Kristy Dinsmore's Pathway To Acting


Canadian born Kristy Dinsmore took to acting after her dance teacher found an agency for her when she was fifteen. Her mother had originally tried to get an agent when she was just three years old, sensing her daughter had a talent that needed to be shown. “It's kind of funny because my mom was shopping around for agencies. They were claiming I was too shy and my mom was like, there's no way she's too shy. So I kind of think it was timing. My dance teacher scouted me and found an agency for me when I was fifteen because I was such a goofball. She said, you have to act, you have to be an actress. I had no idea what I was doing and my parents were super supportive but they didn't know the first thing about the industry so I definitely made a lot of mistakes when I was navigating through it.”

A professional dancer, Dinsmore already had a strong background in the physicality of acting. She spent the next year auditioning and training, until she landed the role of “Young April” in Stormcell. “I had a coach and I was in musical theatre. I think that really helped me, because we were doing so many of those productions all the time. So that was the training, the formal training and then an acting coach.”

The character spoke to her on a personal level, the hardship of her mother passing away when she was nine, seeping into the role. “I've always been very open emotionally. I think it’s because of my life experience. I had lots of tragedy and trauma as a child. My mom was sick with cancer for three years and she passed away when I was nine years old.”

The crossover from dancing to acting was made easier by Kristy's dedication to study as well as her innate ability to put the emotional work into her performances on stage and screen. “Dance is all physicality. It does help you be free in your body in acting, and they go hand in hand. They're both important for acting. I think if you're an actor you should take dance classes. Everything helps and it’s just another form of art. I won an award when I was dancing for the “most promising dancer”, and I remember my dance teacher praising me in class one day. She said, when you watch Kristy dance, she feels everything on stage. It feels like telling a story to the audience.”


Playing Amma on Vikings

Her most notable role to date is Amma from the History Channel's hit series, Vikings. In the world of Vikings, she lives with tenacious men and equally as resilient women. “One of the reasons I love the Scandinavian culture is that women and men are equal. I think that's so amazing. Vikings definitely is crazy because they humanize the characters in a world that is so far in the past.”

Despite the harsh environment her character lives in, Dinsmore has bought a softness to the role. “My character's name, Amma, means to nurture or to breastfeed. We have such a supportive cast. I am so blessed to be part of something so cool, because women had a say in the project.”

Kristy has a knack for keeping her eye on the bigger picture as a way to motivate herself through the downtimes in the industry. “My dream would be longevity in my career and to be able to play something completely outside of the box, or something people wouldn't normally expect me to play.”

Fascinated with horror on film, Dinsmore's dream roles are unexpected. “I think it would be fun to dress up as something unrecognizable, like a monster for horror. I really enjoy fantasy. I love Alice in Wonderland and horror movies like It. I also love Quentin Tarantino. The worlds that he creates are right up my alley. I'm a darker person so I gravitate to darker, gritty stuff.”


Growth strategies and personal projects

Having a strong support network is necessary not just for acting, but really for any job. Kristy has made sure to surround herself with inspiring and nurturing people, crediting them and her late mother with the success of her career. The women who came together after her mother's passing, have been dubbed angels by Kristy. “I feel it's kind of spiritual for me. My boyfriend said your mother gave you enough love in those nine years to last a lifetime. All these women who collectively came together throughout my childhood and my career have had my mom in them a little bit. I feel like they're sprinkled with my mom in them, and I take it as a sign that my mom is watching over me.”

There are a select few people in the industry who have particularly helped Dinsmore in her pursuit of acting. “My boyfriend's mother is my confidant,” she shares. “I go to her for all advice, and she was an actress as well. She gives amazing feedback and is really honest with me. I really appreciate that. I also really look up to Katheryn Winnick on our show (Vikings) – we had really honest and open conversations about feminism and having the courage to keep going despite obstacle, and not give up.”

Using the power of her voice Kristy has turned her experiences into something seriously positive. “Having conversations with other women, I sense that I'm coming more into my womanhood. When I said that there was a collective group of women around me when I was growing up, they helped shape me into the woman that I am today. My brother and dad are amazing, I grew up with a lot of boys. I've become this whole feminist and I love it.”

She started a project called RAOK – Random Acts Of Kindness, and found Farrah Aviva's project Bite The Bullet campaign at the perfect time. “Random acts of kindness is something I was really trying to push forward. And when Farrah told me about Bite The Bullet, I kind of put that aside because I was like wow this is exactly what I was trying to achieve.”

Coming on board the project felt right for Kristy. The message she was trying to put out there now had a platform. “Farrah is a photographer and I got some headshots done, and I opened up to her about what was happening in my life. At the time my boyfriend was struggling with addiction, so we really had a conversation about it. One thing led to another and she said you should totally bite the bullet for a cause. My boyfriend and I “bit the bullet” for addiction and breaking toxic shame and stigma. My story was that there were two different paths I could have taken. Dealing with my mom's death in a negative way, or choosing to rise above it and take it as a silver lining. Which I do with most things in my life. Even though my mom passed away, I believe that because she passed away, I am who I am today.”

Keeping positive is more than just celebrating roles, Kristy takes steps to remind herself to stay positive and keep grounded. “I write affirmations all over my mirror at home to remind myself that I'm perfectly imperfect, that we're all human beings, and to drop expectations, labels and stigmas.”


Advice to Aspiring Actors

Her advice for actors is simple. “The biggest thing I've learned about acting is to not worry about pleasing other people – this should carry over into your personal life too. Constantly pleasing people, is hard, and I feel like you end up confining yourself.”

For green actors, Kristy offered invaluable advice to take into the audition room. “I had an audition the other day and they referenced an actress from the fifties. I caught myself trying to emulate her, and I thought, what am I doing? I need to just be myself. Remember, you don't have to be anyone else, everyone else is already taken. Beat to your own drum, remember that you have worth in who you are, and that you're enough.”

Overthinking why an actor did or didn't book a role can often be the trap for a new actor, and Dinsmore suggested keeping it simple. “There's always room for everyone. Reserve your energy for people who have your best interests at heart. Successful people talk about successful things and other successful people. Also spend time on self love, especially in this industry, because you will face so much rejection. I think it's essential to have a good support system around you and also have other passions on the go. My acting coach has always said to me if you're not grounded in your personal life, then you won’t be grounded in your work. Make bold choices, show your vulnerability and take a risk to be brave to give the audience something to.”

Acting aside, Kristy has a myriad of things she likes to do. “My boyfriend and I are constantly travelling, trying to soak up all the culture of the places we visit. I think travelling enriches every life experience and can also help add to your toolbox as an actor.” And just like any other actress her age, she loves leading a healthy lifestyle. “Yoga and hiking. And Soulcycle, I call it my church.”

Catch Kristy Dinsmore on the historical drama television series, Vikings.

Talent: Kristy Dinsmore
Photographer: Noah Asanias
Article by: Melissa Riemer
Styling: Derek Perret
Makeup: Kelly Newman
Hair: Lara Marie
Assist: Farrah Aviva