Creators Who Inspire: Meet Paul Rabliauskas

Paul Rabliauskas is all about making us laugh—and opening hearts and minds. 

Paul Rabliauskas Trae Nguyen
Paul Rabliauskas - Photo: Trae Nguyen

The stand-up comedian is co-creator and star of the breakout comedy series Acting Good, in which he plays Paul, who made a mess of his time in the big city of Winnipeg and must return home to the fly-in community of Grouse Lake First Nation in Northern Manitoba. Surrounded by a cast of wonderfully wacky characters, including his indulgent mother (Tina Keeper), tough sister (Roseanne Supernault), and unreliable cousin (Gabriel Daniels), the immature Paul will learn what it means to grow up. 

“I basically play myself,” says Rabliauskas on the line from the Selkirk, Manitoba set of Acting Good. He is taking a quick break from shooting the second season of the show that’s proved to be a hit on the CTV Comedy Channel.  

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Acting Good - still shot

“That’s kinda what the show is about—me going back home after a failed attempt in the city. There’s been a few times when I had a TV show almost happen, and a few times when opportunities just got away from me, and I had nothing, and I had to go back home." 

Rabliauskas is Anishinaabe-Lithuanian and grew up in the Poplar River First Nation, about 350 kilometres north of Winnipeg. His career in comedy took off after performing in various Just for Laughs festivals, on CBC Radio’s The Debaters, and in the stand-up comedy series The New Wave of Stand-Up.  

But he’s most proud of Acting Good, and he hopes it will do more than just entertain audiences. 

“There are lot of ideas Canadians have of First Nations people and a lot of it is negative,” he says. “These are stereotypes people learn growing up, and I hope they watch our show and completely get rid of all those ideas they have in their head, and just enjoy a show about a family that is really funny.” 

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Acting Good - still shot

Rabliauskas credits the CMF for backing the project. 

“This show wouldn’t be possible without the support of the CMF,” he says. “It makes us feel like we are doing the right thing when we get support like that.” 

The success of Acting Good means Rabliauskas hasn’t needed to make that difficult journey back to his home of Poplar River. “I haven’t been back home for over a year because I have been so busy. Obviously, I want to go home, but it feels nice that I am out here living my dream, and I don’t have to go back home because I failed. So, it feels really cool. I have to pinch myself every day. I am so grateful.”  

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, develops, finances and promotes the production of Canadian content and applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF guides Canadian content towards a competitive global environment by fostering industry innovation, rewarding success, enabling a diversity of voice and promoting access to content through public and private sector partnerships. The CMF receives financial contributions from the Government of Canada and Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors.
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