FancyFace.CA

Fancy Diaries

26

My Journey So Far…

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At 28 years old, I really feel that I have already lived many lives. I started my professional career very young at only 15 years old and that has certainly offered a ton of wild, crazy and amazing experiences for me so far!  

To fill you in, it all began with dance. Dance was my everything from 3 years old to about 24 years old. As a youngster, I trained 25 hours a week in all types of dance (ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, acro, pointe, modern, etc.) & was fortunate enough to excel at competitive dance as well. It was here that my passion of the performing arts ignited. I started to feel that this was what I was meant to do in life…Perform! At about 10 or 11 years old I began taking professional singing lessons to compliment my dancing skill set. I was told at that time that dancing would only get you so far…you had to work to become a ‘triple threat’ as they say. At 15 years old, with now a voice to audition for different projects with, my 1st professional job was dancing at Canada’s Wonderland in their theatrical shows. They were much different then they are now. Working there was an incredibly good training ground for the industry in general. After that, I went out on a limb and went to an open call for a movie that was going to be filmed in Toronto. That movie is now known as the Oscar Award-Winning movie ‘Chicago’ starring Catherine Zeta Jones, Richard Gere & Renee Zellwigger. Even though my agent told me they were looking for late twenties to forty year olds, I decided at 15 that I was going to take a swing at the auditions with hundreds upon hundreds of other viable women. Well, my angels must have been with me that day… I landed a part in the film as a singer and dancer to perform in ‘Cellblock Tango’ and ‘All I Care About Is Love’ with 25 other Canadian women who had also been selected. Once having the extraordinary opportunity to work on this film with the Hollywood greats, I knew I wanted to whole-heartedly pursue the industry and follow in the footsteps of Catherine Zeta if I could. 

The years following I got to work on quite a few Disney films, one being the dance double for Megan Fox in ‘Confessions Of A Teenage Drama Queen’. Working with these starlets from the far away land of L.A always blew my mind. I never ceased to feel grateful. From there I went on to be cast in two Mirvish Toronto theatrical productions. ‘The Producers” which I worked on for a year and ‘We Will Rock You’ which I worked on for approximately two years. Performing in 8 shows a week was amazing. It was tough, but it was amazing. I was living my childhood dream. All the hard-work and dedication as a youngster paid off. When I was towards the end of my “We Will Rock You’ contract featuring the remarkable Queen anthems, I decided I wanted more. In both productions I was dancing & singing in the ensemble which was great, however I knew I was capable of more. I then decided and set my mind on landing a lead role somewhere. An opportunity came up to audition for a broadway show being mounted in Toronto called ‘The Toxic Avenger”. When my agent sent me the songs and script, I immediately connected with the lead character, Sarah. She was a blind librarian who was looking for love. I loved Sarah’s tremendous humour and sweet disposition. I also loved how she didn’t judge others at face value… I really put my heart and soul into this audition. The director who mounted the Broadway show was coming to Toronto to audition actors and I went in with 100% confidence I was going to book the job. In my mind, I was already Sarah. The good news came in a few days later that I had landed the part. It was exhilarating! I had proven to myself that I really was capable of doing more. It was validating to say the least. The next 6 months of rehearsing and performing the show were some of the best times of my life! I loved the cast and I loved even more making the audience laugh night after night. It really was a dream come true. 

After the show closed, I noticed a shift happen. I was tired. I had been dancing for 21 years and was tired of the lifestyle of a theatre performer. I wanted my life back. My passion for dancing was fading… I wanted to be seen solely as an actress and preferably an actress in film. Ever since ‘The Toxic Avenger” that was almost 5 years ago, I have not been on the stage. I have been acting in TV series, TV movies, Films and in Commercials. I have loved every second of it. I love saying words (much different from dancing) and having a story to tell. I plan on pursuing my acting career forever. Its something that feeds my soul. Do I care to be famous?? No. Would it be nice to have your work noticed and appreciated…most definitely!! The most important thing to me is to always keep an aspect of my childhood dreams alive. Performing and entertaining in any fashion is really what I loved to do as a kid. I also feel that you are your most pure as a child. Your connected to what your heart really wants. I trust that childhood instinct and I think it would be a huge detriment to my spirit to ever completely let that go… 

 

Now to a different side of myself. 

