Brittany and Alex - IRL the Series

Actor Journals: Brittany

The Journey from Brittany to Brittany

The opportunity that we had with IRL and the platform of the internet to discuss and explore how social media and current technology affect our daily lives was a process I had never fully explored before. As creatives, I think we are constantly brimming with ideas. Ideas that we need to explore, submerge ourselves in and hash out, to really get to the essence of that concept.

With IRL we started our process by getting together to workshop these ideas, and real life experiences that people had and brought to the table to share. I think there is something so special about the coming together of creative people, creating a safe space to work where we could share and compare stories, not to judge, but to question and examine and delve into – together.

The stories, having come from organic places of peoples shared experiences, gave us a launching point. A base to jump from and explore as ourselves, and with our own personal experiences and understandings. As the cast is very diverse, we had so many different point of view and perspectives to explore. As “Brittany Johnson” the person, and the only place I can come from, I could bring my stories to the forefront and work through my feelings surrounding the topics. My initial feelings would be then expanded from further exploration within our group. I would go from Brittany Johnson who has all of her own thoughts and perspectives, to Brittany who has now absorbed many different points of view from the group.

Specifically in “Catfish Kids” my character has many of the same anxieties and fears that we share as a human collective. Especially when it comes to vulnerable experiences like dating, and image related anxieties. One of the things I explored with my character was the concept of creating a “concept person”. A carefully curated image of one’s self and what that could look like. And also, how lonely and isolating that can feel. Making me feel as if no one would ever really know or understand me. But was that my fault? I ended up branching away from anything too curated for Brittany’s character, because I wanted her to have a true and strong connection with Alex, all the while hiding behind a false image.

I believe that with IRL these topics that we were fortunate enough to explore almost took on a therapeutic element. Which is interestingly enough why I personally feel many people get into the arts. I for one know that when I create art, it has this incredibly complex, deep, often twisted feeling. And yet, despite all of this, in the end I always find it can be distilled down simply to making a human connection. Reaching out with your art and saying “you are not alone”. And I think and hope that is what we did here. What we did with IRL for our generation and our viewers. Because I know that in the process that is the gift this project gave to me. I could live in Brittany’s world while still being able to be Brittany, and have both of our stories and lives meld so seamlessly.

Brittany JohnsonWritten by Brittany Johnson

Brittany Johnson is a Toronto based actor and writer. Her recent television credits include Space Channel’s “Dark matter”, CW’s “Reign” CBC’s “Murdoch Mysteries”, NBC Lorne Michaels Produced “Man Seeking Woman” and more. Catch her as a marine cadet in “Mariner” premiering at TIFF this September.

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