Smart Serve, scarecrows and sasquatches!
June 3, 2014
Since I moved to Toronto (from Montréal) over a year ago, people often ask me:
“Good move?” or “Are you working?” or “So, is your career taking off?”
Well, let’s see. I’m still working as a bartender – actually, in order to serve alcohol in the province of Ontario, one has to pass an online test that costs $40 and three hours of their life! I am now, proudly, Smart Serve certified – and for a catering company (does Party Down ring any bells?), so…
I remember when I first got here, my goal was to meet (read: audition for) as many casting directors as possible in the first year. Three months in, I was going in to see one of, if not the biggest, casting directors in Toronto, for the role of the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz touring company… I had 17 pages of dialogue to memorize and a song to learn (ie. If I only had a brain). I bombed. I mean, nobody wants a nervous nancy to open in Vegas, am I right?! The best advice I could give myself that day: what happens in the audition room stays in the audition room.
Months later, thank goodness, that same casting director called me in for a big american TV series, FARGO. It seems she had forgotten how bad I was. Or, maybe she simply didn’t think I was cut out for musical theatre. Either way, NEVER TAKE YOUR OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRANTED.
Speaking of which, I went in for a commercial audition to play a sasquatch (ie. Bigfoot) for an outdoor camping, fishing and sporting goods store, SAIL. I got the callback. And in the callback, I was asked to strip down to my underwear (my agent did not even know they were going to ask this)… “Whatever it takes, right guys?” Meanwhile, as I was taking my clothes off I told the two in the room that I had been working out. To which the director and chief creative officer of Top Drawer Creative Inc. replied, “No, the skinnier the better!” Great. Check.
I got the gig! And it was more than a commercial. We’ve shot a total of 15 commercials, travelled to North Carolina AND Argentina (on two separate occasions), and the sasquatch has appeared on the front cover of the city’s biggest newspaper, The Toronto Star twice!
Due to time sensitivity and content, SAIL does not post any of their commercials online. Here’s a sample of one of the generic commercials:
In this line of work, one often struggles with what tomorrow will bring. In speaking with the account executive at the agency, he told me the campaign was designed to run a minimum of two years, and a maximum of… wait for it… FIVE! I couldn’t believe it. The account exec then asked me if I was “too busy to play a sasquatch?” Not even. I’m just grateful to be a working actor.
Here’s the trailer the agency made after our first trip to South America:
Gaëtan Tanguay – agent de service pour Hydro Québec
November 7, 2013
Funny man Gerard Harris asked me to ‘perform’ in his play Let’s Start A Country, written & performed by Harris and stellar aussie performer Shane Adamzcak. This is a clip that appears during the play. I play Gaetan Tanguay, Hydro Québec service agent… One take!
Gaetan Tanguay, Hydro Québec service agent… on YouTube:
LAST CALL !
November 6, 2013
Voici un joli projet que je tiens à coeur – un court-métrage style comédie musicale tourné en UN plan séquence ! J’ai été choyé d’avoir pu y participé à ce film avec tant d’artistes de grand talent. La musique a été composée par le magicien Habib Zekri et l’idée originale conçue par la sublime Albane Château, la fabuleuse Julie Renault et le passioné Dominic St-Laurent. Les trois ont aussi écrit les textes et paroles. Nous sommes tous pas mal fiers de ce bijoux. Malheureusement je dois vous annoncer qu’il est temps pour le…
LAST CALL !
(Bon visionnement, sur YouTube)
Brothers In Arms
November 5, 2013
I’m very proud of this short film. It’s only 30 seconds long, however, much like brothers in arms, it took a few talented people to team up and offer their passion and creativity for the end result to become reality. My compadre Manuel Sinor and I wanted to work together, meanwhile, we couldn’t seem to come up with a script. Enter Najat Jelab, director of Le Projectionniste (award-winning film at the Harlem International Film Fest), who was able to inspire us to co-write the story. She ended up directing it and, within hours, found us a DOP, Sasha Brunelle, sound engineer, Matteo Pelligrini, and the music, graciously donated by Mr Mo & the Sideliners! And thank you to Arthur Couka for his editing.
Brothers In Arms, on YouTube:
Pimp My Karl
November 5, 2013
Sometimes, discussing ideas with talented artists can actually lead to something. And, when you get off your ass, like the famous Nike slogan preaches, JUST DO IT!
So. We. Did.
PIMP MY KARL, on Vimeo:
Attache ta tuque [ataʃtatyk] …hold on to your hat
August 12, 2013
A rapid photo shoot for Québec Original (Ministère de tourisme du Québec) :
Où suis-je ?!?!
Sasquatch: The Making Of
August 9, 2013
Sometimes in life one gets lucky. Last Spring, I went in to audition for Top Drawer Creative, for the role of a sasquatch in a SAIL commercial. No script to prepare. No videos to view on the SAIL website. Just a blind audition as they say. I checked YouTube videos of Chewbacca in the Star Wars series, as well as the caveman in the Geico commercials. I also came across the very funny Jack Links commercials with their sasquatch character. This video was my favourite (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5Ed8YOaUqo).
But anyways, I digress… I went in there, with a few story board photos they had posted for our info, and some idea that they would be asking the actors for different facial expressions depicting various emotions. Well, go figure, days later I got a CALLBACK! This time, they asked me if I minded stripping down to my underwear to “move around like a sasquatch?” I simply replied, “Whatever it takes, right?!” They concurred. And then I added, “You guys just wanna check out my HUGE pectoral muscles.” To which the director, Brian, replied, “Trust me, the skinnier the better!” I’ve worked hard for this body.
All that to say, I got the gig! And one commercial turned into five, which in turn became 10. We shot the first five in Greensboro, North Carolina (beautiful Lake Brandt Park), and we’re off to Argentina at the end of this month to shoot the next five. Talk about being blessed with good fortune. Not to mention the fact that the agency is the production team as well, and are gifted, generous, wonderful and kind souls. Not to mention the client. What a wonderful experience. My first gig as an actor in Toronto, and here’s the end result. For contractual reasons, I cannot post any of the commercials, however, here is the Making Of video:
“It’s business unusual.” (Top Drawer Creative tagline)
(SAIL, an outdoor camping gear company from Québec, has four stores in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), as well as a store in Ottawa)
“If you want to work in Montréal, move to Toronto…”
August 9, 2013
O les mystères de la vie.
J’ai récemment déménagé à Toronto. Cela fait presque cinq mois.
Le tableau indicateur projets de carrière:
Projet(s) à Toronto : 1.
Projet(s) à Montréal : 3.
J’ai eu la chance de jouer dans Modégalité, un court-métrage éducatif en français ET en anglais, tiré de la pièce Modégalité de Nancy Roberge - incarnant le rôle d’un père immigrant de la république tchèque. Une belle journée de tournage à Montréal. Réalisation: Yann Tanguay. Scénario: Nancy Roberge et Cédric Égain. Production: Nancy Roberge.
Aussi, mon premier rôle (muet) au cinéma depuis mon déménagement était pour le long-métrage Deux Nuits de Denys Arcand! Drôlement, j’ai joué le rôle d’un architecte designer de … et oui, TORONTO!
Mais bon. Cette semaine, j’ai passé des auditions pour deux séries télé dont Covert Affairs (USA Network) et Darknet (début sur le Web et prévu pour la télé par après).
All that to say, I love it here. Toronto, that is.
November 14, 2012
To view promo click on link below:
My Montreal is…
A letter from a (dear) friend…
August 14, 2012