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Story by Joe Leary

You can usually judge an actor’s career by the depth of their resumé and overall credits. While it’s often a case of the more, the better, the quality and notoriety of the credits also play key factors

Erin Karpluk boasts an impressive CV, with a host of screen credits and standout roles. Born and raised in Jasper, Alberta, Karpluk majored in theatre at the University of Victoria, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2000.

She then moved to Vancouver, spent four years in Toronto followed by ten years in Los Angeles, and recently relocated back to Vancouver, where duty called. Her life has gone in a few different geographical directions, for which she draws parallels. I enjoy splitting time between Toronto, LA, and Vancouver and have been lucky to build community in each city, says Karpluk.

Vancouver is like my husband, as it’s where I ‘adult’ and live my off-time life as well as work, and also closest to Jasper, which I visit every couple of months. Toronto is like my lover. I go to work; live in high-rises that overlook the water; dine at fancy restaurants and visit the Muskokas, as I am in lust with Ontario cottage life.

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“LA is like an old friend that I love and get excited about, but also get overwhelmed by”

LA is like an old friend that I love and get excited about, but also get overwhelmed by. LA can be the most vibrant place and also the most isolating. I have a better relationship with it now that I’m in my 40s and have trimmed away the excess and expectations.

Appearing in a multitude of movies and TV roles, Erin Karpluk really gained critical attention in the role of Kate in the Canadian series, Godiva’s.

Auditioning, I thought there was no way I was getting the lead, so I had absolutely zero nerves and played opposite to the type they were looking for. Funny, when you have zero expectations and follow your gut, things have a way of working out.

It was a pretty intense working schedule, to say the least. “Canadian television shoots much quicker than American,  she says. “We shot the entire 13 episodes out of order, which is done to utilize setups and locations, saving time and money.

For example, all the scenes in my character’s apartment over the course of 13 episodes were shot in one day.

It’s ambitious and hectic, but certainly makes you prep and be organized and lose any notion of being precious. While “Godiva’s” was a major lead role, Karpluk is best known for playing the titular character in CBC’s “Being Erica. When I landed “Erica” I was so excited, mostly because I had never shot in Toronto and had no idea it would turn into the success that it was.” One could assume the responsibility of a lead role might bring added pressure. Not so, according to Erin. “I find it’s actually the least stressful acting position. As the lead, I’m given permission and creative freedom to “steer the ship.” “When I’m forging the trail with a bunch of support behind me, I have little to no nerves.

Welcome the responsibility and workload, and love being in every scene telling the story.

I only get nervous or feel pressure when I am guest-starring or joining an already established show, because now I have to support someone else and feel pressure to not screw it up.

As for her approach to her craft, Karpluk utilizes set criteria when selecting roles. What is the role? Is it fun and does it challenge me?

Secondly, is the story important to tell and does it help people and do I believe in the theme and message? 

Next, who am I working with?

Will the people be fun and will I learn something and advance my network?” Location and compensation also figure in the decision.

Where does it shoot?” she asks. Am I in Scotland, Australia, or shooting in a dumpster for six weeks and how much does it pay, because yes, this is a big factor.

If I hit two to three of these boxes I usually take the role, unless the other criteria really don’t align.

I am always looking to expand my range and welcome those roles that keep me up at night because I’m worried I won’t pull them off.”

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She knew I’d be up for testing it out as I like trying new things, especially if it involves being outside or has anything to do with water. We went every other day for three minutes at a time and read that getting in eleven minutes a week over three or four sessions was the ticket.

Erin Karpluk has covered a range of performances in characters good, bad and out of this world. I always joke that in my career I’ve had over 30 children; been married dozens of times been abducted by aliens have been an alien; have time traveled died several times and even slayed dragons
she notes of her range of roles.

“When I’m forging the trail with a bunch of support behind me, I have little to no nerves. I welcome the responsibility and work-load, and love being in every scene telling the story.”

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Erin decided to eliminate alcohol four years ago.

It was the best decision I ever made—no question! Since I stopped drinking, every aspect of my life has improved exponentially: career; finances; relationships; mental and physical health.

And my spiritual awareness has skyrocketed. I honestly cannot say enough good things about living booze-free, and while I don’t want to get on a soap box, I share my experience because if it helps people, great!

My poison was red wine. The sugar and alcohol gave me debilitating hangovers, physically and emotionally. Being free from all of that is like a shiny new start; like waking up from a bad dream.

These days, cold plunging is her obsession. One of my friends had bad psoriasis last fall and heard cold plunging would help, she says.

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