Interview With Actress/Singer Miranda Frigon, “Aurora Teagarden”

By Ruth on January 9, 2018 in Interview, movie, television
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A few years ago, because of my friendship with a certain actor (Sebastian Spence), I had the opportunity to watch a movie (Stonados) that featured an actress by the name of Miranda Frigon. About the same time, I began to see her name pop up in various Hallmark movies, and before long, she emerged as a recurring role in the popular Hallmark Movies & Mysteries series, Aurora Teagarden. As I began to research Miranda’s career, I realized how unbelievably talented she is in so much more than just acting. I reached out to her for an interview, and once we made the connection, she was so busy releasing her new album and working on movies that we didn’t have an opportunity to schedule the interview. That is, until recently. Recently, Miranda has been enjoying some much-needed downtime, and I have one of the most incredible interviews I have ever had the privilege of bringing to my readers.

 

RH: What inspired you to become an actress? What kind of training have you had?

MF: I was heavily into ballet and gymnastics since I was four years old. Both have a big performance element to them and I just loved that part of it. I was the class clown at school and I was always putting on shows and skits and performances for my parents or really anyone who would watch, so I’m pretty sure I had the performing bug since I was born!

When I was eight years old, I saw a poster at my ballet school from a Canadian toy company that was looking for cute kids to cast in a commercial. I begged my mom to take me, so she did. Out of one hundred twenty-five kids, I got the part. That’s where it all began. The producers would make personal phone calls to my mom after that, inviting me to audition for other toy commercials. I did about ten commercials after that before an agent got a hold of me and my career went on from there. I immediately loved being on set and performing and as a kid, and I also had a lot of patience for the long hours.

I began taking acting classes after that and worked on commercials and documentaries and educational films throughout my pre-teen and teenage years. After high school, I attended the University of Alberta as a theatre major and continued my training there. I then auditioned for a school in New York City called “The American Musical & Dramatic Academy” which I was so excited about because it was kind of like that show Fame from back in the 80’s. The school was right in Manhattan and it trained you for Broadway in Voice, Dance, and Acting. I ended up getting a partial scholarship to the school, which definitely did not cover how expensive all the travel and housing and the rest of my training would be, but I was very determined to go! The next seven months, I worked three jobs, seven days a week working steakhouse as a cocktail waitress, working at a breakfast cafe in the early mornings and serving at a popular nightclub in the evenings. I was saving up those tips! I barely slept for those seven months and I saved enough money to head off to school in NYC.

After my first year at that school, I was home visiting my family for Christmas and I got an audition for a recurring role on the Disney series Honey, I Shrunk The Kids to play the rich and spoiled Veronica who was the antagonist to the teenager daughter Amy. That was when my career of playing antagonists began–hah hah! I booked the part and that was the true beginning of my film and television career.

Stonados

As one of your earliest experiences in acting was with Sebastian Spence and then you worked later with him on Stonados, please tell us what it was like working with him. 

Ahh, Sebastian! I worked with him on First Wave way back when! That was one of my first few guest-starring appearances I did. I was young and totally had the biggest crush on him–haha! He was lovely and humble and we had a blast. The next time I worked with him was years and years later on Stonados and he was just as lovely then! He’s just such a kind soul and we laughed a lot and had some great meaningful conversations. There is never any friction working with Sebastian; he’s just such a lovely human!

With Chris Potter
Heartland

What was it like working on Heartland? Any plans or hopes for your character to ever return?

I miss Heartland! I just loved working on that show and with that cast and of course, with the beautiful horses! The show films in the outskirts of Calgary, Alberta, and my hometown of Edmonton is just a thirty-minute flight away. It was so nice to go back to my home province to work. After filming an episode, I would often take a bus ride or a quick flight back home for a visit as the production was really great about traveling me back to LA from Edmonton, so that was a huge bonus. I loved playing horse jockey, Janice Wayne. She was such a strong, driven character who was most often misunderstood, so fans just loved to hate her. At first, that was hard, but I got used to it after awhile and now I love it when fans get all upset by something my character did or said and they have to write about it online–haha! It means I’m doing my job! It’s way more interesting to play the antagonist; those characters have so many more layers to them and I really enjoy playing with that. Of course, I would love to return to Heartland; but unfortunately, that is up to the producers and writers and not me!

You have done several Hallmark films now. How did that relationship with the network begin? What do you like about working for Hallmark?

