#75 – Annie Tuma

Annie is an actor/mover, shaker & theatre creator! Currently based in Toronto, but originally from Minnesota, she is a graduate of George Brown acting school and holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Manitoba. Outside of Toronto she has created and performed in shows in Minneapolis, San Francisco & Winnipeg. She is a co-founder of Fourth Gorgon Theatre, as well as a founding member of Theatre Georgian Bay. Most recent productions: The Jungle Book (Magnus Theatre), Twelfth Night (Theatre Georgian Bay), We Must have More Men (Theatre by the Bay), Romeo & Juliet and Peter Pan at Old Flame Brewing Co., You Know I Know at the Toronto Fringe, Pirate Life (Pirate Life), Molly Bloom (Fourth Gorgon Theatre), Upcoming: The Dark Lady (Mystic Horde), Turtleneck (EmerGENce Theatre), and is currently creating a new musical adaptation of Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren to set sail on Lake Ontario this summer!

Instagram: tuma2ma
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annie.tuma
Website: http://www.fourthgorgon.com/

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Transcript

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Phil Rickaby
Welcome to Episode 75 of Stageworthy. I’m your host Phil Rickaby Stageworthy features conversations in Canadian theatre with artists of all stripes from actor to director to play right and more. If you want to drop me a line to tell me what you think of the podcast or if you want to suggest somebody that I should talk to, you can find Stageworthy on Facebook and Twitter at stageworthypod and you can find the website at Stageworthy podcast.com. If you like the podcast, I hope you’ll consider leaving a comment or rating on Apple podcasts or Google music or wherever you get your podcasts, ratings and comments really help people find the show. My guest this week is Annie Touma, an actor and theatre creator originally from Minnesota but now based in Toronto, look for her in the upcoming Dark Lady for mystic horde turtleneck from emergency theatre and a musical adaptation of Pippi Longstocking setting sail on Lake Ontario this summer.

You were saying that you originally from the US? Yeah. Okay. So what brings in America? Okay, we’re in the US.

Annie Tuma
I’m from St. Paul, Minnesota.

Phil Rickaby
What brings an American girl to Toronto, Canada to study theatre and just stay here?

Annie Tuma
It is. Not too, not too common. I’m fine. But there’s more than you think. But no, I Okay. So I went, Minnesota has reciprocity with Manitoba. Okay, so I paid provincial price to go to school in Winnipeg University mental health. But before that, I was in San Francisco started my degree there. Loved it, but it was super expensive since school in the States is obnoxious. Like, I didn’t want to have $1,000 of loans. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. And then my dad called me and was like, Hey, you didn’t realise but Manitoba, you can go to school for like, $3,000 a year. So then I made the switch. What was your major at that time, I was majoring in social work, and social work, maybe French, which is hilarious. Now, I don’t speak any French. But that was what I started

Phil Rickaby
with. So what made you switch to theatre?

Annie Tuma
So when I was in Winnipeg, I was studying I got a degree in psychology. And, but was like publicist of the black hole theatre there, you know, school theatre company there. And then was all in all of the shows and was only doing theatre and then did some fringe stuff and directors in the area were like, oh, have you ever thought of going to theatre school? Like, I think we can’t really offer you any more here? Why don’t you consider it? And I was like, Oh, wow, I have always been acting my whole life. And I think I think you’re right. You know, I think that was the push I needed.

Phil Rickaby
So okay, that’s, that’s backup that. When did you first start sort of start acting?

Annie Tuma
I, my first play was in this lit in a church basement. This Craig Wright who went on to write like six feet under, okay. And like big TV shows in New York. But when he was in lived in St. Paul, Minnesota, he had a little company called classics on Cleveland. And we would do like the Iliad, but with like six year olds, and and the four lovers, six year olds, and I played King Arthur as my first role when I was six years old. And I was like, carried in on this big throne. And, yeah, from there, I’ve been acting.

Phil Rickaby
Cool. And so you went to Winnipeg, and studied social work, and they convinced you to find a theatre school and like, do that full time?

