Marc Devigne stars in Shadowlands series

Marc Devigne

Marc Devigne is a prairie boy originally from Winnipeg Manitoba in Canada.  Marc is a diversely experienced Canadian singer, songwriter, musical theatre performer and actor currently residing in Toronto. He stars in the new TV series Shadowlands.

Shadowlands is available on OUTtv and OUTtvGO in Canada and on Vimeo for our friends around the world.

With a well-rounded experience base that ranges from being a finalist on “Canadian Idol” in 2003, to international touring with various theatre companies and session work as a studio vocalist, Marc Devigne has a strong passion for music and performing in general.

As a songwriter, Devigne has co-penned music with an impressive array of Canada’s leading songwriters such as Stephan Moccio, Amy Sky, Mark Masri, Greg Johnson, David Martin, Luke McMaster and Simon Wilcox. Marc’s infectious stage presence and performance experience have afforded him the opportunity to appear on 2 PBS specials; a Mark Masri PBS special, as well as “Bailamos! Live at the Empire”.

Marc Devigne’s infectious on-stage energy is a testament to his broad range of Musical Theatre experience, such as touring with Rainbow Stage, Persephone Theatre, Theatre Calgary, Ross Petty Pantos and Koba Entertainment to name a few. Devigne has also performed as a featured soloist for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Toronto Symphony Orchestras.

Recently, he has toured extensively throughout North America as a Vocalist for various musical groups, such as the latin-themed cross-over group “Bailamos” and Popera group “Vivace”, of which he was a founding member and director, and displays a

INTERVIEW WITH MARC DEVIGNE

Marc Devigne stars at Xavier in episode 3 ‘Pygmalion Revisited’ of the Shadowlands series.  In the story a painter (Charlie David) who in mourning the loss of his lover Xavier (Marc Devigne), becomes obsessed with creating a realistic painting of him. The resulting piece is so beautiful and life-like that he is drawn under its spell.

What were the main challenges and fears you had in your role?

Marc Devigne: When Charlie David first approached me with the script, I was nervous at the prospect of playing the role of Xavier. It had been a while since I had been in front of the camera and had never played a role such as this one. It took a lot of vulnerability but I knew it was an important, relatable story of love that can transcend limits and barriers. Everyone can relate to love and loss.

How much of yourself goes into a character?

Marc Devigne: For this specific role, a lot of me went into the character. Charlie and I revisited the script and worked the role of Xavier into a French singer/songwriter artist. The role was adapted to allow me to perform a song in the episode that I believe related beautifully to the characters’ love story.

How much were you able to relate your own experiences to create your character?  And how much did you have to research or imagine?

Marc Devigne: There’s a lot out of my own experience that I could relate to role of Xavier. Other than the obvious things, such as singer, artist and love of life, Xavier’s illness was something that I drew from very personal and painful events in my life having witnessed the horrible effects of cancer.

What aspects of the Shadowlands series are you excited for an audience to experience or discover?

Marc Devigne: I’m excited that people get to experience 3 very different stories, styling and feelings with a similar underlying theme.

Romance between men and between women was common place and written about in Greek and Roman mythology.  Why is it important to continue sharing these types of stories today?

Marc Devigne: It’s important to me because these stories often times transcend gay or niche themes and storytelling. They are human stories with universal themes that a lot of people can relate to. It’s important for people to broaden their views and I think that by sharing stories where people can draw similarities to their own life or experiences, makes us all one step closer to realize that we’re all humans on this earth living and sharing more similarities than what often times is believed.

What was the hardest scene for you in the Shadowlands series to do and why?

Marc Devigne: Xavier’s “final” scene was definitely a difficult one. It was emotionally and physically draining to stay in that state of exhaustion and low energy for quite a while while we were shooting. Between takes I would remain in character to ensure that the scene remained as truthful as possible. It was also difficult to see my co-actor crying and devastated within the scene. It felt awfully real at times.

Who is a major influence for you and on your creativity?  

Marc Devigne: Music constantly influences my creativity. It can affect such a broad spectrum of feelings and emotions.

In addition to acting, tell me about the other areas of entertainment you’re pursuing.

Marc Devigne: Other than acting, I’m currently pursuing Music. I sing with a number of groups and projects internationally. I’m also currently working on my own music and drawing a lot of inspiration from French music. I’m really excited to be releasing my own music that reflects this part of my culture.

