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The Globe and Mail

I lost at the Canadian Screen Awards. And maybe that’s not so bad after all

Hannah Cheesman and Mackenzie Donaldson at the Canadian Screen Awards.


Meet Hannah and Mackenzie, two women standing at the intersection of legacy media and new tech, making "Internet odysseys," such as their new Web series Whatever, Linda, alongside television and films. Read more about their journey at Here, Hannah reflects on her first lost at the Canadian Screen Awards.

This week my Whatever, Linda co-star Terra Hazelton and I both lost out for Best Performance in a Digital Series at the Canadian Screen Awards to another talented actress, Supinder Wraich, of the series Guidestones.

For a series that hasn't officially been released, the mere fact that Whatever, Linda was nominated (and still is: On Sunday we see the results of the Best Digital Series category) is a coup unto itself. It also means a lot of people couldn't, and likely didn't, see the series to actually vote for it – but maybe I'm just being a sore loser.

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Actually, yeah, I probably am. Losing is a bummer.

But it's also not that bad to be the underdog. Especially when you respect, admire and genuinely like your co-nominees. It's still an honour to be nominated. I can forever write "CSA-nominated actress" on my Twitter account or résumé – or when I'm going through customs and have to write down my occupation and am suddenly struck with shame and fear when I scribble "actor".

So is the good and bad of being a total loser:


1) There are more of us.

2) You can always top a "failure" at some unknown point in the future.

3) You still get to wear a fancy dress, too much makeup, eat and drink at the gala and celebrate the industry you're in.

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4) Your boss at Orphan Black, Graeme Manson, holds your hand for the entirety of your category being read aloud, and still likes you even after you become a total loser.

5) Your co-conspirator, Mackenzie Donaldson, reassures you that it's just the beginning and then destroys your makeup by giving you too many lipstick kisses.

6) You don't have to endure the pressure of reading an acceptance speech that needs to be impressively meaningful, funny and entertaining all at the same time.


1) What do you do with your acceptance speech? Leave it at the gala table to be found by an unassuming caterer? Throw it in the garbage? (What I did: Put it in my journal. Some day that'll be a trip to read again … I hope)

2) You actually do care a little bit that you didn't win.

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3) Why did you spend so much on that outfit?

4) Nobody remembers you afterward. It's a digital category, and you didn't get to go up on stage.

That's six in the good category, and four in the bad. Maybe it's not so bad to be a loser!

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