Image courtesy of Eagle Vision
We recently spoke with Darcy Waite who stars, wrote and created the comedy web series DJ Burnt Bannock, an APTN lumi original and Eagle Vision production. DJ Burnt Bannock premiered on April 11, and follows Kevin Cardinal (Darcy Waite), a struggling Cree DJ who is determined to chart his own path. He must prove to himself and the world that he has what it takes to achieve stardom, but his journey is about to go terribly wrong.
With support from his cousin Allan (Paul Rabliauskas) and tough love from his Kookum (Joy Keeper), Kevin is ready to take on the world. APTN lumi launched in 2019 as the first Indigenous-focused streaming service in Canada dedicated to providing audiences with authentic Indigenous stories.
We asked Darcy about being a storyteller, what it’s like writing, producing and starring in DJ Burnt Bannock, his love for comedy and much more. Check out our conversation below.
When did you decide that storytelling and acting was something you wanted to do?
Darcy Waite (DW): I always knew I wanted to try acting, but I never gave it a shot till my first year at university. I was taking a ton of classes and wanted to try something different. I googled “acting classes” and went to the first class that popped up. I don’t recommend that, it was pretty sketchy. But after my first couple of classes, I knew this industry was something I wanted to pursue. It took me a couple of years, I think about 5-6 years and a lot of showing up and putting myself out there till I really found my voice.
What can you tell us about DJ Burnt Bannock?
DW: DJ BB is a fast-paced slapstick comedy. It is about an Indigenous family. The show is for everyone, it has universal themes like never losing the kid dreamer in you. I put a lot of myself into the show, my experiences, my failures, and my worries and I think that the audience connects to that authenticity.
What’s it like wearing many hats on this project (writer, actor, creator)?
DW: It’s not easy, but we had a great team supporting and mentoring me throughout the whole process. I’ve worked as a producer, actor, and writer on other projects but this is the first time I’ve put all of those hats on for one project. It won’t be the last time I wear a couple of hats on a project. What this whole process has taught me is that if you want your show to get made and it not take 20 years you’re definitely going to have to put on a couple of hats, and as my dad would say, GIT’R’DONE.
What advice would you give to people pursuing acting?
DW: It’s really hard, but make your own work, learn to write, and produce your own stuff. Eventually, it will pay off. I graduated from film school in 2016. The first acting role I didn’t cast myself in, happened in 2020. The best thing you can do for your acting career is not acting – it’s writing. You know what roles you want, so go out and write them. But just a heads up, that also means double the rejections. I guess I’m just a sucker for punishment.
What was your first acting role?
DW: It was season three of Blackstone, I lucked out and landed a role 4 months after starting my first acting class. I thought “I was set, I made it!” I was so wrong. I didn’t get another acting role until two years later, then five or six years after that. Luckily, someone thought I was funny and asked me to host their kid’s show for APTN in between my second and third acting role.
What do you enjoy the most about acting and comedy?
DW: I love doing comedy. When I’m getting to act on or host comedy shows, it’s super fun and relaxing. Everyone is on set having fun and laughing, it’s the best time. Acting in a drama kinda stresses me out. It’s a different type of acting for me. I did it more when I was starting out, but now I’m gravitating to more comedy. That’s what makes acting so great because of the different genres for everyone.
DJ Burnt Bannock is available through the streaming platform APTN lumi and through the Apple TV app.
Follow Darcy Waite: Instagram
Keep up-to-date with us on all of our channels and social media accounts:
Apple Podcasts: https://goo.gl/y6tbA9