Annie Tuma
Yeah, they I auditioned for schools and auditioned for really only schools in Canada because those were cheaper. Primarily was my main reason I auditioned for also the University of Minnesota, the Guthrie programme. They have a great one. But that was the only one in the states that I even auditioned for. And then, yeah, I got into studio 58 and George Brown, and pick George Brown.

Phil Rickaby
What was it just out of curiosity, I know what my reasons were for choosing George Brown. What was it about George Brown that made you choose it over another school at the time,

Annie Tuma
I was actually talking to a couple professors and stuff at Manitoba. Since I knew nothing about the schools really, and they were because it was more classical. I wanted something more text based because I had done more collective creation and little writing things here and there. And so I, yeah, I just wanted classical training.

Phil Rickaby
Because for me it was I remember because I, I had, I had an offer to Ryerson when I applied for, for George Brown. And what it was for me was the business of acting course. Oh, cool. And that Ryerson didn’t have. So it was like, Oh, they’re gonna not just train me. But like, tell me about the business. Okay,

Annie Tuma
that’s what I want. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, that I didn’t even know that. I didn’t know anything. I just literally came from stretching from Winnipeg, to here. And I remember on the first day, Jimmy was like, yeah, so this is a cut programme. And I was like, What? What does that mean? What looking around at everyone and they’re like, Who is this girl that doesn’t even know what the school she got into it?

Phil Rickaby
Was that was that like, it’s on the first day? Is that like, whenever they make everybody do monologues?

Annie Tuma
Yeah, and the jam session day. And for me, I was like, I’m American. If I get cut, I’ll have to go back to the States because I’m only here on a study permit. So then I was like, Well, I’m just gonna graduate and push them out of my head. And everything was fine.

Phil Rickaby
You have to so now lost I had a thought I lost my train of thought so the joys of podcast are biggest here. Maybe. When you were a kid, you remember what what it was that first made you do theatre? Because you were doing it for quite a while, but do remember what it was that drew you to it?

Annie Tuma
My, I grew up in a very artistic family. Not theory, but my mom’s an art teacher. And my dad’s an actuary, but musician at heart. Okay, so we would always go to plays and my mom like raises all the old movies. So I fell in love with my fair lady when I was little and would dress up like Eliza Doolittle and sing the song in second grade I there’s like a videotape of me singing All I want is the room sound like with all the you know, cold my face and everything. So I guess she was one of my like idols when I was little, but really just kind of the community of my like, neighbourhood was also super artsy. And we just had lots of fun. I would I did this thing called the backyard plays that me and my sisters ran. And we would write shows for an Casper neighbourhood kids.

Phil Rickaby
That’s amazing. I did something we had something similar by neighbourhood Ontario Jackson, where we would do something like that we’d like create shows. And like I think we did a one year there’s one summer where there were like three competing shows up play in the yard. And they were all united to do one show. But for a while it was very, very cutthroat and very, like, all of a serious shit. But yeah, so the like, were you writing the shows that this

Annie Tuma
I wrote, me and my sister collaborated on one called Fargo, which was about a diet that got lost in the fog. And that was our big heads. Along with the hot tea pot. We I played Mary Kay from Mary Kate and Ashley. And it was all this weird excursion through like China and randomly and America. And then it was very interactive, though, because then the audience you would we had hit a hot teapot, like a cardboard teapot under someone’s seat. And so like if you sat on the hot teapot, you were like the winner of the play. I think it was like this weird interactive. You’re like come up and answer some questions. But yeah, those are my two. My two heads Fargo in the hot tea button.

Phil Rickaby
Pretty cool. Apparently for friends. Right? You got to Ottawa.

Annie Tuma
Yeah, exactly.

Phil Rickaby
I don’t know what I said. What was like, did you have any experience with French before you hit Winnipeg?

Annie Tuma
No, no, I Not really. I hadn’t even I’d heard I’ve been to like some little ones in Minneapolis because they have a fringe there but it’s not as big as Winnipeg or. Yeah, Edmonton. Nothing is Yeah, so I didn’t really know exactly what it was. Yeah.

