An Interview with @ClaraPasieka from @InhumanSeries on @KindaTV with @kleffnotes

I had the pleasure of chatting with Clara Pasieka from the KindaTV webseries, Inhuman Condition. She was an absolute delight and I hope that you enjoy this interview as much as I enjoyed talking to her.

What led you to join Inhuman Condition?

I auditioned for it just like any show. It was a really busy time actually, I had auditioned in between episodes of Reign, another series that I was shooting much of last year and I remember exactly where I was when the audition came through on my phone. It was a Monday morning and I was sitting on the deck of my dad’s sailboat, a sailboat, which I was more or less living on, that had become my hideout to go memorize lines and get to know my characters on. I remember reading it when it came through and thinking that it was just fascinating. And then I went in and I did the audition and I like to be really prepared for auditions, but something unusual, for me, happened. It had several really big monologues and I remember I looked down once at the page, which I never never do, but it didn’t wreck things or pull me out. There was this little piece of imperfect, but somehow I left still feeling like it clicked…like the imperfect was okay in the work, in her, in me. I got a call and they had offered me the role and then there we were. A lot of people asked me if the role was written for me…because my name, my real name is Clara, but that’s not true. RJ Lackie wrote it months and months before we’d ever met and he named the character the same name. And it just so happens that when I walked in the room I was like “Oh yes, also my name is Clara, it was pure coincidence.

In case you were curious there is a teaser trailer for Inhuman Condition that involves an entirely different cast, which was shot before any of the lovely people you’ve grown to know and love were ever involved. You can watch a scene with a different Dr. Kessler, Clara, and Frank on YouTube, it’s a really interesting watch.

What was it like working on Inhuman Condition?

“It was a lot, to be honest it was really exhausting, but so fulfilling. The team was just so supportive and support came during the series from a lot of sources that people watching the show wouldn’t expect or know. If I had a really difficult or emotional episode, which I did often, Murray Urquhart, Frank, would be off in a room with me, because all his scenes are with me. He would run the lines with me and sit with me. I might be standing and breathing, just getting grounded because I like to be by myself. I like to step on set and just do it instead of making small talk so we’d be there and he would be ready to run [lines] again with me if it’s what I needed. Support just came from all different sources. It’s not his job to go off and help me prep and make my performance better, but he really had a generosity of spirit to do that. Really everyone did. The producers would send someone into my greenroom to run lines with me whenever I felt like it. We would wrap really late, I wouldn’t go home until I felt ready to shoot the episodes I was doing the next day. I never wanted to leave until I felt ready and sometimes if my co-stars were doing a really hard episode I stayed a couple times to be there for them and stood by the monitors so they could have that fellow performer support encouraging them along whenever they were tired. It was definitely exhausting, but it was amazingly supportive.”

I was actually going to ask her about Murray Urquhart, and this conveniently helped me segue into asking if he was just as quiet as his character on set.

“He’s just such a lovely soul. Every time before I would do any episodes he would just kind of be whatever I needed him to be. He would ask me if I wanted to run it or he would just give me like an encouraging nod if I was just there breathing before I stepped into Kessler’s office. I wouldn’t say he was chatty, he was a calming force and was happy to take whatever I initiated as needing and being helpful.”

This was all super cute to me and I thought it was adorable that their relationship on set sounded so similar to the relationship that we see Frank and Clara having within the show. I resisted the urge to squee loudly, though I did hold my heart with feels, even if Clara couldn’t see me doing it.

How was this project different from stuff that you’ve worked on before?

“There’s a different relationship to ensemble and hierarchy than other sorts of series. I was a lot closer with the producers and the directors on this show. We also had Jared Pelletier who directed every single episode of the season, which was also unusual. It’s harder for someone just stepping in to care as much about the overall journey of the characters. I felt like because we had Jared from beginning to end, and also because we read the whole season together as an ensemble right at the beginning of the season, we spent a day doing that, I felt like everyone was really invested in the overall arc of the season as opposed to doing individual scene work. It allowed growth between the cast and the characters to happen in a pretty special way and everyone seemed really invested in all of the characters. To have absolutely everyone care that much about the overall arc of all the characters is really quite special. Many of us cried that day and we were just doing a table read. We all had shivers and knew this whole team was doing something special.

What was your favorite part/moment from working on the show?

