Adam Reid: Today’s Notable Young Professional

Adam Reid is a Montreal-born actor/TV host who has been creating quite the buzz over the past few years with his versatility, bilingualism and ability to cross over into both the English and French entertainment worlds. Reid has hosted a reality web series, was hired as the bilingual host of “Whistler Live” at the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games, was a culinary correspondent for “What’s Cooking” on the Food Network, and being entrusted as the TV host for the inaugural launch of the “C-Series Plane” powered by Bombardier.

Adam has appeared on the highly popular “Being Human” TV series in English and most recently landed a recurring character on the French TV series “30vies.” In 2009-2010, the public awarded Adam Reid with a nomination within the “Top Ten Best Local Actors” in Montreal Mirror.

We caught up with Adam to find out more about the industry, being bi-lingual, and his advice for aspiring actors.

Adam, how long have you been involved in the acting community? 
I’ve been involved with the community officially since 2006. I became a member of ACTRA that summer and I haven’t looked back since. Mostly the work I was booking was English so I invested my time and resources into developing hosting and acting opportunities in English. In 2009, I became a full member of U.D.A (Union Des Artistes), making me what we call in our business “Double Carded,” an actor possessing both official full member union status. Actors who are “Double Carded” represent a very small segment of actors/hosts that can flip languages on the spot and can work in both markets.  

Was it difficult at first as an Anglophone actor to break into the Francophone market? 
Looking back on it now, I’d say your work ethic says it all and the word “difficult” is very personal. Everyone has challenges, everyone has obstacles, and you have those who believe in you and those who need a little more time. My philosophy from day one has always been, as long as my auditions are very strong, stay professional at all times, research my roles and take everything I do seriously, then the rest will come. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been what I truly needed.   

What difference do you see between the two? 
Each market appeals to such a different population. Both are incredible in their own ways! I can go on for hours about how different the two are but the purity, the work, the vision, the craft itself is very alike. Where you see big differences in my opinion is within comedy. English Canada defines comedy in a very different way, while the French have their own way of showcasing laughter. One of the things I respect a lot about the French TV market is that they have their own style and identity. They aren’t influenced by the American broadcasters like the English market tends to be. They create their original programming, their own talk shows, late night, sports debates and morning shows.

On the English side, sadly, we seem to either copy a lot from the Americans or simply buy their shows and air them on Canadian channels. For guys like me, it’s lost opportunity.

Do you think that being bi-lingual is essential to succeed in media here? 
I think that you can make it in either language here if you aren’t bilingual. There is a wealth of possibility on the French side as there is on the English. Toronto remains the capital of the bulk of the TV work in Canada, but Montreal has its own thing going on.

Being bilingual (with no accent) definitely is a plus. It allows for actors such as myself to work in both markets, adapt my style to different styles, and most importantly, as a proud Montrealer, it allows me to call this city my home and to stay here rather then move for opportunity if I was Anglophone for example.

You recently scored a big role on Radio-Canada… 
Indeed! It’s been a while that I’ve been knocking on their door for a shot. Everything has its own time and it was my time to audition for this specific role on a TV series entitled “30vies.” Watched by more than 676,000 people daily on average last year on Radio-Canada, I couldn’t be happier to be working with the entire team.

Is this your first big French-speaking role? 
I’ve worked extensively on the French side under a variety of umbrellas including voice-overs, commercials, videogames, hosting, but as far as TV series, I’d say this is up there. To be directed by Danielle Methot and Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge, to face-off with Benoit Priere and, most importantly, to be part of a project that Fabienne Larouche has put together, has been a wonderful experience.  

How has the experience been so far? 
The team has been nothing short of amazing. We are very well taken care of and we are truly a team. It’s been intense; anyone who’s ever worked on this show knows what I’m talking about, but I always say, once you work in this type of environment with professionals, everything else all of a sudden is no longer a challenge. It’s my type of environment; be sharp, be ready, be focused, deliver and we then move on. The pace of production is remarkable.   

When does the show air and where can people catch you in action?
The show airs in a block of two weeks from January 6-9 and 13-16, and you can catch all the action on Radio-Canada at 7pm. People can also get interactive with the show by joining the Facebook page or by downloading the “30vies” app from the Google Play store!

My character really comes into play on the second week with the climax of the storyline happening on the 16th of January.

What do you foresee happening for you in the television and movie market in Quebec in the future? 
It all comes back to working hard, being patient and being a constant professional. As they say in this business, “there are things that are within your control, and there are some that aren’t.” This is just the beginning; I’ve made so many friendships, learnt so much and am extremely pleased with how this experience has gone so far.

The future is so exciting for me right now, but I’m focused on ensuring the best performances I can and to entertain people across Canada in both English and French. 

Any advice for young professionals striving to get into this industry? 
I live by three quotes:

“I’d rather try and fail, then fail to try.”

“Success is in the details.”

“Quality always over quantity.”