Kim's Convenience actress comes to Kingston

Andrea Bang talks acting and writing in Canadian film and TV

Andrea Bang will partake in KCFF's Behind the Scene's event on March 14.
Supplied by Kendra Naka

Emerging from the ranks of CBC’s hit comedy Kim’s Convenience, Canadian Screen Award-nominated actor and screenwriter Andrea Bang has found her footing in the world of independent film and TV.

Bang is coming to Kingston on March 14as part of Kingston Canadian Film Festival’s Behind the Scenes event with fellow Canadian screenwriter, Winter Tekenos-Levy. She’ll be discussing the ups and downs of the creative process, building a career in Canada in writing and acting, and what it’s like to bring characters to life.

Looking back on the show’s success since its start in 2016, she counts herself lucky that her introduction to the world of TV came through playing Janet on Kim’s Convenience, as her eventual co-stars made the audition process easier.

“They were all super nice and ran lines with us potential Janets. The whole process is so freaking nerve-wracking that even that small gesture of kindness helps lessen the shakes,” Bang said in an interview.

Even after finding success on the show, auditioning for other acting opportunities is still a challenge.

“I am definitely still a ball of nerves when it comes to auditions. Can we ‘Love is Blind’-audition and do them in pods through a wall?” Bang joked.

Since working on Kim’s Convenience, Bang has written for the short films Lucy Dies and Karaoke Mamas, and enjoys the ways acting and writing influence one another.

“It’s interesting switching between writer brain and actor brain, because I find each brings something different to the table,” she said.

“My actor’s side brings character and dialogue, while my writer’s side brings structure and movement. It’s cool approaching it from both angles. Sometimes it’s a little maddening.”

Even though the projects she works on may change, Bang says the way she contributes to each one is consistent: she gives each job her all. 

“Whether it’s film or TV […] or it’s five minutes, 30 minutes, two hours or more, I see them all as the same.”

Having studied psychology at the University of British Columbia, Bang knows her route into the world of film and television hasn’t been traditional, which is why she has some advice for those looking to break into the industry.

“I’d recommend learning about all the different departments in filmmaking, whether you want to be a writer or an actor. Since I’m not traditionally trained, I find it helps a ton. That, and watching a lot of TV and films. That’s the fun part.”

She also spoke about the impact having an agent has had on her career.

“For the longest time I was too scared to get one, thinking I wasn’t ready or not good enough. I might’ve waited even longer, too, if it weren’t for an acting teacher telling me I was ready. All that being said, who’s to say I’d be where I am today if I did? Maybe I’d be wishing I got an agent later.”

At the end of the day, Bang’s main advice to those starting on their journey in film and TV is simple.

“In the end, be true to yourself and your perspective. That’s the most interesting and valuable thing you can bring to the table.”

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