Hailing from Manitouwadge Ontario (look on a map), this small town girl is landing BIG parts on every major network. The buzz began this fall when Tattiawna starred in Guy Maddin’s Keyhole, which received praise at TIFF 2011. Shortly thereafter, we saw this beauty on, like, every show that kicked off the fall TV season. She’s cowgirl Kelly Jones on CBC’s Heartland, a water nymph in Showcase’s Lost Girl, a no-bull dispatcher on CTV’s fast moving, risk-taking drama Flashpoint and will add to the cast of characters on CBC’s Republic of Doyle. Did we mention Tattiawna also played a victim fleeing a psychopath in Global TV’s successful Rookie Blue? Really, is there anything she can’t do? Here the actress gives us an honest portrayal of how she cut her chops in show biz.
What does a typical Thursday look like for you, starting from when you wake up – to heading to bed?
Ha. No such things as a typical day in this line of work, things change so often that change/chaos/unpredictability become typical. I can tell ya what I did this past Thursday. Woke up, drink shake, gym, Voted, ran lines for upcoming projects, ran lines for class, ate lunch, made phone calls to family, researched artists I love, get stuff ready to go to class & pack dinner, class, home, more line running’s (a snack if I’m being bad), read Alan Arkin’s An Improvised Life ‘til I fall asleep. Repeat (to varying degree) the next day.
What was your first job out of school?
Ok, it comes with a story, ready? I booked a one line part on the Listener. I had a scene with Craig Olejnik and Clement Virgo was directing. I was FRESH out of Theatre School and had never been on a set before. I didn’t know where I was supposed to go or who I was supposed to listen to. I was walking into the shot and saying my line while they were setting up Craig’s close up. I was just so bent on doing everything right and looking like I knew what I was doing (never a good idea in any art form) that at one point Clement turned to me and said “You have to wait til I say action ok”. Ha! It’s funny now but at the time I just wanted the earth to open up and swallow me. I was lucky to be on such a great set where everyone just took me with a grain of salt that day. I’ve also learned how to wait for action so anytime you want to work together again Clement Virgo I’m ready.
What are the 3 skills you require most to do your job well?
Three most important things I require to do my job well? Hmmm. Well in the work it’s…
1) The ability to listen and bring my heart
2) A dead ego
3) Knowing my lines upside down and backwards, only then am I truly able to play
…and outside the work it would have to be
1) My family
2) my health
3) life experience
Everything is everything and I need all six really.
What do you love most about your career?
When I play a character I get a chance to live the dream of what could be, in the character’s given situation. In life often we make choices to avoid the danger (don’t walk around alone late at night, look both ways before you cross, save money) and rightly so, but characters (well written ones) seek the danger and theatre/film/television gives me a chance to explore and experience a character’s danger within safe/controlled circumstances.
Do you have any warnings?
If you don’t love it do something else. But that goes for all professions in my opinion. If you can’t live without it you are probably on the right path. This path will not be an easy one, the best ones never are. I’m feeling very strongly about that these days.
If you could try a different career on for a year, what would it be?
If I could try a different career for a year it would definitely be some kind of animal rehabilitation or conservation work. I do a little in my “spare” time anyway, you know, saving turtles from middles of roads, sharing ice cream with bees. I have a trip planned to Africa to volunteer with conservation and rehab programs that work with elephants, rhino’s and big cats, but it keeps getting pushed back because of work. Guess I’ll just have to book something that shoots in Africa and stay for a bit.