I have been a big supporter to stop homelessness. But underneath it all, it really is about taking care of each other. We are all so programmed to focus on making money that we can really forget the basics: taking care of one another. If I could inspire anyone to do anything, I would start with the simple idea of putting our need to help others before our need to make money.
I had the pleasure to Lisa Durupt. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Lisa Durupt found her way into the entertainment industry after a nagging injury forced her to put her dreams of playing hockey on hold. Today, she has made a name herself as a fan-favorite on Hallmark Channel with memorable roles in a number of TV movies for the network. She most recently made her mark on the big screen in the faith-based film Breakthrough as Topher Grace’s wife. The film also stars Chrissy Metz, Josh Lucas, and Mike Colter.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
Answer: I grew up in Winnipeg Manitoba as a tomboy playing every sport possible. I fell in love with the arts at 19 and the rest is history.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
Answer: I kept dislocating my shoulder in grade 12 so I had to postpone my plans to go to college and play hockey right after high school. My mom suggested I take University locally for a year and one intro theatre course completely altered my life’s trajectory. I can’t imagine where I would be had I not taken her advice.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Answer: On one of my first stunt gigs, I doubled Susan Sarandon in Shall We Dance. I spent the entire night watching her and Richard Gere do their scene. When we wrapped, it was the last day, so we all had cake for Richard’s B-day and the makeup artist gave me some leftover make up J-lo’s makeup artist had left behind. It was all pretty surreal.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Answer: I once flagged an actress down across the room, waving my arms like a crazy person, while we were shooting a scene as I thought she was not supposed to be talking. The director was really mean and I did not want her getting in trouble. Turns out it was her coverage and I all but ruined her take. She laughed but I was so embarrassed. Lesson? Pay attention and know what shot they are working on.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
Answer: Being a first-time new mom, best job ever!
I’m very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
Answer: I think it is exciting how the film industry is now catching on to the demand for stories about people and starring people from all walks of life. We are such an interactive, connected society with access to each other through social media 24/7 so there is no excuse anymore as to why everyone should not feel seen, heard, and included. I think it still has a long way to go but the industry is moving in the right direction. The more inclusive we are in this industry, which finds a way into the majority of people’s lives across the world on a daily basis, the better chance our cultural has at ending divisiveness.
From your personal experience, can you recommend three things the community/society/the industry can do help address some of the diversity issues in the entertainment business?
Answer: At the base of it, you need creative people You need writers, actors, filmmakers, etc and all of that starts with knowledge. Cutting Arts programs in schools is death to the industry in the long run. Allowing the creative brain to work it’s magic is just that…magic. The #1 thing cut in any budget for education is the Arts yet the average person watches 2.8 hours of TV a day. Seems out of balance.
Encouraging people of all race, gender, age etc to tell the stories they want to tell. Mentoring and cultivating new film and TV creators about their work is really the best way to ensure the stories are getting out there from a flow of new voices on a regular basis.
Funding allocated equally to all. That is obviously not entirely possible but more and more big studios are taking chances on choices that might not have even had a hope in hell several years ago. The more culturally diverse projects that get funded, the more it will draw in culturally diverse options to create. The cycle is slow but moving along. Change takes times if you want it to be permanent.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why.
#1 Take a Business course.
It is the number one thing that all creatives should do because the creative side of this business is only about 20%.
#2 You only get what you have the courage to ask for.
If you don’t go after exactly what you want, someone else will and you will be out of luck!
#3 You will never stop training.
Doctors, athletes, even insurance brokers have to continuously train. You will train more than you will ever work. Get used to it and enjoy it. If you don’t like it you are in the wrong business.
#4 Be nice to others on the way up and accept their help on the way down.
This business is ups and downs so you need to treat others with kindness. The good ones, in turn, will really help you in the not so “up times”. Accept the help. Other creatives are just as caring and sensitive as you are.
#5 Learn the 95/5 split. Avoid jealousy, it is not healthy.
95% of the time you think “yay for you!” 5% of the time you think “damn I wanted that job.”
No one wants to fail so drop the ego and celebrate with others too once you shake off any disappointment. It is a totally healthy feeling to be upset but how you behave with those feelings is what can end up being unhealthy.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Answer: Make sure to fill your life with things that make you happy outside of the industry. Surround yourself with things/people that you love and that challenge you to be a good human. Hobbies, pets, family, charities etc. Get your priorities straight. This business should be a job, not your life. Like anything balance, balance, balance!
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Answer: I have been a big supporter to stop homelessness. But underneath it all, it really is about taking care of each other. We are all so programmed to focus on making money that we can really forget the basics: taking care of one another. If I could inspire anyone to do anything, I would start with the simple idea of putting our need to help others before our need to make money.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Answer: I think I have been really lucky to have so many people support me throughout the years. To this day one person, in particular, has had my back. In university, I was doing a musical ( Hair: the rock musical) and was struggling because I was supposed to leave for a call back for a T.V. show during a long rehearsal day. I knew the Director of the musical would not allow it so I was going to bail on the T.V. show audition. My best friend found out and demanded I not bail. He covered my butt while I ran there and back and, in the end, it was the start of my career on Less Than Kind. That was a huge turning point in my life that my best friend had a hand in. So needless to say, 12 years later, I am proud to say I married him.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Answer: I was given some brilliant advice as a young actor. An older actor said to me “just jump and let life make left turns for you.”I was young and eager but so nervous to chase my dreams. I found myself making excuses and talking myself out of situations. She overheard me one day talking about moving to the west coast and she simply laid it out for me. To this day, I repeat it to myself anytime I am worried or confused about what to do.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them.
Answer: Bette Midler. I have adored her since I was a kid!