Anna Silk, BA’97, is in an airport terminal in Toronto gathering her luggage when she hears a voice behind her. “Excuse me, are you a flight attendant?” She is not surprised by the question. It happens all the time. She laughs and says no, but the truth is, for two 30-second stints, Silk was a flight attendant. She was the overly emotional and moody stewardess in the now infamous Nicoderm nicotine patch commercial where her character, Deb, attempts to quit smoking without using the patch. Her lavish mood swings have made audiences all over Canada laugh. But, this commercial was just one of the many breaks that led the Canadian actor closer to stardom. Although she now resides in glamourous Los Angeles, she still calls Fredericton, New Brunswick home and still visits a few times a year. Silk’s acting career began when she was just a child. Her mother, STU drama director Ilkay Silk, had friends who owned a production company in Fredericton and they produced commercials. She appeared in ads for places like Applebee Film Lab, Video Plus and the Regent Mall. But her decision to become a professional actor came much later. After graduating from St. Thomas University, she decided she would move to Toronto and devote herself to acting. “I took acting classes at a place called the actor’s network, which is an independent studio in Toronto. The teacher there was great for me and he taught me for about eight years. He really gave me the confidence that you need to get out there and start auditioning.” One of the biggest hurdles for a budding actor is finding an agent. This makes getting auditions must easier. Silk was picked up by an agency in Montreal and began her career travelling back and forth from Toronto to attend auditions. “I started building up a bit of a resume and then found a great agency in Toronto that’s still my agency there,” she said. “Auditioning became a part of my regular weekly activities. I’d go out sometimes twice a week, sometimes five times a week, for all kinds of stuff like commercials, TV, or film.” Normally, actors only get a day’s notice before an audition, so Silk says she works very quickly to get through the script. “You go on with your life until you get an audition, and then you kind of have to stop everything.” Now based in LA, she auditions for both American and Canadian TV and film. She recently appeared on the hit American show Ghost Whisperer and on CBC’s new series Being Erica. She has landed commercials for Miller Genuine Draft and Nicoderm. She’s also had roles on Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Where the Truth Lies, Mutant X, Puppets who Kill, among many other movies and television shows. Most recently, though, Silk is the lead in Lost Girl, a Canadian television series that is still in the pilot stage. In the show, Silk’s character, Bo, is a supernatural being who feeds on the energy of humans. A rebellious woman, Bo refuses to be a part of her supernatural clan. Instead, she decides to protect the vulnerable, all the while trying to understand her own mysterious origins. Silk says she hopes a network picks up the show. “I’ve never seen a show like this before. There is a lot of folklore involved. It’s pretty fun. The show is worth seeing, for sure.” Being an actor is not an easy life. It takes a lot of hard work, willpower and motivation. Most of all, actors need a good support system to help overcome slumps when it’s difficult to book a gig. Silk says she’s lucky to have a supportive mother who understands show business. “My mom is so supportive,” she says. “What’s also great about my mom is that she understands the business. She’s not that involved in the film and TV side of things but she really gets it, which is really nice. She gets what an accomplishment is. There are so many little ones along the way!”