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- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Friday, February 27, 2015

Stupid Dinosaurs (Interview with Tara Pratt, Actor on "Fringe," "Supernatural," and "Standard Action")

HAWM, blog followers!  We've got a special treat for you today.  Some of you may recall a few weeks ago I did an interview with Joanna Gaskell, writer and creator of the stupendous web series "Standard Action."  What you may not have realized at that time (although I hinted at it enough, Jesus Christ) was that that some of the other "SA" cast and crew agreed to come and swing by as well!

Today I'll be speaking with Tara Pratt, a very talented actress who in addition to starring as Wendy the Sorcerer in "Standard Action" has also had roles in "Fringe," "Supernatural," and a number of other productions both "established" (you'll see what I did there in a minute) and indie.

Well, that's enough of an introduction from me.  I know 50% of you already started scrolling down as soon as I said "Supernatural" anyway.  So let's meet Tara and then jump right in!

About Tara:

Tara was born in Edmonton, Alberta, raised in Calgary, and graduated from the University of Alberta Drama program with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours, thereafter performing in several productions as part of the Edmonton International Fringe Festival.

After her inaugural theatrical production upon relocating to Vancouver in 2006 ("Hamlet", Ophelia), Tara has appeared in several stage productions with Twenty-Something Theatre including Brad Fraser's "Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love", and the world premier of "Prodigals" in 2011.

Tara is represented by Emilio Salituro with Lucas Talent Management.


SK: Hello, Tara, welcome and thanks for being with us! So, you’re from Edmonton. That city’s famous for dinosaurs, right?

TP: Thank you for having me!

I think you’re right. People further south in, like, Calgary and Drumheller will say they have more dinosaurs, but we all know they lived in Edmonton and just started making their way down because it was too effin’ cold in the winter. Little did they know that winters all over Alberta are equally brutal. Stupid dinosaurs.

SK: So how did you get involved in “Standard Action?”

TP: I just saw the audition notice online, submitted my materials and auditioned for Rob, Joanna and Edwin. So you could say I found them the good old-fashioned way. Minus the casting couch.

Tara Pratt as Gwenevere (aka "Wendy") the Sorcerer and leader of the party

SK: In a recent episode (I guess we’re just going to have to dispense with the spoilers here) you got to play opposite yourself. In sort of a “Sliders”-style arc you got to play a sci-fi version of yourself meeting a fantasy version of yourself. What’s that like?

TP: Oh man. I don’t know if I thanked Joanna enough for writing that episode. She knows I LOVE sci-fi (but apparently not enough to win me any trivia rounds in the category...what good am I!?), and as much as I love Gwenevere in the "Standard Action" world, Joanna knows that my dream role involves some sort of Ripley-esque character fighting aliens or cyborgs or...alien cyborgs. It’s my absolute favourite genre to watch so I’ve always wanted to participate in it. Captain Wendy has no ties to the Gwenevere we already know, so I didn’t have the responsibility of being consistent with her character, which meant I could start from scratch and make an entirely new person. Having said that, it was also neat to find similarities between the two characters, too: the captain obviously overcompensates for her feelings of inadequacy, which is where Gwenevere started and kind of (hopefully!) grew out of as the series went on. The captain was also just kind of adorably ridiculous, whereas I think Gwenevere is almost too self-conscious to attempt the same grandiosity. I also loved that Gwenevere had an almost blase attitude about meeting her “other” version, because at that point she’d met many, but Captain Wendy didn’t know what the hell was happening. That was a fun juxtaposition to play.

SK: Okay, so I see in your credits that you were on “Supernatural,” which I knew would excite my followers, so rather than make up a question I crowdsourced this one. People want to know: “Ask her if Jensen Ackles is even hotter in person” and “Ooh ask if she got supernatural goo splashed into her at any point.” (These, sadly, were the best two questions.)

TP:  Aw, I’m sorry to disappoint on both fronts! I didn’t get to meet either of the brothers (I believe they were still doing the con circuit in San Diego at the time), and my character didn’t get too enmeshed in the “Supernatural” side of things to get any goo on her. My scenes involved the angels (whom I didn’t actually know were angels, being a small town mechanic and not up on the latest battle for humanity), and I encountered them briefly and sent them on their way. For what it’s worth, Misha Collins IS even hotter in person.

SK: Okay, sorry about that. As I said, I crowdsourced it. So I see you were also on “Fringe.” That must’ve also been quite an experience. What was that like?

TP: Ha! That’s okay, I like those kinds of questions. I feel like a star for a brief, shining moment.

"Fringe" WAS a cool experience. That was one of my first gigs on the set of an established series (I don’t like differentiating by using the term “professional” because I think that’s a better term to describe, say, conduct, and I’ve been on indie sets that were incredibly professional!). I had two lines, and I think as any day player will tell ya, it sometimes feels like you put more pressure on yourself the less screen time you have; you have a minute, and your sole function is to further the story or dole out a new plot point, so it’s not “about” you. So if more time has to be spent on your scene because you’re fucking up, that’s time taken away from the scenes and characters that ARE the most important to the story. You want to get in, do your job and then get out of the way. So I got to set, got into costume (fatigues, nice), got my makeup and hair done (beret, also nice), and when all was said and done I spent more time in my trailer than on set, it was all over SO fast. I had hours to go over and over my two little lines before we shot my scene, and before I knew it I was getting a ride back into town. But I got to keep my “Fringe Division” ID badge, the people were SUPER friendly, and I can honestly say I did my job and then got out of the way. :)

Tara's Fringe Division badge...or is it?

SK: Well, thanks for being with us today, Tara. Do you have any last thoughts or parting wishes for your fans?

TP: Thank you so much for having me, Stephen! I just want to say hi and thanks to everyone who’s checked out or supported "Standard Action;" we got to make three seasons of something we really love because of you! I hope you enjoy season 3 as much as we enjoyed making it. :)


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