With Erin Krakow and David Haydn-Jones
A Cookie Cutter Christmas

Hallmark had been amazing to me. I think one of my first Hallmark films was A Cookie Cutter Christmas directed by Christie Will and produced by Tim Johnson and Oliver de Caigny. Christie was just starting out her journey with Hallmark as well and she really has a flair for these types of romantic comedy movies. We filmed it on a much lower budget, but it turned out so great that it has now become a fan favorite and plays over and over again around the holidays. I think the network really liked it too. Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to do quite a few Hallmark movies a year. My role in A Cookie Cutter Christmas is probably one of my most favorite characters I’ve been able to play thus far in my career. So fun to play the comedic antagonist!

With Alan Thicke
A Cookie Cutter Christmas

What I like about working for Hallmark is that it’s like a big family. You always end up running into someone you worked with on the last one or the one before, both with cast and crew. So you never really have to say goodbye to anyone! It’s also consistent work for us Vancouver actors as they film so many movies each year that there is always a lot of opportunity. The movies are light and fun and not too heavy, so I always have a blast working on them.

Tell us about Aurora Teagarden. How did you land the recurring role with the series? What is it like working in that mystery series?

Aurora Teagarden 

While I was in LA, an audition came up for the first Aurora movie A Bone To Pick, so I taped my audition in LA and sent it off to Vancouver. It turns out Martin Wood was directing who was my executive producer on my 2012 Syfy series Primeval: New World. Found out I booked it and I was on a plane up to Vancouver. I had no idea it would turn into the movie series it has become and I’m just so grateful for it.

I absolutely love working on these movies, not just because I love playing Lynn, but it’s really the family we have created. I’ve become close friends now with Marilu {Henner}, Candace {Cameron Bure} and Lexa {Doig}. Peter Benson and I have been friends for years, so I love that I get to hang with him too. I get so excited to work with them all each time because we all know each other so well now. Such amazing people. I’m not only close to the cast, but the producers as well. Jim Head is such a blast to work with other and he’s is the sweetest guy too! The other producers are amazing as well and we tend to use the same directors like Martin Wood and Terry Ingram (my favorites 😉 so we are like one big happy family!

Aurora Teagarden

As you’ve now been in several of the Aurora films, how is your character Detective Lynn Smith like you and how is she different?

Lynn is no-nonsense, which is very much like me. If I have an issue with you, you will know! I’m a pretty vocal person and have that very strong side to me that likes to do things myself, be very organized and in control. Like Lynn, I’ll admit, it’s not always in the healthiest way–haha! I think that’s why Lynn is so easy for me to connect to as I looove playing strong characters and it’s very comfortable for me.

Aurora Teagarden

How I am different from Lynn is that I am EXTREMELY silly and never take myself so seriously. I was always the class clown in school and in any of my sports or dance teams and have been called “weird” many times in my life. I’m that person that says the “inappropriate thing” that others are thinking, but would never say out loud. I guess it could be considered a slight social awkwardness as I think that button in your brain that tells you when to censor yourself is actually broken in me or was never there in the first place. 😉

My family and siblings all love acting like idiots and we really connect through humor and making fun of each other. I feel like I get to play that dynamic out a little bit with Candace in the movies and also with Peter playing my husband. I would love to play it out more, but we have to stick with what serves the purpose of the story and Lynn being silly is definitely not one of them!

Aurora Teagarden

The most recent Aurora film Last Scene Alive, has just premiered. What can you tell us about your part in that film? And what was it like having both Yannick Bisson and Robin Dunne on set? (That’s like a dream cast in my opinion!)

Well, one thing I can tease you with is that one aspect of Lynn in the movie is that she is pregnant again. Only this time it had to be written in because I’m actually pregnant for the first time in real life with a baby girl! Due any day now, so sadly I was not able to fly up to Vancouver to film the next two Aurora movies, so Lynn will be on maternity leave for a few episodes 😉

As for the actual movie, this is definitely one of my favorite scripts so far as it’s set in the world of Hollywood movie-making. It’s the making of a movie within our movie. Really great, suspenseful storyline and lots of fun characters so we can’t wait for you all to see it! It was a blast having both Yannick and Robin in the same movie. Yannick is such a lovely human and he’s so nurturing and sweet so I just always love working with him. Robin, I have known for a long time since the Sanctuary days and we’ve kept in touch and been friends for years, so we have an established comedic banter that I always look forward to. We like to give each other a hard time! Our director Martin Wood and Robin are also thick as thieves and I originally met Martin and Robin at the same time while working on Sanctuary, so to have that additional dynamic on set definitely added a lot more laughs!

Aurora Teagarden

Since Peter Benson plays your husband in these films, did you know each other before the series? What has gone into developing the wonderful chemistry you both have on set? 

