I go back & forth with entry-level jobs in the service industry, pursuing my love of acting for Film (You Kill Me, Perfect Sisters, Bravetown, Lovesick, Nomis, Tempus Tormentum) Television (Cashing In, Channel Zero), Commercials (With Child, Without Alcohol) and Theatre (Sarasvati Productions, Fantasy Theatre for Children, Winnipeg/Vancouver Fringe Festival, Vancouver Theatre Sports League, Vancouver Playhouse, Theatre in the Raw and Walterdale Playhouse).
- Real Name: Lorraine Veronica James
- Stage Name: Lorraine James
- Birthdate/Birthplace: March 15th, 1968; Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
- “Raised up” Where: Winnipeg, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Vancouver then back to Winnipeg
- Education: Citadel Theatre School, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Vancouver TheatreSports League, High School Drama Classes, Gastown Actors Studio.
- Honours & Awards: 2nd place in the 1997 “Just for Laughs” Improv tournament; Best Actress award for Cuddle Me at the 48 Hour Film Making Contest.
- Influences/Mentors/Heroes: James Dean, Angela Bassett, Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Kozma, All my drama teachers from school, John Laroquette from Night Court, Anthony Hopkins, Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Kate Moennig, every member of the Vancouver Theatre Sports League, Will Smith, Saana Lathan, Nia Long, Toni Collette, Alan Arkin, Tilda Swinton, David Alan Grier, Regina King, Viola Davis,
- Places Performed: Sarasvatí Productions, Gastown Theatre, UBC’s Frederick Wood Theatre, Back Alley Theatre, The Vancouver Playhouse, Walterdale Playhouse, Winnipeg & Vancouver Fringe Festival, Townhouse 9, Fantasy Theatre for Children, Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival, as a background player in many Vancouver & Winnipeg productions.
- Pivotal Performance: Told by a seasoned actress during the run of “The Crucible” that I was so good, then giving me a big hug.
- Favourite Performance: Portraying a Jamaican nurse for “Cashing In”.
- Most Terrifying Performance Experience: Performing with “Sleeping Beauty Cabaret” in ’92 & forgetting my lines for what seemed like a lifetime.
- Favourite prop/costume: Anytime I wear a cop uniform on set, back when my dreads were short.
- Hobbies: Jewelry-making, greeting card-making, wire crafts, duct tape accessories,
- Reading List: The Biography of Malcolm X, A Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths & Secrets, Impro, Beware The Naked Man Who Offers You His Shirt, Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive, Oh Say Can You Say, The Paper Bag princess, The “N” Word, All About Me, Writing Down The Bones: Freeing The Writer Within,
- Favourite music: Old timey Jamaican tunes, torch songs, mostly ’70’s, ’80’s & ’90’s music, but there’s too long a list to whittle them down to a mere few.
- Favourite quote: “What you believe and what you know get confused too often: they’re two different things.”
Inspired by the book, “Out of Character“.
- How did you get involved in your line of work?
Junior High was where I discovered my love for acting, but high school was where I realized that I was more serious about it. After graduation, I discovered the Walterdale Playhouse.
- What does the perfect client, customer or contact look like to you?
I’ve always wanted to work with a group that feels like a family; I’m looking for a compatible film-maker, a compatible Artistic Director or someone who I click with on similar projects. I believe the term is “Relationship over Resumé”; the people I work with know of my work and we understand what we need from each other.
- How would you want me to describe you to one of my contacts?Easy-going, mistaken for being younger, resembles a cross between Whoopi Goldberg & Debra Wilson from “MadTV“.
- What are your goals within your line of work?
Started off in theatre to advance to film/TV, but my love of theatre was equaled. I’d love to do a television series, a few comedies, cover every aspect of live theatre (Shakespeare, puppetry, improv, fringe, children’s and to possibly travel) & perform outside of Canada. Basically, to live off of acting and depend on nothing else. Also to perform a one-woman show.
- What accomplishment are you most proud of?
- Travelling to Vancouver to pursue acting
- Performing in the Vancouver Theatre Sports Rookie League
- Performing in”The Crucible” at the Vancouver Playhouse in 1996
- Coming in 2nd place at the 1997 Improv Tournament at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal
- Meeting Sir Ben Kingsley while doing “You Kill Me” in 2007.
- Winning “Best Actress” for the short film, “Cuddle Me” for the 48 Hour Film Competition.
Lorraine has been involved in the entertainment industry for 20+ years, spanning provinces like Edmonton, Vancouver and Winnipeg. Starting off at Edmonton’s Walterdale Playhouse (Come & Go, You Can’t Take It With You), continuing in Winnipeg with Townhouse 9 (Joe Orton’s What The Butler Saw), Popular Theatre Alliance of Manitoba (Beyond The Punchline, Some of My Best Friends Are…), and her first foray at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival (The Sleeping Beauty Cabaret). After moving to Vancouver, Lorraine worked on her improvisational skills through the Vancouver TheatreSports League and took further acting training through Mel Tuck’s Gastown Actors Studio. Upon graduation, the Vancouver Playhouse had her playing Tituba in ’96’s The Crucible. She got her comedic break participating in Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival for the improv tournament, coming in 2nd place representing Vancouver (up against the Montreal group “On The Spot”, England’s “Funny Business” and Texas’ “Monks Night Out”). After earning a living as a background extra, body double and stand in, Winnipeg called her back, where she resumed her fledgling theatre/film/TV career. Fantasy Theatre for Children had her frolicking in “Tales from Far Away”, “The Velveteen Rabbit” & “The Snow Queen”. Hope McIntyre discovered her for several productions with Sarasvati Productions (International Women’s Week Cabaret of Monologues, No Offense… and DISS) and Fem Fest (GenderPlay, Stories from Brown Girl Jovay, Say Ginger Ale). Commercials range from With Child Without Alcohol and Diabetes Awareness. Her films have included The Chosen Family, Natural Selection, Perfect Sisters, Bravetown, You Kill Me, Lovesick, Tempus Tormentum, Nomis and TV appearances in Cashing In and Channel Zero.