With the end of production on Stargate Atlantis less than a month away, I’m going to do my best to introduce you all to some of the amazing unsung heroes who have worked very hard behind the scenes these many years. They may not get the all-expenses-paid invites to the overseas conventions but that doesn’t mean that their contribution to the success of the show was no less important than the likes of the series regulars, writers, or producers. Over the past couple of months, you got to know the likes of VFX Supervisor Mark Savela, Director of Photography Jim Menard. In the coming days, it’ll be Props Master Evil Kenny Gibbs and Director Andy Mikita. Among the many others on my “to pester” list: Composer Joel Goldsmith, Stunt Coordinator James Bam Bam Bamford, Director Will Waring, Playback Supervisor Krista McLean, SPFX Supervisor Wray Douglas, Costume Designer Valerie Halverson, Production Designer James Robbins, and many others. Can’t promise they’ll all have the time to drop by, but it doesn’t hurt to ask – or apply extreme pressure if they prove reluctant (Yes, I’m talking about you, Will.).
As for today, I’m happy to turn this blog over to actress Sharon Taylor who went from a “blink and you’ll miss her” appearance as a replicator in Progeny to a recurring role as gate technician Amelia Banks…
2cats writes: “Is this the ONLY show you’ve worked on with such a zealous (i.e. fanatical/passionate) fan base?”
“What is your quirkiest experience on set so far?”
– Having a conversation with Christopher Heyerdahl in his Todd makeup was surreal. He’s smiling and chatting like a regular man, and meanwhile I’m completely mesmerized by his creepy appearance.
Wraithfodder writes: “1) How did you get into acting? Was it a lifelong goal or is something you sort of fell into? (as some actors do) And how did you get the role of Amelia Banks?”
– I knew I wanted to be an actor ever since high school. I was in all the school plays and then I went on to get my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre from Simon Fraser University. In season 4, I auditioned for the role of the Replicator Technician in Lifeline, and I got the part. A few months later, they offered me the part of a female gate technician in Quarantine, who was later given the name Amelia Banks in season 5. I was pretty darn happy to be on the good guys side!
“2) You’ve worked on several Stagate Atlantis episodes. Do you have a favorite episode, and if so, why?”
– My favorite episode is The Prodigal. When you watch it you’ll know why.
3) Can you tell us an anecdotes from the set? What was your first day like?”
– My first day on set was when I was playing the Replicator Technician, so I was working with David Ogden Stiers who is very funny. He would ad lib silly lines during our rehearsal. I never actually met any of the lead cast members until the Quarantine episode.
AV Eddy writes: “Hi! I’m glad you’re getting a story arc this season. I had noticed your “technician” character last season, and liked her. I was wondering…since you work with computers and other Ancient-tech computer equipment, whether the buttons or switches have specific “functions?” What I mean is, when your character does a specific task, is there a rule or guide to “push these three buttons in this order?”
– I watched how Chuck operated the ancient controls and I followed his lead. So, yes, some of them do have specific functions. (At least they do in my imagination!)
Montrealer writes: “Did your character get to beat up someone on the show?”
– You’ll have to stay tuned to find out the answer.
Dalene writes: “What other work have you done in television/been working on in television? Do you have any plans now that SGA has been canceled? Any particular hopes you had for your character to go into?”
– I did a TV movie with Justine Bateman called “To Have and to Hold” which often airs on the Lifetime channel, and I worked on Eureka last year as well. Now that SGA is cancelled, I will continue auditioning for other projects.
Smiley_face06 writes: “1. When you first got on the show, did you think it would just be a one time thing?”
– I had my fingers crossed that my replicator character would recur, so I was thrilled to appear on the show again and even more thrilled to play a member of the Atlantis expedition.
2. Joe is consuming some weird things for us blog-readers. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten?”
– I’m not nearly as brave or adventurous as Joe is when it comes to trying new foods. Sashimi is the most daring I get.
Neb writes: “Sharon, is that you in Ghost in the Machine?! It sure looks like you’ve reprise your role as a replicator. I’m honestly surprised that you reprised that role after you were so firmly established as the Atlantis tech in Quarantine. But in any case, it was great to see you play two different roles! I think it’s kinda funny that you play two very similar roles, an Atlantis Technician and a Replicator Technician. Are you actually playing the same character? a replicator pretending to be human? haha!
I absolutely loved seeing you in Quarantine. It’s nice to see the nerd girls, we don’t get to see them very often (Nerd-Girls meaning females in technical/scientific roles and aren’t superhuman like Sam).”
– That wasn’t me in “Ghost in the Machine”. I’ve only played the character of Amelia Banks this season. Nerd Girls Rule!
“So what did you think of playing the techy role? do you get to do a lot of tech-no-babble? Not sure if anyone has asked this yet, but have you watched a lot of stargate? are you a fan of scifi? do you think you’re likely to do more scifi work?”
– I love playing technician Amelia Banks. Since being cast as Banks I’ve caught up on most of the Atlantis episodes in previous seasons, as I like to do my research. Also, I had watched a lot of SG-1 episodes in the past because many of my Vancouver actor friends have had guest roles, and I like to watch and support my friends’ work. I enjoy sci-fi and I loved watching Star Trek The Next Generation with my Dad when I was a kid. I would happily work in sci-fi over and over again.
Christin writes: “And a ridiculous question for Miss Taylor…I hear that catering on the set is good. What’s your favorite thing to eat while at work?”
– The catering on set is soooo good. I have a weakness for pasta salad.
Airelle writes: “Sharon Taylor question–?? Is working on the show as much fun as it looks? What kind of hours are required to do the character? thanks for taking the time here.”
– It is as much fun as it looks. People are always cracking jokes here and there, so there are lots of laughs. If Amelia Banks is in an episode, then it’s usually one or two full days of work for me.
MELorne-Super-Fan writes: To Mrs. Taylor – Looking at IMDB it seems she hasn’t done a lot of work. My question is… are these small acting Roles just something for fun/money/hobby or are we going to see her more often in the coming Years as she works more as an Actress.”
– You will see a lot more of me in the years to come. In the last 2 years I’ve made a real push to have a career in TV and Film. In the past, I focused my career in professional theatre, and spent time traveling after university.
J. Williams writes: “How has it been working on Atlantis for your brief time? Any memoriable scenes that have stuck with you?”
– There is a scene in The Prodigal that is definitely the most memorable for me so far.
Karen WI wites: “Sharon: Sometimes do you wish the gate would work??”
– Sure! However, since there is often unknown danger lurking on the other side, I wouldn’t go through it unless I had Dr. McKay and Ronon Dex with me. Between Ronon’s braun and Rodney’s brains, we’d be safe….at least temporarily. Then we’d wait for Sheppard and Teyla to show up.