With so much going on in the world today, what’s your motivation to be a performer? Do you act to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widen our knowledge?  To incite a conversation?

Marc Devigne: I do it because I have this innate feeling that it’s what I’m meant to do. Because music and performance are the best and only ways I know how to express myself to a degree that is fulfilling and truthful. It’s my form of creativity, of expression, and hopefully my small piece of contribution to the world.

What’s next for you as a creator/actor/performer?

Marc Devigne: Keep pursuing all venues and experiences that excite me. Creating original music. Collaborating with great creative minds, and hopefully remain inspired and motivated to keep doing what I love. Keep learning and keep creating… those are some of the greatest gifts.

Follow Marc Devigne and listen to his music using the links below:

Spotify

Twitter/Instagram: @marcdevigne

Facebook

Please follow and share our stories.

Shadowlands gay series star Vasilios Filippakis

Shadowlands gay series Vasilios Filippakis

VASILIOS FILIPPAKIS is excited for the premier of  the Shadowlands gay series where the world will be ale to discover an array of relationship dynamics within gay culture. 

Vasilios is a Toronto based actor born in Windsor Ontario. After graduating from theatre school at York University, he has trained with many coaches across Toronto ranging in technique and continues working to deepen his craft.

When Vasilios is not training or creating his own work, you may see him in a soon to be released feature film “The Lone Paddler”, or in commercials for Swiss Chalet, Gradifi, or Kit-Kat to name a few.

Shadowlands is available on OUTtv and OUTtvGO in Canada and on Vimeo for our friends around the world.

Tell us about your story in the new Shadowlands gay series. What were the main challenges and fears you had in your role?

Vasilios Filippakis: In Shadowlands, the story I am in is called “Mating Season”, which explores the boundaries of a monogamous relationship. A gay couple takes a few days in the woods for  a romantic camping trip when they meet a harmless man who has been camping for some time .

It turns out, the man isn’t exactly as he appears ( I don’t want to give anything away). This aspect is something I really considered while preparing for this role. As real as “Daniel” (the character I played) is there are many elements of mystery with him that were interesting to find spots to incorporate into the script.  

Honestly, I didn’t have many fears going into filming this project, it was all excitement. The ONE thing that was difficult was trying to be sexy in that really cold water. We really tried our best.

Shadowlands gay series Nicolas James Wilson, Vasilios Filippakis, Oscar Moreno

How much of yourself goes into a character?

Vasilios Filippakis: I always try to put as much of myself into all my work and characters. I think as a human with years of life experience you can find many correlations between your real life and the one that is depicted on the script. Sure there are some stretches here, for example, playing a murderer, but even in that case a person is much more than a killer.

You still have other human qualities that make you whole, and those are things that I look to explore and pull when creating. I believe that the best performances come from things I grab from my experience. In this case it’s all about love, loss, hope, reflection and finding peace, all things that I as Vasilios can live authentically in the moment because they are things that I feel naturally.

How much were you able to relate your own experiences to create your character?  And how much did you have to research or imagine?

Vasilios Filippakis: I could relate to my character’s experience a lot. Daniel really struggled with the idea of being loved and accepted. I think that we all have had that in our lives.

He has this monologue about a past love that was “the one” for him. Again, I think everyone has a similar story to Daniel and has or will feel love the way he did.  

Vasilios Filippakis stars in the Shadowlands gay series

Each story or episode is unique and has its own world of characters, time and place.  And yet there are connections between them. Were you aware of these connections while filming or was it a surprise to learn later?

Vasilios Filippakis: Honestly, I wasn’t really aware of any of this until we started filming. I remember in rehearsal Charlie David was framing a shot to mimic one that is shown in the third episode. It was all a surprise until I saw the final edits and saw all three episode after each other. I think this will be fun for the audience to discover!

Romance between men and between women was common place and written about in Greek and Roman mythology.  Many of the stories in the Shadowlands book were inspired by these ancient myths. Why is it important to continue sharing these types of stories today?

Vasilios Filippakis: It’s important to share these stories because love is love, no matter the time, place or gender. Every story explored in the Shadowlands gay series is very relatable to present times.

This show really just shines another light on life as it is. As much as the inspiration came from Greek and Roman mythology I think the audience will see how much these stories are rooted in today.

