Nadine Whiteman Roden – Take Note

Words + Interview By Tyrone Davis

Nadine Whiteman is an actress who has appeared in “Faith Heist”, “Jigsaw”, and “Shazam!”, to name a few. She and I discussed following one’s dreams, social media, “Taverna Talk” and the upcoming Peacock TV-series, “Take Note”.

You’re starring as Drea Richards in the upcoming comedy series, “Take Note”. Tell us about this series and your role.
I’m so excited about this show! Take Note is a musical comedy series that is going to be airing on Peacock. I play Drea Richards, the mom to Jaxon Richards (played by Sebastian Spence) and Calvin Richards (played by Braelyn Rankins) who is one of the contestants in this fictionalized tween singing competition, Take Note. She is a fun loving, no-nonsense mama Bear. She and her husband Reggie (played by Aadin Church) would do anything for their family and lucky thing because they spend the summer supporting Calvin in his dreams to become a singer as he competes in this competition. The show is full of laughs and great music with performances.

Aside from your character in the film, what is your take on the support system of the average family when one is trying to pursue their dreams? Some say they receive plenty of support but a lot don’t.
I think that having the support of your family is huge when pursuing a career like this but I also think the support of your chosen family is also just as important. I think you have to find your people to be your inner circle who can also be your support system. Not everyone in this industry has a family who are going to be in their corner.  I’ve been very lucky. I have a mom that is awesome and supports me through everything but even she was not overjoyed when I told her when I said I wanted to be an actor.  If you don’t have family support, I think great friends can be just as great support.

Who was your biggest supporter growing up and how is your relationship today?
My biggest supporter growing up was my mom. She honestly would have done anything for me. We didn’t have a lot of money going up but somehow I never seemed to miss out on all the things that I wanted to do from piano lessons to dance lessons to acting classes. She is the best. She’s still my biggest supporter.

Have you ever participated in a talent show? If so, what happened?
Oh dear baby Jay, no I never did talent shows. I did a lot of school plays and public speaking competitions as a kid but a talent show??? That was not my jam. Heck, I don’t even like to go to karaoke. I am too self-conscious for that.

What kind of impact do you think social media has had on the talent pool in entertainment as a whole? Do you think people appreciate entertainment as they did before it was being thrown at them from every angle?
I think that people actually appreciate entertainment even more. I think, especially during the first year of the pandemic, there was nothing else to do really other than watch TV or consume entertainment. Also, I think with the sheer amount of content that is out there right now we’re hearing a lot of different voices so people can see or enjoy or consume as much content as they like. Different countries, different styles, are much more easily accessible than it was even five years ago.

What kind of advice could you give aspiring entertainers?
Make sure that you love the art form of acting. Make sure that it is something that you hold near and dear and feels you with joy because there are crazy ups and downs and curve balls that this business is going to throw at you and you have to be sure that the art of acting feels you with joy. Otherwise, I don’t think it’s something that is sustainable.

What is your dream role?
Oh that’s easy. I want to play a superhero. One of my favorite shows as a kid was Bewitched and I loved that Samantha could wiggle her nose and had these magical powers. I’d love to play a role that had magical powers or super strength or something like that. That would be super fun! See what I did there?!

How did you manage to land roles in both 2017’s “Jigsaw” and 2021’s “Spiral” as different characters?
You caught that, did you? You just never know where I might pop up, eh?

I’ve been a huge fan of the “Saw” series, having seen quite a few of them in theaters. Had you watched any of them prior to working on them? If so, which are your favorites? 
I think the first Saw movie is my favorite one. I have a vivid memory of ordering a bunch of food and watching that movie with the cast of Mamma Mia! (Las Vegas) and screaming like banshees. It was great!

Tell us about “Taverna Talk”.
Oh my gosh, that is hilarious! Taverna Talk! Okay, during Mamma Mia! in the Las Vegas company, there’d be a bunch of us that would sit at the back of the taverna. If you’ve ever seen the show it is a big set piece that moves around that creates different scenes in the show and wait for our cue for the first production number called Money Money Money. There were about six of us who sat back there and kind of caught up on our day. What did you do? What did you eat? How are you doing? How are you feeling? It was just such a great check-in. We would just Keke and giggle and catch up some of my best times in Mamma Mia! was behind that set having Taverna Talk.

Name 5 places on your travel bucket list.
Africa……the whole continent! Thailand, Australia, France, and South Korea.

What do you love most about Canada?
I love how different Canada is from coast to coast. It’s just kind of amazing going from PEI all the way to BC. It is really a vast, incredible country. I love how untouched a lot of the country is. There is just so much beauty!

As someone who has heard of but am not fully familiar with, what can you tell us about Pilates and your relationship with it?
Ooooooo Pilates!!!!! Pilates is a core conditioning exercise modality that works on all of your muscles from your shoulders all the way down to your knees. I was introduced to Pilates years ago. I was having back pain and was watching a show and was told that this modality would really help me. I couldn’t find a practitioner anywhere. Years later, I moved to Las Vegas to do a show and was introduced to it by one of my friends in the show and instantly fell in love with it. It just made sense to me and within a few weeks the instructor told me that she thought I would make a great instructor. I have been teaching since 2008 and I absolutely love it. I love how strong it makes you feel. I love that it makes you accomplish things that you didn’t think you could accomplish by just putting in the work by just focusing and going deep. That was my favourite thing about being an instructor; watching people get strong and progress and do things they thought they could never do and I love it. I need to do more of it.

What have you learned about yourself during the pandemic that has really stuck with you?
I learned how much I really love and cherish my friends. I spent many a Thursday night having Zoom dinners with friends and how much their support really  buoyed me through during that time. Knowing that we all were going through this kind of collective unprecedented time, I know we are all sick of that phrase! That being said, I also realized which I think I’ve always known is that I really like my own company, spent a lot of time alone during the pandemic and I was kind of okay with it. Also, I realized that I needed a reset. I needed to cut away things that didn’t serve me anymore and that first lockdown really allowed me to do that.

When does “Take Note” premiere? 
Take Note premiers on Peacock on February 23, 2022.

Lastly, how can you be reached via social media?
You can find  me on Instagram @nadinerwhiteman Twitter @NadineRoden.

Photos of Nadine By John Bregar.

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