TENNILLE READ

We are so excited for you to meet this week’s fabulous #FEMMEFEATUREFRIDAY, Tennille Read! Tennille is a professional actress and entrepreneur from Toronto, Canada. Tennille discovered her passion for acting after she was asked to write and perform stories in front of her class in grade school. What we admire most about Tennille is how she finds her joy and inspiration from the variety of her daily life. She is a beautiful example that when our lives consist of both spontaneity and balance, we inevitably find the magic that exists in our seemingly simple day-to-day lives and interactions.

Tennille is a graduate of Queen’s University and holds an undergraduate degree in Stage and Screen Studies. Tennille’s professional acting career took off she was cast to star alongside Eugene Levy on the CBC and Netflix hit television series Schitt’s Creek. Since then, Tennille’s already impressive resume has continued to flourish. She has had the privilege to work in several film and television productions including Condor (MGM/Direct TV), Shadowhunters (Freeform/Netflix), Good Witch (Hallmark), The Meaning of Life (North Film Co.) and Bajillionaires (Family Show/Universal Kids). Make sure to look out for Tennille on the third season of Workin’ Moms, where she stars as the character named “Bianca” alongside actress Catherine Reitman. Most recently, Tennille won Best Supporting Actress at the 2018 Hollywood North Film Festival for I Lost My Mind. You can also catch Tennille’s latest work in Atom Egoyan’s next feature film with David Thewlis entitled Guest of Honour. Not to mention, this superstar is also the co-founder of Theatre Inamorata, which is a theatre company that develops and produces female-centric stories for the stage.

What we love most about Tennille is how she keeps it real with herself! A woman who is self-aware is a woman who is in control of the life she is creating for herself, and that is exactly who Tennille is. By choosing to contribute positive thoughts and emotions to other people and situations, she is not only able to rise above negativity but also use her energy in a more effective way. Perception is everything! Tennille encourages all of us to focus and connect with one another on what is great and exciting about life rather than what its problems are. Thank you Tennille for reminding us that we are ultimately in control of what we can offer to the world through our beliefs, thoughts and actions!

Written by Alessia Rotino

Artwork by Chloe Bruderer (@chloeheartsart) | Photo by Dane Clark

Artwork by Chloe Bruderer (@chloeheartsart) | Photo by Dane Clark

Tell us about a day in the life of Tennille! What are some of the daily ins and outs of a career as both a performer and entrepreneur?

A typical day for me is usually self-designed which. I. treasure. I get up, drink coffee with my partner Andy (mornings with him are the best), sweat at the gym or run outside (when it’s not ungodly cold outside), and then from there it changes day to day. I may have an audition, or an ADR session with Red Lab for Workin’ Moms, or a podcast interview with a local show. Some days I get to be on set and do what I love and get paid for it.

When auditions come up I make sure to carve out enough time to work on the material thoroughly or meet-up with my acting coach. Sometimes auditions come in self-tape form, so we rig up a home studio and record my audition from the comfort of my own living room. Those are the best. I try to meditate daily to keep my nerves in check. I try to see some theatre around town, meet up with a friend, or just watch Netflix at home with Andy. I have a balance that suits me well, between my career and my personal life. Sometimes it weighs more in one direction than the other, but being an entrepreneur gives me a variety, from day to day, that I thrive on.

What makes you feel empowered?

I feel the most empowered when I get grounded. Sometimes it’s a result of meditating, or walking in nature (nature does wonders for me!), and sometimes it comes out of doing something really unusual that scares the sh!t out of me like doing a live interview. Other times, it comes from just walking down the street and making eye contact with people, by just connecting with someone in silence - even if it is for a fleeting moment.

Who has been your biggest female inspiration? Why is it important for women to have positive role models in their lives?

My Mum - She immigrated to Canada when she was 22 completely on her own. She explored some career options, married and started a family, and then worked for 25 years as a life enrichment provider at an elderly home. She has been a rock of support for me as I figured out my own path and continues to be a source of inspiration for me.

Women need positive role models in our lives so that we can see what is possible, we can be inspired by their fortitude, resilience and achievements, and so we can learn how to be that role model for others. 

What have you learned about yourself recently and why is it especially important for women to be self-aware?

I’ve learned that I don’t like complaining. In the past, I used complaining as a way to connect with people. Like, complaining about the weather with someone at the bus stop, or joining a “sob session” with other actors about the difficulties of the acting business. At first it feels like I’m connecting with the issue or the person, but afterwards I feel very negative and heavy, to the point of feeling helpless. So I made the choice to stop complaining, and if I feel a complaint coming on, I use that energy to either find a solution, or change my mind set about it. I no longer use complaining to make conversation and connect with people, and it forces me to focus on more positive and useful topics of conversation. As a result, I feel pretty great.

I don’t know if it’s especiallyimportant for women to be self-aware, I think everyoneneeds to be self-aware. It’s important for people in general to take responsibility of their thoughts and actions, and that takes an investment in understanding yourself. Being self-aware keeps me from getting reactionary over things I disagree with. Or it helps me make decisions that are right for me, even when I feel a pull or pressure toward something else. As an actor, self-awareness has helped me recognize bad habits I do, so that I can stop doing them, or recognize when I’m doing something really well so I can encourage myself to keep going and do good work.

What’s your definition of a YGTGirl?

To me, a YGTGirl is someone who knows the value of girls and women and supports their endeavors instead of competing with them. She knows the importance of community and celebrates her own wins, and the wins of the people around her.