What was the hardest scene for you to do and why?

Vasilios Filippakis: The hardest scene for me (no pun inteneded) was for sure all the water scenes. The water was SO cold. Trying to not shiver and look good is a challenge, believe me. The rest of the shoot was so fun and easy. The cast and crew made being on set a dream! I would go back to film with these people in a heartbeat.

Shadowlands gay series Vasilios Filippakis, Oscar Moreno and Nicolas James Wilson

Who is a major influence for you and on your creativity?

Vasilios Filippakis: The major influence for me on my creativity is my own life. I just think that we all have a story, that is unique and nobody else can live it or write it. To me that’s inspiring. Who else can tell your story? Nobody! I know that I am a well of emotions and have so much to tell that I am constantly in a state of creation.

With so much going on in the world today, what’s your motivation to be a performer? Do you act to explain?  To get away?  To move past? To widen our knowledge? To incite a conversation?

Vasilios Filippakis: I act for my heart.

It wasn’t till recently that I explored this reason. I was in acting class with the amazing Suzanne Bastien (At The Creative Space) here in Toronto, when we were asked this question “Why do you act”?

We began exploring our hearts why on why we have chosen to be an actor. For me it’s about exploring every emotion without holding back. Acting a vessel to be free and really let go.  

What’s next for you as a creator/actor/performer?

Vasilios Filippakis: I am currently working on a show I created called “FAK YAASS”. I’m the creator, writer, producer and lead actor (it’s totally about my life). The show is a  mix between “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “Queer as Folk”.

We have an amazing team and we’re really looking forward to putting this story out there! We have a concept trailer out now and should have some more updates soon about the project!

Follow Vasilios Filippakis

Insta: @vasiliosf

Website: vasiliosf.com

IMDB: Vasilios Filippakis

Shadowlands is available on OUTtv and OUTtvGO in Canada and on Vimeo for our friends around the world.

If you enjoyed this interview, explore other chats with cast members of the Shadowlands series.

Charlie David (director of the Shadowlands series)

Marc Devigne (Xavier in episode 3 ‘Pygmalion Revisited’ of the Shadowlands series.

Oscar Moreno (Matteo in episode 2 ‘Mating Season’ of the Shadowlands gay series)

Sean C. Dwyer (Alex in episode 1 ‘Narcissus’ of the Shadowlands miniseries)

Nicolas James Wilson (Will in episode 2 ‘Mating Season’ of the Shadowlands gay series)

Natasha Balakrishnan (Thalia in episode 1 ‘Narcissus’ of Shadowlands)

Brian Woodford (Drew in episode 1 ‘Narcissus’ of Shadowlands gay series)

Learn about the hidden ‘Easter Eggs’ in the Shadowlands gay series

 

Please follow and share our stories.

Natasha Balakrishnan in Shadowlands anthology

Shadowlands anthology starring Natasha Balakrishnan

Natasha Balakrishnan is of South Indian origin born in Kerala, India; brought up in the middle east, Kuwait, and moved to Toronto, Canada at the age of fifteen. Natasha is a professional dancer, choreographer, and a working actor in Toronto, Canada .  Her latest starring role is in Charlie David’s Shadowlands anthology TV miniseries.

Shadowlands is available on OUTtv and OUTtvGO in Canada and on Vimeo for our friends around the world.

Natasha Balakrishnan’s passion for dance, arts, and the entertainment field began at the tender age of five where she started off with theater/drama and dancing for local shows. Her main expertise lies in the classical dance form known as Bharatnatyam and proceeded to expand her talent with many other styles which include Bollywood, Hip Hop, Bhangra, and Contemporary incorporated with fusion.

Having performed in many platforms, Natasha Balakrishnan carried on her pursuit for dance in many different countries like New York, Germany, Kuwait, California, and India, and was further able to showcase her talent on National TV for the television show named ‘Canada’s Got Talent’ Season 1 in 2012.

