I lived in South Africa until I was 11 when we first immigrated. My mom had sent me back there when I was 14 for summer vacation. I wasn't doing very well in school, my grades were slipping. I called my mom one day and told her that I wasn't coming back. I ended up staying there until I was 17 before coming back to North America.
I've always loved the power of stories to transport me to another world, to imagine extraordinary possibilities, to experience things I may not have access to in my regular life - like being a superhero! Also, I would always put on shows for my family and the neighbors; I guess I was an actor before I even knew it.
The very first role I ever played was as a 17-year old South African girl who dreamed of being a star and left home to meet her mother in the big city so that she could pursue that dream. I left South Africa and met my mother in Vancouver and not long after that was given the opportunity to perform on the stage and have people chant my name.
Candice is the original spelling of my name. I changed it to Kandyse when I was really young and first starting out in the business as kind of a joke. I didn't realize it would stick! I did consider changing it, but then it seemed too confusing, so then I asked them to change it back. Not too soon, however!
Living here in North America - I have been Americanized. When I go back home now, there are things that I have far less tolerance for in South Africa. We've come such a long way in terms of race relations and the economy as well as people's willingness to move on. There are still a lot of things that are frustrating about being in South Africa.