Interview With Actor Dale Whibley, “The Christmas Cure”

By Ruth on November 22, 2017 in Interview, movie, television
0
0

This past July, when the Hallmark Channel premiered a Christmas film entitled The Christmas Cure (written by Marcy Holland), I took a keen interest in the secondary romance depicted in this film. While I adored the leads (and who couldn’t be enamored with Patrick Duffy?), I tend to have an uncanny affinity for the supporting characters. I chatted with Dale this summer, but only now am I able to share this interview to my loyal readers, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic!

RH: So glad it worked out to talk with you today, Dale.

DW: Absolutely! Me too, Ruth.

I first had the opportunity to watch your Hallmark movie, The Christmas Cure, during Hallmark’s Christmas in July schedule. 

Thank you and the fans for their support of that film.

 

Why did you decide to become an actor?

I started when I was really young; I was about four years old. It was more a lifestyle thing for me. I was such a crazy kid growing up. I had so much energy that my parents were like, “He has to do something to get this energy out.” So I found acting was the best way for me to do that because when you act, you can do anything you want. And that’s one of the things I love about this profession. You can be anyone you want and you can do anything you want. It’s just amazing; I love it.

Photo by Myriam Santos

When I was reading about you, I noticed you started very young. How old are you now?

I just turned twenty in October.

Oh, I see. Officially no longer a teenager. So you’ve been an actor for most of your life.

Yeah, absolutely. Pretty much been nothing but.

I have interviewed so many young people in the business, and it’s always good to see there are young people who are making good choices instead of the bad choices we often hear about. 

I think the good thing is that our school systems are changing and they’re a lot more supportive towards the industry. I think a lot of schools now are directing their attention heavily towards the arts, and I think it’s giving a little more confidence to the younger kids so they learn to respect the industry a little more. I think that’s why there’s more positive young people who are joining the industry now.

That is good to hear. And I am very supportive of young people who are positive role models and are doing good things with their lives. And if they are part of the film and TV industry, that’s even better. So I’ll say thank you for being one of those positive young people.

Oh, well, thank you. That’s an unbelievable compliment.

So you started out with commercials?

Yes, I did commercials for about six or seven years when I first started my acting career, and I loved it. But then I felt like I was ready to take the next step. So I booked my first guest star spot on Life With Boys, and that was a game-changer for me. So I jumped out of the whole commercial zone at that point, and it was great. It was a Canadian show that ran on YTV in Canada, and the U.S. ran it on Teen Nick.

Your first recurring role was on Degrassi: The Next Generation, right?

Yes, I did six episodes for them, and that was a great time. I loved working on that set. Everyone was super nice, and it was so fun.

How old were you at that point?

I was fourteen.

So cool that you booked such a great recurring role at that age as that doesn’t always happen.

Getting into my late teens before I hit eighteen was a real struggle because a lot of shows were looking for people who are eighteen because of the working hours and the way things are in this business. But I was pretty lucky to book Degrassi as I did because it’s a milestone as a Canadian actor to touch a bit of Degrassi.

So were you taking acting classes at this point?

Yes, I have been working with several acting coaches as Lewis Beaumander Acting Studio in Toronto, and Lewis himself has been a really big mentor for me over the past five or six years. He has helped me change the way I am as an actor. I did a lot of comedy stuff when I was younger, and he has helped me break into more serious roles as I’ve gotten older. He has really helped make that transition very easy for me.

Megan Lee, Dale Whibley, Louriza Tronco

While you were doing all these roles, did you go to a regular school?

When I was doing guest star appearances here and there, I usually took off the two or three days I would be shooting. I ended up finishing Grade Twelve on the set of Make It Pop. I really do love the set environment. A lot of people say they think the few hours we get for tutoring may not be enough and they think the school environment is better, but I found I learned a lot better and was able to focus more with one-on-one tutoring. I enjoyed my Grade Twelve year. I got to see my friends on weekends, so my social life didn’t fall apart. I still got my school done, and I loved doing school. It was great.

Thankfully, my school was very helpful with the correlation between set tutors and my schoolwork. It was way easier and way better than I thought it would be. I thought it would be a huge stress not actually being in the school environment with the teachers. But I found it very easy and nice.

I know the big thing you’re known for is Make It Pop

Yes, that was with Nickelodeon YTV.

How did you get involved with that show?

It was kind of funny how it all happened. When we first got a notice about the audition, I had to do a self-tape for it before going forward with the role. And they were requesting for me to sing for the audition because they weren’t sure if Caleb was gonna sing or if he was gonna be a dancer or what his character situation was going to be. I immediately thought, “Oh man, I can’t sing! This is gonna be a huge issue.” So I did my best and sent in the tape.