She started her own YouTube channel as her outlet to creativity and passion for arts where she directs, choreographs, and incorporates acting through her concept videos. Her classical fusion choreography to ‘Taal se Taal Mila’ by A.R. Rahman has reached over a million views on YouTube. Natasha was awarded ‘First Runner Up’ and ‘Miss Congeniality’ at the 2014 Miss India Canada Pageant and ‘Miss Best Talent’ at the 2015 Miss India Worldwide Canada Pageant. In 2014, she was featured o

Natasha was featured in the film ‘Dr.Cabbie’ with Bollywood stars; namely, Vinay Virmani, Isabel Kaif, and Kunal Nayyar. She performed for the Pan Am Olympic Games 2015 Opening Ceremonies with Cirque Du Soleil representing her Indian culture and heritage, including several other shows and corporate events, which include the Toronto Raptors basketball games, the WE Day concert, WE Day music video with Kardinal Offishall ft. Karl Wolf, and Holt Renfrew’s Uncrate India just to name a few.

With her professional expertise and training in the field, she has been fortunate to judge dance competitions; namely, in Detroit and in the City of Toronto, experiencing young and fresh talent on some amazing platforms. Natasha has also performed with Indian film music composer, Anirudh Ravichander, and collaborated with award winning rapper, Lady Kash, from Singapore. She choreographed for her recent song release “Supermodel”, composed for the film ‘Graghanam’; the album bagged by Yuvan Shankar Raja’s, U1 Records.

Natasha is working meticulously towards pursuing a career in films and is honing her acting skills by training with other budding artists in Toronto, Canada. She was a competitor, performer, and actor on Season 2 of OMNI Television Documentary series named “Bollywood Star”

Shadowlands TV series starring Natasha Balakrishnan and Brian Woodford
Natasha Balakrishnan in Shadowlands anthology

Tell us about your story in the Shadowlands anthology. What were the main challenges and fears you had in your role?

Natasha Balakrishnan: I play Thalia in the Shadowlands anthology and she is someone who brings a lot of love and humanity in a world that is affected by the war where people are becoming inhumane and vile.

Her love for Alex is immense and while he is no longer the same man she fell in love with, she refuses to believe that she cannot bring him back. His narcissistic ways and his obsession for perfection has left him no room to give love to anyone but himself.

Thalia will stop at nothing to make him see clearly but when it is all too late, she recognizes the Alex she treasured is gone and must put an end to the evil that persists. My main challenge with Thalia was playing a woman from the 1920’s Berlin and really understanding her love for Alex.

How much of yourself goes into a character?

Natasha Balakrishnan: I believe that while you take the essence of you, and your passion into your work; you are playing a life, a person, which requires you to explore and tap into the spiritual, emotional, and physical being of that personality/character and its not about who you are but the life that you’re taking on and you live the reality of that character.

The stories in the Shadowlands anthology TV show were inspired by the Shadowlands book which was inspired by Greek mythology. What was your experience in creating a remix of these ancient classical tales? 

Natasha Balakrishnan: When I first got the audition for Shadowlands, I was very eager and I had immediately done my research on Charlie David, his book, and the Greek Myths tied to my character and Narcissus. I was more than ready for the audition!

It was very exciting playing someone from the 1920’s; something completely out of my comfort zone and knowledge. I am thankful to Charlie for believing in me to play Thalia. When I booked the part, I did tons of research on the ‘Golden 20’s’, got coaching, watched tons of movies in that era, the types of music, and wrote a backstory for Thalia and her love interest with Alex whose characters were inspired from the Greek myths of Narcissus and his Echo.

What aspects of the Shadowlands anthology TV show are you excited for an audience to experience or discover?

Natasha Balakrishnan: I am excited for the audience to see it all! I had the privilege of watching it with my team at one of our film festival premiers and it is definitely a roller coaster ride of emotions and quite the tales that Charlie David takes you through.

I loved the uniqueness and creativity brought in each episode. They are each shot in a different time period which is thrilling. I would love to have the audience experience what Charlie David and the entire team has put together throughout the Shadowlands anthology series.

Shadowlands starring Natasha Balakrishnan

What was the hardest scene for you to do and why?

Natasha Balakrishnan: I wouldn’t say anything was particularly hard but I definitely found it a bit challenging. I had to shoot a very intense scene right when I got to set the first day. We started the shoot for the ‘Narcissus’ episode with my scene where a gun is being delivered to my house with a note to kill myself by someone who I truly love.

I had to go through many thoughts in a short spam of time and I found that a bit of a challenge; to jump in and out of emotions when circumstances prior to that scene were not shot yet. But that is what I loved most about Thalia and this film production; I felt challenged/nervous by this role and wanted to give it my all. Like the saying – “What doesn’t challenge you, doesn’t change you.”