Phil Rickaby
Now I hear that one of the Australian ones is bigger than Edmonton but Edmonton was the biggest one outside of Edinburgh for a long time. But like for me that like I only knew the Toronto fringe and so hitting when you hit the Winnipeg fringe and all you know is the Toronto or Montreal fringes you just mind blown. Yeah, how massive it is

Annie Tuma
I know for me, it was the opposite too because I was in you know, did the Winnipeg render they came here I was like, Oh, it’s just not as fun. There’s so like the I mean, I guess like the beer tent is just such a central thing to the city in Winnipeg and Winnipeg, everybody knows, everybody.

Phil Rickaby
Everybody knows a friend is in here. You say, Hey, I’m gonna show on the fringe most people like

Annie Tuma
yeah, you have to explain it. Yeah.

Phil Rickaby
But ya know, it’s it’s it’s a very different different world. But yeah, it’s, it’s incredible. I like Winnipeg, fringe is one of my favourites in the ones that have done. Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg and Edmonton Edmonton, both to Calgary. Edmonton still scares the crap out of me for some reason to go Yeah, it’s still just like something about how massive it is. Just scares the crap out of me for some reason, but I don’t know why. How many shows Did you like? Did you do a bunch of shows at the fringe in Winnipeg?

Annie Tuma
Just to do we did a commedia dell’arte piece, and then one called Lady skits.

Phil Rickaby
What was the one that comedians are killing?

Annie Tuma
It was with 2d fully. And it was just like an improv classic commedia dell’arte that actually broke my ankle on stage during and had to be rushed to the emergency room. That was what was it? Five, four years ago. 123456.

Phil Rickaby
Which, which anywhere you went?

Annie Tuma
We were in the big one in the forks. The kids one Yeah,

Phil Rickaby
I saw that show. No way. I was. I was. I was there with Keystone theatre doing the last man on earth. We were at the the Manitoba Theatre Centre. Yeah. No way. My friend who’s in that cast? Stephen the friend. Yeah, who’s gonna be on the podcast soon. Was like flying out to help. We were in Edmonton. And he flew out to work with some of the people from New York cast. What’s his name? Stephen the friend. Yeah.

Annie Tuma
I Yeah. Yeah. No way. Amazing. Yeah, he came in for a couple days.

Phil Rickaby
He did. Small Talk about your small world. Yeah.

Annie Tuma
That’s so funny. I love it. Yeah. Cool. Well, good. There we go.

Phil Rickaby
We saw that like, we went to see that we had a great, great time at that show. Got it?

Annie Tuma
Yeah, it was just kind of a blast of it. Yeah. There was that.

Phil Rickaby
When you guys were doing that. Did you have any? Do you guys know Canadian at all? Or was that like

Annie Tuma
I didn’t. But it was hard by this guy, Jeremy. And he, Jeremy and my friend Jackie. And they did know a bit. Especially Jeremy. But still. It was kind of them leading it and teaching us what it what Committee? It was. Yeah. Which was great. I learned a lot and we had tonnes of different people come in. And name I’m so bad with names. I can’t. But yeah, different people come in and do little workshops with us. Yeah. So the process of it was the best part about the show, because I learned I played like Francis kina and the thing but like and love her. So yeah, I learned all about.

Phil Rickaby
So you were one of the few unmasked people, which is always fun. Exactly. What was it like? Because I it struck me that I mean, Canadian was something new. Old but new in Winnipeg, that there? I mean, generally people don’t know it very well. Yeah. So it was it like doing that show for an audience. I’m familiar with comedians RJ what was that? Like?

Annie Tuma
Yeah, I mean, it was a bit. People kind of thought it was just like an improv show. So it kind of took and we did do it very, like present day. Canadia. Because people were it was like, based off of that, but was definitely like modern committee yet. But yeah, people were kind of like, Oh, I’m going to like an improv show. And then they’re like, oh, this seems a little bit different. Like, because we would still bring in classic scenarios and classic little lock seas and everything. Like the fly one. And you know, and people would would liked it, but we’re kind of like cool. Like we got we got lots of like, okay,

Phil Rickaby
it’s hard. For people who don’t know, we had a we had a blast. I think we were shouting back a few times. But it’s like, people don’t know. They can do shit like that. Exactly.