Ahhh, good ol’ Peter Benson! He is definitely one of my most favorite people on the entire planet, and I am not kidding when I say that. To me, he is one of the most genuine, honest, kind, loving people I have ever met and probably one of the funniest guys I’ve ever come across in this business. It’s a wonder to me why he isn’t yet on a huge US network sitcom. When he is on set, you can be sure there are tears of laughter. Candace can’t even be in the same scene with him. He’ll just be standing there doing the scene and she’ll have a laugh attack and start crying in every take because she just starts laughing when she just makes eye contact with him.

Mirando Frigon and Peter Benson

Probably the funnest times we have on set is when Peter is there. Peter and I have known each other for almost twenty years now. We were in acting class together way back when and worked on short films together with our friends and really built our careers together. We’re no strangers to playing a married couple either. We laugh about how our dynamic in real life is like a bickering married couple-haha! I think our long-standing friendship has made us so comfortable with each other that we get to really play on set and try things different ways and we never step on each other’s toes. Really, our dynamic in real life is similar to what you see in our movies!

Some fans wonder if you will ever have a lead in a Hallmark film. While it would require network approval if you could play a lead in a Hallmark film, what would you like that character to be like and/or what kind of story would you like it to be?

I notoriously play “the other woman” or the “one who never gets the guy.” I’m usually the antagonist, which I absolutely love to do because it’s so much fun! That being said, I would love to do a leading role in a Hallmark film and there’s no reason why I couldn’t, but Hallmark does have their list of girls they use for the leading roles and it would take a lot of people over there to agree to put me in that slot. Hopefully one day Hallmark would jump on board with that. Until then, I am grateful to play the one who stirs things up! 😊

My dream character would be to play a girl who seems to have it all together but is really a comedically hot mess underneath it all. Maybe struggling to find the perfect guy and thinks she has to keep pretending to be something she’s not. I’d love to really play with my comedic side and play my silly social awkwardness and clumsiness in a movie where then the perfect guy comes along who falls in love with the parts of me I think are unlovable. Because isn’t that what every girl really wants? Let’s face it, we aren’t perfect and there is no perfect guy, but if we could find someone who just adored us for all our quirks and weirdness, we wouldn’t be afraid to just really be ourselves. I think that type of movie would speak to a lot of women out there. Actually, thank you for this question because now I’m just going to go and write that script myself. 😊

So how did you get started in music? How would you describe your style? Please tell us about your album.

My musical journey started at a very young age. I grew up with a piano in our home so I was always writing my own little tunes. When I was a little older my mom finally put me in classical Royal Conservatory piano lessons. I went through four to five different teachers over a five-year span as they kept “letting me go.” Apparently, I kept trying to put my own spin on the classical Mozart and Beethoven songs. My final teacher figured out that I was playing by ear and only pretending to read the music. She was on to me–haha! I had this skill of being able to listen to a piece of music and play it back by ear memory without having to read the music. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work when you’re training in classical piano as I was missing a few notes and kept changing a few things up–haha!

My mom finally put me into a composing class and I was off to the races writing my own tunes. My music changed a lot throughout the years. I had more of a Sheryl Crow vibe initially and my hooks and melodies were a little all over the place and kind of cliché. Over the years, I’ve studied with some amazing songwriters and sat in on some pretty amazing sessions with big artists, musicians and producers and I learned a lot. My music and songwriting will continue to grow, but I am proud of my album I just put out as that is where I am at right now.

My new album, First, is a mix of my singer-songwriter roots and a blend of pop hooks and melodies. I write what I know and what I’m going through emotionally. The past few years, my journey has been about love coming in and out of my life and finding myself. Through all my experiences thus far I have learned that the key to finding happiness won’t come from something in the outside world. It can only come from the love and acceptance I have for myself. My hope with the album is that my words and lyrics will inspire others to take that same journey into finding themselves and looking within to find their happiness. Only then can we truly have the capacity to love others.

 Recently your music video with Paul Greene received incredible traffic on YouTube. Who developed the vision for the music video? How did Paul get on board for this music video? Any chance the two of you may collaborate again?

It was so lovely having Paul be a part of my music video! The vision for the music video came from myself and my incredibly talented director Franck Tabouring (Open Valve Studios). We came up with the concept together and made a plan for the shoot. I needed a handsome, intriguing man to play my love interest and so I reached out to a few of my female friends in the industry for suggestions. Candace Cameron suggested Paul Greene right away, and only a few months back my director friend Christie Will had suggested him before, so I thought, well it must be a sign! I had never met Paul before, but he connected to the message of the song and also adores Candace and so he graciously agreed to be a part of the video. He and I hit it off immediately and became fast friends. He was perfect for the video and he was so generous to give me his time, his talent and of course his good looks! 🙂 The video did amazing; we hit #1 trending on YouTube Canada and YouTube Australia so that was very cool. I’d love to work with Paul again, maybe Hallmark will cast us in the same movie soon?