 Who is a major influence for you and on your creativity?

Natasha Balakrishnan: Well I surely believe that creative inspiration is sparked through influence and there are many wonderful people who inspire me everyday. My mother is my biggest inspiration because of her strength and courage to always persevere no matter what. This is a huge driving force to pursue my passion and to stay focused and optimistic.

Also, fine artists like Robert De Niro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Jennifer Lawrence, Radhika Apte, Nawazuddin, Meryl Streep, Alia Bhatt, Morgan Freeman, Amitabh Bachchan, and Leonardo DiCaprio just to name the least; inspire me to work hard everyday on my craft and to never stop learning and growing creatively.

 Is there a type of role you dream of playing but haven’t had the opportunity yet?

Natasha Balakrishnan: Oh yeah of course, there’s tons I dream of playing! I definitely have miles to go and want to live a thousand lives through this career path of mine.

I would LOVE to play an action-packed role like a boxer or a marvel superhero!! I love watching strong female oriented roles and I would love to take on those.

In addition to acting, tell me about the other areas of entertainment you’re pursuing.

Natasha Balakrishnan: Apart from my love for acting, I also have an immense passion for dance, music, and poetry. I started my own YouTube channel back in 2014 which is my biggest creative outlet. I began producing, directing, and choreographing my own dance/concept videos by reaching out to local artists and collaborating with them to create art.

It’s an amazing feeling to see your vision come to life through team efforts and I truly enjoy working on them. When I first started my YouTube Channel, I just needed a platform to be creatively inclined. I never really imagined how many people I could reach out to until one of my videos went viral and hit close to 3 million views.

It’s a wonderful feeling when people around the world enjoy your work and it really encouraged me to constantly keep producing anything and everything I had the urge to create. I definitely have tons of creative stuff planned in terms of acting, dance, and music that I can’t wait to release them.

With so much going on in the world today, what’s your motivation to be a performer? Do you act to explain?  To get away? To move past?  To widen our knowledge?  To incite a conversation?

Natasha Balakrishnan: All of the above really! Film and television is a source of entertainment, an escape, a fantasy, a story that incites conversation, and conceivably allows one to look into things that might have never sparked their interest before and I just absolutely love all of it.

I enjoy being in front of the camera, taking on different lives, and studying them. Art is a study of humanity and understanding the beings that live amongst us. Art is a universal language that truly connects people across the world and can be used as a very informative/influential tool. My motivation as an artist is to tell real people’s stories because in the words of my guru – “Art imitates reality”.

What’s next for you as a creator/actor/performer?

Natasha Balakrishnan: While I am constantly auditioning and working on my craft as an actor/performer; as a creator, I have always loved poetry/music and I write quite a bit of poetry/lyrics on my own time.

This spontaneously ventured into a very exciting new realm for me this year. I wrote, produced, sang, and creatively directed my first single with the help of a brilliant team. It is currently in post-production as I am eagerly and nervously waiting for its release.

Follow Natasha Balakrishnan on social:

IMDB – https://www.imdb.com/name/nm7607838/

Website – www.itsnatashab.com

YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/c/itsnatashab

Instagram – @itsnatashab

Twitter – @itsnatashab

Shadowlands is available on OUTtv and OUTtvGO in Canada and on Vimeo for our friends around the world.

If you enjoyed this interview, explore other chats with cast members of the Shadowlands series.

Marc Devigne (Xavier in episode 3 ‘Pygmalion Revisited’ of the Shadowlands series.

Oscar Moreno (Matteo in episode 2 ‘Mating Season’ of the Shadowlands gay series)

Charlie David (director of the Shadowlands series)

Sean C. Dwyer (Alex in episode 1 ‘Narcissus’ of the Shadowlands miniseries)

Nicolas James Wilson (Will in episode 2 ‘Mating Season’ of the Shadowlands gay series)

Vasilios Filippakis (Daniel in episode 2 ‘Mating Season’ of Shadowlands)

Brian Woodford (Drew in episode 1 ‘Narcissus’ of Shadowlands gay series)

Natasha Balakrishnan (Thalia in episode 1 ‘Narcissus’ of Shadowlands

Learn about the hidden ‘Easter Eggs’ in the Shadowlands gay series

 

Please follow and share our stories.