I ended up getting a call which just blew my mind. All of our callbacks were at a dance studio. Our choreographer who did the choreography for most of the show came in and we  all had to dance choreo, which was another extremely odd thing for me for a callback. I was not expecting that at all. Me and John-Alan {Slachta} who I knew from Life With Boys and other auditions from way back when..I saw him and was like, “Hey, man!” Most of the people auditioning were professional dancers. The kids there were doing backflips and stuff like that. And me and John were like–we like dancing, but we don’t take it to that kind of level. So it was extremely nerve-wracking. We fit into the part so perfectly, and I could see it when we were doing our groupings of five, and it felt really good the way that it happened. We did five or six auditions, and then I got a call saying I’d booked it. I was ecstatic; I was blown away. It was a great process.

MAKE IT POP : “Think” Epi 200, Pictured: Caleb (Dale Whibley) in MAKE IT POP on Nickelodeon Photo: Stephen Scott/Nickelodeon. © 2015 Viacom International, Inc All Rights Reserved.

I don’t think I’ve talked to anyone else who has  had that sort of audition experience. 

It was quite interesting because it was not what I was used to at all. I thought I was going to show up and do a couple more line readings and maybe some chemistry, but they had us do a complete dance choreo and I was completely caught off guard.

I never did watch the show though I have heard of it. I don’t often watch Nickelodeon.

The show is about twelve-year-old girls, so I forgive you. {laughs}

I do know it was a massive show. Were you on every episode?

Yeah, it was me and the three girls. For Tom Lynch, our executive producer, to include me in this project, I was so grateful. I had been working my whole life for this. For him to give me the opportunity to be on this show, I will love that man forever if just for that.

I’m sure that show has led to other roles and opportunities.

Absolutely. Any work experience helps, and having the workload of doing two full seasons is something people look at when doing their considerations.

Now you’re making this transition more into the adult roles and making the move away from kid roles. 

Yes, it’s been cool having various bits and pieces here and there. I’ve done Shadowhunters. I’ve done an episode of Murdoch Mysteries.

Murdoch Mysteries

Oh, awesome! We are still waiting on season eleven of that show, but we are huge fans.

My girlfriend’s mom is in love with that show, and when she heard that I got a guest spot on that show, she got really excited. So I’m progressively moving into those roles that are geared towards adult viewership. I’m wanting to always expand my fan base. It’s nice to know that I’m reaching everyone.

And you’ve now been in three Hallmark movies. And they’re all Christmas movies that are playing several times between now and the end of the year. 

Those movies were great. It’s been such a ride with that Hallmark crew. I love them.

I’ve actually seen all three as well. Last year, it was I’ll Be Home For Christmas and Sound of Christmas. And this year it’s The Christmas Cure. All great films.

behind-the-scenes
I’ll Be Home For Christmas

I have loved them all. Getting to work with James Brolin last year on I’ll Be Home For Christmas. He went back and forth between directing and acting. It was so fun. And it was my first one with Hallmark.

That was  amazing. But Sound of Christmas was special for me since I’m a former music teacher. I always love the movies that tie into music.

How was my oboe playing in that one?

Um, I’m not sure, I–

{laughs} Just so you know, I hadn’t touched an oboe in my life before that. I showed up to set and they said, “Hey, Dale, you’re playing this.” I was like, “Okay.” They brought someone in to show me how to “fake play” it. I worked so hard. I listened to the song over and over with headphones on. I worked very hard to try to get the perfect fingering. It was honestly so fun.

Well, I wouldn’t have known. I would have assumed you weren’t really playing the oboe. I’ve never actually played the oboe myself. I know that one is a hard instrument to play. I’ve played lots of different instruments, but I think if someone can pick up an instrument like that, it has to be a gift.

I quite agree. My brother is like that. If he really thinks about, he can step up to the piano and play it really well. He can play the trumpet; he can play the drums. That is a gift as far as I’m concerned and not one I have.

Shadowhunters

You mentioned you were in an episode of Shadowhunters

Yes, I did a guest spot on the show. It was a flashback scene. Me and one of my best buddies, Alex Eling, got to play young Jace and young Alec. It was fun. And then we got to see younger versions of ourselves. Someone posted on Instagram a selfie we did of the progression of those characters, and it was interesting to the evolution they chose for casting. It thought it was really good.

I have not had an opportunity to see this show, but I know it’s got quite a following.

This show is actually one of my favorites because I was devoted to the book series. When those books started coming out, I dove in and read them. The book series is amazing. So when I found out they were doing the films and such, I was a little too young, but I was like, “Oh my gosh! I have to audition for this!” It was cool to get to touch this project because of that special connection I had.

