When you first meet Caitlynne Medrek the two things you notice immediately are her passion for storytelling and the strong positivity she exudes. Actress, Director, Entrepreneur and Princess are just a few of the chapters of Medrek’s story in a career that has featured some defining highlights. Starring in the title role of the musical Pinkalicious in Toronto, a recurring role as Grace Stussy in Season 3 of the FX Network’s Fargo, various TV and film credits, voice over work for anime, and an impressive theatre resume are just a few of her many accomplishments.
As Medrek tells me: “I have never known life without the arts. From competitive dance, to singing and visual art, to plays and musicals, theatre school, directing and teaching.. since I could walk that has been my life.” Also equal to Medrek’s talent is the size of her heart, and nowhere is this more evident than in her work as the founder and co-owner of YYC Princess. This role in particular allows her to bring together her training, and her desire to pay that education forward and inspire youth to build their confidence and be themselves.
When I asked Medrek why she decided to start YYC Princess, she responded: “I started YYC Princess with the hopes of using influential characters to inspire kids to make art, create and be kind to one another. I wanted to use these already known characters to inspire kids to get messy, and to discover what being a Princess means on the inside. I know how much influence these characters had on me growing up and getting to play these characters myself is a responsibility I don’t take lightly.”
Through regular visits to the Alberta Children’s Hospital, work with many different charities and creating YYC Princess: The Musical, Medrek and her team of Princesses have made an amazing impact in the Calgary community, and have helped thousands of children find their magic. And which Princess does Medrek identity with you might be wondering?
Anna. As Medrek comments: “What DON'T I love about Anna?! I love how much she loved her family and sister, even after being shut out. She never takes anything personally, which in a career like acting where there is so much rejection, you just have to keep going! And I see that in myself. I love her big heart - always giving people the benefit of the doubt. I have a best friend - my business partner, who is the Elsa to my Anna, who I love like a sister, and I have found my Kristof too after many “Hans” moments. Clumsy, big hearted, willing to lead the adventure, red headed, likes reindeer… she is for sure the princess I identify with most!”
And what’s next for Medrek? In the new year she’ll start rehearsals for Theatre Calgary’s production of Billy Elliot The Musical in the role of Billy’s dance teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson. In addition, Medrek tells me that Princess Anna along with Elsa, Olaf and Kristof have some epic snowman building plans over the holidays!