Bathurst's Mareya Salazar had a lot going on when she auditioned for a recurring role on a hit Hollywood TV show.
Salazar was waiting to have surgery in Montreal, when she auditioned for the CW Network show Charmed in December.
"So a lot of stuff running through my head at that time, and I really just focused on this one audition," said Salazar.
The show is about three sisters who, after the death of their mother, find out they are witches. It is a reboot of a popular show of the same name from the late '90s.
"I submitted it, went to Montreal. Everything went well there. A week later, I was boarding my flight to come back home, and I got the call saying that I got the role. And I was elated. I didn't know what to say. I didn't know how to react."
Salazar said her character, Josefina Reyes, is a cousin of the main characters on the show, which is entering its fourth season.
She said her experience so far has been "phenomenal."
"The first day I stepped on that set … I felt like a child going to Disney World for the first time," said Salazar.
"I couldn't believe that I had just seen it on my TV at home, and then here I am touching and feeling and smelling all of the set. I just couldn't believe it."
Salazar said she got into acting in the summer of 2009, when she attended a summer camp in Bathurst.
"It was a two-week acting, singing, dancing workshop where I really discovered that I had the ability to fall in love with performing, and I've always had that fire within me ever since," said Salazar.
But there were tough times ahead for Salazar.
She was transitioning and suffered bouts of depression, eventually dropping out of university. She was then involved in a car accident.
These incidents took their toll and she lost interest in acting, until her mother persuaded her to sign up for an acting and modelling convention in Moncton.
"I just didn't quite believe in myself at that time, and yet she really did," said Salazar.
"She encouraged me to just give it a shot. So I ended up going and I am so grateful."
Salazar's character Reyes is also transgender, which makes the role all the more rewarding to play.
"It's so rewarding and so encouraging to see," said Salazar.
"Now is the time to tell our stories, to hear our struggles and to celebrate our wins ... I feel privileged to take part in telling trans stories."
Salazar said there was no shortage of people when she was growing up telling her that her dreams were unrealistic, but her message to young actors is to stick with it.
"Your childhood dreams are not unrealistic. That's for sure. Follow them and be true to yourself."