You may have already read the interviews with Jon and Andrew for the film, ‘Ruby Booby,’ so I’m pleased to introduce Tara Samuel, who has been tirelessly working as an actress/producer to bring this film into fruition. I had a chance to chat with Tara about how she got started, what inspires her, and what is it about ‘Ruby Booby,’ that got her to do fundraisers, readings, and promo shootings, to get funding started to produce the film. And without further ado…
How did you get involved with producing and acting in “Ruby Booby?” How’d you meet Jon?
Jon Rannells’s wife Kathryn Winslow is an award winning actress from Canada, with whom I had the privilege of performing in a theatre production called “The Affairs of Anatol” produced by celebrated Irish-American actor John O’Callaghan and directed by acclaimed theater director Sue Miner, in Toronto of 2005. Is was then that we discovered we were all planning to move to Los Angeles. Since arriving in L.A., 2006, Jon & I have been collaborating on scripts of his; always with the aim of bringing his work to the big screen. I am honored to be playing alongside Kathryn again; Jon cast us both in “Ruby Booby”.
Very cool. How did you develop the character of “Ruby Booby?” Are there aspects of Ruby’s personality that you had incorporated from your personal life?
Ha! I think all actors smile at this question. I’m pretty sure we would all agree that there are elements from our own personal lives that we incorporate into the characters we play. At least, this is the case for me! This is how explore the personalities of the characters I play; by relating to them through my own personal life experience. – As for developing the character of “Ruby” – I would say that she developed through the hard work of all of us; through the collaboration of Jon’s outstanding writing first and foremost, then through our group script-workshopping, then via Jon’s directing and Karen Stein’s make-up (the make-up really allowed me to feel like Ruby) – and then of course through the brilliant work of the other actors in the film. All of these elements served to develop the character of “Ruby Booby”.
What got you into the acting game? What got you into the producing game?
Acting – I have been in love with it as far back as I can remember. Playing other people is the my absolute favorite thing to do. As for producing – it is the natural bi-product of assembling a group of people I love, to tell a story we are all dying to tell, which hopefully has a delicious part for me to play! Producing is making your dreams come true. Everyone is a producer.
I love that line. So, what is the most rewarding part about being an independent producer and actress?
The most rewarding thing is to walk tall, knowing you are doing exactly what you most love to do on the planet, in exactly the way you want to do it, with the people you want to do it with. This is what every single person on the planet is meant to do.
The most challenging part about being an independent producer and actress?
Hmm – I would say…. to remember that every ‘bump’ in the road; every tricky relationship I didn’t predict; every ‘tough’ spot in the ride – these moments are all as important as every ‘high’ or ‘success’ I have. These are the parts of my journey that invite me to be inventive, creative an gracious. So actually – the most challenging parts are a gift.
Tell us about how you are looking to raise money to finish “Ruby Booby.” Why are you going about fundraising this way?
Ahh yes – fund raising. The reality is, that I am new to fund raising and have been learning about what to do throughout the course of my collaborations with Jon Rannells. (We have some phenomenally silly stories to share – everything from distributing pretty bags with pens door-to-door, to launching balloons in a park – this was a major, front page news event you realize – to throwing huge L.A. wearhouse parties….) You know, I have learned so much about fund raising. I have learned that fund raising is a great thing. It is exciting, adventuresome, community-building, and inspiring to many. It is a noble undertaking, and one should always be proud to raise funds for a cause. Fund raising is simply an assembling of resources. This is how you get your stuff made! So for Ruby Booby – this ‘online contributions’ is one more way that I am learning to raise financing…what I like to call a ‘Barn-Raising’. Three cheers to raising each other’s barn.
What are the types of projects that you hope to produce in the future?
My plan is to continue to produce and perform in feature films that provoke thought, undermine convention and celebrate humanity in every shape and form that it comes in, around the world. I will be on set in countries around the globe, for a long time. Love love love it.
I love your vision. So, tell us what inspires you to pursue this very difficult career?
What is difficult? Everything is difficult and everything is easy.
What inspires you most and keeps you doing what you do?
People do. I am one-thousand-percent driven to represent people everywhere, in all of their states of being, all: earnest, enraged, well-meaning, mis-lead, in-love, ashamed, elated, murderous, enlightened. I am in love with people.