Billy Marchenski (Actor)
Acts of Imagination is Billy's first feature film. We asked him what attracted him to the screenplay:
Reading the script for the first time, I had a series of strong impressions: of ways to move the body, to speak, of personal thoughts and aspirations that aroused my own curiosity. These impressions pro- voked a visceral response. Maybe I was pulled into the world of the film by questions about my own history... In a way, the role of Jaroslaw is a study of how people manipulate their own identity, and their history, for the purpose of self preservation.
So we asked him how his Canadian heritage affected his perception of the character:
My biological mother speaks fluent Ukrainian. My adoptive mother comes from a German family. They are both first generation Canadians. I learned to speak German fluently. My adoptive father is Ukrainian, but for some reason he never spoke it at home. So there I was, in my Vancouver apartment, a 2nd generation Canadian of Ukrainian descent, a bilingual English-German speaker, trying to learn how to speak English with a fading Ukrainian accent.
An extremely versatile and hard-working actor, and one of the engine's of the alternate theatre scene in Vancouver, Billy Marchenski is highly sought after by a range of directors. He is a founding member of the fearless collective, Screaming Flea, for whom he recently played Bernice in Tying the Knot, directed by Paulo Ribeiro. His physical acting work was central to the recent success of Leaky Heaven Circus' production of Salome by Oscar Wilde, under the direction of clown maestro Steven Hill. Last year, working with psychological insight and subtlety, he carved out the lead role of Richard in the premiere production of Michael Springate's Freeport, Texas, directed by Olivia Delachanal. For those lucky enough to have visited the interior of BC this summer, Billy could be seen as both Malcolm and Hecate in the innovative Caravan Farm production of Macbeth, directed by Estelle Shook. Billy is a graduate of the performance pro- gram at the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. This is his first major role for film.