Shoresy actor on going from bartender to TV star
With Season 2 of the Crave TV comedy series Shoresy to drop Sept. 29, CTV News sat down with one of the show's stars, an up-and-coming Indigenous actor from a First Nation reserve in western Saskatchewan.
Jared Keeso created, wrote and stars in the show as the title character Shoresy, which has six half-hour episodes a season.
"The half-hour comedy sees the foul-mouthed, chirp-serving, mother-loving, fan favourite character, Shoresy and the Sudbury Blueberry Bulldogs of the Northern Ontario Senior Hockey Organization (The NOSHO) continue their quest to never lose again," Bell Media – CTV's parent company – said in a news release.
Sanguinet is the triple A-level men's hockey team manager, who is much younger and the polar opposite of the rowdy and volatile captain Shoresy.
Sudbury Blueberry Bulldogs team manager Sanguinet (Kytwayhat) behind bench during hockey game. (Bell Media)
"When I was in like the audition process, Jared Keeso was telling me … he wants Sanguinet and Shorsey to kind of have this older and younger brother dynamic," Kytwayhat told CTVNewsNorthernOntario.ca in an online interview.
"He wanted Sanguinet to be like shy and reserved and myself, well before acting, I was that guy. I was shy and kept to myself a lot. I like to say I was always that kid in the corner you know when there was like big presentations, yeah, I was that kid sitting in the corner with my hair in my face dressed all in black. That was me."
Over the course of Season 1, Sanguinet grows more confident and talkative and he said you can expect more of that in this coming season.
Sudbury Blueberry Bulldogs listen to team manager Sanguinet (Kytwayhat) in the locker room in TV sitcom Shoresy. (Bell Media)
He pulled inspiration from his real life experience as the eldest brother in his family and being around older relatives growing up.
"That was the hard part because in real life I never had to do that. I never had to yell at, you know, older, more bigger men than me in like a bigger crowd and having to like take charge like that," Kytwayhat said.
"Like me, as Harlan, having to yell at, you know, ex-NHL champion Jordan Nolan or ex-NHL stars too, like Terry Ryan or Brandon Nolan (who also act in the TV show)."
The trio of pro hockey players – who all play characters named Jim -- return for Season 2 along with two northeastern Ontario actors, Keegan Long of Listowel and Bourke Cazabon of North Bay.
Three former pro hockey stars, Terry Ryan and Brandon and Jordan Nolan, play characters named Jim in the TV sitcom Shoresy. (Bell Media)
Joining the Shoresy cast this season are Frederick Roy -- the son of Hall of Fame goalie Patrick Roy -- international pop star Rêve, Catherine St-Laurent of Tu Dors Nicole and Jordana Lajoie from The Boys.
The clever writing and improvised on-set antics often have the actors laughing and breaking character during filming, Kytwayhat said.
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"It takes us a … couple tries for all of us to finally get out all the giggles and smiles out," he said.
And while the show has a lot of swearing, innuendo and some violence, the storyline is very well thought out and each episode connects together.
"We saw Shoresy in Letterkenny and he was just some guy that's just ripping on hockey dudes, you know, talking about their moms and all the other stuff. But in the TV show Shoresy, you know, we see a more open and like vulnerable (guy)," Kytwayhat said.
Jared Keeso created, writes and stars in the Sudbury-made TV comedy Shoresy. (Bell Media)
He was not supposed to be working the day a Vancouver talent agent walked into the bar of a golf course located on Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation.
Kytwayhat was covering a friend's bartending shift when Joel Sturrock came in with his dad around lunchtime.
They only chatted for a bit, but the bar started to get busy.
Sturrock said he was looking for a tall, slender Indigenous male to audition for a role and his agency didn't have anyone that fit the description on its roster at the time.
When Kytwayhat picked up his cheque the following week, the agent had left him a note saying to contact him if he was interested.
"I was trying to live the rock star life style, but the acting life called, literally," he said, explaining he was in a band at the time that was playing local gigs.
He ended up auditioning and was shortlisted for the Native American time traveler character Wendigo Donner in the TV series Outlander.
To get so far on his first try is unusual.
"Sometimes, you can book it within a week, sometimes you might have to wait 10 years," Sturrock told Kytwayhat.
So the novice actor, whose only experience was Grade 10 drama, decided to put the 'rock star' life on pause and pursue acting.
His first acting gig was a TV series called Tribal.
He then shot the first season of Shoresy and a movie called Prey, a story of a Comanche warrior fighting to protect her tribe from an alien predator.
Also coming out this weekend, Kytwayhat is in the movie Warrior Strong starring Andrew Dice Clay.
Growing up, he said he only saw a few Indigenous actors, but now there is more representation on and off screen.
"It's great to see like a group of us," Kytwayhat said.
Sudbury Blueberry Bulldogs owner and her assistants played by Tasya Teles, Keilani Rose and Blair Lamora in the TV sitcom Shoresy. (Bell Media)
"Seeing all of that representation on screen is just awesome. Because we're not just looking at one group of people. Like in Prey, we're Comanche, but behind the screens, we see that there's a Lakota and Nakota and Dakota in there. And there's a Navajo, there's Blackfeet, Blackfoot and there's Cree in there. And that's awesome."
Recently, he said he worked with Indigenous cinematographer Robert Hunter on a film where a good chunk of the crew were also Indigenous from both Canada and the U.S.
"It felt awesome to look across the camera and see an Indigenous man with like two braids there," Kytwayhat said.
"I was like, ah, that feels so cool. You know, it feels awesome, like I feel like I am not away from home even though sometimes I'm like 4,000 kilometres away, sometimes eight hours away from home."
He said acting has really helped him come out of his shell and that he hopes when other kids see him on screen it gives them confidence to try things too.
FILMING IN SUDBURY
Filming in Sudbury was the first time he was so far away from home for an extended period of time.
And having experienced both summer and winter in the Nickel City, he said the snow is not as brutal as it is in Saskatchewan and the Prairies.
"You know, I can still rock these casual boots and not my big winter boots. You know I can like style up in Sudbury," Kytwayhat said.
"Whereas over here, you have to really pad up and keep myself warm just going to the store or something, but it's manageable."
"I didn't realize there's a decent amount to do in Sudbury. Especially with like the hiking and going out," he said.
"It's so awesome to just be wandering about and have someone like quote Shoresy or quote even Letterkenny, because I am a big Letterkenny fan. So if someone quotes that I will be able to respond back with something."
He missed seeing it the first time he was in Sudbury, but Kytwayhat said he finally went to see the Big Nickel at Dynamic Earth while he was in town filming Season 2.
The first two new episodes begin streaming on Crave Sept. 29 with a new episode coming out each Friday after.
Viewers who know Sudbury will be able to spot places like the Sudbury arena and The Coulson in the show.
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