Wednesday, August 3, 2011

ladycrush: tanya ryno

imagine the coolest chick you know:
part rockstar, 
part sweetheart, 
double dose of supremely talented, take-no-prisoners bitch;
add in some small-town upbringing charm,
and a semi-shy yet wicked dirty sense of humor...
and you've got tanya ryno.

a fearless leader in the entertainment industry, tanya has worked as producer/head of production for SNL's film unit 
(yup, ambiguously gay duo, hilarious commercial parody shorts, various "best of SNL" tribute DVDs, and more), 
produced the award-winning indie film coney island baby
as well as some special projects for A&E & other networks. 
she has also worked on some major national ad campaigns, 
and if she wanted to, could drop some serious names 
by listing who she's worked with...
like martin scorsese, woody allen, bob deniro, meryl (meryl! she is my everything.) streep, ed burns, kevin smith, nora ephron, spike lee, and jerry seinfeld, to name a few...
but she's not like that. 
so i did it for her. 

she's currently directing 23 seconds, a personal project 
about the creation of whynatte
the delicious crack in a can created by my friends jesse & andy that i put into my regular rotation over a year ago. 
i've mentioned it many times before, and trust me, with or without booze, its seriously rimazing, you MUST try it. 

here's a few minutes of her work on the project:
badass, i tell you.

tanya also just released a hilarious short for entitled "big tweet" that is Badass with a capital B 
(we just don't DO that around here much, see)...
check it:

oh and, she just completed the latest music video for young blues sensation gina sicilia to be released on youtube this thursday. so yeah. 
she's a little busy.
i've been stalking following her for over a year now on twitter, and when i decided i wanted to write about women who inspire me, she was one of the first who came to mind. 
needless to say she's got a full schedule, so i was completely geeked when she agreed to answer some questions for me 
about the industry, her personal life, 
and what she likes to cook up in the kitch.

MM: As a female producer in such a male dominated industry, what are some of the biggest challenges you've faced to get to where you are now?

TR: To be honest, I've been lucky enough to never run into any challenges that have been related to the fact that I'm a female.  At least I've never taken notice of it, or possibly I've just failed to recognize it and simply chalked it up to something else.  Working in the film industry is an extremely difficult pursuit regardless of gender.  I think the biggest challenge is encouraging more women to pursue producing and/or directing as a career.  There are more options other than just becoming an actress in this industry.   
Honestly, enough women aren't trying. 

MM: (hear that, girls?! get off your asses and get OUT THERE!
also, if this will reduce the number of you competing for my future auditions, then REALLY. get. on. it.)

MM: What would people be surprised to know about you 
or the industry?

TR: That I juggle both family and career.  I love being a mom (she has 2 boys, jake & jesse) and that I'm comfortable just about anywhere.  Meaning you may find me drinking a Bellini at CiPriani's one day and a PBR while ice fishing the next.  
I can't really be placed into one category. 

MM: one of the many reasons i have a major ladycrush going on.
What are the most fun and most stressful parts of your job?

TR: The most fun part of any project is learning something new. I love trying something I've never done before ... working with new equipment, shooting a genre I'm not familiar with, meeting new people. I think that's why I do it; I love telling stories and no project is like any other. Every day is different. Another fun part of working in film and/or video is the commradery of each production. You're basically married to a new family for the entire length of the production regardless if it's a 3-day shoot or a 3-month shoot. During that time you eat, sleep and live the production and so does everyone else involved. I'm not quite sure that any other industry has the same dynamic. Then once the shoot is over, you may not see some of the people you were 
working with ever again.  
 The most stressful part of each job, for me, is definitely delivering on time and under budget. Further, having confidence in each and every project.  No matter the job, I always go in thinking "when are they going to figure out that I have no idea what I'm doing?" I get very sick to my stomach the first day I meet a new crew, work with a new agency, or whenever I pitch something to a network.  

MM: How would you best describe yourself personally; Are you a food/wine/travel/exercise/reader/animal etc person?

TR: That's easy ... I'm all of the above. In fact, I wish there were more hours in the day so that I could do more and learn more.  The one thing I'm not is a person who likes to relax. I know I should more often than I do, but, ironically, relaxing stresses me out. I don't mean I have to be mingling or at a party surrounded by lots of people, in fact, I'm quite the opposite. I just have to be doing something.  Actually the more I think about it, if you asked my Lisa she would tell you I'm not very social. I'm not good at meeting new people and am very uncomfortable at parties. I love people, but usually when it's a natural setting or when it relates to work. I am not comfortable in social situations unless I'm with people I work with or very close friends. 

MM: note to self. will cancel huge surprise party for the release of this pulitzer prize-winning article and send you 
a bottle of scotch instead. 
you can drink it in the bathtub or while ice-fishing. whatevs.

MM: What do you do to attempt/create balance between work and being a Mama? I'm still trying to figure this one out. 

TR: It doesn't matter how rich or how poor you are or even if you are famous or not, it's always a struggle balancing work and motherhood. The biggest advice I can give, because you're not always going to do the right things is to lose the guilt. Guilt seems to hold more women back than you can imagine and at the end of the day, I honestly think those who try and balance work and family actually end up spending more time with their children than those who don't. Now that's just my opinion, but it's from experience. I have a TON of female friends who do not work at all, and it honestly seems I'm with my children more than they are. My kids are now at an age where they come to work with me.  And they want to. But it wasn't always that way. I took time off when they were young to be there for them. 
That's what worked for me.  

There's always a way if you have the will and it may be tough, but it's always worth it.  

MM: hell yes, sister. i totally agree; guilt is absolutely the number one stressor in my life as a mother. 
we all need to learn to let go. wooosaaaaah.

MM: What are you most proud of in your professional career 
thus far?

TR: Most of my work is with Saturday Night Live, and of course being the iconic show that it is,  I'm very proud of anything I've done there.  Even the stuff that sucked and since my decision to leave my full-time position,  I often look back and can't believe I worked there.  I'm still such a fan of the show that it's surreal for me to think that I had any part in making anything for them.  

Thank you, Tanya, for taking the time to answer my many questions! Come back tomorrow for the rest of the interview, including tanya's fave foolproof recipe for blackberry crisp. 


1 comment:

  1. DuuuUUUUuuude.
    i think you found your calling.
    word to your motherfucking biznerd.