A Family Act
Westmount’s acting Camacho family:
who says you have to live in Hollywood to succeed?
By Mona Andrei
When you think of actors and acting, what’s the first thing to pop into your mind? Would we be wrong if we said Hollywood?
What about working actors? Again, Hollywood?
For many people, acting is a hobby—a dream—a career choice for only a chosen few. And by chosen few we mean people who live in … yup, you guessed it: Hollywood. Or at least that’s what most of us believe.
And then there’s this family of actors from Westmount.
Meet Mark Camacho, Pauline Little, Jesse Camacho and Sarah Camacho. With each having nominations or awards (and in some cases both!) to their credit, this family has proven that you don’t have to live in Hollywood to find work or even success in the acting business.
With each having nominations or awards to their credit, this family has proven that you don’t have to live in Hollywood to find work or even success in the acting business.
So how does an entire family get into the biz?
For Mark and Pauline, who married in 1988, their start in acting was very different. It was also very similar.
“My father was a national sales manager and my mother was a medical secretary,” says Mark, who recently won an ACTRA award for Outstanding Male Performance for his role as President Nixon in the recently released movie, X-Men: Days of Future Past.
“As far as I was concerned, nobody made a living from acting and certainly not in Montreal. That was just ridiculous to me.”
Thinking back to his CEGEP days, Mark describes himself as “more of a behind the camera kind of guy.” He studied creative arts, photography and filmmaking. And for fun, as he puts it, he was in the drama club.
“As I was graduating from Champlain College, my creative writing teacher asked me the question that would change my life: In a perfect world, what would you like to be?” Mark recalls. “Without hesitation I told her that I’d love to be an actor.”
His teacher’s reply? “Great. Let’s call up the Concordia Theatre Department and get you an audition.”
Mark went on to graduate from Concordia University with a BFA, specialization in Theatre Performance. Since then he’s built a long list of roles to his credit, including Guy Tozzoli in the soon-to-be released The Walk, Tony in Stonewall, Josh in Nine Lives, and Lance in LARPS Season 2, the comedy web series based on Larpers.
Unlike her husband, Pauline’s exposure to acting began with her parents.
“My parents were part of the Anjou Drama Club and they used to rehearse in our basement,” she says. “I would listen to them rehearsing and peer downstairs, and it just looked like so much fun.”
But then similar to her husband, after she got an A in acting, one of her teachers turned to her and said, “You need to be in the Acting Program. You’re really good.”
Pauline has been acting ever since. Her list of achievements includes an ACTRA award for Outstanding Voice Performance for her role as the Queen in The True Story of Puss’n Boots.
Her film credits include the role of Mrs. Higginbothom in The Education of Little Tree, Dinah in the comedy television series Misguided Angels (FOX). She and Mark also played opposite Dustin Hoffman and Paul Giamatti in Barney’s Version.
Although both Mark and Pauline never pushed acting on their children, Jesse and Sarah Camacho have both pursued careers in the industry.
Jesse, 24, was part of the double award-winning cast ensemble for The Canadian Comedy Awards and was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for Best Actor in a leading role in a comedy. He also plays a lead role in the soon-to-be released classic horror film The House on the Hill, and this year he was nominated for an Outstanding Performance Award for his role as Sheldon Blecher in the HBO television series Less Than Kind.
Sarah, 20, has been acting since the age of six. In 2010 she was the youngest nominee for Outstanding Voice Performance in an Animated Series for her leading role in the Cartoon My Life Me. Sarah played the title role in the cartoons Manon and Maddie and Dada, and can be seen in the upcoming miniseries The Fixer.
Images: courtesy of Pauline Little
More articles by Mona Andrei HERE
Mona Andrei is a technical writer for a serious company in a serious industry. When she’s had enough serious for one day, she likes to write irrelevant humour posts for her personal blog, Moxie-Dude.com