Annie Tuma
Because the morning audience like it’s all about the audience. Yeah. So we tried to cut the lights up a bit. You know what I mean? Like, like, totally on, we’re like, come on. Yeah, we’re talking to you. We’d go in the crowd.

Phil Rickaby
I remember some of the cast wandering around in the audience. Yeah, with a show. I was one of those. We were shouting. I think we’re starting at pantaloni. But I don’t remember where we were like shouting because we were trying to get like we weren’t doing we want other people to be doing but It’s hard. It’s a hard sell for people sometimes. Yeah, it was. What was the other show that you did?

Annie Tuma
Lady skits? Okay. Yeah. Well, which was a it was like a sketch female sketch comedy, which was a blast was sold out actually, that was like, that was like our killer show of the season. It was a byo venue. And yeah, it ended with menstrual wraps. Okay, that’s fine, which was a blast. And it was just me and three other girls

Phil Rickaby
that wrote it down sketch before it was just kind of

Annie Tuma
new for this was new for me again this year was just follow these two shows in Winnipeg, I just learned so many things. You never know exactly. It was it was the best way to learn. And that’s why Winnipeg was so great. Because all these people just like with their arms wide open, like, come on. We think you’re cool. Let’s teach you, which I don’t find as much here.

Phil Rickaby
Well, I mean, generally, I mean, it’s hard. I find I think that the theatre community, Winnipeg is a little bit smaller. Yeah. And it’s because it’s smaller, I think it’s more inclusive. Because it’s not as spread out here. We’re just like, the idea of a theatre community is so like, how can we have a community we don’t we can all hang out. There’s like, no one place for us to go. We can like

Annie Tuma
there’s inevitably going to be different pockets. Because it’s so large. Yeah.

Phil Rickaby
But I find that the Winnipeg fringe generally like the fringe, and Winnipeg has sort of like that open arms thing that is I found only really in a couple of smaller fringes. So it’s like this massive fringe that has like the warmth of a large of a smaller fringe. Yeah. Which is interesting. And if there’s a freedom to like, experiment, find it. Some other ones.

Annie Tuma
Totally, totally. That’s a good way putting it because yeah, that was exactly what yeah, what we did

Phil Rickaby
with Lady sketches. And if the Canadian shows, yeah,

Annie Tuma
just trying it. I met someone and they’re like, Hey, we think you’d be good in this. Do you want to do it? Yeah, no. And once again, two other people one of them now has gone on to she does a Quebec comedian or she’s a comedian runs like Women’s Open the mic nights and stuff in Winnipeg, and comes to Toronto a bunch, but she. So she was kind of like the header of that one. Which is great. Cool.

Phil Rickaby
Did you have what kind of preparation do you have for doing sketch when you haven’t done it before? What do you how do you prepare for that?

Annie Tuma
I just did it. I didn’t. It didn’t really prepare. And then we, and it was like, ended up we became like best friends from the process. So then, it really was just us having a great time on stage. But yeah, that was pretty much for that. That was I just did it.

Phil Rickaby
What do you came from Winnipeg to Toronto? So you just sort of show up? You don’t know anything about the programme you’re getting into? You don’t know much about Toronto, I imagine. So what’s that like? You come from Winnipeg, you show up in Toronto, and you don’t know anything.

Annie Tuma
moved in with these three roommates that I showed up? I met one at Winnipeg Folk Fest. We were like drinking gin and eating cold hot dogs. And she’s like, Hey, I’m looking for a roommate in Toronto. So yeah, it was pretty hilarious. Times. No. So yeah, my whole time. Anyways, I really did coming here being like, well, what’s Toronto? But no, I lived in San Francisco and my mom’s from Chicago. So I know Chicago very well. All my sisters live there. And so it wasn’t really I mean, Toronto obviously has its own vibe. It’s very any city there’s a relationship with Yeah, and I find to run out for me is really been like, love hate. I feel like I’m in like such a relationship with the city. I think that

Phil Rickaby
that can be pretty common for people is that you can be in any kind of a love hate sometimes. Is it? I mean, we can not talk about it if you don’t want to. But I’m curious like, the love hate. What is it the love? What is it the hate?

