Born to Perform
“Being an actor is not easy, but dancing has a shorter career span. Once your body starts aging, to grow older, it starts to become a little hard to continue that profession. And where I’m from, it’s a little harder to book jobs as a dancer – then acting started to feel like the right choice,” says Sarah Jeffery. Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, she has been performing for most of her life: She started appearing in musicals and stage productions as a dancer when she was three years old, and continued on that path throughout her childhood and teenage years, participating in dance competitions and training in the dancing program at her high school. But despite her extensive dance background and her evident love for the art, Jeffery has probably been best known for her acting gigs, particularly for her tenure in FOX’s sci-fi drama series, Wayward Pines, and her starring role in The CW’s 2018 reboot of the 1998 series, Charmed.
Her pivoting from dancing to acting was unexpected. “I didn’t even know that I wanted to be an actress before my first project,” the 23-year-old actress says. “It was more like something that I was more curious about and thought, ‘Maybe, I could make some money doing it and pay for school.’ Then, I got my first project, and I loved it. It made sense to me. I’ve always been a performer, and I could see a more fruitful career in acting.”
Moreover, her artistic background has proven itself rather useful in the fiercely competitive field of TV and film (“I definitely feel like dancing has given me an edge and has definitely helped me with several projects I’ve done”). In addition, Jeffery can also carry a tune, which has led some to call her a triple-threat performer. And while she has taken a few acting classes since she began her career, much of her knowledge comes from her experience on set, where she has been coached by the likes of the illustrious Thandie Newton.
Beyond her performance background, furthermore, Jeffery’s mixed heritage including African-American, English and indigenous Canadian also sets her apart from many of her colleagues. “The thing with being biracial the way I am, at least for me, is that I can look very ethnically ambiguous,” she explains, referring to her Charmed character Maggie Vera who is African-American and Latina. “It is interesting to sort of navigate which parts I work for and which parts I am not white enough for or black enough for. So there’s definitely a sort of – it sounds odd to say – focus on my ethnicity. For me, I do know what it is to live the biracial experience, and I’m doing my best to shed light on that – I know what it’s like to live in a world where you’re a minority. I just want to do justice by the character, and I’m definitely aware when I am stepping into a culture that’s not necessarily mine.”
When asked about progress in achieving diversity in the entertainment industry, she candidly answers: “It’s a tough industry but if you want to tell stories and say something important, go for it – because we definitely need that.”
Writer: Monica Dias
Photographer & Videographer: Cécile Boko
Stylist: Bailee Edgington
Hair & Makeup: Natalie Malchev
Editor: Eiko Watanabe
Special thanks to Tuck Hotel (@tuck.hotel - www.tuckhotel.com) & La Monarca Bakery (@lamonarcabakery - www.lamonarcabakery.com) & EPK Media (@myepk & @epkmedia - epkmedia.com)