This week’s TDQ Q&A is with actress Tracey Birdsall. Tracey took the time to speak with us about the differences between working on a feature film and a soap opera, who and what inspires her and the social media “spat” between Jenna Jameson and the producers of Tracey’s latest film, “Who’s Jenna Jameson.” Here is this week’s TDQ Q&A with Tracey Birdsall:
The Daily Quarterly: Who was your favorite actress growing up?
Tracey Birdsall: I was (and am) a huge fan of comedic actresses growing up. My favorite would have been Lucille Ball, followed by Goldie Hawn.
TDQ: What made you want to work in show business?
TB: I first set foot on a stage at the age of 5 doing a singing and tap dancing number to “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love – Baby” and it was the most exhilarating moment ever. That was it.
TDQ: What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
TB: Do something every day to move your career forward. Mark Sikes, the casting director told me that in passing one day. I tried it for 30 days and never stopped. That was many years ago.
TDQ: What’s the worst advice you’ve ever gotten?
TB: Don’t ever say no. You have to be very selective.
TDQ: Who are your influences?
TB: Humans influence me. Although I have my mentors and my favorite actors and actresses, I’m most inspired by humans everywhere – all types. The general population feeds me with perspectives, emotions, and appreciation for being. Our environment is our fuel if we enjoy living as other people when we film more so than just acting what’s on the page. If you’re not living it, then you’re really missing out.
TDQ: Tell us about your latest project, “Who’s Jenna Jameson?”
TB: In Who’s Jenna Jameson? I play a lawyer who is a virtual doppelganger for the famous porn star. It’s a big comedy so the jokes are endless and unrelenting! It’s the twists in this movie that make it really incredible… did I say enough?!
TDQ: What is the status of the disagreement between yourself and Jenna Jameson herself over the production of this movie?
TB: The real Jenna Jameson got wind of the publicity on social networking, but the truth of the matter is that the producers have been trying to contact her for a cameo anyways. It seems that the social networking “spat” which involved some threats, was a nice lead-in to them getting her the script as they had written in a cameo for her. I hear that they are in negotiations on that cameo. Hopefully everyone can be happy, but it’s a spoof – a comedy – and she’s a public figure due to her own brilliant marketing over the years. Either way, the movie moves ahead with her or not… hopefully with her.
TDQ: Is it a benefit or an obstacle to have so much internet buzz about a movie you’re in before it comes out like this?
TB: Publicity is never a bad thing, as we’ve all learned. Since it’s a comedy, the production is all over making sure that post-production is done in a timely manner. The buzz should continue and improve right up and until its release, which is how it should be.
TDQ: Besides feature films, you’ve also appeared on soap operas like “Loving” “All My Children” and “The Young and the Restless.” What is the biggest difference between working on films and daytime dramas?
TB: Daily soap is rigorous work, but at that age (well, any age really) you’re just so appreciative to be working. It’s more like a fulltime job, although after hours are spent memorizing. There’s very little break between scenes as it’s shot in sets, and since you’re working on it almost every day – there isn’t the same amount of prep time for getting deep within a character and their arcs – like in film. That said, you are playing the same character day in and day out so you already know who you are. Finding out who you are and how you feel and relate to the other characters is a huge job in itself so there’s an advantage there. I would always prefer to work in film where I can delve deep into who the character is and find their journey.
TDQ: Where do you see yourself in five years?
TB: You know, if I keep moving forward at a continual pace, what I can accomplish will be immeasurable. Of course, I want to be the next Goldie Hawn, Betty White, Meryl Streep, but only the roles which are provided to me will tell which direction I can go in and how far I can take it. Luckily, I’m not stuck within a genre, and my abilities to persevere are immense.