Any plans to combine your music and acting? Any plans to write or direct?

I would love to blend my music and acting and have been waiting for that part to come along. I recently decided to take it under my control, and I’m currently working on a concept for a comedy series that would combine both of my loves of music and acting. It’s still in the initial creative stages and these things take time, so I’m not rushing it. Directing and writing have always been at the back of my mind. I am an acting coach here in LA and teach workshops at many of the Vancouver acting schools when I am up there working, so I’ve definitely gotten a taste of directing actors and I absolutely love it. To direct, I would have to do a lot more work learning about shots, lenses, and lighting etc. which is the most complicated part. Maybe it will be something I take on in the future–who knows!

As a more mature woman in the business, what is your advice to young women entering the world of entertainment?

Ok well, this may be a very long answer–haha! I have many nuggets of advice for younger women entering the business and I am thankful to have mostly young female students that I coach for auditions. Through them, I’ve been able to not only help them with their auditions but also offer advice I wish I had gotten early on in my career.

Staying true to yourself and knowing who you are and what you want is a big one. As young actors, we think we can be EVERYTHING. We can absolutely explore any type of part, but when we get cast, it really comes down to our essence and who we truly are. I remember going out for parts written for supermodels and for roles that felt so uncomfortable to me. I would try so hard to be what I thought the casting director or the producers wanted and so I wasn’t ever being myself because I thought that being myself wasn’t good enough. I mean, why would anyone cast me as me?? So I would dim who I was and take out all the things that were interesting about me and try to play some idea of someone else I thought they wanted. What I learned was that not only did I NOT get the part, but they never remembered me and so a lot of casting directors didn’t see me again or it took a very long time for them to bring me back in.

Photo by Kyle Cassie Photography

I had a big “aha” moment when I auditioned for a big ABC network show called Ugly Betty and I’d like to share that story. I originally auditioned for a smaller guest-starring role in an episode and they brought me back for the larger guest starring role to play the nemesis of Betty (played by America Ferreira). The character’s name was “Fat Carol.” When I read it initially, I loved the character, but they were looking for someone who was overweight and I was far from it. I got all in my head and started trying to find clothing that made me look bigger so I could fit into what they were looking for, or what I thought they were looking for. I ran the audition with a few friends from my comedy acting class. I had so much fun playing with this character and getting to really play with my comedic side that I started to care less about trying to be what the script described and more about just having fun and bringing my own weird quirks to it. I decided to wear a form-fitting dress, rock what I had and go in there and make them laugh being myself. I figured I wasn’t what they were looking for anyway, so I might as well just go and have fun.

I showed up on the day and walked into a waiting room filled with heavier-set girls. I was the only one who did not fit the character description. I had a moment of doubt, but then told myself to stick to the plan. They called my name. I walked into the packed room filled with producers, the director, casting directors and the camera operator. I did my thing. I made them laugh. It felt AMAZING. I played myself and they were laughing out loud?!… What a rush! I said thank you and proudly walked out the door. As I was walking across the FOX lot, the executive producer had left the audition room and came running towards me calling my name. Whaaaatt?!! Turns out this man had been the executive producer of a series I had done years ago called Jake 2.0 and he remembered me. He said “Miranda, I had no idea that was you; you are so funny! That was hilarious!” It felt SO good. We said our goodbyes and I left with a skip in my step feeling SO happy that I made an impression. Days later, I got the offer to play the part of “Fat Carol” and they had changed the character description to make her a bulimic alcoholic who was skinny. They changed it for ME. WOW. From that moment on I realized that I did have something special. I WAS interesting and castable. It really taught me a lesson to bring myself to everything I do. You are not going to book every part. Not every part is right for you, but if you bring what is special and interesting about YOU to everything you do, people will remember you and you will feel good about what you did and the rest won’t matter.

 

If you are unsure of what those amazing things are about you, get in that acting class and explore EVERYTHING. What your strengths are will surface, your essence will come out and you will find your voice and your confidence. Don’t let this business define you. An actress is not what you are; it is an extension of your creativity and your artistry and of that beautiful soul inside you. Just because you don’t get the part doesn’t mean you aren’t amazing and worthy or that someone else deserves it more. Same goes when you get the part. You don’t deserve it more than the next girl; it was just your time and the stars aligned and you were the right one for the job. At the end of the day, it’s just a job; it does not make you who you are.

