” Oh come on ! » When informed of the enthusiasm with which readers welcomed our appeal to all concerning her, Edith Cochrane seemed sincerely surprised. “It’s really touching that they took the time to write down questions. » This is how the actress and host of Crazy times, new intergenerational talk show from Télé-Québec, responded to six of them.
What was your second career choice? If you had to start again, what would you do differently?
I have a lot of difficulty answering, because I started with a DEC (college diploma) in special education, when deep down, I wanted to be an actress. But it wasn’t something I wanted to admit, for fear of failing. Perhaps it was a question of pride or ego… After my DEC, I worked in a reception center, among other things. Afterwards, I decided to do a baccalaureate in teaching. So my third choice, in a way, is my current career!
It’s funny, but if I had to do it again, I’d do the same thing. Having an atypical background gave me a sort of perspective on the (cultural) environment. The first auditions I had, I went without pressure. Unlike actors who came out of theater school, I didn’t feel like I was acting out my life. In fact, I never felt like I was acting out my life in an audition. I have experienced immense disappointments, but always with a little joker in my pocket. I try to keep this sort of wink in relation to the profession. It helps me to be a little detached.
What inspires you on a daily basis to keep this freshness, this luminosity, this wonder in your eyes and your words?
First, I must say that I am far from always fresh. I have my limp moments, but luckily they aren’t shown on TV. But to feel good every day, I make sure I feel that I am free to be where I want to be. I allow myself the luxury of saying no. I listen to myself. When I’m somewhere, it’s because I want to be there… With all the obligations we may have, of course. I have three children. I can’t just do what I want all the time. But I still find happiness quite easy.
Are you in agreement with your decision to leave? TV kids to move on to other challenges?
Totally. Because there were so many arguments to stay. I am part of the small percentage of people in the Artists’ Union who earn a good living. But I just didn’t want to anymore. I left the LNI (National Improvisation League) a bit like that. Not because I was unhappy, but because I had a feeling that I was going to be unhappy. And I listened to it 100%. Out of respect for my teammates, the game, the spectators… After TV kidsI’ve done a lot of business: I’ve written two children’s books, I’ve appeared in two films, a series… And today, I host Crazy times at Télé-Québec. It happened at the right time. I had all the physical and mental availability to dive into that. But if I had been offered a tank show, I would have said no. It’s not because I have time and less money that I’m going to say yes to everything. It satisfied a desire to address people and have an intergenerational discussion. I find this extremely important today.
As a recognized improv player, what acting advice would you give to people new to improv?
The greatest quality of the improviser is listening. You have to listen with your ears, your heart, your body. It’s a really important tool. It stops us from thinking about what we’re going to say later. Because as soon as we start thinking about it, we no longer listen to what the other person says. For those starting out, I would also say be curious. Go to improv matches and observe those around you. Because there are wonderful people around us. My first characters in improv were my entourage, my parents, my friends, relatives. I took a lot of inspiration from it.
What was the impact of your participation in the Montreal Improvisation Line (LIM) on your career? What memory do you keep of it?
LIM has been extremely decisive in my journey as an improviser, and even as a human. I had been doing improv since high school, but when I joined LIM, it became a deep commitment. Before, it was an extracurricular activity between friends… And suddenly, we were playing Club Soda. It was a real spectacle. People were paying at the entrance. LIM also gave me self-confidence. That’s what happens when you’re around very talented people, people you admire, and you succeed in doing well. It’s become my social circle. I met people there who are still my friends.
Where and how do you find spaces of peace and joy in the face of everything that overwhelms us or threatens us today?
In human connections. It’s a bit paradoxical, because humans can be very ugly and very stupid, but I prefer to focus on humans who are beautiful, who are creative, who are tender. So, in my relationships with my friends, with my family. This is what nourishes me. In the human who writes, too. I find that there are people who write beautiful things. In relation to the earth. By planting flowers. It’s stupid, but that’s it. And finally, taking care of the people around me. Little things, little matters… We didn’t take care of each other so much. People tear each other apart, they break… Taking care of my loved ones is what I want to highlight in my daily life.
Télé-Québec presents Crazy times Fridays at 9 p.m., and rebroadcast Sundays at 7 p.m.