Interview by Carol Wright | Photographer: David Jung
We got to chat with actress Kara Duncan about her role in the new Fox comedy Pivoting and her advice for aspiring actors.
You have been performing since the age of four. How did you discover your passion for acting at such a young age?
I am originally from Toronto, Canada. I actually started dancing competitively at age four after watching my sister at the dance studio. I trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, and Acrobatics. I wasn’t very good technically at first but I was always a performer and I loved performing on stage and I always attracted the audience’s attention. I trained hard to hone my craft taking every dance exam and workshop possible and my technique was soon developed to the point where I was receiving various scholarships to dance camps in Canada and the USA. I always had a knack for theatrics and had good comedic timing. I then became known for my stage presence. Because of this, my parents put me in the Musical Theatre program at my dance studio when I was 8-years-old. At 10-years old, I got signed with an agent that saw me performing. I did commercials and guest-starred in TV sitcoms all while still dancing competitively throughout high school. Between acting, dancing, and singing, let’s just say my social life was close to non-existent. But my passion for performing never felt like work and always felt rewarding.
Tell our readers about your character Tanzy in Pivoting. Why did you want to take on the role?
My character Tanzy is introduced in episode five, which hasn’t aired yet so I don’t want to give too much away so people can tune in. But I can tell you Tanzy works at Field’s supermarket and is fun, carefree, and is exactly what Sarah’s (Maggie Q) character needs. I wanted to take on this role because Tanzy has this certain energy that I was connected to. Where she feels fearless and so confident in who she is. I love playing characters like this. Who are unapologetically themselves and people are so drawn to.
Sarah, Jodie, and Amy have a tight-knit friendship and familiar dynamic in Pivoting. Does Tanzy come in and shake things up a bit?
Tanzy definitely comes in to shake things up a bit. Tanzy works at Fields Supermarket where Sarah (Maggie Q’s character) now works. Sarah is immediately drawn to her. The writing on this show is so hilarious and I can’t wait for the viewers to see Tanzy!
Pivoting has a great message at its core – it’s never too late to find your happiness. Do you hope audiences will be inspired to truly do what brings them joy after watching the show?
Pivoting’s message is so well crafted. I feel like with COVID-19, everyone was forced to “pivot” his or her lives around one way or another. This is such a feel-good show and brings so much life, that every episode definitely leaves you wanting to see more of these characters. The show really highlights these characters as relatable people who are just trying to figure out life one day at a time. There’s something beautiful to that, as we are ALL trying to just live our lives in the most honest and positive way. We may make some mistakes while we figure it out but we still keep moving forward. I love everything comedy and I am a firm believer you have to always be able to still laugh when life gets hard. So when these three women’s friend dies and they decide to change their lifestyles, they still never forget to laugh. They were able to take a negative and turn it into a positive, share an optimistic approach to life, and know that it’s too short to just stay “stuck.”
Can you tell us anything about your next project The Uprising?
The Uprising was an independent project I did where I played a computer hacker. They are planning to take it to the Film Festivals soon! I love playing different roles where I can embody being a different character. For example, I will be playing an evil head Vampire in a new show. I can’t say the show name yet, as it’s still in pre-development but I am excited to embark on this. I have always wanted to play a “dark” role and I am looking forward to it. I will also be guest-starring in Letterkenny on HULU where my character is a social media photographer. So keep an eye out for that.
What advice do you have for aspiring actors?
The advice I would give someone pursuing acting is to be prepared and put in the work. Take classes, read books from various playwrights, watch classic movies with renowned directors and take workshops. But first and foremost you must have a passion for it. If you are thinking of pursuing acting as a “hobby” then you’re never going to reach your full potential. You have to treat it like a craft. And with any craft, it’s important to hone your skills. So when you do get opportunities you are prepared. As I mentioned before, this business is a tough business to be in. You will face a lot of rejection even if you may think you are the “best” person for the job. So you have to keep your confidence up while staying grounded. With acting, you are told a lot of no’s. But it takes just that one YES to propel you further in your career. So stay the course, keep training, stay dedicated to the craft and continue to find your way in the process.