Acting the part and living the dream


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This article was published 19/05/2015 (2867 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Karen Tusa is passionate about acting any day of the week, although Tuesdays might just have the edge at the moment.

Last month, the Windsor Park resident attended the 2015 Canada International Film Festival in Vancouver to accept the Royal Reel Award in the Short Film Competition for the locally-made short film titled Tuesday on behalf of its cast and crew.

Produced by Eleanor Thiessen and directed by Morgan Traa, the project was written, shot and edited on a limited budget. It was filmed in a house in North Kildonan last summer, Tusa said. The film was Traa’s directorial debut.   

Without giving too much away, Tusa said the film’s plot revolves around a deceased wife — played by herself — who talks to her husband, who is going to kill himself.

“It becomes a story of remembrance, as he realizes how important our son is to him in a flashback scene. It’s about her telling him to go on living life and be happy,” Tusa said.

The entire festival garnered more than 1,000 submissions from around 30 countries, so in terms of winning the award, Tusa couldn’t be happier.

“It felt great. We were in shock. We’re still in shock, as it’s one of the top festivals in Canada. It was a great experience, as I got to meet people from all over the world.”

Tusa has had roles in made-for-TV movies such as Jack (2013) and The Gabby Douglas Story (2014), as well as TV shows including Less Than Kind (2013) and Arctic Air (2014), which she says was a major moment in her acting career.

“It was a huge highlight working with the likes of Adam Beach. I was cast, out of the blue, as a police officer and it was plus-30C that day, so I was really sweating in that police uniform. The director called it a ‘whole new level of hot.’ I’ll never forget the experience. It was one of the highlights of my life,” Tusa said.

“Adam is wonderful. He came from nothing, had a tough past and just wants to help everybody on set. He’s so down to earth.”

Tusa reiterated she accepted the award for Tuesday “on behalf of everybody, not just me.”

“It was like being at the Oscars when people accept an award. I went through a list of names and thanked everybody,” she said.

Her passion for performing comes from childhood and she returned to acting several years ago.

“My sister Heather and I used to watch Kids in the Hall and act things out. We both did plays in junior high school and high school, before acting got away from me for some years.”

Tusa noted she is producing a couple of upcoming projects and she also recently filmed the lead role in a TV pilot called Prince of Spice.
Twitter: @lanceWPG

Simon Fuller

Simon Fuller
Community Journalist

Simon Fuller is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. Email him at or call him at 204-697-7111.

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