Hard Rock: Notable Actress Regina Has An Unbreakable Relationship With House

Sabryn Rock is an accomplished actress whose work can be found across the spectrum of television, film, and theater, but it all began in Regina.

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As Sabryn Rock reflects on her growth as an actress, she can’t help but marvel at the fertile land of Saskatchewan.

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“Honestly, I think there is something about growing up in a small place,” said the 36-year-old Toronto resident, who was born and raised in Regina. “I was fortunate enough to find the circles (of people) that I need to nurture this creativity. You get the kind of individual care and guidance that you don’t necessarily get in giant centres. If you find the right people, I think you can get the gold in a smaller place.”

Rock is a shining example who rose to the big screen from humble origins in the community theater. She currently has several projects on the go, among them a recurring role on CBC’s groundbreaking new series, The Porter.

Rock has made over 30 film and television appearances, including Taken (NBC), Station Eleven (HBO Max), The Expanse (Amazon Prime), The Strain (FX), The Girlfriend Experience (Starz), and a lead role in the 2020 movie Hello. You in sudden death.

If Rock had to pick one highlight, it would likely be a short spot in Netflix’s Black Mirror series. The 2017 episode was directed by Hollywood icon Jodie Foster, who made an instant impression on rockstars because – despite being put on the first list – she was just a “normal guy.”

“I will never forget this experience because she was the most generous and patient current director I have ever worked with,” Rock noted. “I asked if I could have lunch with her and she said, ‘Yes, of course,’ and we had a really nice conversation. I had 12 lines in everything and I’m almost apologetic for being there because she’s who she is. But it didn’t really matter that my turn was so small. She treated everyone the same. You would never expect a person of this stature to be so warm and welcoming, but she totally exceeded my expectations. So this is definitely a career highlight.”

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Sabrine Rock at The Royal.
Sabrine Rock at The Royal. Photo by Silla von Tiedmann

In addition to a long list of television credits, Rock has deep roots in Canadian theater as a director and actress. This includes her role in 2018-19 on The Royale, a play about the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion. Rock won the Toronto Theater Critics Award for Best Supporting Performance.

Like many actors, Rock left home to pursue her dream on a bigger stage.

However, she “strongly” disagrees with the perception that Saskatchewan is a no-man’s land for actors, noting that she frequently encounters fellow performers in Toronto who have coral roots.

“They always say: ‘You’re from Regina, too?’ She said, ‘How about Saskatchewan that’s in the water?’” There are a lot of people making names for themselves in other places. Aimee Matisio, Tatiana Maslani and Paul Nolan from Saskatchewan. These are huge names that do huge things so I think the proof is in the candy.”

Sabryn Rock has appeared in the civil rights era drama Caroline, or Change.
Sabryn Rock has appeared in the civil rights era drama Caroline, or Change. Photographed by Joanna Akyol

Rock cherishes her memories of performing at home, most recently a Globe Theater production in 2017. She made her debut with Globe as a high school student, but the seeds were planted much earlier when Rock overcame a bout of shyness by singing in church. That’s when her mother recognized the talent and enrolled it in singing lessons, among other performance-related activities.

“My whole family, we’ve done many instruments, and we’re very creative as a group,” said Rock, who has three male siblings (Bison, Cabral and Keelen). “My siblings and I spent a lot of time making movies at home together at home, writing, dressing up, and stage acting. Church singing got me out of my shell a little bit and then I was able to catch musical theater and choir in school and improvise and all those amazing things. Regina had so much to offer and benefited of every creative outlet they had at the time.”

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Rock caught up with acting at the age of around eleven when she joined Do It With Class Young People Theatre. She remained with the company until her graduation from LeBoldus High School, after which she left home for greener pastures.

“There are a lot of people who came through (DIWC) who are still acting on Broadway and in films and the Stratford Festival,” she said. “It has been a really long journey for me and I owe them a lot, specifically (long-time Artistic Director) Rob Orsan. It was a huge benefit to have you in Regina, as I received such great training from these wonderful professionals who have extensive experience and knowledge in theatre, arts and music “.

Rock’s experience in community theater helped generate the confidence needed to enroll in the National School of Theater in Montreal. She credits former high school teacher and playwright, Dan MacDonald, for being such a huge influence. The same goes for her parents, Paulette Mazink and Trevor Rock, who both had government jobs in Regina.

“My mum talks about always wanting to be a writer and my dad is really passionate about English literature,” said Rock. “They weren’t necessarily encouraged to go after more creative careers, but they were really excited when we showed an interest. They made sure we always had access to things we were interested in. So they are definitely the most important influencers, I would say.”

Sabryn literally turned that support into gold as a teenager when she and her brother Peyson were part of Team Regina that won the National Improvisation Competition in Ottawa. Peyson is now an actor in Toronto while Cabral is in Vancouver working as a high-profile special effects producer. Sabreen said the other brother, Keelen, does not work in the industry but is “an amazing visual artist and a great singer”. “So we’re all still basking in it a little bit — some more than others.”

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Stephen Kruczynski (left) and Sabrine Rock from Leppoldus High School in a 2005 Globe Theater production of HONK!
Stephen Kruczynski (left) and Sabrine Rock from Leppoldus High School in a 2005 Globe Theater production of HONK! Don Healy’s photo /Regina Leader Post

Cabral was another great mentor to Sabryn, who admits that she “basically adored him and always wanted him to do what he did.” She specifically remembers watching her older brother perform Shakespeare in high school and thinking, “I want to do that.”

Mission accomplished – then some missions accomplished.

Rock is busy these days with a variety of projects, including some cartoon voiceovers. That’s in addition to her biggest role yet – as wife to Paul Robinson and mother to their one-year-old son, Truen.

Although she struggles to keep up at times, Rock is happy to step back and think about where it all began – for her and so many others.

“There is no shortage of talent from Saskatchewan,” she added. “I’m talking about countless people I know in business who are incredible. It doesn’t really matter where you are from as long as you have the drive. If you are fortunate enough to have that kind of sponsorship and guidance, you can do anything.”

Sabryn Rock appeared in Love Songs - A Diatribe, by Golden Apple Theater in 2016.
Sabryn Rock appeared in Love Songs – A Diatribe, by Golden Apple Theater in 2016. Photo via TROY FLEECE /Regina Leader Post

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