Meet the Model, Ariana
Who are you (in one sentence): I’m Ariana (pronounced Air-ree-aa-nuh) Marquis, a 21- year old bilingual actress, producer, plant-based eater and a Scorpio. I also asked my mom what I should say and she said, “Free spirited, optimistic, hard working girl!” so let’s go with that too.
Current location: Toronto, Ontario
Dream job: Working Actress and race car driver
1. Hey Ariana, where are you from and when did you first get into acting/performing?
I was born and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick currently living my 4th year in Toronto. I got into acting as a hobby in my early teens. It sort of fell into my lap and served as an outlet during a difficult time in my life. I didn’t realize to what extent until this year, but I think it saved me in a sort of way. It quickly became a grand passion of full force thanks to a few dear friends, Tania Breen and my supportive family.
1.5 Where do you go to school and what are you taking?
I will be graduating in June with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Ryerson University’s School of Performance Acting program. You don’t need to get a degree to be an actor but I don’t regret getting one. It brought me to Toronto and presented me with a ton of opportunities, skills and the best friends in the world.
2. What’s it like going to school for the performing arts? (What are assignments like, how is it different from other majors?)
Unpredictable, emotionally exhausting and oh, so exhilarating! You’re being pushed, stretched and torn constantly with good intentions. You’re in school 6 days a week, all day long and most nights. You have to be resilient since you’re constantly working with new people and your schedule changes. If anything, it’s taught me the importance of self-care. It’s hard to describe theatre school but to make it sound as dramatic as possible, we do roll around pretending to be animals, act out our own birth and wear clown noses (not simultaneously).
3. How many plays/productions/commercials have you been in?
I've just counted! 16 plays, six films (not counting student films) two commercials, and four more upcoming projects.
4. What is your dream when it comes to acting/performing?
The dream is to act and produce films about which I am utterly passionate. I want to tell my parents’ stories, my own, my brother’s, my best friends’, a stranger’s, my teachers’… Everything about creating is therapeutic. I’m the kind of actor who likes to be involved from the beginning to the end of projects, so producing allows me to do that as well. Oh, and my career needs to take me travelling!
5. Tell us about your most difficult role or performance:
For stage, I recall Peter Pan was pretty challenging, and I shot a film last May in New Brunswick called The Beautifully Drowned. It taught me so much about myself as an actor. I got to try out some tools I had learned in school. I was deeply invested so, at times, it was very difficult to get out of those places. All in all, it’s been the best experience I’ve had. The film is on the festival circuit and has won some awards in Canada and the States!
(You can check out the trailer here!)
6. What kind of roles entice you the most:
Roles that magnify the human condition. Anything that I can relate to on a personal level or something that permits me to do lots and lots of research on a topic.
I admire Marion Cotillard in Two Days One Night, Joanne Woodworth in The Three Faces of Eve and the cast of Mommy, to name a few.
But right now, I’d just love to play any role that would mean I could work with some of Canada’s best directors like Xavier Dolan, Bruce McDonald, Gia Milani, Ingrid Veninger, Atom Egoyan, and Valerie Buhagiar. My dear friend Denis Theriault (Also from Fredericton!), is definitely at the top of my list.
I’m excited about the work being produced in Canada and I have a strong desire to continue to develop it.
7. How competitive is the industry?
It’s like, going the wrong way on the 401 during morning traffic. (Not that I drive in Toronto but it seems to make sense.) However, I refuse to take an exit or turn around.
8. Tell us your three biggest interests besides performing:
- Anything that gets me moving (endorphins!)
- Baking/cooking anything plant-based.
9. You have a new website launching, what’s it all about?
It’s shameless promotion for myself as an artist. However, I’ve added a fun twist which is a page that includes a network of creators with whom I’ve collaborated before and their own sites! For example, if you’re looking for a headshot photographer, a makeup artist or even a bathing suit – you’ll find the best links to whatever you need on that page. I love bringing people together. They are all insanely talented artists.
10. Describe what a typical day looks like for you:
Every day is different. Some days I’m up at 8 a.m., some days I’m in bed until 4 p.m. but any day I have the chance to call my mom, stretch & get sweaty is a good day. I don’t like “typical” but balance is key.
11. What does your dream dinner look like? (Include dessert)
If I weren’t cooking, it would be straight off the menu from Planta, a high end plant-based restaurant in Toronto. Cauliflower Tots, Crab Cakes (made from artichoke hearts) or Kale Caesar salad, and the Chocolate Terrarium is a must.
If I were cooking, definitely guacamole, a zucchini noodle based bowl and anything with dark chocolate.
12. How women can empower each other on a daily basis?
Complement, encourage, support, promote, listen, love, hug. I can’t stress this enough. Empowering women is so important. Women are the coolest.
13. Name a woman you couldn’t live without:
Nelda Mabel Robbins. My mama.
1. Fave beauty product:
Lush’s Fresh Start moisture spray (Thanks, Georgia Love!)
2. Fave Netflix series (ATM):
I am terrible at watching TV, but I’ve been on Episode 2 of 13 Reasons Why for 2 weeks now so that’s the best I’ve done in a while.
3. Fave vegan restaurant in Toronto:
This is like asking a parent who their favourite child is… Planta, Fresh and Kupfert & Kim.
4. Fave clothing item to pair with your Kaia suit:
My high waisted Levi shorts.
5. Fave tropical destination
Bermuda (Meet ya there, Ashley!)