This is a tough business that you are not always in control of. What you CAN control is your perspective, your state of mind and how you view the world and treat yourself and others. Surround yourself with good people who love and care about you. To find those people, you have to BE one of those people. Find that community; it’s what will support you for the rest of your life. Explore your spirituality, whatever that means to you. It will be there to support you, I promise.

My final advice is to always stay in a place of GRATITUDE. If you are always grateful for what is in front of you and not what you don’t have or what you didn’t get, your energy will bring in more things to be grateful for and people will always be inspired to be around you….and to inspire others, my friends, is how WE can change the world. Let that be your goal. 🙂

Thanks for this interview, Ruth! I had fun answering your questions! And thanks to all the fans for reading this and for your support of my work!

I have interviewed actors and other industry professionals rather consistently over the past two years, and I am currently embarking on my third year in this position. I have chatted with an unimaginably steady stream of people from all walks of life and the entertainment industry, and quite often, I have a reasonably accurate idea of what direction an interview will go, especially when it comes to email interviews. While I often get tiny surprises along the way that spark my enthusiasm, this interview with Miranda unquestionably overwhelmed me on a new level. She thoroughly answered every question I asked, and she never suppressed her own authentic and sometimes unconventional thoughts about whatever topic we were discussing. She consistently highlighted the unbelievable talent with whom she has worked over the years, and her candid style permeated the entire conversation. I found myself so immeasurably invigorated by her profound thoughts and pragmatic statements that I literally felt compelled to abandon everything I was doing for the evening and invest my time and talents in formulating a post that was worthy of her invaluable and indomitable contributions. In fact, this is one time that my culminating insights cannot even begin to parallel the formidable words Miranda has penned. She is not in need of my promotions nor adulations. I will merely congratulate her on her success, her sincerity, and her humility-laden attitude of gratitude. Her sincere responses have resulted in a depiction of her entire persona in such a radiant and positive light that all I need to do is place my categorical stamp of approval on everything she has written and feature it here today.

I hope that all of my readers will take a moment to check out each of Miranda’s links below and follow her where suitable. Utilizing that as a catalyst, if you have not seen any of her work on Aurora Teagarden, or if you missed the latest installment, be sure to check your local listings for the next time Miranda lights up the screen as Detective Lynn Smith. Additionally, Miranda has a whole host of Hallmark (and other) works to her name, and a quick look at the links below will bring every one of them to your attention. She also has an album and a plethora of more work on the way, and once her baby girl enters this world, I have a feeling that her time of “maternity leave” may be just what Miranda needs to imagine even more astounding ideas to further her artistic pursuits. Moreover, something tells me that as a mother, Miranda is going to bring even more heartfelt works to her viewers and listeners that will teach, inspire, encourage, and entertain. And one thing I can pledge to Miranda (and I hope many of you will join me in this) is that I will be stalking…uh, supporting her every step of the way! 🙂

FOLLOW MIRANDA

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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

8 Comments

  1. Robin January 9, 2018 Reply

    AMAZING!! Truly. Miranda is so inspirational and motivational. Impressive and insightful. THANK YOU, Ruth!

    • Author
      Ruth January 9, 2018 Reply

      So glad you enjoyed it Robin! She’s pretty amazing!

  2. Net January 9, 2018 Reply

    Loved this interview with Miranda, Ruth! So excited to hear about her baby girl! That is such wonderful news! Her character definitely will be missed in the next Aurora movies. She’s such a spark, that adds such an interesting element to the series. I just love the dynamic of Aurora & Lynn’s relationship… how they have such quick-witted banter between them!

    Thank you for sharing this! Blessings! Net
    Net recently posted…Make a Date! Hallmark’s 2018 Countdown to Valentine’s Day Movies!My Profile

    • Author
      Ruth January 9, 2018 Reply

      Net thank you for stopping by. I’m happy for her too. We can look forward to the next time we see her on screen

  3. denise January 10, 2018 Reply

    wonderful interview! I’ve enjoyed her antagonist roles tremendously.

    My best friend went to the same school in NY–though, we’re a bit older, so they would have never met.

    • Author
      Ruth January 10, 2018 Reply

      So cool! Me too!

  4. Susan January 17, 2018 Reply

    Awesome 8nterview with Miranda, I just checked out her music, such a great talent, hope we see more and more of her on Hallmark too!

    • Author
      Ruth January 17, 2018 Reply

      I hope so too, Susan! Thanks for your awesome support

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