Annie Tuma
Well, I guess? Definitely part of it is I didn’t really realise that I was picking a city in a different country. And yeah, I realising more recently how that’s played a lot into it because there’s been like Visa issues and a tonne of stuff. With all of that, so

Phil Rickaby
does that stand in the way of your of your working at this point?

Annie Tuma
Yeah, yeah, actually, I just booked a commercial. And I’m on a post graduation work permit. And I can’t do it, because actually won’t let me and that also happened to me with an equity gig before right when I was out of Theatre School. The Union I hadn’t received that one. I hadn’t received my visa yet. And so they were like, the union will not let you because you are a risk to the production. So it was happened a bunch of times. And then I just had an equity gig and Magnus theatre. And again, they almost there was a bunch of just finagling that had to happen. Did you get the did you get the game? I got this one. I got it because I had the visa. So now I can work with equity.

Phil Rickaby
Do you have a Visa card or your equity card?

Annie Tuma
No, I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I know. So because of the American it is. It’s because I have to become a part of the American Union before I can be joined the Canadian one. When, if that makes sense. Because American unless I get permanent residency, which is my next

Phil Rickaby
step, but so complicated, or is everybody going for that?

Annie Tuma
I’m going for that? Yeah, but it takes years. Yes.

Phil Rickaby
Well, I mean, thing is, yeah, I mean, it can, you know, it’s a it’s a process. So, I mean, okay, so that’s like, here’s some of the things that you don’t, that you don’t love about it. What do you what do you love about it?

Annie Tuma
I love Well, I love the community that I have found here. I really do. I’ve met in theatre school since I came knowing no one I met amazing people that I agree with all the time. And that has, I can’t leave that. No, I don’t want to they’re my best friends. But so I love that aspect. I do love there’s so many different things going on. It’s such an international city. So yeah, I love those aspects of it for sure.

Phil Rickaby
And you’re decided that you’re going to stay you’re going to become Canadian.

Annie Tuma
I’m gonna get my permanent residency. Yeah, that was very like, in January this year, I had a big whole month of thinking about it. Like, do I want to be here for sure. Because I just lost another thing because of Acura. And I was like, Okay, what am I going to do? Yeah, I’m gonna get my permanent residency. And then once I get that, I’ll be fine. It’s like getting a green card. Right? Yeah, I can work in both places. No problem.

Phil Rickaby
Cool. So that’s doing mostly indie right now. Are you just trying to do everything that you can the legit?

Annie Tuma
Yeah, I’m trying to do everything but mostly I will add, definitely. Yeah. Mostly indie.

Phil Rickaby
What’s, what’s your Indie community? What’s that, like?

Annie Tuma
Great. I started a little theatre company with a couple ladies, when we did started a fringe show. You know, the classic, the classic way where you have to create a name for your company. How they keep making so many companies in the city. But then we did. We’ve done a couple shows since then. So we’re doing a show this summer. Okay, on the pirate ship. Oh, down. Yeah. Pirates life pirate ship. We’re coping it with them because we’re doing Pippi Longstocking? Oh, that’s awesome. I love to be Yeah,

Phil Rickaby
you know, I haven’t I haven’t heard about Pipi since I was a kid, compared to it was a big deal when when I was a kid and

Annie Tuma
right. I know. She’s so cool. She’s so like, she’s the strongest woman in the world. Strongest girl in the world. Correct me. Yeah.

Phil Rickaby
That’s awesome. And when does that happen?

Annie Tuma
That’s going to be end of August, August 23. through September 4. Yeah.

Phil Rickaby
So when you creating these things, are you are you do you write them? Is it collective creation? Do you that combination of both?

