Carolina Bartczak...Got the Part

Coming from a family of engineers (mechanical, chemical, and aerospace), Carolina Bartczak followed suit and earned a biochemistry degree from the University of Toronto. But the scientific community lost a rising star when a friend suggested that Bartczak attend a local audition. Nothing came of it, but the acting bug bit hard. Shortly thereafter, the industrious young upstart was voicing the detective lead in "The Mysteries of Alfred Hedgehog," a French-Canadian animated TV series airing internationally.

Already a member of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television, and Radio Artists, the Canadian actors' union, Bartczak set her sights on America and relocated to New York. After completing a two-year program at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre and an improv course at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, she was ready to land her first on-camera role.

"I came across the film 'Plato's Reality Machine' while going through Back Stage at my favorite coffee shop in Brooklyn," she recalls. "The role really stood out for me: a girl trying to pursue her dreams in New York." Paralleling Bartczak's own story, the character, Maggie Phillips, abandons her professional studies for an artistic career in New York City.

The director of this SAG Ultra Low Budget feature, Myles Sorensen, had just learned that one of his leads had dropped out of the production, mere days before shooting was to commence. Bartczak arrived at the last-minute audition without any time to properly prepare.

"From her first read, she seemed to get who Maggie was and tapped right into her psyche," Sorensen says. "Then I gave Carolina some different adjustments, and she was able to alter her performance and explore with me, so I knew we could work together. She needed to be able to convey a combination of strength and vulnerability that is difficult to pull off. And she did it with flying colors."

Bartczak, currently represented by Richard Rosenwald, credits her improv training at UCB with allowing her to excel at the cold audition opposite the film's male lead. "It has been an enormous asset in auditioning," she says. "You're forced to let go of any preconceptions, of any ideas, and fully focus on your partner. [You're] able to immediately take notes and incorporate them and drop the preconceptions of the role that you brought to the audition room."

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