Meet the 2016 Leo Awards Faux Acceptance Speech Finalists

Behind each creative piece of work, is an artistic genius. And the final submissions for  Leo Awards Faux Acceptance Speech are no exception.
We talked with our 8 finalists about making the cut, the creative process, and their acting journey thus far. Take a look:


Casting Workbook: How did you come up with the concept?
Chris Cope:
Leading up to the day of filming it, I knew I wanted to have a beginning, middle, and an ending that was different from the start. An hour before leaving for my friend, Arther Mackinon’s house (to film on his camera in his garage), I was racking my brain to come up with a concept but couldn’t seem to concentrate. Every time I began to flush out an idea, this fly, which made itself into my room, was buzzing all around. I opened the door and windows to try to get it out, but couldn’t succeed! The buzzing would stop, I’d get back to work, and then the buzzing would soon start again. This went on until I gave up and left to go film. I was frustrated with myself but mostly for the fly who wouldn’t let me concentrate in peace. Halfway down the road it hit me: that’s the story … that’s the concept! A fly is buzzing around during my speech and who won’t let me get through it.
So, I was trying so hard to formulate an idea, and the whole time the answer was right in front of me without having realizing it. It’s amazing what the world can provide you with when you just stop thinking so much and open your eyes.


Casting Workbook: What stood out for you at the award show?
Briana Rayner:
The eagerness to celebrate those working in our industry, as well as a deep appreciation that we get to do what we do. 


Casting Workbook: What is your future dream role?
Kathryn Masters:
I’ve always envisioned myself starring in a biopic, such as “Joy” or “Wolf of Wall Street.” The preparation the actors go through to bring these characters to life is so fascinating to me. 


Casting Workbook: Tell us a bit about your acting journey so far.
David C. Jones:
It has been random and great fun. I have seized opportunity and squandered it in almost equal measures. I love creating and making things. That is why I have written and directed things as well. I also love teaching and giving artists platforms. Someone once called me an “opportunity provider.”


Casting Workbook: Is there any actor you admire/inspire to be?
Adam Growe:
Tom Hanks, Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Bob Newhart, John Ritter, Carol Burnett, Howie Mandell, Ellen DeGeneres are all examples of people who I admire and who inspire me to be my very best. Lastly, my wife.


Casting Workbook: What got you started in the business?
Zahf Paroo:
I grew up in a small town that (at the time) wasn’t particularly accepting of things that were different, so I was bullied and insecure when I was young. I began acting to have people look at me on my terms and empower myself. It was a journey that began with redefining myself and that turned into me falling in love with the craft of acting.
Since then, I’ve gone on to cross-off adventures and bucket list journeys in my career, including working with Oscar winners and spending a year on Broadway.


Casting Workbook: What are your next steps when it comes to acting?  
Natasha Gayle:
Well, now that I’ve been seen by all the casting directors in the Lower Mainland [Vancouver], anyone want to cast a Jamaican character? I’m kidding … kind of.
I’d say that I’m just going to keep working at my craft! And even when it’s tough to push through, I am going to make my own opportunities and be brave!


Casting Workbook:  Do you have any advice for future Faux Leo Awards Acceptance Speech contestants?
Lisa Michelle:
Don’t make excuses. Embrace the challenge and you might be surprised what happens.  When I heard about the contest, there was no doubt in my mind that I would enter.  A chance to do something fun and creative, AND help casting get a sense of me – it was a no brainer! Little did I think that a few weeks later I would be told I was a finalist. Even better than that: my Mum and Dad booked flights from Australia and purchased the last two available tickets for the Leo’s to
come support and stand with me on my very first red carpet. Never in a million years would I have envisioned this scenario and yet within a matter of days it was all organized.  
I am beyond thankful to my parents and especially, Casting Workbook for providing us with such a rewarding experience and opportunity.  I didn’t need to win the finals to feel like a winner!


Once again Casting Workbook would like to thank everyone who entered. It was such a fun journey! Stay tuned for our interview with our grand-prize winner, Andrew Barber.




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