A driven young woman with a passion for life
Everyone hopes to find something they really love and then find a way to make a living out of it. In an interview with University of Guelph student and actress Alexandra Beaton of The Next Step, Beaton revealed that dreams can come true with hard work and dedication. Beaton has always wanted to be an actress, and has known since childhood that this was the career for her. “I was in all the school plays – not always as a lead role – but I really felt that any kind of experience was a good one, especially in the acting world, because you always want to expand the range of emotion you are able to portray – when I say portray, I mean realistically,” said Beaton.
It was obvious in speaking with Beaton that she had known what she wanted from the beginning, and that her desire to get into acting wasn’t a fluke. Beaton had an agent from a young age, knowing that if she wanted to make her dream a reality, she was going to have to work hard to obtain it.
“I always wanted to make sure that my resume was as full as it could be, and just like in school, networking is one of the most important things you can do” said Beaton. “The more people who know you, not only personally but [who] have seen you [and] know you are a good worker, [they] will gravitate to you if they know you are not just in the industry for a short amount of time.”
Beaton described The Next Step as a show “about a group of dancers [whose] lives intertwine with [one another],” the show is moving into its second season on The Family Channel. “Like competitive dancers know, it consumes your life. There are crushes, betrayal, money problems, obviously a lot of drama, boy issues, and girl issues,” Beaton continued. Beaton called the show “more realistic than people would expect,” noting that “it deals with problems that are facing young adults and preteens today and it does that [in an honest way].”
Beaton, a second year CJPP student at the University of Guelph, began filming The Next Step when she was seventeen, the summer before arriving for her first year of study. When asked about landing the role of Emily on The Next Step, Beaton said “[They had filmed] the pilot already – we went in knowing that all of their main roles were already filled.” But as Beaton expressed earlier, the more people who know of you, the better, and “Temple Street Productions, The Family Channel and Bell Media are huge platforms for any artist.” With great determination, Beaton auditioned in hopes of landing a spot in the show. “I am more of an actress, [and] we had to do dancing, so that was a little bit funny for me,” said Beaton but she “decided to go in there and give it my all.” Although being determined, Beaton remembers being paired with Jordan Clarke, who was the winner of So You Think You Can Dance Canada, which she said was “a little disconcerting.”
Beaton expressed that one of the most important qualities to have when getting into acting is having “thick skin,” stating that, “You have to be able to understand that you could be the Meryl Streep of your audition, but if you don’t have red hair, they won’t cast you.” Beaton believes that without a thick skin, it is easier “to get discouraged and start doubting yourself and your talent and all of that kind of stuff, which is not good for anyone’s self-esteem.” Beaton emphasized that it is ok to step back and re-evaluate life and one’s career, and that the most important thing is to do something you love.
When asked about the best advice she had ever received, Beaton had two responses, the first coming from Gerrard Butler, with whom she worked with on the film 300. “He said: when you do stage work, go to the audience – when you do film or TV work, let the audience come to you. This is something I have been very mindful of – the differences between mediums,” Beaton recalled. The second piece of advice came from Beaton’s father, who she describes as “a man that instilled self-respect and confidence” in both her sister and herself. He told her that “no matter what you do, there will always be someone who loves you, and that someone will be me.”
Family means everything to Beaton, who stated that “My role model is my younger sister, Sophie – [she is] my sister and best friend. We are 14 months apart and she has a quiet strength – not that she is a quiet person, but she looks at the world in such a good way, a way that I hope to be able to look at [it]. She has always been my number one fan.”
In wrapping up the interview, it was apparent that Beaton was a mindful 19 year-old who is every bit deserving of the success she has worked so incredibly hard for. Beaton is full of passion and dedication, and is someone to look out for in the future.