Annie Tuma
combination of both? Yeah, we’ve done. Our first show was that was in the French was collective creation. So we totally did. From writings. We sat down and wrote for like three months and then got on our feet and made a show, which I love. But this one, we’re adapting our own version of Pipi. And so we have someone who’s writing music for it. And because you have to have all that sea shanty loveliness when you’re out on Lake Ontario, so I know it could be dead was a pirate. There you go. Yeah. Yep. Yep. So excited. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. But this one, and then me and another girl are writing adapting the script. He’s doing the music our friend Landon, and then we have so it’s, we’re creating it, but then it will not It’s not collective creation.

Phil Rickaby
When you were in theatres when they talked about self production at all.

Annie Tuma
Not as much as I wish they did it business of acting. We learned a lot of great stuff. But I think you’re just taking so many things in theatre school, that I didn’t quite realise how important it was, even though I knew I just didn’t. So I’m still learning to shift

Phil Rickaby
because when I was in theatre school, you know, in the theatres So that self production didn’t come in at all, when they talked about fringe, it was like, Well, you can’t do anything else, I guess you could do a fringe show. It was like, fringe was not the part of the theatre career than it is now. It became, by the time it was like, it’s not really a thing. And so they were training us specifically for go to the audition, get the job, go to the next audition get like that was that was the career, right. And nobody talked to himself for self promotion or self production action. And I think it’s probably the theatre schools will eventually have bigger components. But it’s a slow process to update that kind of curriculum. And I don’t think anybody really could anticipate at the time that these programmes are being put together, how important

Annie Tuma
it was like a main part. Yeah, yeah, exactly. It’s not enough to just have one class. And even though we had great people that came in and talk to us, but yeah, it’s one class one day a week for one year.

Phil Rickaby
Yeah. But even even, that doesn’t even really cut that only like, that’s not theatre production. Totally. That’s like all of the all of the things and so maybe a little bit of is, is is actually

Annie Tuma
self producing. I know, it’s definitely like a slap in the face.

Phil Rickaby
Yes, but I mean, I wish that there were more resources to prepare people for it. But I think it’s, it is an important part of like learning how to do this, any fringe is a great way to learn how to do that with low pressure stakes, because it’s not going to cost you as much to do your show with the fringe. So it’s a great way to get your feet wet. Before you do something stupid, like book a theatre for a play that you haven’t written yet. Yeah. Yeah. Do you know that? I’m speaking personally. Exactly. But yeah, it’s one of those things like, and I guess, one, when you went in, you didn’t really expect that the personal production was going to be a thing that you wouldn’t do. I think most people don’t.

Annie Tuma
Yeah, I know, I, or I kind of knew that it was would be a thing, but I didn’t necessarily think that I would be the one like producing it. You already had some

Phil Rickaby
fringe experience. Yeah. Winnipeg before you came to theatre school. So you had like a sense of it. But I believe most people go into theatre school thinking, yeah, and then I’m gonna learn how to produce my own work. And I’m going to do that for a few years and that people don’t really think about that as part of their career. But it is such a massive part of it.

Annie Tuma
Yeah, massive.

Phil Rickaby
Have you done anytime shows that the Toronto fringe or just like been a participant tried? We did

Annie Tuma
one? You know, I know. That was two years ago. Yeah. And that was the collective creation, one that I Yeah, it was cool. So we, again, it was a perfect way because it was we got drawn when during my third year of theatre school, so then it was a great way. Yeah, it was pretty perfect.

Phil Rickaby
You’re coming out. That’s actually a great way to finish school.

Annie Tuma
Perfect. We had something set up. We were again, like learning so much right away, because it’s like, whoa, okay, so producing this path and writing and acting.

Phil Rickaby
The school when you like, you’re getting into November of your last year. And you’re you’re starting to think production for the summer. Was the school supportive of that? Or did you have to do that sort of like on the side? We

Annie Tuma
did on the side? Totally on the side? Yeah. Yeah. I remember we us it was good, though, in the beginning, because we would have free rehearsal space. So we would just stay really late and try it and make time to, you know, do some writing in the atrium. And then you can get on our feet.

