By TIANA REID
The Mystic Effect, which takes place on Sunday, March 25 at Toronto’s Lambadina Lounge on Bloor Street West, is an all-around art show that fuses music, poetry, dance, fashion and film. Its creative director and producer, Stacy-Ann Buchanan, was on the cover of Share in 2005 thanks to her lead role in Marcia Brown Production’s Rosetta. And now, Buchanan is in another one of Marcia Brown Production’s plays, I Need To Know My Father, and again, featured in this newspaper.
Mystic? Not quite. But her circular career path does show the importance of networks, and also sheds light on the ways in which Buchanan herself cheers for the underdog.
When Buchanan booked a title role for Rosetta, she was in her last year at Humber College for acting in film and television. After graduation, she signed with a talent agency and has been auditioning ever since. But when things didn’t quite work out as planned in terms of the time limits she set for herself, she decided to take a break, think outside the box and, finally, went into modelling. “That took a big turn around,” she told Share in an interview. “I was doing shoot after shoot after shoot.”
“It was weird because I felt like I was cheating on acting with modelling,” she said. “Yes, it was taking off but it wasn’t my heart.”
And it was then that she decided to give acting another go.
“I find that theatre’s my heart and my passion but, at the same time, film makes more money and I hate to say that, but it does,” she said.
Buchanan migrated to Canada in 1996, and was teased for being thin so, like many performers, she sought refuge in her craft.
“Acting is the perfect ground for me to be anybody I want to be without having to explain,” she said. “It’s funny because a lot of people know me as a model and very few people know me as an actor because I keep that wrapped up in blankets. It’s very dear to me.”
After a six-month sojourn in Vancouver last year to test out the waters in terms of job opportunities, she’s back in Toronto heading The Mystic Effect which Buchanan describes as “a show skillfully intertwined and it fuses all the elements of art”.
Of course, the idea didn’t occur to her out of the blue.
“It’s something that came to me while I was living in Vancouver because I find Vancouver to be such a mystical city,” she said. “It’s a spiritual place where I went on this extreme spiritual journey and I know it’s something that I have to tell… that it’s actually a part of my story.”
Interestingly, Buchanan made a conscious decision not to use any big names in her show, but rather, she roots for the underdog because in many ways she sees herself as one.
“I believe that people are so talented out there, especially in Toronto,” she said.
In a similar vein, she has a do-it-yourself mentality, that is, she created the website and flyers for The Mystic Effect by teaching herself web design through Google. She also documents every single moment of the creative process, including her casting call.
“I like when people see from the beginning to the end – its development,” she said.
Despite the smorgasbord of entertainers, poets, models and designers taking part in the show, Buchanan said that it’s all flowing beautifully.
“The most important thing is that I don’t step away from my vision,” she said.
For more information about The Mystic Effect, please visit www.themysticeffect.com. Tickets are $30 each.