today i'm excited to share the second part of my interview with the awesomeness that is tanya ryno.
if you haven't read part one, go here and hop to it.
now lets dive right in, shall we?
MM: You've worked with some incredible talent over the years. Anyone especially stand out (asshole or amazing) in your memory? I can only imagine with Chris & Phil...
and so many more of my favorites!
(follow up--do you have a "favorite" project you've done, or are they like a mother with children--they're all "the same".
even though we all know that the little redhead
just isn't loved as much.)
TR: I can probably find something memorable about each and every project I've ever worked on, and some more exciting memories than others, but my most incredible memory would have to be with Tina Turner. Not even something I worked on in particular, just a chance encounter that was amazing. She was the musical guest of the show and when she came in to rehearse no one happened to be around so I took her down to the studio. It turned out there were only about 5 people in there, including myself so when she went up on stage it was something I'll never forget. She belted out "Proud Mary" like she was performing in front of a packed stadium, yet the other four people were crew and there I was getting my own personal concert. Crazy to say the least.
MM: DUDE. pretty sure i'd need a new pair of panties after something like that. wow.
TR: Additionally, I'm pretty used to working with celebrities now as each week we would work with a different host and musical guest and every few years the cast would change ... so you can imagine, along with my other work, how many people I actually had the opportunity to work with. Not to mention all the people I worked with on TV Funhouse, the animation for SNL. Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert were the voices for Ambiguously Gay Duo just to give you an idea. Anyway, my point is, I kind of got used to that; what impressed me most was being able to introduce people to my mother. If that makes any sense.
Working with celebrities is great, but letting my mother meet them, seems to be a lot more fun.
MM: that is awesome! i do get it; they are indeed "just people", as we so often hear, but it is fun to be able to give people you care about the enthralling experience of meeting those "people" they've admired the work of for so long. rock on.
TR: That said, it's not to say I don't have stories ... it's just I don't "work and tell" so to speak, but believe me, there are people who surprise you both in an amazing way and some in a not so amazing way. :)
MM: i'm sure that's very true.
what impresses you?
TR: This is going to sound so strange, but what impresses me most is people who don't complain. In this career you get to meet a lot of people, and outside of my comedy work, I've travelled a lot to work on other projects. During those productions I've been lucky enough to meet local individuals who clearly have difficult lives, yet they never once stop to complain about them. In fact, they are happy to tell me all the good things going on in their lives, or they are simply really REAL people who let me into their lives. Those people impress me.
MM: what challenges you?
I've begun to challenge myself more. In fact, it's why I left SNL. I was there a very long time, and now I want to do new things. As soon as I left I made a film ... it didn't go to theaters and I really didn't think it would as I did it as an indie project, but it did get purchased by the Sundance Channel and airs on there from time to time.
MM: ummm, yeah...not to mention it won some pretty impressive accolades. (i can't wait to see it.)
TR: The cinematographer for that was Peter Deming, who is an amazing and very well established feature film maker. My film was probably his smallest project ever.
MM: what is your favorite non-work-related thing to do/your idea of a perfect weekend?
TR: My perfect weekend would be at a lake lodge or my own house with good friends and family. I like to cook. A lot.
I love to entertain and have fun.
MM: word. me too! bet we could totally cook up some ridiculous grub together.
name your top five "must haves" in everyday life.
TR: Aside from family and friends ... My iPhone, a great pair of jeans, a camera (any camera), a moleskin notebook and probably a glass of wine.
MM: What was your first job, ever?
TR: My first job ever was raking blueberries in
. Not an easy job, but one you can do at a fairly early age. My next official job was a waitress at Friendly's in Maine , and then I was a bartender for years, starting when I was 17. In Bangor, Maine , you can serve alcohol even though you aren't old enough to drink it. Maine
MM: What are you working on now? What's next?
TR: I work on a lot of commercial campaigns, and I just did something for FunnyorDie.com, which was interesting because I never saw my career going towards the internet. In fact, for me, at one time the internet was looked at as going backwards, but as luck would have it that has clearly been redefined. I have two projects in film development hell, which means I don't know if they will actually take off or not and I have a personal Whynatte project that I am trying to pitch to MTV, A&E and VH1. The Whynatte project is just something that came out of nowhere and really is not a career endeavor, more of a personal project that I am interested in because I feel that the story behind Whynatte is interesting. Outside of those things, my personal goal is to move from my network work to studio work. I want to make major motion films. I also just started doing a few music videos ... but those are more of a creative outlet than a career. I love music. In fact, I listen to music way more than I watch tv. When you come into my house the tv isn't on, but the music blaring. I am also in pre-production for a sketch/parody web series in
that I will be shooting this month. Detroit
My ultimate goal would really be to work as a producer / director on a major motion picture. It may not happen immediately, but it will happen. I've produced two films that have actually sold and made their way to air, so next up is a theatrical release. That's my ultimate goal.
MM: If I were to send you a box as a thank you for doing this, what would you want to be in it?
TR: A card or handwritten letter that simply said "Thank you!" ... I'm a sucker for receiving real mail and or letters. I keep them all. I love technology, and couldn't live without it, yet I've never ever kept an email or text that was sent to me. However, if you've sent me a card or letter in my lifetime, odds are I still have it. It may even be frames and hanging on my wall. I'm very nostalgic.
MM: love it. i'm the same way; kind of a hoarder when it comes to keeping nostalgic stuff,
and in love with handwritten notes as well.
guess you'll have to send me your addy then!
are you over this interview already?
how do you feel about me stalking you on twitter?
ok. I'm kidding. i don't make jokes on purpose very well.
TR: I love people that follow me on Twitter. I hope if anything, it encourages someone else to keep pursuing their endeavors ... motivation is half the reason I'm still in the business. So many people inspired me to be here. I hope to inspire someone else. I have had great experiences in life, but not because I was born into great opportunities. I'm from Maine, my mom was a telephone lines woman and my father a carpenter, which basically means I pursued my career just because I wanted to and I didn't give up. I have a lot more to accomplish. Basically I'm very proud of what I've done, but not yet satisfied with what I've accomplished. If I give you any advice it would be that you never know what is around the corner, so hold someone's hand while you do it. Look to mentors and people who motivate you. You will feel less scared. You can't do it alone. Besides, it's much more fun to succeed and fail with other people. Take your risks now, as you grow older you become more fearful and less flexible. Try to keep your mind open to possibilities, and your mouth closed on matters you don't know about. Too many people will give you advice on stuff they know nothing about. Limit your always and your nevers. Continue to share your heart with people, even if it's been broken. Don't be afraid to say "I don't know" or "let me get back to you" and always be nice to your parents, which doesn't mean you have to take their advice. Clearly I didn't.
thank you so much for your time, Tanya, and for the great advice; it is all much appreciated!
think i'm going to take some of tanya's advice, keep my mind open, and be fearless; come back tomorrow for my version of a "want ad" for cool friends in los angeles.
douchebags need not apply.