Category Archives: actors

Honeymouth – Poetry Reading by Gerry van der Linden

Watch the Poetry Reading of HONEYMOUTH:

Poem Read by Becky Shrimpton

Get to know poet Gerry van der Linden:

1) What is the theme of your poem?

Theme of the poem: different worlds, same people. Universal reality.

2) How would you like people to respond when they read or watch your
poetry reading?

They can respond anyway they want, but I hope that they will feel
connected to others (as different as they are..) during or after the
experience of listening and watching.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

Since 1975 I have been publishing poetry, writing since I was ten years
old. First volume in 1978, title: ‘De Aantekening’, (The Note). Last
publication ‘Stadswild’ (City’s prey) 2014. In total as an oeuvre; 10
poetrybooks and 3 novels.

PS I read my poems in the shorts of Allen Ginsberg in 1980 in The Savoy
Tivoli, San Francisco. ‘Get off the stage!’ he shouted behind the curtain
when I took too much time.. (so funny).

4) Do you have a favorite poet?

Margaret Atwood, Mark Strand, Josif Brodsky, Ann Sexton, Sylvia Plath,

5) What influenced you to submit to WILDsound and have your poetry
performed by a professional actor?

A friend told me about it, I think it is an interesting and appealing way to show your poetry
on line.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Yes. I write prose as well, short stories, scripts, novels.

7) What is your passion in life?

My passion in life is writing and reading, watching movies also. And
watching my son perform, who is a well known spoken word artist (name: Luan
Buleshkaj). He is a magician with words(!)

* * * * *
Deadline: FREE POETRY Festival – Get your poem made into a MOVIE and seen by 1000s. Three options to submit:

WATCH this month’s poetry readings performed by professional actors:

A Diamond in God’s Dirt – Poetry Reading by Tiriq R Callaway

Read Poetry Reading of A DIAMOND IN GOD’S DIRT:

Poem read by Holly Sarchfield

Get to know Poet Tiriq R Callaway:

1) What is the theme of your poem?

My sentiments within my poem shows that although I (the diamond) have been in the dirt (going through trials and tribulations in life), it has been God’s dirt – which indicates that I’ve been protected despite the things that I’ve endured in my lifetime – and it was ultimately up to me to be strong and rely on my faith to come out of these hard times to shine and share my story with others to inspire!

2) How would you like people to respond when they read or watch your poetry reading?

I want people to be moved by my words and understand that despite the things that we go through in life that those things are just temporary, and you’ll get through it by staying true to who you are, remaining determined, and above all, keeping your faith!

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

I’ve always written poetry since I was a child. It was my outlet to get away from everything going on around me. I became more passionate about writing as I got older.

4) Do you have a favorite poet?

I have many favorite writers, but my all time inspiration is Maya Angelou.

5) What influenced you to submit to WILDsound and have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

I wanted to showcase my gift of writing and being a poet. I have a lot of poetry and I feel as though it’s time to share my work with the world!

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

I just became a published author to my first book entitled “A Diamond In God’s Dirt” which is a memoir about my life. I also have incorporated within my book some poems that I’ve written over the years. I am currently working on a short story, another book, a documentary, and a short film!

7) What is your passion in life?

My passion in life is to inspire, motivate, and encourage kids, adults, and all people who are hopeless and want to give up in life and on their goals, and those who feel like they can’t continue on in life. I want to reach them!

Upon That Old Rugged Cross – Poetry Reading by Nicole Martin

    Watch the poetry reading of UPON THAT OLD RUGGED CROSS

Poem performed by actor Dan Cristofori.

Read interview with poet Nicole Martin:

1) What is the theme of your poem?

Love won

2) How would you like people to respond when they read or watch your poetry reading?

That there is someone out there who loves them and is willing to give them as many chances as possible because He loves them. I want them to feel that presence of love and feel that tugging at their heart and just embrace it.

3) How long have you been writing poetry?

For as long as I can remember. It came easy to me as a way of expressing myself through my writings than actually speaking them out loud.

4) Do you have a favorite poet?

To be honest, I don’t really have a favorite

5) What influenced you to submit to WILDsound and have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

I prayed about it and I felt like this was something I felt lead to do and it’s honestly the best decision I’ve made because I wasn’t looking for anything to come of it. I didn’t think anyone would actually like it and I am so thankful that people like it.

6) Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

I have two books out. Home, and Free just came out recently and I write a lot, but I haven’t written anything other than blogs or motivational stuff on facebook.

7) What is your passion in life?

