I had the chance to chat via email with Ryan Taerk. We chatted primarily about his current series, The Communist’s Daughter, as well as some of his other work. Thank you so much to Ryan for answering all of my questions.
Could you tell our readers a little about yourself?
I am an actor, writer of screen and teleplays, songwriter, musician, a non professional skier, avid sushi lover, but most proudly my parents third child. 🙂
How would you describe The Communist’s Daughter?
The Communist’s Daughter is a show filled with so much love and hilarity. It follows the McDougald family, a family of communists, at the height of consumer driven North America, trying to acclimate to their new surroundings as they move back to their old neighbourhood in Toronto, Canada. Hilarity ensues when the father of the McDougald family announces that he is running for city council, as an “independent”. The kids, Dunyasha and Boris, struggle with being caught between being supportive of their family while trying to survive and enjoy their high school experience.
What is your role in the series?
I play Boris McDougald, the younger brother in the family. Boris is the rogue McDougald. He is a young capitalist through and through. He finds his family’s communist beliefs to be a great challenge, which causes lots of push back between Ian, the father, and Boris. The differences in ideologies creates so many comedic moments with a ton of heart. I am so grateful for Boris being a part of my life.
What have been some of your favorite on set moments?
Some of my favourite moments on set were the conversations in between takes with my castmates. We all loved being on that set and “playing” together. We got very close really quickly which made the experience so fun. I couldn’t keep a straight face when Jessica Holmes, Carol McDougald, was in a scene with me. Her comedic mind works so quickly and I loved how she pushed me to keep up. Everytime Aaron Poole would fall/slip for the sake of the scene, it was so funny. Once again, each member of the cast brought something so unique to the table. Each day one set was filled with lots of laughter and fun!
Could you tell me about Beautiful Tragedy and what inspired it?
Absolutely! Beautiful Tragedy is a song that I co-wrote with my brothers/writing partners Josh Taerk and Matt Taerk. Josh was on tour in the UK and after a show he got back to his hotel really late one night. When he opened the door to his hotel room, all the lights were off except the one desk lamp that was pointing out the window of the room. It caused him to wonder if someone who was awake across the city would be able to see this one light shining in the night sky? That’s when the first lines of the first verse came to Josh. From there, he brought home this story, and after hearing it, we created this upbeat melody that supported what would turn into Beautiful Tragedy. Our song writing process is never the same, but as soon as inspiration strikes, it’s like all hands on deck!
Without going into too much detail, can you share anything about the pilot script you are working on?
Yes. This has been such a fun process stepping into the world of creating scripted content. The show is a workplace comedy that has all the classic elements of the genre with a modern spin to depict the world the way it is today. I know that is super vague, but the “secret sauce” of our story, I’m sure, will bring lots of joy and laughter to different audiences. I’ve had the best time working on creating and developing this show, and I look forward to sharing more information on the series soon.
What was it like working on Umbrella Academy?
It was so cool. Everyone on that set was so kind. I felt that each member of the cast and crew saw the experience as an impactful opportunity to create something special for the show’s incredible fan base. I was lucky enough to share a few scenes with Emmy Raver-Lampman, Allison Hargreeves, on the show, and I need to say that her work ethic is second to none. She is so committed to everything she does, and treats everyone with such kindness. It was truly such a pleasure to work and even hangout with her in between takes. She gave me the hot tip on how to book the best AirBnB in Paris…that’s another story for another time. But overall, can’t say enough about all the fun that was had on Umbrella Academy.
Any other projects you’d like to share?
Currently there are a few projects that are on the horizon for me, and I’m really excited about them. The only thing is I am not allowed to say anything about them yet. I can promise you, that in the very near future you will be seeing and hearing me in different projects spreading over different mediums of entertainment. I can’t wait to share more with you all really soon!
Where can our readers keep up with you online?
I love getting to connect online. Readers can find me on Instagram, @ryantaerk, and Twitter, @RyanTaerk. I manage my own accounts, so any messages that are sent to me, I personally write back.