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Faculty Spotlight: Maria Ricossa

Outside of Humber, what creative projects are you working on?

I am a working actress, so I work in theatre, film and television. In the past year, I worked on a series shooting in Budapest, did a play in Toronto, and was involved in some independent films and webseries. I am also a street photographer, so I am always keen to hit the streets with my camera. I am currently working on book of photographs of The Beaches where I live.

How does your own creative work shape what you do in the classroom?

I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned in the business in the last 30-plus years. I am invigorated in my own creative life through working with young actors who are just dipping into the craft of acting. I’ve always enjoyed the investigation of human behavior: why people do what they do, their struggles their wants and needs. I look for this when I’m photographing in the street, and this is also the core of what acting is. Being a detective. Finding out why a character does what they do and how best to truthfully inhabit that character. I hope to convey this joy of discovery to my students. My own understanding and joy of the craft have only been enhanced through teaching.

What do you most enjoy about teaching?

I get to rediscover the joy of the craft through my students. Their enthusiasm inspires me. And I get to practice what I preach in my own acting. What could be better?

As a faculty member, you inspire the next generation of artists. Who or what inspires you?

I am always inspired by a good book, a photograph, or any work of art (theatre, dance, movies) that engages my imagination and challenges my way of seeing the world. I am also hugely inspired by the current generation of young actors who are out there in the community creating their own projects, writing and directing and acting in their own movies and webseries and plays. Just this past year, I was involved in three projects that were written, directed and produced by three of my former students: all young women who are creating their own opportunities. This is indeed inspiring.

What’s the most valuable piece of professional advice you were given as a student yourself?

Be yourself. As an actor you have yourself and your own personal point of view to share with the world. Develop that. Trust that. Have faith in that.

To learn more about Maria Ricossa, read her Humber faculty bio, or check out her photography online at or on Instagram @mricossa.

Maria Ricossa Headshot