To be completely free from everything that has ever held me back in life. I want to bring a light to the world. I want to show them that there are still good people in this world. I want to be that flicker of light that they would need to keep them warm on a cold night. Or the light that guides in the darkness of the night. I want to be the light they see and are drawn to it like a moth to a flame. I want to glow and spread that light to those around me.

Interview with WILDsound Performer Geoff Mays

Matthew Toffolo recently chatted with Geoff Mays, longtime friend of WILDsound.

Matthew: You’ve performed at two separate events in the last year. Did you have an actor you particularily loved working with at the readings?

Geoff: Over the years I’ve met a lot of talented people. Each one brings their own unique skill set to the table. I’ve been lucky to work with such a variety of people. To your question their is no specific actor, in this moment, who comes to mind; however, with that said, their is a style of actor that I particularly enjoy working with. Those actors are the ones that come to the table ready to work, having done their homework, and made their choices – this is when the fun begins and magic happens.

Matthew: You first performed playing a Priest (or is he?) in a stageplay reading. Then went on to play over 20 roles in a Lewis & Clark feature script reading. What did you prefer – playing one character or the multiple characters?

Geoff: This is a good one. There is a lot of fun playing multiple characters, creating different voices, personalities etc. In the end though, when it comes to reading I prefer focussing on one character, finding a consistent through line and bringing that to life. Overall though, simply performing is best, multiple, singular, big, small it does not matter, let’s play and have fun.

Matthew: What has been your overall experience performing stage readings at the WILDsound Festival?

Geoff: WILDsound has been amazing. I’ve been with the festival for many years, and every aspect has taught me something. As an actor reading at an ongoing series like this has been so enriching due to the exposure it has given me to scripts and other actors. These two things are what help me to grow.

Matthew: How have you think you’ve grown as an actor since you began until present day?

Geoff: Today I am more insightful. I have a greater understanding of how storytelling works and what allows it to be powerful. Understanding this construction helps when it comes to making choices – more accurately, when I am challenged for where the character goes this story construction acts as a guideline to get my “juices” flowing again. This insight is one aspect of my growth. Another area, and there are many, that I feel should be highlighted is my ability to breath and relax in a role; as a younger actor, the act of being in front of people and the stress of performing well got in the way of the work itself.

Matthew: What artists would you love to work with?

Geoff: Cliche I know but I’d love to work with Johnny Depp. On less cliche notes – Egoyan, Streep, Karim Morgan, Dylan Roberts, Anthony Lemke, Adam Bailey, Clinton Walker, Aaron Poole and so many other talented talented people in Toronto.

Matthew: What is your favourite role that you’ve ever played?

Geoff: Jesse in Sundance. Bringing this character to life was a surreal experience in understanding some of the things that drive me as an actor.

Matthew: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Geoff: Potentially the winner on that front would be Star Wars. Yup I said it, cheesy sci-fi; but really it is so much fun and such a great simple story.

Matthew: How old were you when you started getting interested in acting?

Geoff: At age 14 I knew I was going to pursue acting till the day I die. If you ask my mother, I was six when she knew that.

Matthew: Do you have other passions besides acting?

Geoff: I am a rock climber. I teach advanced skills in it, I work at a climbing gym, I vacation at climbing venues. I also very much enjoy coaching people for acting and communication and I really enjoy putting up my weekly Vlog – Thoughts from the Green Room. I do it for me; I hear that many people enjoy it too.

Matthew: You were at attendance at our February 2015 Film Festival. Did you have a favourite film from that selection of films?

Geoff: I cannot remember the title of the film right now, however, it starred Ryan Anning as an android assistant and it was a beautiful story of humanity (The film was “My Buddy”).

Matthew: Any suggestions to new actors starting out in the business?

Geoff: Do your homework, be a little crazy, and accept where you are – we can’t all be famous but we can all be stars.

Interview with WILDsound Performer Becky Shrimpton

It’s something I always look forward to. When I get an e-mail asking if I can come and read, it’s always a really exciting moment – I usually respond with a lot of exclamation points. Something I really appreciate is a sense of community that’s present. I’ve met some really great actors and really great people who I’ve gone on to work with in other projects.

– Becky Shrimpton, on performing at the WILDsound Festival.

To date, Becky Shrimpton has narrated 5 movies that WILDsound has produced from the festival. She is also the resident voice over artist for the Video Pitch Logline series, and has also performed at 6 festival readings. Matthew Toffolo sat down with Becky for an interview:

Matthew: You’ve performed over 80 video story pitches at our festival. Is there one story that stands out for you?

