Today, I turn this blog over to my east coast arch-nemesis, Tara Yelland for her much-anticipated Q&A. Tomorrow, I hit the mailbag to answer your questions. Hopefully.
Over to Tara…
TY: A note on the portrait: I’m not sure all of you fully realized this, but I drew that thing WITH MY EYES CLOSED! Try it! You’ll see that it’s not easy! And I did a pretty darned good job, I’d say. And yes, while Joe may not technically be bald, I do think of him as a bald man.
LisaR writes: “1) Where did you get the outfit in the second picture?”
TY:Mostly from an amazing costume shop–coincidentally, called “Amazing Party and Costume”. The skirt and tights are from American Apparel.
“2) What is Joe’s most interesting quality??”
TY: I really can’t believe that he manages to write a blog every day. That’s dedication! I hope you’re all appreciative.
Michael writes: “You seem to have a wicked sense of humor, so any stories or jokes you’d be willing to share for a laugh?”
PBmom writes: “1. I saw on IMDB you were in the series Odyssey 5– good show — another show cancelled before its time. Are you a fan of science fiction?”
TY: Not particularly. It’s not a genre that I’ve ever really embraced. I do enjoy the idea of dressing up in costumes and going to fan-expos though. And, to be completely honest with you all, I’ve never seen a single frame of Stargate. Maybe when Transporter ends and I’m unemployed again, I’ll have a marathon viewing session.
“2. What is a typical day like for you?”
TY: I drink a lot of coffee, I eat a lot of cheese, I walk around set and chat like I’m at a cocktail party…and very occasionally, I do some standing in.
“3. Is Joe funny?”
TY: Yes. I mean, not intentionally though…
“4. Do you have pets?”
TY: Yes, a dog named Emma. She’s out of her mind, but lovely.
“5. What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you in your life? (Also Birdy’s question, “What was your first job in the industry?”)”
TY: I was a precocious 19 year-old, on set of Odyssey 5 as a background performer (extra). My role for the day was as a dead body in the morgue. I had spent about an hour with the special fx makeup team, getting a bad-ass autopsy scar put on my chest. Finally, it’s time to go to set– I’m given a spot on a gurney with a sheet pulled over my head. We do a rehearsal; the lead actor, Peter Weller–otherwise known as Robocop– comes over to my gurney, looks under the sheet at me, and continues on his way. We’re ready to shoot the scene, they call “rolling”… and suddenly the sheet is pulled back and Peter Weller is standing over me. He says, “hey, wanna be my personal assistant?”. I said, “Uhhhhh…”. I look over Peter’s shoulder and Greg, the AD, is nodding enthusiastically. I said, “what does that entail?”, and he said “it’s real easy… just phone calls and faxes”. I’m dumbfounded. Their shouting on set…clearly waiting on the lead actor to stop talking to me, so I said “can we talk about this after?”. He considered this for a moment, then said “sure”, and threw the blanket back over my face.
Now, I’m no dummy. I was highly suspicious that this man was offering me a job on the basis of appearance alone. So, like any good 19 year old, I called my mom. She said to go for it. So, I went over and told Peter that I would take the job. He walked me over to the producer and said that I was going to be his new assistant. The producer, Adam, took one look at me and said “no way”. But Peter got his way, naturally, and I started the next day.
I am happy to tell you that I had the time of my life for 3 months as Peter’s assistant. We got along very well and my fears of being groped on set were needless–in fact, he was very protective of me. Peter is a lovely, intelligent, and funny man. I ended up attending his wedding in Positano, Italy–he married a beautiful, sweet, Southern lady named Sheri.
Peter, who not only starred in Odyssey 5, but directed several episodes, gave me my very first on screen acting role. I played a nurse and had one line. I was terrified and lousy, but it got me in the union.
“6. What is your favorite ice cream flavor?”
TY: Mint chocolate chip, Neapolitan…
“7. What are some of the songs in a current playlist on your IPod/MP3 player?”
TY: From a current playlist:
1-Rolling in the Deep -Adele
2-Good Night – RZA
3-Auditorium – Mos Def
4-You Got Me – The Roots ft. Erykah Badu
5-Shadowboxin’ – GZA
6-Street Lights – Kanye
7-Dog Days Are Over – Florence and the Machine
8-On the Vista – Blakroc
9-I’ve Been Loving You Too Long – Otis Redding
10-Superwoman – Stevie Wonder
Penny writes: “Celebrating my 30th birthday what’s the one thing I should do in the next year?”
TY: Something that terrifies and excites you.
BillieO writes: “WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM ROLE AT THIS POINT IN YOUR CAREER?”
TY: Well, I’m glad you asked. Now that Joe has a bit more free time, he has given me his word–I think, if I’m not mistaken, he may have even swore on his mother’s life–that he will devote his attentions to completing the pilot episode of The Untitled Tara Yelland Project; it will be a fast-paced, sexy, action-adventure/comedy. Look for it in fall of 2012.
In all seriousness, my dream is to just work. Be it commercials, bad MOWs, or infomercials– I’m the actress for you! There’s my pitch. My agent would be proud. Also, I would like to do more comedic roles.
Patrick Considine writes: “1. What is the best thing about Joe?”
