I’m starting an interview series! Because… well. Just because I want to. And it’s my blog.
To kick it off, the lovely and talented Carmen Moore. You’ll probably remember her best at Simone, the sexy bartender from Godiva’s. Or maybe as Rebecca from Carl Bassai’s Unnatural and Accidental. She returns to the stage this month, after a 12-year hiatus. This Jessie- and Leo-nominated actor plays the lead role of Lu-Anne in Yukon playwright Patti Flather’s Where the River Meets the Sea, opening March 20 at Presentation House Theatre.
RC: What brings you back to the stage?
CM: I have been missing theatre for 12 years. I think it would have been a little traumatic for my son while he was very young to take that kind of time away from him… he would be in school all day, and then not see me at night while I’m doing a show. Also, the whole money thing! I have been a single parent for most of his life, so childcare was an issue… while doing film and TV I made enough to pay for childcare while working, but it’s just not possible with theatre! Jaden is now old enough that he really likes being given some freedom and trust to take care of himself. He can do 11 year old boy things without his mother looking over his shoulder!
RC: Tell me about Lu-Anne. Do you see yourself in her? Or are you more dissimilar?
CM: I think there are always aspects of yourself in characters you choose to play. I’m definitely becoming aware of things about myself that I don’t necessarily like, playing this character! I think that she’s holding on so desperately to everything important to her, so fearful that she’s going to lose it all, that she’s actually pushing it away. I don’t think that’s something that I alone do… maybe everyone does it to a certain degree. Isn’t that where the saying ‘if you love something, set it free’ comes from?! I am seeing how that kind of fear really makes us crazy!
RC: The cast includes two younger women, one of whom plays your daughter. Do you feel like you are in a mentorship position to the younger actresses in the cast?
CM: I don’t ever feel like I’m in a mentorship position… at least it never occurs to me! I don’t think it would be good
for my ego! I might get a little carried away! I certainly hope that I can be an inspiration, but it’s not something that I assume I’m doing. I’m at a stage in my career where I do realize that I’ve been doing this for close to 20 years (Oh good golly…), and that someone just starting out may look to me for guidance or inspiration, but it takes a lifetime to learn this craft… and I’m still learning every step of the way. I’m human; sometimes I have no clue what I’m doing! I make mistakes… and I try to learn from them like everyone else.
RC: Your boyfriend, David Patrick Flemming, plays your love interest in this play. What’s it like to work with your boyfriend on stage?
CM: Working with David is something that I’ve wanted to do for sometime now! He’s an incredible actor and writer and I’ve always been inspired by his creativity and his ability to invent characters that are so interesting and funny. He’s so much more talented than I! I thought at first it might be uncomfortable and intimidating, but not at all; he gives me so much to work from. It’s also been very nice to debrief after rehearsal; get some insight from someone you love and trust that understands what it is you’re going through in this process because he’s a part of the process too…
RC: You have a young son: does he show any interest in becoming an actor? If he did/does, how would that make you feel?
CM: Jaden did a few commercials when he was very young and got a couple of jobs from being in the waiting room at my auditions! But, he had a gift for the ‘crying’ and ‘upsetting’ roles and he said to me one day sadly “I only want to do happy roles”… poor kid! Then, he was introduced to organized sports… and it was all over, much to my relief. As much as I love acting, the industry itself can be heartbreaking and if I can deter him from getting into it, I will! Forever the protective mother! I think he’s more interested in being in the NHL at this point…
RC: What’s next for Carmen Moore?
CM: I’m not really sure what’s next for me…which brings me back to the heartbreaking and difficult industry. You never know what’s coming next, which can be really hard. I just shot a pilot that I can’t really talk about, but I’m pretty proud of. The producers will shop that around and see if anyone wants to throw money at us to get the series up and running… it’s always nice to have a steady job… but you never know, and it’s always back to the audition process…