakespeare Festival Where Love's Labours Lost was performed in 2008.

When I was 13 I went to a play with my mother. My dad wasn’t there, I think he must have been on a trip to the warmth of Florida. The girls in our family prefer the sweater weather of Canada and so stay behind during his annual trip. I had been to the theatre many times before - the first time, amazingly, when I was three years old to see Christopher Plummer in My Fair Lady at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

Now we were back at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, this time to see Shakespeare’s infamous Love’s Labour’s Lost, the impossible play because it has no plot, no journey, no action, no romance even - just a lot of characters using humongous words in a two(+) hour long battle of language and wits. Not quite our contemporary cup of tea.

But that day, for the first time in my life, I watched the actors onstage and wondered not about the play or the story they were telling, but about what they were doing backstage. Who was this beautiful woman who played the Princess of France? When her skirt swept behind the curtain, what then? That evening, on our long drive home I closed my eyes but I didn’t sleep. I dreamed. I dreamed what it would be like to have been her.

The next summer I attended the Startford Shakespeare Festival to study acting, and that year I met the actress who had played the Princess. She said we should act together sometime - soon. I’ve been working on it ever since.

I would like to say my first love was theatre. But that would be adultery to my real first love - literature. Long before I closed my eyes that day and began to dream I was reading books faster than authors could write them, devouring whole worlds before dinner-time, and writing my own under the covers at night.

And now I’m not one, I’m not the other. I’m not just an actress, nor am I just a writer. I’m both. They are my loves. They are what I believe in, for I believe it is only through empathy that we can change the world, and stories, both onstage and on the page, have the magic to truly take the audience on a walk in another’s shoes.

So come with me, I’m starting on my way. I have no idea where this road will lead, but I’m in love, and that’s a good enough start for me. Thank you for joining me.

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