“I remember when we shot the episode that aired recently between Linc, Kessler, and I. We worked on the scene a lot, we actually spent half a day in rehearsal to work on the scene and we had worked on it a lot by ourselves. I felt going into to the shoot a lot of pressure to really get it right for Clara, to really honor what that scene demanded and I had a worry that I wouldn’t be able to live up to what that scene deserved to be and the weight of that and the weight of the narrative that echoes in the real experiences of real people speaking for the first time to people they love about this decision. It is such an emotionally complicated thing, for all involved. I was really nervous about it and I actually had the production move around when the episode was set to be shot. We were shooting it right after something else, but I needed some more space to come into it really grounded and really ready to honor that work. I felt happy with what sort of came out of that, because I felt like I did what I needed to do. When I watch it, and this is an even more broad answer, when I look at the season and watch it I realize, I don’t really see a character that’s pretty on screen. I see a character that’s beautiful and full even in the ugliness and the darkness. I see all of these flaws, that I feel like she’s full up up there…and to just sit with that observation and say these are humans up there that we created and they’re dealing with really tough things and it’s not really pretty is both humbling and fills me with pride at once.”

Clara is watching the show, she actually watches everything that she’s in and she tries to live tweet and interact with fans when her work airs on television. She actually thinks that watching it lets her see the journey the character goes through for the audience as opposed to what she might have gone through in what she shot. She also thinks it lets her reflect on what the characters brought to her life and the things that being those characters led her to think about. By watching it again she can grow with them still.

What aspects of your personality do you think bled through or you think connected with Clara?

“There’s always parts of ourselves in our characters, more in some and less in some. I think she has a depth, emotional depth, and a desire to do the right thing that’s inside her and maybe to make sure that that other people around her are alright and considering how what she’s doing could affect them and having that on her mind…then the self-analytical nature I suppose that comes out, partly because of the setting of the story.”

We talked a bit about psychoanalysis, but what we talked about was already mentioned in an interview she did for KindaTV. She talks about some great stuff that I didn’t cover in this interview, in case you haven’t watched that interview yet you really should.

Because KindaTV is very social media active, what have some of your interactions with fans been like?

“I’ve mostly been on Twitter, I feel like people have been really engaged and developed a lot of empathy for my [character] and all of the patients, to some degree, as characters; people have been really invested in the journey of the characters, so it’s been very positive feedback. I haven’t really received any negative feedback on my character over the course of doing it. I’m surprised there aren’t more directly political conversations about some of the things that the show brings up on Twitter. There’s some, but I’m surprised that it isn’t a bigger part of what people are talking about. I might continue having conversations about some of the themes that the show brings up for me with fans perhaps and start some threads about some of the questions it stirred up in me.”

How do you feel about the nickname “Zombae”?

“To be honest, I forget most of the time that she’s a zombie or turning into a zombie, because I think of her as a person struggling and figuring things out. I equate her to a person having a terminal illness or something like that. The show is so grounded in real things I was like ‘oh right, that’s me.’ I think it’s sweet and cute having a nickname, it’s also interesting that it can slightly distance me from the character, because sometimes it’s weird that everything is Clara for me.”

Did sharing a name ever draw you out at all?

“No it didn’t, it didn’t draw me out. Also when I’m on set often people call me by my character name anyway so that just made it easier. But it was strange when it came out that everything on social media would be Clara, like it’s my name.”

Have you seen the transmedia they created for Clara’s character?

“When we were doing the show RJ Lackie had showed things to me and we had talked about different things. I had sort of read everything that they had prepared so far as if I had prepared it. They’ve added some things since I finished shooting.  I wasn’t aware of all of it, but some of it for sure. When we went into the episode where Linc and Clara are kind of doing Linc’s vlog and we talked about what he did on the internet in comparison to what Clara Walker did. This helped me prepare because I considered that since she’s not making actual video blogs like he is and maybe she’s a little more nervous.”

What are some of your upcoming project that you’re working on?

“I have a role in another series that came out this week called IRL or In Real Life, on Bell FibeTV1. Some of my dearest friends are in it also, so it will be lovely to receive the show and responses together. I am writing my first feature and I have some other things doing the festival circuit.”

I would like to thank Clara again for allowing me to interview her and I look forward to seeing more of her work in the future.

You can find Clara on Twitter, @ClaraPasieka, and you can watch her in Inhuman Condition on KindaTV. You can also watch her in IRL on FibeTV1, but only if you live in Canada. I tried to find a way to watch it in the United States and I’ve struck out so far.

Share your Inhuman Condition thoughts with us in the comments or on Twitter, @thenerdygirlexp. You can find me on Twitter, @kleffnotes, on my blog, kleffnotes.wordpress.com, on my kleffnotes YouTube channel, where I do a weekly KindaTV themed video I call My Kinda Recaps, I run The Nerdy Girl Express Snapchat, thenerdygirlexp, and I post recipes on the iZombie Support Group site.

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