Actor Tymika Tafari leans on her GBC training as her star continues to rise

Actor and George Brown College (GBC) alumna Tymika Tafari turned a time of abrupt change and shutdowns into a period of creativity and growth, personally and professionally. Momentum started to build for Tafari during the height of the pandemic and continues to grow with new opportunities in the U.S., thanks to her work on the show Slip, a streaming series from celebrity executive producer Dakota Johnson. 

Tafari's career kicked into overdrive in 2020 and 2021 inside audio recording booths, where she voiced several commercials and animated characters, including Liberty in the popular children's series Paw Patrol. She lit up screens on streaming services and traditional platforms with leading roles in The Marijuana Conspiracy and the short-form dramatic series Chateau Laurier, and supporting roles in various television series (Frankie Drake Mysteries, Odd Squad, Revenge of the Black Best Friend, among others). Then, she landed a supporting role in Slip as Gina, best friend to the show's main character, Mae, played by Zoe Lister-Jones. The multi-verse comedy series streamed on Roku in 2023. 

Thanks to her role in Slip, Tafari now has managers in New York and Los Angeles. She's eager to expand her career beyond Toronto and create her own writing and visual arts projects. 

Overcoming imposter syndrome 

Tafari, a 2017 graduate of GBC's Theatre Arts – Performance program, said she worked hard to overcome the imposter syndrome she experienced as a student and a professional actor. She found it interesting that her career took off amid an internal whirlwind of conflicting emotions about her place in the industry.  

"When 2020 hit, and the Black Lives Matter movement was at its peak, I was getting a lot of job offers. I felt very conflicted about them because I didn't know if I was a diversity hire or if it was my talent," she said.  

"I had this mental shift in 2022 where I had to learn how to honour all the blessings coming into my life and have the strength to hold them. For Slip, I felt like I took the pressure off myself and went back to the basics of what I learned in theatre school."  

A work ethic rooted in theatre-school training 

Tafari learned techniques and practices during her training at George Brown that she continues to use to ground herself before heading to set, including movement, voice work, and text analysis.  

"That training set the benchmark," she said. "I thrived off that. Having done that for three years, now I make sure I do my voice and movement work to prepare myself." 

Tafari said the text analysis work she did at GBC with the late Peter Wylde continues to help her deliver exciting and meaningful auditions that land her jobs.  

"[Peter] solidified my love for text with his interest in every word. And now I've made a career out of using my love of text and words," she said, adding she also benefited greatly from the support of other faculty members and guest directors. 

At GBC, Tafari tackled the role of Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream, relished challenging ensemble work in Margaret Atwood's The Penelopiad, and flexed her comedy skills in As You Like It and the French farce A Flea in Her Ear

"I've booked jobs from having George Brown on my resume,” she said. “I'm very grateful for the training." 

That training included demanding and profoundly emotional work for a third-year solo performance project, a longstanding GBC theatre school tradition called the vocal masque. In the project, she explored her experience in theatre school as a Black student and her insecurity about coming to the program with no previous acting credits or practice. The theme of her piece was “lost.” 

"That was the first time I let everyone into how it felt to be Black in theatre school and the culture shock I felt and the terror," she said, "and it was beautiful." 

Learn more about Tafari and stay on top of her career updates on Instagram @_tymikatafari and her IMDB page

George Brown College Black Futures Month celebrations continue throughout February. Organized by Black Futures Initiatives with support from the Office of Anti-Racism, Equity and Human Rights Services and other college departments, the entire GBC community is invited to this month's events. Learn more at

Tymika Tafari with 2 other actors in A Flea In Her Ear

Tymika Tafari in A Flea in Her Ear, 2017.