Phil Rickaby
Forget I keep forgetting that. It’s the young centre. Because for me it was this the warehouse that no longer exists it can River Street.

Annie Tuma
Oh, I’ve heard about that

Phil Rickaby
legendary warehouse. And we would people would do the same thing. They’re like you’re working on the thing. You just stay. Nobody asks questions. You stay. Nobody locked. The front door gets locked. The fears get locked. The studios don’t get locked in just yeah.

Annie Tuma
Just stay till someone kicks you out. When they come around. They’re like, um, why are you here? Oh, you didn’t have that? Oh,

Phil Rickaby
it was like, What’s everybody left? There’s not your security guard coming through? Uh huh. Maybe the SEC, maybe Larry would come around and go, and he’d be like, the code is such and such. Just make sure you activate the code. You just sort of Yeah, you know, under the under the Yeah, but you just stay until you’re done

Annie Tuma
for us. Yeah, they do come around their security that comes through eventually. Eventually. Yeah, like 1130 I remember them being like, why are you still here? Oh, okay.

Phil Rickaby
We’re gonna take what you have just that’s just what you say.

Annie Tuma
That’s exactly. All year round all the time. keeps you

Phil Rickaby
safe. starts in September. It ends at the end of the year.

Annie Tuma
You know, Yeah,

Phil Rickaby
I remember losing kids minds that was going to see that the young senator, and I love seeing a play. And I heard these kids behind me talking about full classical, vocal masking. I don’t even know they’ve always just been assigned it. And they’re like, I couldn’t resist a trigger. And I said, the trick is, that is nothing is will you make it and they were like you know, nobody’s gonna tell you that. No, figure that out. It’s giving you a leg up. How you know? Yeah, you know? Yeah, but it’s one of those things like again, like just saying, Nobody tells you because you have to stumble and find your way to figuring it out. Do you remember any of your vocal masks? Oh, yes, I do. I do. Are there. Are they ones that you want to forget? Or air? Or are there? Are you proud of one or two?

Annie Tuma
You know, in second year when we did the partner one, I did sisters. And me and Jocelyn wheel, me and my good friend Jocelyn, who now is directing Pipi this summer. So went on to create a relationship continues. But that was, we had so much fun working on it, we had such a blast and learn so much. I wish that we could go back and watch it because I’m sure it was not in my head. It’s like amazing. But I know it was not amazing or taken out of the scenario that it was, it was like a different like, it was the perfect art for like that moment with like your friends and colleagues. So I I do love my second year one.

Phil Rickaby
What were your What about me 31.

Annie Tuma
My third year, I did home with my word. Again, with the relation to the city I was very, like doing like, like, lived in these all these different places and which one’s my home and what makes it home.

But it I loved working on it I loved working on I learned so much.

But it didn’t probably just be just because it was just me up on stage. It doesn’t have as much of an impact. And as as the partner one. For me personally, I learned more I was scarier, it’s tough, which was what I got from it. It’s

Phil Rickaby
tough up there. Right? Like, I actually know a couple of people who sort of did really well on the vocal mask and sort of became solo performers.

Annie Tuma
Cool. Because of that kind of the first just like that,

Phil Rickaby
that sort of like getting that taste for like being up there. But it’s not. It’s terrifying. Especially it I mean, there’s a warm feeling, but it’s also like, this is one grade. Yeah, this is like my whole year has come to this moment. Yeah. Which is a lot to put on a thing

Annie Tuma
so much. But also it’s like such an important part of third year. And just, I don’t know why. Yeah, I think everyone needs to do.

Phil Rickaby
Do I mean, in terms of, in your opinion, do What’s your opinion of what one gets out of doing the local mask?

Annie Tuma
I? Well, one big thing, I think was taste. Okay. You know, like, what, what I like, and, and you you learn a lot about that Indian School just in general. But I think it really like cinched it when you’re up there just you on stage, having to try out your taste, you know, and seeing what people think about it. There’s something that I’ve just worked on with myself and my prop was a shopping cart. So myself in a shopping cart, and yeah, so that and it’s since you don’t aren’t writing it. It’s not as much of that but definitely. You kind of write a song but anyways, right? So it didn’t bring out that also on me. The interesting thing

Phil Rickaby
is like, it’s like a remix. Right? It’s like, like, remixes somebody would remix music you remix words and quotes and paragraphs to make a thing.

