Karen Cliche is an actress of twenty-five years in tv, film, and radio. Her love of marketing led to a side career in event management and brand representation with a passion for women-owned businesses.
What makes an opportunity exciting for you in business or in life?
There have been a few times in my life when I have had a gut feeling or an urge to pursue something out of the blue, and then the opportunity has presented itself soon after. This is how I know it is meant to be. One night I was talking with a friend about new things I wanted to try, and I expressed how I had been feeling like I see myself talking to young adults, on a stage or something. I kid you not, the NEXT day I get an email from my old high school asking if I wanted to be the guest speaker at this year’s graduation ceremony! I of course said yes and went back to my high school in Montreal 20 years later to give a speech to the young graduates.
There was also the time when I decided I really wanted to try fencing. Not long after, an audition for a show about the 3 Musketeers came up and I auditioned for it, and booked it! So, I spent the next 6 months sword fighting on a tv show in Vancouver. Not exactly fencing, but close!
What has been the greatest shift in your career or life and how did you navigate through it?
When my daughter was a baby, I started questioning my future as an actress and whether I even wanted to go back to auditioning or working 12 hours days on set. I always had other interests in advertising and branding, but had no experience or education in these areas, or even a resume! A friend suggested I take a seminar with a life coach for women in business for inspiration. At this seminar, women were sharing their stories, and when it came to me, I tearfully wondered what options were out there for a 34-year-old new mom with only acting and waitressing as work experience. They all told me that my personality is worth way more than a university degree or computer knowledge, because you can’t teach someone people skills. So with that confidence, I went home and pitched myself to an organic sunscreen company to be their Canadian sales rep…and they said YES! I proceeded to work from instinct, drive and passion and learned the ropes along the way. This launched my careers as a freelance advertising and sales rep and then promotional event manager. I am so grateful for those who took a chance on me.
What has been your favourite experience to share?
I always like to share that the universe loves clarity. When you are undecided and playing it safe, things don’t happen as fast. Anytime I have taken the steps to say exactly what it is I want; life works its magic it seems. When I quit my waitressing job with $300 in the bank to let the universe know that I was fully committed to my acting career, I booked my first TV series 2 months later. Whether it’s a vision board, or an open mind, always be ready to say yes!
What are you up to right now that people should know about?
In between voice work for television and radio, I have been producing and hosting a feel-good local TV show featuring immigrant entrepreneurs in Ottawa and are planning for a season 2!
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