Interview with Tamara Almeida from @kleffnotes

I had the opportunity to chat with Tamara Almeida, an actor who will be appearing in the reboot of the popular ’90’s series Ghostwriter. I chatted with her about this upcoming series as well as some of her other projects. Thank you so much to Tamara Almeida for answering all of my questions.

Can you tell our readers a little about yourself?
I’m a Toronto-based actor and producer. I grew up in Scarborough to a Chilean mom and Ecuadorian dad. I started acting 9 years ago when I quit a career in sales. I have an eclectic taste in music, good art gives me hope, and am as passionate about technology as I am storytelling. I’ll enthusiastically share my passion for mediation with anyone who will listen, am an advocate for mental health, and am aware I watch way too much TV.
You will be appearing in the reboot of the ’90’s series Ghostwriter, how would you describe the series and your role in it? 
This is reimagined version of the original, following a group of four children who team up when a ghost starts haunting their local bookstore. Fictional characters are released into the real world and together they try to solve the mysteries surrounding our ghost’s unfinished business. For context, the local bookstore is owned and operated by “Grandpa”. I play the character “Young Grandma Tess”, his wife, who we get to see in flashbacks. She’s a driven, loving woman, with an innate belief to do what’s right. I think that’s all I can say!
Had you ever watched the original series?
Yes! After school, every day on PBS. This and Saved by the Bell were my faves. When I found out I was going to be on this show, I had those ‘pinch-myself’ moments because it had played such a big role in my childhood. A bit surreal.
What are some of your favorite on set moments? 
This set was incredible. Everyone on it. The kids were amazing, the cast, the crew, our directors (Luke Matheny, JJ Johnson, and Melanie Orr), and our 1st AD’s (Stephanie Cohen and Derby Crewe) were unbelievable. My favorite on set moment was on one of our final shoot days when everyone showed up dressed up in ’70’s clothing. Luke was in the longest bellbottoms I’d ever seen (he’s very tall)! We snapped a pic when we wrapped in the library set and I printed it out and put it on my fridge. It’s one of my favourite memories on set, ever. It was a snapshot of the experience. It was fun, cohesive, collaborative, and the cast and crew had such great chemistry all around, beginning to end. Also, getting to watch the kids grow up! In the months we worked on the show, I felt like they were sprouting month to month. I’m pretty sure I was taller than Isaac (Arellanes) when we first started shooting.
Could you also discuss your role in the short film Date Night? 
“Date Night” follows Alba (Bea Pizano) who’s about to go on a date, which she hasn’t done in years. Nervous and vulnerable, compounded by feelings of insecurity (age, language barriers, and too much makeup), are explored in this powerful short. I play one of her daughters, Carmen, who is the eldest of the two. Carmen had to take on several responsibilities at an early age to help her parents who had immigrated from Columbia. Carmen is headstrong, fiery, and has a complicated relationship with family. I identify with this story deeply, with the sibling and parent relationships depicted with such honestly. There can be a lot of love there, but at times, it can feel very messy and complicated depending on the dynamics.
“Date Night” was written by Margarita Valderrama, and directed by Arlen Aguayo-Stewart, both who are also Latinx. Margarita rounded out the cast, playing the younger sister Penelope, making our entire cast Latinx. Our crew was comprised almost entirely with POC. This is one of those sets that set an example of the work I want to create, both as an actor and a producer.
You are also in the animated series Let’s Go Luna, what is it like being part of this as a voice actor? 
The process has been so collaborative, since that first moment in the audition where I was given the opportunity to bring my version of ‘Maria Mariposa’ to life for the team. I had such clarity about her, and with every redirect or adjustment, I felt excited that we were finding ways to find her voice together. Working on this has been an absolute dream. Voice acting is a lot of fun, and allows you to play with certain extremes because you’re off camera.
In my experience I have found that the better prepared for voice work, the better. My intentions have to be clear line to line, with high energy levels that aren’t just me projecting vocally. Painting a picture dictates how I use my voice. I like to play with flexibility, pace, and volume, especially for Luna since it’s a younger audience. I come in, take whatever direction is thrown my way, and go for the ride. I love voice work and look forward to doing more of it in the years to come.
 
Could you also discuss some of your production work?
My introduction to production came when I co-created a web series years ago called “Some Kind of Life”. A friend and I wanted to make our own work, so we ambitiously undertook creating and producing this project together. I found it exciting to apply the skills I’d gained working in business development and sales previously to production. I then moved onto working on several short films with a collective of peers. Working with that team of people inspired me to begin writing. I’d also been following Brit Marling and Phoebe Waller-Bridge for years, leading me to clearly visualize the production career I wanted: to create work that allowed me to tell stories I found compelling and important. There was no right way, and you could play in multiple genres, so long as there was truth, it was effective.
I recently completed (writing) two projects that I’m in the process of editing and rewriting before beginning the pitch process. One is a TV show set in my favourite genre of sci-fi, that I dream of shooting in Canmore, Alberta. The other is a dark comedy web series I will likely self-produce and begin shooting in the early spring here in Toronto.
Do you have any other projects you’d like to discuss? 
I’m currently working on another short at the moment that follows a couple planning to have a baby. I play Rachel, our potential mom-to be. The story follows her narrative as she navigates this process. It’s one of those short film scripts I read and got nervous about. Could I tell the truth about what I know surrounding this? It’s honest, real, and gives voice to vulnerabilities I strongly identify with as a woman.
Earlier this fall I also had the opportunity of working on a short with fellow actor and producer Liz Whitmere. It was experimental, creative, and predominantly shot in water (Lake Huron). She’s a powerhouse and brought together an incredible team of people. It was one of the most magical weekends and I can’t wait to see the project when it’s complete. Other than that, auditioning, writing, and producing!
Where can our readers keep up with you online? 
Find me on instagram @tamararubyalmeida. I also have Twitter and Facebook with the handle @almeidta, but I don’t frequent those as much as the ‘gram.
Share your thoughts with us in the comments or on Twitter, @thenerdygirlexp. You can find me on Twitter, @kleffnotes, on my blog, kleffnotes.wordpress.com, and on my kleffnotes YouTube channel.

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