Today’s Notable Young Professional is Tanya Katchouni, who’s currently acting, will focus on directing soon, and plans to produce a documentary on adoption in the near future as well. We caught up with her to find out what inspired her career in front of the camera and what advice she would share with other young professionals…
1. Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
I am an actor. I play. I pretend. I help tell stories and bring characters to life. I have fun on set and when it’s done we grab a drink.
2. What was the inspiration for your career route?
I took an acting class on whim and became absolutely obsessed with it! We were doing this play, The Promise, which happened during the Siege of Leningrad. The character I was playing had gone through experiences I couldn’t even imagine but somehow I connected to her on a very deep level. I had never felt this before. It was amazing and I wanted to continue to experience this and learn about people through playing them and helping to tell their stories.
3. What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
Probably playing Gabriella in the stage version of High School Musical 2 in Toronto. I had never done a musical before, and I had no idea how much work went into these kinds of productions. It was really special for me mostly because of the adorable HSM fans. The kids literally thought we had come right out of their television and were in front of them. Kids are the best fans!
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
In five years I see myself continuing to act and starting to travel the world as an actress, filming in different locations. In 10 years I will still be acting but I would also like to direct my first film. In 20 years… wow. I think this will happen before 20 years from now, but I really want to produce a documentary about adoption. It’s a subject I’m really passionate about because I know so many people who have tried to adopt but couldn’t.
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
To keep doing what you’re doing and never give up if it’s really important to you. But keep an open mind. It won’t always look the way you thought it would and life only makes sense when you look at it backwards.
6. Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
The Weekend to End Breast Cancer. I know too many people who have been affected by breast cancer. Also, Dans La Rue and other local charities in Montreal.
7. What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Probably to just live my life and not think only about my career. I think just doing other things has helped. I used to be like, I can’t go on that trip or I can’t spend that much money on dinner or yoga or whatever because I need that for acting. Acting is life and if you don’t live your life and you revolve everything around acting, you won’t have anything to share.
8. What does the word notable mean to you?
Someone who is doing something in their life that they are very passionate about and is making a difference in the world. Not because they are trying to persuade you, but because they are leading by example.
1. Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
In Montreal, Joe Beef and Le Bremner because the food is just so amazing! In Los Angeles, my latest discovery is Crossroads Kitchen. It’s vegan but the atmosphere is not hippy dippy and the food is out of this world. Pappardelle truffle pasta – ‘nough said.
2. What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser? The most played song on your phone?
I would say YouTube is the most visited website. Sometimes it’s a problem. Currently Elle King’s Ex’s and Oh’s is on repeat.
3. Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
I don’t think anyone NEEDS to be followed.
4. What’s your favourite country to visit and why? And what’s the next one you plan on travelling to?
I have not travelled as much as I would like to, so I’m going to say Mexico. I grew up going to Mexico with my family so it feels like a second home. And my dad thinks he’s Mexican. I would like to visit Southeast Asia next.
5. What gives you the greatest FOMO?
Being away from my family and missing my nephews growing up.
6. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
Reality TV because it’s so damn entertaining and addictive. Also, re-watching shows I can literally recite. It’s sad.
7. What’s something you wish you didn’t spend so much money on? What’s something you wish you spent more on?
Rent is something I wish I didn’t spend so much on, and I wish I spent more money spoiling my family. Soon!
8. And finally, what does success look like to you? Work, play, or otherwise…
Starting the day with with a smile on your face and ending it with a glass of Champagne.