You know her from as Danny from Carmilla but Sharon Belle has been turning heads in the numerous other web series she's had the pleasure of being part of, one of them being 9 Days with Cambria. 9 Days with Cambria tackles stigmatized issues such as mental health, sexual assault and more, that a young woman named Cambria has dealt with all her life. Created by Jason Armstrong and Mike Klassen, the series takes a unique twist in casting 9 different actors as Cambria, each of them starring in one episode. Belle wonderfully captures Cambria in "Day Six: Rehabilitation," with her genuine expressions and lightheartedness playing a newly rehabbed Cambria who still is so clearly struggling with her baggage. Read more on her role and upcoming projects below!
netTVnow: What was your first experience with web series?
Sharon Belle: My first experience was playing Danny in Carmilla, which is pretty crazy for that being the first thing. Now it seems to be like the only thing I do [laughs] projects just started piling up and I’ve done about six now, with a few that aren’t out yet and I really love it.
netTVnow: That’s awesome, I think I read somewhere you were in Female Therapy?
SB: Yeah! A friend of mine wrote it and I play the villain! Being the villain’s fun [laughs] that’s why I was so excited about evil Danny!
netTVnow: How did you get involved with 9 Days with Cambria and what drew you to that project?
SB: I worked with Jason (Armstrong) on a previous project and he gave me a call saying, “Hey, I have this project, we shoot in two days, I can’t pay you any money, wanna do it?” And after I read it just said, “Yes, yes, yes sign me up!” It was definitely the character of Cambria that drew me to it immediately, she has so much baggage [laughs] and as an actor you just know it’s going to be great. She has this crazy story but it’s so relatable at the same time. I related to her, those things didn’t happen to me but I could relate to it, it just spoke to me.
The process of filming is something I found really interesting as well. We weren’t allowed to talk to each other or see what monologues came before or after ours, it was a pretty isolating acting experience. That was a challenge which made it more appealing to me.
netTVnow: When I spoke to Jason he mentioned that you guys weren’t allowed to interact, can you tell me more about that process?
SB: It was like a rule [laughs]! I didn’t even know half of the other actors in it and I met them all at the screening for the first time. I mentioned it being a very isolated process because not only was I unable to talk to the other actors but part of the other catch was that there was no direction.
Because of course Jason and Mike (Klassen) knew the whole story but they didn’t want to mess with what we had come up with. Jason only worked with actors that he had previously worked with because he trusted them and he knew that they had good instincts. I thought it was a really cool experiment because I found that when I just had my monologue, I didn’t know what happened to Cambria before that, I didn’t know who she was or after what became of her after. I had no idea, so the words that were saying just felt so much more present because all I was saying, was all there was. Had I known what she had been through before or after, I would have processed all that information and changed a lot of how I had delivered. I think that’s the beautiful thing about the project.
And if you notice in every single monologue, Cambria’s talking about something very, very serious but every time, at least once the actor will laugh. I think not knowing all the before and after really helped lift a lot of weight from the words we were saying and just walking it back it felt way more truthful and that’s what you do in moments that are very serious, you make light of it and I think it totally worked out. And when I finally saw all of the episodes, I just bawled. Two episodes in, I was crying [laughs] and that’s the thing because when I was watching it, she still felt like my character. So to find out that she was violated, it felt like I had been violated. Not only that but I’m watching all these other women talk about it so it also felt like eight other women had also been sexually assaulted. It just carried so much more weight, it was heavy to watch.
netTVnow: You mentioned that Jason brought you onto the project, did you get to pick which Cambria you portrayed?
SB: No, that was actually an interesting thing because when I got the monologue I connected to it really well. So it wasn’t until after the screening that I went up to Jason and asked him how he chose me for this monologue and how he’d know that I’d connect with this one and he said, “I don’t know, I just had a feeling!” And it’s such a testament as to how precise he is as a director.
netTVnow: You’ve mentioned working with Jason a few times now, what’s it like working with him?
SB: He’s a fascinating person. Mainly because when I talk about the projects that I’m doing, everyone always asks, “Oh, who is she?” and that’s not the case, it’s this guy writing all this female-driven content. It’s amazing, he’s just got a really good head on his shoulders.
netTVnow: I was surprised when I found out he was the one that also wrote the series because you don’t get that kind of content written from a male’s perspective.
SB: I know, I’m in love with the project. There are two projects that I’ve done that I am emotionally so attached to and I just believe with all my heart that they are just wonderful projects and that’s Carmilla and 9 Days with Cambria. Carmilla did get popular and was able to affect people in a way but I feel like the content of 9 Days with Cambria has the ability to do that as well.
netTVnow: What can you tell me about the significance of the skeleton key that each Cambria is seen wearing?
SB: That’s actually Jason’s necklace, but I think it was just something tangible that would connect all the Cambria’s together and I think it was a nice way to show that we’re not all so different, even if she’s being played by different actors.
netTVnow: So let’s talk about Swerve, in the teaser we see your character packing up and leaving. What more can you share about the series?
SB: I guess how I would describe it, is it’s about three women who meet, who become fast friends. They all have their dark secrets and things unfold and that’s all I can really say!
netTVnow: You’ve done a few web series now, what is it about them that attracts you to that medium?
SB: I sort of keep stumbling into web series [laughs], they tend to find me but what I love most about them is the fact that they’re so accessible. It’s stuff like Carmilla and 9 Days with Cambria that I think, “This could help people, this could change their life.” And what if they were short films or a feature that didn’t get into any film festivals or it doesn’t look expensive enough to get picked up by distributors, then what? It just sits in limbo and doesn’t get to be shared with people. But web series are just so cool in that I can film Swerve a few weeks ago and in a month it’s going to be ready, you know? It’s amazing, I get to share it with people and talk about it.
netTVnow: Since we’re a site about web series, do you have any favorite ones?
SB: I don’t watch too many web series but the one I really loved before it went to television was Broad City!
netTVnow: Any upcoming projects other than Swerve that we can share?
SB: I’m currently working on a short film, sci-fi movie, that’s shooting in London, Ontario. I just did a voiceover for an animated web series and I have a few projects that will be coming out soon!