 

I have always, as long as I can remember, been OBSESSED with makeup. Makeup stores, makeup products, makeup magazines, people wearing makeup… you name it, I was in love with it all! Doing makeup was another thing I was obsessed with. I loved trying new looks, putting it on for dance recitals, having makeup artists onset doing it on me… etc. etc. Somewhere along the way, I noticed that people were asking me to do their makeup! It actually started in grade 8. I had quite a few friends asking me to do their makeup for the graduation party. In high-school, I was the go-to girl for any cosmetic questions girls in school had or to apply their makeup for date nights of events. As I got a bit older, the word had spread to future brides that I was the girl to go to for wedding day makeup. “Hmmmm”….I thought. “Maybe it’s time to open a company?” My dad was an entrepreneur and I had grown up reading his library of books about business so it seemed to me to be a smart option. After a little thought, in 2006 at 20 years old, I started what is known today as Fancy Face Inc. 

Fancy Face grew at a pretty steady pace for the 1st 5 years. Thank god it did as I was still performing 8 shows a week with Mirvish at the time. I would always work weddings on Saturdays and Sundays really early in the morning and then head downtown to perform 2 three hour shows that afternoon and evening. Now that I think back on it, it was INSANE!! That was all after performing all week too! I don’t know how I didn’t keel over from exhaustion. 

Anyhow, about 4 years into having Fancy Face, the demands were really getting to busy for just myself to tend to. I found that brides wanted to have the experience I had given my past clients and didn’t want to go anywhere else if I was unavailable. It was then that I decided to hire & train my own team of artists so that hundreds of brides a year could experience what Fancy Face Inc. has to offer. I found 20 artists in Toronto and in 2013, I took a leap of faith and expanded to Vancouver as well. I have always had a love for BC. I filmed a movie in Vancouver (‘Once Upon A Mattress’ with Carol Burnett & Matthew Morrison from Glee) when I was 16 and also toured Canada with a stop in Vancouver for a Pantomime Theatre Show when I was 19, so I had really come to love it there! Also, my current acting agent is in Vancouver as well. So it all works out!  

Opening Fancy Face Inc. I really feel was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has brought me so much joy by being a part of so many women’s most special day of their lives. I have probably worked on over 1000 faces in my lifetime and I really feel that our company is making a difference by allowing women to feel confident in their skin to go after their dreams and desires. 

I absolutely love seeing Fancy Face grow. I love seeing the journey unfold. I feel like it’s my baby and I get to see it grow up! Silly I know, but oh so true. I also adore working with the team I have by my side. Over twenty women who are MEGA talented as well as remarkably kind and generous. They make me feel honoured every single day. 

On the beauty front, I have slowly become known as a ‘beauty expert’. Sounds fancy I know! I love giving product and technical advice to women to demysify the makeup industry. Everyone can look gorgeous! It’s just knowing ‘how’. In the past, I have had the opportunity to work as a beauty expert on talk shows like ‘The Social’, as a spokesperson for beauty lines on ‘The Shopping Channel’ & as a beauty expert on ‘Much Music’ as well. It has been tons of fun! I really hope to do more of it. I feel that being on television talking about all thing beauty really does merge my performing arts background with my beauty industry expertise. Its a match made in heaven!! 

Well, now your caught up to speed!! It has been a remarkable ride so far! I’ve loved every second of it! Can’t wait to continue this journey together with you on this new website & blog. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this & I hope you enjoyed it! 

 

Let me know what your passions, dreams and inspirations are! I’d love to hear from you!! 

 

Lots of love…. 

 

Brittany xx 

COMMENTS

Brittany Gray

Hi Darlene! Thank you so much for your lovely comment. So glad you enjoyed my part in the film!! :) I wish you all the best on your new adventure into Alternative Health. At the moment we are not currently hiring however we may be in the future!!! Stay in touch and let me know how your new journey goes!! All the best!! :)

Darlene Hebert

Brittany, I saw you in the movie today "Dear Viola" I thought you were quite the thespian. I have always remarked to people while watching Little House on the Prairie! If an Actor/actress' character can make you dislike her than She's GOOD!!! I just thought I'd let you know and hope to see you in more movies too come.was recently let go from my management job of 4 years :( I am embarking on a new adventure. I am looking into Alternative Health collages online. Scary because I'm 50 but feel like 35!! Maybe I can assist in your business have 25 plus years in sales & also a cosmetologist I am intrigued on holistic Ayurveda related medicine. And hopefully my hunch is right. Sincerely, Darlene Hebert

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