When the theatre called, Tessa Lupkowski answered. And she is so glad she did.

Tessa grew up in Portage la Prairie, but now lives in Montreal, where she pursued her degree in math. She says the two subjects were always of interest to her.

"I was always into theatre. I performed with Prairie Players, as well as my middle school, back when I was in Portage. When I graduated from high school, it was kind of a coin toss, whether I went to school for theatre and acting or mathematics, and it just so happened that I was accepted to mathematics first," Lupkowski continues. "So, I went and got my degree, and didn't really have much theatre in my life for those four years. It just didn't work out timing-wise. So, when I graduated, I was like, 'Okay, I've done the math, now I want to focus on my acting career.' It's been the usual story of the struggling artist, you get gigs where you can, you get to do some really amazing stuff, and on the other hand, you get other jobs to pay the bills."

She adds that she has had many amazing experiences during her most recent foray into the theatre and acting world, including a credited role on a show called Plan B.

"I played the party DJ and appeared in about half of the episodes in that particular season. That was pretty cool. I didn't have any speaking lines, but it was cool going through the whole process, having my own little trailer, doing the hair and makeup, because I had not experienced anything to that level as a background performer."

Lupkowski has been involved with two shows on stage recently. She performed as The Narrator in a production called Pindorama, and another show called The Great Divide.

"I'd have to say some of my top three roles have actually have happened in the past year. Last year I was part of a university production through McGill, called 'The Suicide of Semyon Podsekalnikov' and this production was really cool. The character I played really challenged me on an emotional level. It's a very interesting story too, kind of the fight back against Stalinism in Russia in the 1930s. This particular play actually got the playwright banned from Russia. The play was banned from being performed there and he only saw it performed way later in life in another country. So that was a really cool production," she stated. "And then, yeah, the two productions I was in just in June were really cool. I've never done fringe before, so being a part of fringe was really cool, great introductions, great team to be a part of with an absolutely hilarious piece. And then, The Great Divide was also really amazing. Again, a very amazing group to be a part of because everyone was so supportive and so dedicated to their craft. It truly was a treat, and it was also really cool to be able to perform on the stage in the theater where I also work as an usher, so that was a dream come true."

Lupkowski adds that she has been thoroughly impressed with those she works with and that, while she loves a great script and a challenging role, but it's the team of performers and creatives that really make a show come to life.