Becky: There was a pitch for a Lewis and Clarke feature that seemed really interesting. The author had a really fresh take on a historical story. It was clearly well researched, but entirely avoided a lot of the pitfalls that historical dramas can take – dullness, dryness, or overzealousness.

Matthew: In the WILDsound Festival world, you are most known for your voice over work in the animation feature film ‘Diamond and the Fosters’. You became Diamond (the foster child who finds love and family) in that film. Was there something about that story that related to you?

Becky: I loved that story so much. I think we all understand the feeling of being an outsider needing a family and acclimatizing to our surroundings. I left home when I was 18 to move to Vancouver and although I’m close to my family, being on your own right off the bat can be an alienating experience. I lived in England for a bit and moved to Toronto when I was 27. Every time is a new place, a new home, a new set of rules. Family is where you find it and the roots are what keep you from getting lost.

Matthew: How have you think you’ve grown as an actor since you began until present day?

Becky: It’s incredibly difficult to narrate. People think that all you have to do is read the words in a coherent manner, but there’s so much more to it. When you get a character to read, there’s a voice present you can develop. With narration, the text is extremely dry, so to make it interesting you have to develop a voice. It’s important to analyze the story and break it down so you can make sure that you’re part of the story, not just imparting it. That’s a skill I really feel has been helped by what I do with Wildsound.

Matthew: Which artists would you love to work with?

Becky: That’s a very big list. I try to learn from every artist I get to work with so I’m just grateful to work with anyone.

Okay fine. Emma Thompson.

Matthew: What has been your favourite role you’ve ever played?

Becky: I got the opportunity to play Electra in a pretty unique production. I’m known for my comedy, so to get to dive into a role that’s so devoid of humor, that’s really the pinnacle of human suffering was a remarkable challenge. I’d love to play it again.

Matthew: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Becky: I think I’ve seen the Shining over 30 times. It’s one of those films the more you watch it, the more you see. Although I did watch the documentary Room 237 and did think…okay…that’s a bit much.

Matthew: How old were you when you started getting interested in acting?

Becky: I’ve been acting since I was six years old. I did some work as a child which was a lot of fun. When I was eleven or twelve I did a kids TV show where I played a shop lifter and I got to go into a store and shove candy bars into a back pack – take after take. Then I got to take them home and eat them. That solidified things for me. In acting you get to do things you could never do in real life and get away with it. I think of acting as a calling, like being a priest or a nun. You know it’s what you’re supposed to do and you can’t do anything else.

Matthew: Do you have other passions besides acting?

Becky: I foster dogs and I love to work with rescue dogs. There’s something very zen about really having to take the time to communicate with an animal – especially if they’ve been through something traumatic. We so rarely take the time to not only get our point across, but to try and understand what’s happening with the other creature that it’s a nice perspective shift.

I also play the ukulele and sing. Again, it’s about turning your brain off and surrendering to the activity. The minute you start to think about what your hands are doing it’s game over.

Matthew:What has been the biggest surprise in your acting career so far?

Becky: I started out as a theatre actor. I have a BFA from UBC in acting and I thought I would be on stage for most of my career. When I discovered voice over and that just clicked for me, my whole career shifted and doors opened that I didn’t even know existed. It’s a whole new skill and a whole new passion. I still occasionally do theatre. I’ll be appearing in a Fringe show here in Toronto July 2-12 called One Good Marriage. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

Matthew: Any suggestions to new actors starting out in the business?

Becky: Get your business in order. You can have all the passion and the talent in the world, but unless you know yourself as a product and what you’re selling – it’s going to be a rough road to make a living in this industry. There’s too many other people who look like you, sound like you and do what you do. Knowing exactly what you bring to the table and how to market that with the right agent, headshots, demo, networking events, etc. is what will set you apart. And make sure you have something to sell. Always be in classes that challenge you and know what you need to work on to get better.

I also work as a coach for on-camera actors who want to start working in voice over. Part of that training is creating a demo that really sells you.

You can find out more about my services at

WILDsound Performers 2014

In 2014 WILDsound showcased over 60 readings of screenplays, stories, and stageplays. We used over 100 professional actors to perform the roles.

Check out the headshots and info on the WILDsound actors for the 2014 writing festival:

The casting director was Sean Ballantyne for and Casting Workbook.

The busiest actors for WILDsound in 2014 were (click their link):

Becky Shrimpton:

Fran Stecyk:

John Goodrich:

Rob Notman:

Val Cole:

Actors are some of the top talent who work in the Toronto area where many Hollywood feature films and television shows are filmed.

