Cavalcade of Canadians: The Actor-Spotting Trivia Game

Yes, at long last, it’s the rules to the infamous game I’ve been playing forever, but named a few years ago. I’m writing them up because a few friends thought this was an actual thing that I did not invent (in contrast to the ones who just assumed I was nuts). So please, read on. Don’t leave me to play alone. When I’m sewing in the middle of the night no one can hear me call points. Let’s make it an actual thing.


CAVALCADE OF CANADIANS: The Actor-Spotting Trivia Game
Fun for the Whole Family (If your family consists of Canadian casting directors)

Overview: Cavalcade is the “fun” game of claiming points for remembering actors from previous work, specially modeled on genre TV shows (horror, fantasy, and SF) filmed in Canada; but applicable to other media as well. It is otherwise known as “that game I made up to amuse myself while working endless hours alone with no company but the TV”, because I’ve clearly watched way too much filmed in Canada over the past 30 years… by “popular demand” (it was at LEAST one whole person) I’ve written up the rules.

The Sole Sacred Covenant of Cavalcade: You may NOT use imdb (or Google, etc) except to confirm or dispute another player’s claimed points. You must work from memory.

Basics: A Round is one episode of any given show. A Game is generally counted as one day’s worth of viewing but can be carried on longer. If so, it is concluded whenever you decide to stop counting, or if play is suspended for a long period of time. There is no set number of Rounds, nor do Rounds in the same game need to consist of episodes from the same series. You may also freely mix and match TV shows, miniseries, and films (made for TV or theatrical). A Call is a Player’s claim on points in a given instance. For example, each series you can cite from an Actor’s previous resume counts as one Call, all of which combined will form your total points. For multiple Players in the same physical location, points are claimed by the first to Call them. If playing at a distance, you may keep Calls secret until the Game ends and then compare point totals.

Rules for Calling Actors:

  • The Actor does not have to be a Canadian citizen (or born or naturalized).
  • You may only Call non-Canadian Actors on shows/films made in Canada, unless you can also cite     a previous appearance in a Canadian production. See: the Orlando Jones Exception.
  • Voice-overs, ads, and animation DO count for both Canadian and non-Canadian Actors.
  • All rules are suspended in case of Mark Sheppard, because otherwise it’d be like getting a touchdown by standing in the vicinity of the goal. See: The Mark Sheppard “Shotgun” Rule.

Non-Actor Calls:

  • You MAY call physical locations in the same fashion as actors. For instance, you can get points for the Vancouver Playhouse by citing series names and episode titles.
  • You MAY call production staff and creatives as Actors (writers, editors, directors, producers, etc), under the same rules. They do not have to be even vaguely Canadian, because you can’t hear them say any vowels and probably don’t know.
  • You MAY call props or set pieces as Actors if you’re really, really good.

0 Points:it’s that guy from that thing”. (You must be able to cite *something* if you want points!)
1 Point: Citing NAME of series/film in which Actor previously appeared. (You may play a series/film they appeared in after filming period of whatever you’re watching.) You get 1 additional point for each additional title.
1 Point: Citing NAME of ACTOR (first and last). You can only collect this point once per Actor per Round (not per Game), but can only Call them again if the additional Rounds are NOT the same show (i.e., you cannot collect this point every time a recurring character appears).

2 Points: (added to the initial Call point)

  •     the name of the episode they were in (TV shows)
  •     the name of the character they played (film or TV show)
  •     the exact method of death of the character they played

3 Points: (added to the initial Call point, AND any subsequent points)

  •     same actor appearing more than once in the same series as different characters
  •     actor in a previous role which was non-speaking
  •     the episode or production number of the episode you’re Calling
  •     the year in which the episode originally aired (NOT the series, but the episode; in case of  recurring characters, year in which pilot aired)
  •    series/film cited aired prior to 1998 (the Before They Were Famous clause)

6 Points: “Six Degrees of Canadian Bacon”

  • connect and cite TWO Actors in the same Round previously appearing together in another show/film
  • additional Actors appearing in the same Round who can ALSO be Called for the same citation as the actors above (3 Actors in the same citation = 12 points, or 6 Points per Actor beyond the first 2)

12 Points: “Six Degrees of Canadian Bacon with a Side of Poutine”

  • Connect two Actors in the same Round who appeared in the same EPISODE of the same show. You must cite the episode title or number, or describe enough of the plot to convince your fellow players you’re not making it up.
  • Connect two Actors in the same Round via a third Actor NOT appearing in that Round

WTF does all this mean? An Example Play:

Your points increase for each additional role per Actor. For instance:
Call: Mark Sheppard, spotted in Dollhouse
– “hey that’s Mark Sheppard” = 1 Point
– Cited for Battlestar Galactica = 1 Point
– Cited for Burn Notice = 1 Point
– Cited for Warehouse 13 (1 point), character name “Benedict Valda” (2 points) = 3 Points
– Cited for CSI, he was on twice (but you don’t know any other details) = 3 points
Total = 9 Points

…unless you’re actually doing this with Mark Sheppard, in which case you would get 10 points regardless of citations. See below.

The Mark Sheppard “Shotgun” Rule: first Player to Call Mark Sheppard gets 10 points for the Round. He does not carry any additional points, but may be played again in the subsequent Round, by any Player. You may also use Mark Sheppard as a connector in Six Degrees of Canadian Bacon claims. If you need to ask why Mark Sheppard has his own rule, I’m sorry, but you’re not qualified to play. You’ll have to make up a Cavalcade of something else.

The Orlando Jones Exception: even if an actor is NOT Canadian-born and has NOT been in a show/movie filmed in Vancouver or Toronto (that you can cite), you may claim points for them anyway under the Orlando Jones Exception IF:

  • The show you cite is 1 season or less, or a genre program (usually the same thing). EG, you may NOT cite an appearance on a long-running show such as CSI under the Exception; but you may cite The Walking Dead.
  • The film must have been a TV movie, miniseries, or otherwise NOT a big Hollywood picture. Syfy Saturday night counts regardless of filming location.
  • You may only claim the Orlando Jones Exception once per Actor per Game (not per Round), for a total of 3 Actors per Game.

To clarify further, the Orlando Jones Exception ONLY applies to Actors who have never been on a show filmed in Canada (to your knowledge), not simply actors who are non-Canadian. If you want to play Mark Sheppard on Doctor Who and can cite Warehouse 13 in addition to White Collar, you MAY claim points as normal. (But not if it’s Mark Sheppard.) Why is this rule named after Orlando Jones? Because he’s a cool dude who misses Nowhere Man, but would otherwise not be eligible for points.

Got it? (Probably not. Sorry.) But I’ve got good news; nobody cares about the rules, nobody cares about the points. I was asked to make it a real game, so I did. Just use the idea, and have fun showing up your friends and family. Or maybe it will just be me. Maybe it will always just be me. But one day I’ll meet The One, The One who is destined to challenge me and the frankly embarrassing quantity of Canadian-produced entertainment I’ve watched (and I’m American). Til then, I’ll play til the wee hours, and work on the theme song.

But please: go forth, fire up Netflix (or Amazon, Hulu, or whatever) or your DVD players, and play!

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Anne Darkly
Professional geek, plush artist, movie lover, writer trying to get back on the wagon. Or off the wagon. There's wagon involvement. Everyone told me to get a blog, so I did. Yee-haw.
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