FYIG Chats With Actress Linzee Barclay

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m a Scottish lass grown in Canada. I inherited curls from a Grandfather who I never met that were born in the 80s and refuse to move to another decade. Linzee is not the original spelling of my name. It was a pet name given to me by a European sports coach in my childhood and it snowballed from there, and now I have spelled it that way longer than the original spelling my parents gave me. In my defence, and to highlight their relaxed, overtired parenting skills when it came to their fourth child, they spell it this way now too. I have lived in many different cities and countries but currently, call Mississauga my home.

What did you learn from your time in the Theatre Conservatory Program at Dalhousie University?

Truthfully? That if I was to do it over again I wouldn’t do Drama School. It did give me a solid foundation in working with my body, movement and voice which has helped me greatly whether working on stage or screen. But traveling and getting out in the World taught me more about myself and human dynamics which I think has been the biggest tool for me as an Actor. 

How did you get your start as an Actress?

I started on stage professionally after school. Then after being cast in some short films and really falling in love with being on set and the collaboration, it takes to make a film happen I started taking more on-camera classes. I was participating in an audition workshop one weekend and a Casting Director took notice of me there. She called me into her office to audition the following week for Syfy’s TV series “Lost Girl”. The Director also happened to be in the audition room, which isn’t always the case. Luckily it went well and I ended up booking the role, which then they turned in to a recurring role over three episodes. I will be forever grateful to that Casting Director for taking a chance on me. 

What was your experience working on Lost Girl?

It was an amazing learning experience. I was coming on to the show in its fourth season and everyone was so welcoming. Most of my scenes and episodes were opposite the lead of the show, Anna Silk, who I can’t say enough wonderful things about. Her generosity in spirit as an actor, lead and human being allowed me to put my nerves aside from day one and really show up.

You also had a recurring role as Sharlene in CW’s “Reign”. What was it like to get that opportunity and work on such a critically-acclaimed show?

It was great to get the opportunity to work with various directors which I really liked as each one had such a different energy and approach. Plus Sharlene was such a joy to play, she just didn’t care what people thought of her. I love historical drama so I was also geeking out in the costume department. But corsets are no joke! I appreciate the artistry to make them from afar, but once they were on me it was a different story. I developed a lot of sympathy for the women of that time and trying to do anything in those undergarments. 

Can you tell us more about “Cuddle” the short film that you have a role in that is currently doing the festival circuit?

It’s about a professional Cuddler who really comes up against herself when meeting a certain client and explores the complexity and healing elements of touch. It was directed by Neil Huber, who is a terrific director in the Without A Flock Films team. We shot the film in one day as they were shooting 9 short films in 16 days with various directors and writers and actors as part of a film anthology. Each short stands on its own and is also connected to a larger story. You can check it out on the National Screen Institute’s Online Short Film Festival I believe.

Do you approach working on a Short Film any differently than you do on a TV series or Feature film?

Not really, my approach is generally the same. The external factors are obviously very different on each one. On television and feature films, time is a driving force, so to be as efficient as possible is the key. On short films there may be more discussion about the story before shooting as the relationship with the director is more intimate and allows for that, whereas television you may just be meeting that director for the first time that day and not much discussion is afforded. This can sometimes be a good thing too. You’re a bit of a hired gun as an Actor so my job is just to know how I operate so I can get out of my own way and do what I’m hired to do.

What advice would you have for aspiring actresses?

Besides keeping your eyes in your own lane so you don’t play the comparison game, this is the best advice I have ever gotten and am really trying to use to govern most of the decisions in my life: You’re gonna die. This always makes me laugh (I don’t mean to be morbid) but because it’s so true and simple and people get freaked out when you say it so matter of factly when they are looking for an answer to what they should do. 

If you remember that, then you will organize your life in the most sensible way to you that you do only what matters to you. It’s a short time we have here; it’s precious. How you go about it, who you spend it with, what you invest your time in, its all up to you. That’s the exciting part, not something to fear or put expectations on. No one has it all together, so forget about doing things ‘right’, being ‘right’, looking ‘right” or timelines/milestones in life. That sucks so much joy out of it all.  Stop worrying what people think or feel about you, its none of your business. Plus they are generally thinking about themselves, its got nothing to do with you. So don’t take anything personally. Be kind, laugh more, especially at yourself. And keep showing up for your life and what you want to experience.

Because in the end, you’re gonna die 😉

What’s your life like outside of Acting?

I try my best to engage in the things I love to do outside of Acting as much as I can when I’m not working or preparing for auditions. This life can cause you to drop a lot of things and people at a moments notice, which over time and not checked is hard on you and the people you love. I was a bit of a nomad before focusing on acting living in other countries, so I try to fit travel in when I can and that is usually geared around surfing which is a big passion of mine. Whether it’s the Great Lakes or the Ocean I’m always happy on my board and in the water. Other than that, it’s just spending time with the people I love; dancing in the kitchen cooking, Netflix binging, or on some random adventure together outdoors. Currently geeking out over Game of Thrones conspiracy theories is taking up a lot of discussion in the countdown to its final season.

You had said you just learned how to play hockey and that it has become your new obsession (I completely get it!). What prompted you to learn the sport and what have you enjoyed about it thus far?

Dean, I’m so glad you will get this! Because I joke to my friends that this must be love…I will get up early for it, I think about it when I am doing other things, I want to spend more time with it, it’s making me a better person, and my butt has never looked better. I’m kidding, but not really, hockey butt is a real thing. 

It really started out as a fun challenge for myself to help embrace yet another Canadian Winter and not wish I was somewhere else most of the time and has now turned in to this most unexpected gift of additional joy/obsession in my life. Mainly I love the new community of people it keeps bringing in to my life. People who are in completely different stages in their lives or lead completely different lives than I, but we start to connect over this one thing. It also provides countless opportunities to laugh at myself and by learning something completely new later in life it’s gotten me excited about what other new things I will learn as I get older. Who knows what I will pick up in my 50s? Or my 70s? Hopefully, by then I will finally be able to do backward crossovers properly but we shall see…those outside edges I tell ya.

What’s next for you in your career? Any projects in the works?

I’ll be popping up in the feature film “Stockholm” starring Ethan Hawke out in theatres this Spring. As for what’s next – stay tuned!

Let the readers know where to find you online.

You can always keep up to date with my work on IMDB. 

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5079381/

Or I may see you at the rink or in the water 🙂