Janet McMordie


Doctor, Actor & Podcast Host


Dr. Janet McMordie is a fellowship-trained sport medicine physician. She is also an actor, voiceover artist, improv and stunt performer. She decided to simultaneously pursue acting at the beginning of the pandemic when she found herself sprinting into the inevitable burnout that comes from being a doctor in a global pandemic.

She also hosts Second Act Actors, a podcast that celebrates other people who have made a major life and/or career change into acting.

"Embracing change and transforming fear into fearlessness"


When did it all start?
I come from a very creative but logical, frugal, and pragmatic family. Nobody ever told me that I shouldn’t pursue a career in the arts. I think I just forced myself away from it to a more proper, financially stable, and honestly, what I thought to be a more socially impressive career path. I did a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Kinesiology. I then went to medical school and did a family medicine residency followed by a fellowship in sport medicine. I currently practice primary care sport medicine as well as do some surgical assisting at my local hospital.

I started acting at the beginning of the pandemic. The Second City in Toronto was doing free online comedy shows for health care workers and I loved them so much. I realized that I wanted to learn how to perform like that too. As a healthcare worker, I felt like I was no longer working in a system that I wanted to be in and that I was constantly being put in unsafe situations. I looked around and sadly thought “what is the point?”. Nobody is supporting us anymore and I’m tired of being the punching bag for a failing system that is doing nothing to help its front line. I want and need a change. Another trigger for change, which I didn’t realize at the time started the fire burning in me, happened nine years ago when my Mom was diagnosed with cancer and passed away. Everyone always talks about life being too short and we all kind of laugh and say “yea yea okay”. But I literally saw life being too short for the most incredibly kind, compassionate, creative human right before my eyes. It broke me but also woke me up.

I was getting more and more burnt out as the pandemic raged on so I started searching for an outlet…something creative. Something completely separate from medicine, an escape.

Everything was online so it was easy to take acting classes at these amazing studios in Toronto and New York without having to leave my house. I absolutely loved it and after a showcase, I had an agent reach out to me, I signed with them, and I started auditioning! I also connected with my local community theatre and have started doing theatre productions again for the first time since high school!

I have been continuously taking acting, voiceover, motion capture, and improv classes. I started meeting more and more people like me who were making big changes in their life and switching careers into acting. I was so fascinated by their stories that I started a podcast called Second Act Actors where I chat with and celebrate these people.
If you were an advertisement, what would your slogan be?
Embracing change and transforming fear into fearlessness
What does your career mean to you?
I’ve had a rocky relationship with the word “career”. I let my career as a doctor define me for years to the detriment of my health, both physically and emotionally. My career took priority over my relationships with not just my family and friends, but myself. I’m trying to find a better balance between my medical career which provides me with financial independence and scientific curiosity and my creative career which provides me with colorful joy and emotional challenge.
What is your main motivation?
It’s funny because if I look at the scientific theories behind motivation, more specifically, The Self-determination Theory, my medical career and acting career cover all three basic needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. In my medical career, I feel quite effective, capable, and in control of my actions and decisions. I feel minimally connected to others, however. In my acting career, I feel so intimately connected to other humans but completely out of control and incompetent! This is why we need to find careers, hobbies, and interests that blend all three of these needs. Trying to get all three needs met by one thing is an exercise in futility! You’re going to end up disappointed and burnt-out…like me!
What is the part you enjoy the most? And the worst?
The best part about the entertainment industry, especially in Canada, is the people. I didn’t have much of a support system when I started. There were a few very surprising and soul-crushing naysayers. I embarked on this career change by myself, and my support system grew as I grew in the industry. The people I have met in the entertainment industry are the most supportive individuals I have come across and that is zero percent exaggeration. I was not expecting to meet and build such a network of cheerleaders and positive people in an industry that has a reputation for being anything but.

The worst part is the massive amount of nonconstructive, useless criticism that gets thrown in an artist’s face. Strangers say terrible things about creatives and their work online behind their keyboards that help nobody. This was a new experience for me because constructive criticism is a mainstay of medical education. Early in my acting career, I’d be seeking out critics trying to learn not realizing how useless and toxic most keyboard trolls truly are. The difference between the two is intention: most criticism in my medical career comes with the intent to push me further, make me a better doctor whereas the criticism I would read online about my work was solely to make the critic feel better about themselves. I am a massive people pleaser. I want people to like me.

I will never be someone who doesn’t care what people think of me. I will always care. I am sensitive and bruise easily. Critics hurt me and I don’t want to get hurt on purpose. So, I don’t look at reviews or comments anymore. I just don’t.
Who are your idols?
My dad is both a logical pragmatist and creative soul. He takes risks and does things that scare him. He is incredibly compassionate and a huge contributor to his community. He instilled his love of storytelling and his love of learning in me.

From a career change standpoint, Ken Jeong will always be an idol of mine. He was a practicing physician until age 36 until his wife pushed him to pursue acting full time.
In case you need a break in your career, what else would you like to do?
Right now, I’m enjoying the blend of my two careers. I don’t think I would ever need to take a full on break from either of them but I think shifts in the balance between the two are important.
Do you consider that nowadays there are more or less opportunities for new artists? Why?
There are now more opportunities for new artists than ever before due to the rise of digital platforms and social media. With the internet, we can now showcase our work to a global audience and reach out to potential fans and collaborators. Social media has also enabled us to build a following, gain exposure, and connect with other creatives, leading to new opportunities for collaborations.

On the other hand, our industry can be highly competitive, and breaking through can be difficult. Established actors and industry professionals still dominate and it can be challenging for us new actors to find representation and opportunities. The pandemic has also disrupted the industry and affected many artists’ income and prospects.

Overall, while there are certainly more opportunities for new artists than in the past, it can still be a challenging and competitive landscape to navigate. It’s important for us to be proactive in seeking out opportunities and building our brand, but also to stay patient and persistent in the face of challenges.
What would your idyllic life be like?
Oh gosh, I am pretty darn close to living it right now. I think my idyllic life would be one that is characterized by peace, happiness, and contentment. I’d like to live in a close-knit community where people support each other and have strong personal relationships with family and friends. I want to be surrounded by nature but also continue to pursue meaningful creative work with likeminded creative people. Honestly, I’d like to be financially secure so I can have the freedom to pursue my interests and hobbies. I’d also like a Star Trek transporter to teleport me from my home to Toronto so I don’t have to drive! One can dream!
What are your next projects?
I have a few completed projects that are set to air this year which is very exciting. I am also producing and starring in a television pilot called “Trickle & Flow”. We have a wonderfully diverse, female -led group of producers and writers telling a beautiful story. I am so excited to bring it to life. My podcast just celebrated it’s first birthday and 60th episode! I will be continuing to release an episode every week until I run out of amazing Second Act Actors to talk too. Other than that, I’m continuously taking improv and acting class, auditioning, and looking forward to summer weather here in Toronto.


Do you want to know more? You can find some projects below.

Spotify Playlist