TY: He never fails to make me laugh. Also, he was very kind to all of the crew members on set; he bothered to learn our names, and refrained from calling us “peons” and kicking us as he passed by…he only did that the first week, then Paul made him to stop.
“2. What is the worst thing about Joe?”
TY: The menacing way he tells me he’s going to cut me.
“7. What is one thing you could change about yourself/your life/the world?”
TY: I wish I didn’t have asthma.
Ponytail writes: “1. Have you gotten to borrow the Audi yet and take it home for the weekend?”
TY: No, and I would be terrified to drive that thing. It’s like a misbehaving robot. There’s so many buttons and features. I drive a 2005 Chevy Aveo and I’m quite pleased with its ability to take me from point A to point B.
“2. Why do you think Joe calls you Lemur-eyes?”
TY: This Sunday, I was with my boyfriend in Kensington Market and we stopped for coffee at this little place. And on the wall was a drawing of a lemur drinking coffee! So of course, I thought I have to take a picture of this for Joe. As evidenced by this photo, I look exactly like a lemur…we both have big eyes…hence the nickname.
“3. Did you have any nicknames for Joe?”
TY: I don’t know… Joe? Have I ever given you a nickname? How about Joey McBald? Are you guys sure he’s not bald?
“4. Do you have a favorite Transporter: The Series episode yet?”
TY: Yes, episode 103 – “Sharks”. It’s my favorite episode because I’m in it, playing the sexy Helene…not that I’m biased or anything.
“5. Joe once said you ate 3+ pieces of blueberry pie – more than any of the crew guys. What do you eat to keep so trim?”
TY: The thing that you all need to realize about Joe is that he’s a liar. Well, that’s a strong word…he’s an exaggerator, who tells you a fabricated version of the truth (i.e. liar). I had one piece of pie, and I was forced to eat it. He threatened to fire me if I didn’t eat the pie and pretend to enjoy it. Tyrant…
“6. Who is your favorite cast or crew member?”
TY: Well that’s tough. There are a lot of fun people on set. My stand in partner, Robert, deserves an honorable mention. He makes me laugh and puts up with me, even when I’m cranky.
“7. Do you have a favorite Steampunk writer?”
TY: Not at all. The photos that Joe posted were from a friend’s wedding that had a steampunk theme. I had never even heard of it prior to that. I do enjoy the style though.
“8. Did Joe “not-Paul” ever get on your nerves? What was he doing?”
TY: Oh, sure. He talks incessantly. When Joe was on set, he would seek me out so that he could natter away about nothing in particular, holding me captive like a prisoner, while I was trying to pay attention to the monitors. The A.D.s, whose job it is to keep the set quiet, would shoot me dirty looks and shush *ME* because they can’t tell the producer to keep it down. Joe, being aware of this, would just talk louder. Tyrant.
SiSi writes: “1. Do you like to read? If so, what are some of your favorite books/authors?”
TY: Yes, I do. A fun fact about Tara Yelland–I have an M.A. in English (literary criticism) from UofT. My favourite books, in no particular order: The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger, Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters – J.D. Salinger, The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner, The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison, A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole. The last book I read was Tina Fey’s autobiography, Bossypants; it was very funny and offers some interesting insights into being a woman in the entertainment industry, as well as being a “boss”.
“2. What TV show(s) would you most like to guest star on?”
TY: Mad Men or Game of Thrones.
“3. What do you enjoy most and least about being a stand-in?”
TY: I enjoy meeting talented, creative, funny people…and I enjoy having a job that feeds me at work– if I had to feed myself, I would probably starve. There’s a great many things I dislike about being a stand in, but what I like the least is the the lack of expectations and challenges placed upon me. It’s too easy to become bored and complacent…I’m sure many people could say this of their jobs. On the best of days, I think: “wow, I can’t believe I’m getting paid for this”. On the worst of days, I think: “they’re not paying me enough to endure this”.
Birdy writes: “3) Was there ever anything besides acting you considered doing for living?”
TY: If I were creative, interesting, or clever, I would be a writer.
“5) What is your favourite dish?”
TY: The first conversation I ever had with Joe was about food. He asked me to recommend a good restaurant in Toronto and I immediately informed him that he was asking the wrong person. I am not a foodie. In fact, I don’t even care about food. I like things plain–no fancy weirdness in my food, thanks. So favorite dish? Pizza.
“6) Do you actually know how hot you look in a leather jacket?”
TY: I try my best.
Tam Dixon writes: “Dog or cat person? Where are you from? Where would you like to live most?”
TY: Cat person, but current dog owner. I am from Toronto. I would like to live in New York City…or some sort of tropical island paradise.
Noelm writes: “Now that Joe is losing you as nemesis, what qualities would you advise him to look for in a new nemesis?”
TY: Joe is not losing me. I will haunt his life for years to come. Don’t forget: The Untitled Tara Yelland Project, coming fall of 2012.
“What is involved in being a stand-in?”
TY: Set ups can take a long time, so rather than have the actors lose their energy waiting around, they use stand ins. We watch the actors rehearse the scene and remember what they do, and then we work with the camera and lighting departments to set the shot in place of the actors.
“What would you like to be doing professionally five years from now?”
TY: Consistently working as an actor.