Spotlight on Brenda Matthews

by Heidi Dorman on November 3, 2008

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Originally published in the Vancouver Actor’s Guide February 2006 newsletter.

Brenda Matthews is not a typical grandmother. Whether she’s out on her Kawasaki motorbike or practicing her stunt training, one thing is for certain, this is a woman you are going to see much more of in years to come.

Many artists can relate to Brenda’s story. Life sometimes has a way of taking many of us away from our creative ambitions and steering us in a different direction. However, once the acting bug is in your blood, it seems impossible to stay away forever. This is true for Brenda.

Trained at Langara College’s Studio 58 in the 1970’s she worked in several local theatre companies including Vancouver’s Arts Club Theatre Company in its early days. As a single mom, she moved to Kelowna to raise her family where she was involved in community theatre for a short time, until the need to focus her energy on her young children trumped over pursuing acting opportunities.

Brenda never regretted her choice to be a mom for a second, but 4 and a half years ago with her children grown, she decided to reclaim her dreams by returning to the stage. Shortly after a starring role with Stage 43, Brenda got herself an agent and hasn’t looked back since.

In a very short time, she has built an enviable resume with stage, film and television credits. She is a character actor with a range that goes from corporate career woman to homeless person. Her grit and determination prove that she is not afraid of hard work and will do whatever it takes to find the truth in each character she tackles.

When asked what made her make the jump from full-time mom and part-time accountant to aspiring actor, not surprisingly, it had to do with the constant challenge that acting provides. “The most exciting thing about this artform is that you are a creator of a story,” says Brenda. “You are continuously growing.”

Brenda’s advice to actors just starting out: “When in a scene, whether on stage or in film, always be in the moment and listen, listen, listen to your partner. If you aren’t listening, you are not really present and there is nothing to drive the scene.”

Brenda Matthews doesn’t believe it’s ever too late to follow your dreams and live your passion. She is living proof that your life can be whatever you want it to be if you work hard enough and never stop reaching for the stars.

You can find out more about Brenda at

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