I think it’s great how making books into series and movies is becoming very popular. I know the fans of the book series may not like it, but I just think it’s a smart move. And hopefully it makes people want to read the books.

It’s definitely treacherous waters when it comes to the fans of the books. You have to do it right, and if you don’t do it right, you get a lot of angry fans. But with Shadowhunters, I think the series is doing a great job and they’re doing the books justice.

Brooke Nevin, Kathleen Laskey, Patrick Duffy, Dale Whibley Credit: Copyright 2017 Crown Media United States LLC/Photographer: Shane Mahood

So let’s talk about your most recent Hallmark movie, The Christmas Cure. Did you get to see it?

Yes, I did. I loved working with everyone on that.

I’ve had some interactions with Steve Byers regarding that film.

Oh, he’s such a fun guy! Such a goof. He was definitely a bright light on set. His mood was always upbeat and positive. A great sense of humor too.

One of my favorite parts of the movie was the secondary romance that your character was involved in. I thought it was so sweet and cute to see that.

Yeah, me and Jocelyn {Hudon} had lots of fun together. We had such funny ideas that came to light and were great. It was such a fun project.

It was one my family and I enjoyed, and I’m sure one that will continue to be enjoyed through the remainder of the holiday season. So anything else upcoming that you can mention?

Well, I recently returned from South Africa, where they were filming the second series of Ice. I have a recurring role on that series this season. The drama is shown on the AT&T Audience Network, and it “follows the Green family as they plunge into the underbelly of the Los Angeles diamond trade.” I am playing the role of Braxton, a high school senior at the Academy.

That’s awesome news! Congrats to you, Dale!

There’s so many possibilities in this industry and so much randomness. I now live and work in LA, but I can work up in Canada. Or I can go to South Africa like I just did. It just depends on where the work takes me. I do know that since I’m living and working in LA, the opportunities for better roles have increased, and that’s why I made the decision to move down here this fall. And, of course, before too long, pilot season will be here again.

Well, I think for your age, Dale, you’ve done some amazing things, and your credits are incredible. So I wish you all the best, and we will definitely be looking for more of your upcoming works! 

Thank you, Ruth. I so appreciate your support and the support of all of my fans! I’ll try to keep everyone updated on other roles as I am able to.

While it is true that I have interviewed a wide variety of young people in the entertainment industry, it never ceases to amaze me just how many positive and successful youngsters are making their way in this sometimes ruthless industry. It would be so easy for talented youngsters like Dale to become disappointed, disillusioned, and rather pessimistic in such a ferocious and dark environment. On the other hand, the possibility even exists that he could have veered towards the other extreme and become cocky and arrogant. But Dale is one who has maintained his teachable spirit, his passion for the profession, his good-humored nature, and above all, his unmitigated humility. He has never taken anything in the world of acting for granted, and he continues to pursue every opportunity for personal and professional growth and advancement. I inquired about whether he was heading down to LA as he had mentioned making that move this summer, and lo and behold, he is living there now. What a refreshing change to encounter a goal-oriented young person who instead of just thinking about it or even merely talking about it, has actually followed through and attained it. Honestly, his simple response engendered within me more respect for him than I already had. He is a man of action, and those are the ones who often accomplish great things.

I would invite everyone to check out all three Hallmark Christmas films in which Dale has been featured–especially the new one this year entitled The Christmas Cure. I believe you will find yourself entertained to the maximum and perchance inspired by these films as well as his performances and interactions on screen. Additionally, I would invite my readers to check out all of Dale’s links below and consider following him on social media. I know that the season two premiere of Ice will be some time in early 2018, so if you’re able to, be sure to watch him in that as well. (I need to get caught up on season one!) I cannot thank Dale enough for his patience with me since I was unable to post this interview this summer as I had planned. Moreover, I am exceedingly grateful to support a young man whom I believe has a phenomenal future to anticipate. I hope that one of these days when he  proceeds to have the kind of career of which he dreams that I will be able to cheer him on from the sidelines whilst remembering how I “knew him when.” As an entertainment journalist, there is nothing I enjoy more than seeing those in whom I have invested my time and support succeed on universally profound levels!

FOLLOW DALE

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

IMDB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

RuthView all posts by Ruth
43-year-old single mother of an active 14-year-old girl Born in Tacoma, WA; lives in Yelm, WA Entertainment Writer Available For Interviews and Reviews Substitute Teacher

0 Comments

Add comment

Leave a Reply

Please know that comment moderation is in effect on this site. Comments may not appear immediately. Also, please note that any negative attacks on people, networks, or other comments that are deemed "inappropriate" or "overtly negative" may be removed and/or edited by the administrator.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

CommentLuv badge