Behind every successful woman is more women who inspired her, lifted her up and supported her throughout her career.
Canadian actress Megan Hutchings has a whole girl gang of supporters behind her. We recently caught up with the Toronto-based actress to talk about what it’s like to be a woman in a male-dominated industry and ask her about the five women who shaped her career.
The Me Too, Times Up, and Equal Pay movements are all having a moment in Megan’s industry right now and she knows it’s an important time for female empowerment.
“We need to have love and respect for one another. Life is hard, and we are all struggling with our own stories and obstacles,” she said. “[So] let’s not push each other down but lift each other up—there’s so much room in this world for all of us to have the life we deserve!”
For those looking to do what she does, the 25-year-old offers this classic advice: “Don’t give up and just keep moving forward! Be very kind to yourself, word HARD, be patient and don’t let getting the job or not define your self-worth… Make sure [you] find a strong sense of self before committing to this industry. I didn’t when I first started out and it was really hard to navigate this world and to love myself when I was constantly being told ‘No.’”
Currently, Megan is starring in the new BET legal drama series In Contempt, which follows lead character Gwen Sullivan, an opinionated New York attorney whose passion makes her arguably the most talented public defender in her district. Megan plays the role of Tracy Campbell, a sassy lawyer from the South who is Gwen’s best friend and roommate.
When she’s not acting, Megan keeps busy volunteering with animal shelters, along with building dream catchers for her own non-profit ‘Dreams of Rescue’ in which all proceeds are donated to an animal rescue.
THE FIVE WOMEN WHO MADE ME
I get my love and compassion for animals from her. She taught me no creature is unimportant or too far-gone to ‘save.’ She was constantly bringing home stray cats and dogs, injured squirrels and raccoons, turtles, mice, you name it—my mom was saving it or finding it a home.
This is actually six girls, but we like to think of ourselves as one unit. I met these girls in elementary school and we’ve been best friends since. We all lived in the neighbourhood ‘The Rosegarden’ hence the name. They have taught me family, unconditional love, what strong independent women are and so much more. They have always supported me and encouraged me to chase my dreams. All their mothers are included in this too! They’re beautiful women—inside and out.
OK—I know he isn’t a woman but he did play mom for many years and he really is the most important figure in my life. My dad was a single father who often had to act as mom too. He was my shoulder to cry on about boys, bought me my first box of tampons, my outfit helper, my makeup chooser, my confidant, my rock. He has always supported my dream to be an actress and has never made me feel like I should have a ‘plan B’ or ‘be realistic.’ He drove me to every audition, ran lines with me, encouraged me, pushed me and always made me feel special.
This is my grade three/four teacher and I don’t know where she is now, but she really paid attention to me during these years and made me feel seen and heard. At times I felt very alone and down but Mrs. Nixon was there for me. She made me feel important and loved—and I thank her for that.
I know! Cliché. But for some reason Marilyn has always captured my heart and attention. She had this deep loneliness and sadness to her but shone so bright. Her love for animals and to find something bigger and magical in her life is something I can very much identify with.