Tonight at 8pm will be the second season premiere of CBC’s Sort Of, starring York University alum, Amanda Cordner as 7ven (pronounced as seven).
Cordner is an actress, clown, dancer, singer, theatre creator, playwright and filmmaker, and graduated from York with a BFA in Theatre. She has always been incredibly active within the arts and theatre, having been in her first play at twelve years old before attending an arts high school, after which she received a theatre degree from York.
Currently, Cordner is stars in CBC’s Sort Of, a sitcom set in and filmed in Toronto which follows Sabi, a non-binary millenial and youngest in a large Pakistani family, as they navigate relationships of all kinds, claim their identity, and tackle the everyday obstacles that make up life — all with the support, strength, and at times, tough love of their friend, 7ven.
“7ven’s hilarious, and deeply in love with their friends and with living an authentic life — whatever that means to 7ven. 7ven likes creating and being around art, and speaking wise truths whenever possible,” Cordner says of her character.
Cordner and 7ven clearly share these attributes as she opens up about the courage it takes to follow your dreams.
“I worked many different jobs and never picked anything that could stop me from pursuing a career in performance. I quit many jobs and burned many bridges because it came down to choosing between showing up for a shift or finishing this day on set or an audition,” says the actress.
While attending York, Cordner also worked for York Athletics as a sporting events host and balancing her theatre degree. She says, “I loved my program, I loved being part of the varsity sport world and the theatre world. Those are two huge communities at the university and I thrived in both!”
Currently, Cordner is working on a production of Snow White with the Young People’s Theatre, wherein she plays the titular character, among a handful of others. The play utilizes only two actors to play the entire cast, and while the process is tiring, the actress is excited about it, saying, “it’s beautiful [and] I can’t wait to be back onstage.”
Cordner has directed her own theatre shows in the past and looks to the possibility of directing more in her future, and credits part of her knowledge and success to her time at York.
“What creative ensemble gave me was a way to create work — I know how to create my own work,” says Cordner. “I know to how to devise and develop a show, and that’s what I did with my best friend. We created Body So Fluorescent together, toured it across Canada and the U.S., made it into a movie, it’s getting published this year, it’s going to be in the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre next year. It gave me a set of tools and made me a versatile creator and performer.”
Cordner is clearly a powerhouse who plays her roles with the same strengths and convictions she lives by. As for fellow York students and alumni, and creatives, in general, she says, “don’t wait around for people to give you a job. Create your own work — it’s possible and it’s, sometimes, the only way in.
“You could be waiting forever for someone to give you an opportunity, so make your own.”
You can watch Sort Of season one and the first two episodes for free at CBC Gem.
To catch Amanda in the Young People’s Theatre production of Snow White, you can learn about the production and purchase tickets here.
You can also learn more about Body So Fluorescent and purchase tickets for its season at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre here.