Carolyn Bridget Kennedy is a Canadian actress in film, television, and online who started her career in 2011 when she wrote, directed and produced “The Bridget Linden Show” which has had over 670,000 views.
She then created Danger Pay but is currently most excited for her role as Chief Medical Officer Dr. Victoria Hunter in Vulcan: To Boldly Go, a Star Trek inspired television series.
Our man Phil caught up with the actress to discuss the final frontier… and beyond.
FTN: When did you first become interested in being an actress?
CBK: I have had a lifelong love for movies and television. All my life, I never imagined that being an actress on the screen was a realistic option for someone like me, being a Canadian and not living in LA. I thought you had to be “chosen” or “discovered”. My life and its obligations took a normal course, but not in movies and television.
Up until late 2011, I worked as a personal injury paralegal. A friend encouraged me to look into acting because of my personality, sense of humor, and comedic timing. I decided to take my first acting class. That one acting class inspired me to get my comedic talent onto film by creating a bunch of skits about a 30 something single woman exploring new life experiences on her own and giving advice and encouragement to others. “The Bridget Linden Show” was born – a one woman show that I wrote, produced, directed and acted in on my own. I have created 125 episodes of “The Bridget Linden Show” on YouTube to date, which have 730,000+ views and 1,300+ subscribers.
FTN: Your web series “The Bridget Linden Show” has become an internet phenomenon with over 125 episodes and over 730,000 viewers. Did you ever think when you first started the broadcast that it would become so popular?
CBK: I was definitely unsure of what its popularity would be or of what it would become. At the time, I was focused on this being the work I needed to do and was not focused on the result or the numbers. I began to see that I was impacting people in a positive way as messages began to pour in to “Bridget”, with people letting me know that my videos were not only funny, but inspiring. One person wrote me to say that one of my videos was “the shot in the arm they needed at just the right time”. To me, that is success. To know you can not only reach people, but that you can make a difference in their lives, and move them, inspire them and entertain them, is the greatest reward one could ever imagine experiencing. Deep down inside, I knew that developing “Bridget” was a very unique and special thing and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the show’s creation.
Up until late 2011, I worked as a personal injury paralegal. A friend encouraged me to look into acting because of my personality, sense of humor, and comedic timing.
FTN: The character “Bridget Linden” is plain spoken and has a great sense of humour. Are there many similarities between yourself and the character you have created?
CBK: Yes, of course. Although “Bridget Linden” is a fictional character, there are certain elements in the writing and in her creation that I borrowed from my own personality. The sense of humour is definitely mine. I’m very outgoing and adventurous, much like Bridget. I’m also well-spoken and straightforward. My hope is also to inspire and motivate others.
FTN: Aside from acting, you are also a very talented writer and director. Do you prefer to work behind the camera on your productions?
CBK: I love acting, but I also love creating. As a female in her early 40s residing in Calgary, Alberta, there are a limited number of roles available for a woman such as myself. Rather than waiting until I was cast in someone else’s production, I decided to be proactive and write my own content. Hence, The Bridget Linden Show was born. I wanted to continue my growth, so in the spring of 2014 I decided to pursue acting and filmmaking full time. I began training with my mentor, Neil Schell.
Shortly after that, I wrote my first scripted episodic comedy webseries – Danger Pay. In Danger Pay, I play Michelle Scott, a paralegal who accepts a job that pays more than usual to work for a bizarre lawyer out of his home. Michelle endures her boss’ unusual antics so she can afford to pursue her dreams. My creative process can be quite frenetic as I came up with 26 story ideas in about 1 ½ hours. At the same time, I developed a sketch comedy webseries WBFTV Comedy (“Women Being Funny TV”) with another Calgary actress, Saleste Mele. We are writing parodies and original comedy sketches that are character or situation driven.
While filming the initial episodes of both of these productions, I had to keep in mind that I was not wearing the “director” hat at that moment. My mentor flew in to direct these episodes. I observed him and, although I was engaged in the role of being an “actor”, I felt there were moments where I was thinking as the director. At times, and where appropriate, I offered my thoughts and ideas. I am very much looking forward to eventually co-directing and directing more of my own projects in the future. I realize that creating my own content not only gives me a tremendous joy and ignites me with passion, but it is the thing I need to do to showcase my acting and what I have to offer as a content creator. I choose to “do” rather than to “wait”.
FTN: Aside from your comedy roles, you have also worked on a spin off of Star Trek. Can you tell us how you came by this role?
CBK: I met one of the producers in the spring of 2014 at the filming of a TV pilot where I was the First Assistant Director. I also had a speaking role in this project that was written in for me days before shooting. We remained friends on social media and would see each other at local industry events from time to time. In the summer of 2015, he messaged me to let me know that they were sending out an audition notice for this new project, and told me that they had me in mind for a role. One should not underestimate the power of developing solid relationships and a good rapport with others, both in person and on social media.
FTN: “Galaxy Trek – Vulcan: To Boldly Go” is fast becoming a fan favourite. Have fans ever contacted or recognized you or the cast at the conventions?
CBK: I have yet to attend a convention with the cast of Galaxy Trek – Vulcan: To Boldly Go, although I understand that plans are in the works. I have attended autograph sessions. It has been a fun experience playing a recognizable character in a new series yet to be unveiled to the general public other than by teaser trailers.
One should not underestimate the power of developing solid relationships and a good rapport with others, both in person and on social media.
I have been recognized in public by fans who have gotten to know me on social media. That is always an amazing experience. I love to meet and talk to new people who have gotten to know a little bit about me and my unique journey.
FTN: Playing the role of Chief Medical Officer “Dr. Victoria Hunter” requires you to wear the iconic blue “science officer” tunic. Have you ever wanted to sneakily pinch the golden tunic and take command?
CBK: When one of the producers originally contacted me, he told me that I had a “powerful presence” and they wanted me to audition for the Captain role. I went for the audition and the callback. Shortly after, they offered me a role as the Chief Medical Officer. I was surprised by this as they had only auditioned male actors for the role of the doctor. It was a great turn of events, as the role of the doctor gives me a lot of places to go, allows me to use my comedic timing and gives me a great character to work with. Dr. Victoria Hunter takes great pleasure in making remarks that catch everyone, including the Captain, off guard. The doctor is very much a power position. And, as an added bonus, blue is personally one of my favourite colours.
FTN: What projects are you currently working on and when is the next time we will see you on television and the internet?
CBK: I am currently working on developing scripts for Episodes 3, 4, 5 & 6 of my webseries Danger Pay which I hope to be shooting in late May 2016. Episode 2 is undergoing final edits and should be released soon on YouTube. When you are doing all aspects of the production yourself, and don’t have funding to hire others, things move at whatever pace you can accommodate.
I am also writing my first short film. I am hoping to film it in May 2016. I will also be acting in it and co-directing.
I am seeking out and auditioning for roles on other productions. The best way to keep up to date about me is to follow me on social media. I am very active on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and I am very engaged in letting people know where they can see me.
FTN: Carolyn, thanks for taking the time to chat and may we just say… live long and prosper.