7 Questions with the November Feature Screenplay Winner ELAN CARLSON

Today we like everyone to get to know the talented screenplay writer Elan Carlson. The feature script winner for her script CAHOOTS. Watch it here:


When their fishing village is invaded by brutal immigrant thugs, a Chinese family runs for secret shelter, asking help back to China from a pair of bickering Scottish and Irish rail hands who work a remote railroad spur and breakfast on beans and beer. Smitten by La Ling’s strength and beauty, Haggis twists Ketch’s terrified arm until he agrees. Now, all terrified, they join together undercover and set forth in a survival of scheming, conniving — whatever it takes.


NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
HAGGIS – John Goodrich
KETCH – David Schaap
LA LING – Anjelica Alejandro
VARIOUS – Sean Ballantyne
VARIOUS – Stephen Flett


1. What inspired you to write this screenplay about the railroads in the 1800s?

My inspiration to write of 1800’s railroads must have started when I was a little kid and LOVED the trains — the sound as they came and went thru town, when we got to ride, their beautiful structures… It was awhile before #0110 came to be a story.

2. Did you do a lot of research on this time to prepare for your script?

I schooled early in Berkeley, CA. Loved every trip to San Francisco, so finally moved there. Spent every moment possible in Chinatown, wallowing in the food, exploring every shop, neighborhood — and listening. Even bought their Chinese newspapers for special gift wrap.

One night I dreamed clearly of a Ruby/LaLing women standing in a shabby old western bar. With her back to me she was pleading with a man leaning against the bar — never saw his face. “She” stayed with me from then on — every day more intense for me to get to the library and find her story.

After work on evenings and weekends, I began prowling the books and discovered more and more the heart of our early Chinese tale. Which spoke of the time of Chinese emigration from Canton in its economical ruin — people in deep suffering — starving to death. Mostly men came to work the mines and new railroads or needed funds. There was one flourishing center of prostitutes in Chinatown (not the auction house), but CAHOOTS ladies chose man’s labor in disguise. So now I hear my “dream lady’s” story of how her whole self connects to the railroads’ two quirky, compassionate rail hands and how the five become bonded forever in the shelter of the trains. Makes me wonder if that really happened …

3. The interesting thing about your script currently is its tone. It reads like a PG family script for all to watch, but with racism, prostitution, and other mature plots. Was this done on purpose?

Yes — :o) — spent tons of time researching and learning, learning, learning! (and loved it!)

I met my “dream lady” with a sense of deep familyness, then researched and learned her real story — I’m sure, she needed to be heard.

4. Who would be your main target audience for this script?

Main audience target would be all adults, not any youngies, for sure.

5. In a perfect world, what actors would you love to see casted in the the main roles?

Wow! — my first feeling is George Clooney with Matt Damon as Ketch. They live their talented lives in true compassion and understanding of all others. And their ages would be fine with the roles. Wow — would that be “perfect” or what?!

6. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

ALL that brings peace, prosperity, joy and love to everyone everywhere!!!

7. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Script Contest?

I’ve always loved the movies I see that carry the approval laurel of Toronto International Films.
When I was searching my email for festival entries on Withoutabox, WILDsound popped up — I “WHOOHOOed” and popped in my submission.

Elan Carlson BIO

My second-grade teacher was first to hand me a pencil to create a story. For years, other teachers did the same, and I came to embrace my inspiration with my own pen. First by publishing stories in Berkeley Gazette’s Human Interest Column and to writing PR columns for Phoenix Gazette.

Graduating on to working full time day job, my boss let me skew my work hours to get time off to work in film and to begin screenplay studies. My mentors were Richard Walter UCLA, Dov S-S Simens, Syd Field, Robert McKee, John Truby, William Goldman and Dave Trottier. I have had Linda Seger’s and Richard Walter’s supportive critiques on my beginning scripts. With studies complete in Feb 2003 I signed onto Trigger Street with my first draft of CAHOOTS. It was a daily reading/feedback to other writers and learning their feedback for me. Three months later in May 2003, I had to drop out of TS to care for my ailing dad (then my mom), so CAHOOTS came away with a rating of “Excellent — 11 out of 1,837.”

When my parents came to rest, I moved to Colorado Springs to be with my family in 2014. Here I discovered my first year in submitting screenplays to film festivals — a treasure being Toronto’s WILDsound Festival, who has mentored me with hours and pages of expert feedback and acceptance of CAHOOTS for promotion.

As of this writing, La Femme Film Festival, has awarded CAHOOTS a Finalist Laurel, and Women’s Independent Film Festival has chosen CAHOOTS as first place winner in their script competition.

Deadline is TODAY to submit your own feature script to the festival: