During this time of social distancing and dark theatres, Vancouver Presents is checking in with members of our arts community to find out how they are staying creative and managing during the pandemic.
Today we check in with Vancouver actor Chris Francisque, who was recently nominated for his first Jessie Award in the outstanding performance by an actor in a supporting role category for his portrayal of Franco Wicks in the Ensemble Theatre production of Superior Donuts.
1. How are you staying creative during the pandemic?
I haven’t felt the desire or need to. I think we are living in unique and unprecedented times, and rather than busy or distract myself from this reality, I think it’s important to be fully present, observe, and acknowledge what is happening.
2. What’s the one thing getting you through?
The curiosity of seeing what the world will look like when this state of metamorphosis and upheaval finishes.
3. How are you staying in contact with family and friends who are not in your bubble?
Texting and phone calls. I’m not really into Zoom.
4. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far during the pandemic?
That the world needed to completely shut-down and have no distractions to finally acknowledge and accept that systemic racism exists.
5. What do you feel the most grateful for right now?
That I am able to live in a time where I can see the revolution being televised.
6. What is something you are doing now that you don’t normally?
Sitting still without having anywhere to be or any commitments.
7. What skill have you developed since the pandemic started?
I wouldn’t say I’ve developed any new skills, rather I’ve honed existing ones. I cook a lot, and I’ve rediscovered my love for drawing.
8. What have you missed the most?
Meeting up with friends.
9. Your #1 pandemic survival tip.
Limit your time on social media.
10. Your biggest indulgence since the pandemic started.
Online shopping (shoes specifically).
11. What have you stockpiled?
12. What have you been reading?
13. What have you been watching?
The Simpsons, Hate Thy Neighbor, My Hero Academia, Psycho-Pass, Tower of God, Naruto.
14. What have you been listening to?
15. What are you doing for exercise?
Lifting my remote control and rapidly tapping my PS4 controller buttons.
16. The one thing you haven’t been able to live without?
My family (we get together twice a week for family dinners).
17. Do-it-yourself haircut or the natural look?
I recently got a haircut, but I had been growing it out for almost three months. The pandemic allowed me to finally get waves.
18. Night owl or early riser?
Night owl all day! (Or night, rather). I don’t understand early risers; they aren’t human.
19. Will you be the first out as restrictions are gradually lifted or taking a wait-and-see attitude?
There’s a great parallel to the story of Noah’s ark. After the flood, Noah sent out a dove to make sure it was safe. When the dove returned with an olive leaf in its beak, he knew the water had receded and it was safe to leave the ark. I’m in no rush to be the first out. I’ll let others be the dove.
20. What’s the first thing you will do when this is all over?
Organize a big dinner with all my friends I’ve missed seeing over the past few months.
Meet Chris Francisque
Chris was born in Montréal, Québec and was raised on the south shore in St-Hubert. Ever since he was a child everyone around him told him that he would be an actor.
He took theatre from middle school, all through high school and post-secondary. After college, Chris took an unexpected seven-year hiatus from acting.
He made his return to the stage in 2015 in Surrey Little Theatre’s production of Truth and Reconciliation, for which he won two best-supporting actor awards. Since then, he has been in seven other plays and signed to MNT Agency in 2016.
Chris has been featured in over ten commercials, booked five television roles, and two television movie roles. Most recently, Chris would have been seen in Le NoShow Vancouver, which was his French theatrical debut with Théâtre La Seizième. He was also recently nominated for his first Jessie award for Oustanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of Franco Wicks in Superior Donuts.