Annie Tuma
Yeah, totally. DJ Yeah. Being your own DJ

Phil Rickaby
things. I wish I know. You DJ you curating a thing? And then of course you never like, is that idea of like if you were to go back would knowing you know now and start over again. Like how awesome would you be right? Yeah. Putting discovered all this stuff. Aside from taste, what did vocal mass teach you?

Annie Tuma
My process more, which, again, these are things you learned throughout whole school, but it was good to try it out on something that just you are working on. You know, also that I procrastinate. I know I procrastinate. So that was a big one for me too. I was like, Whoa, you really progress.

Phil Rickaby
At least you know, there’s like a deadline by which you’re gonna have to send issue

Annie Tuma
and you get it done. Yeah, definitely do. Some of

Phil Rickaby
it is a lot of last minute late nights. A lot of luck as you like, put things together. But like that deadline, that’s one of the things that I’ve sort of learned about, about creating theatre is like, give yourself a deadline you can’t escape. Yep. To make.

Annie Tuma
Yes. There we go. That’s the main one of the main things I learned. Yeah.

Phil Rickaby
Because I wrote a thing for like eight years for gamers before I had a deadline. And then I finished it. Because I couldn’t, because he needed to do what? No reason to finish and if you don’t have a deadline,

Annie Tuma
yeah, yeah, totally.

Phil Rickaby
So you finished your school. You’ve been out of school for two years. And you are working out you’re staying and you’re sort of you’re in Toronto for the for the long haul. And aside from Pippi Longstocking, is there anything coming up for you

Annie Tuma
right now. But in June, I’m part of a show called the Dark Lady, which is kind of a dance. It’s half dancers, half actors. And it’s really weird. It’s kind of like kind of a longer term development thing. We’ve been working on it for a year. So yeah, doing that. It’s kind of I were playing gods and goddesses. So I’m Persephone. Okay. And it takes place in like a gallery in Kensington. So we’re kind of giving everyone like the club feel and we’ll take you through this weird dance piece.

Phil Rickaby
And this was June. Who’s that with? It’s a friend of mystic horde. Okay. What galleries Do you know? And I don’t it’s escaping me. I forget Annie. No, I mean, but yeah. So are you dancing in it? Or are you just speaking? I’m dancing in it too. How does that feel? Like were you a dancer by heart? Or was that because I know there were two kinds of people when I was in theatre school. There was people who like talk to dancing and there are the people who have dancing forced upon them.

Annie Tuma
Fair Yep. You know, I I was in the circus actually when I was younger, so that that was one of the main reasons that won me to become an actor going back to that question, but we go there we go. You always do realise things that you talk I’m

Phil Rickaby
fascinated by certainly. By doing sir, what were you doing in the circuit?

Annie Tuma
Bunty trapeze hoops silks. And how old were you? I was it was in high school. Okay, yeah. So finished when I was 18. And it was amazing. I would go every day after school and go train Have you kept up with your circus buddy?

This is the thing I hurt myself. Oh, yeah, I fell off a silk and landed on my upper back. I didn’t completely fall but they’re stretchy when they’re new. And I climbed up it and thought it was high enough wasn’t and like bounced on the ground. And so I don’t I but I still kept going back to like a dancer mover. I still like have that movement in my body. So I and I like was just in the show actually it Magnus theatre, The Jungle Book where we had to climb ropes and stuff like that. So that kind of thing is still in my body. But I don’t practice circus anymore.

Phil Rickaby
So you so as somebody who’s like faced with like doing this show that that’s dance. You’re not freaked out by it because you have this background.

Annie Tuma
Yeah, I’m not freaked out. I love it. I love it. I love weird movement. We’re doing like CES is a bit of like Suzuki, kind of work throughout the process. And then kind of like pushing your body to the limit. And then what happens when you take yourself as far as you can go. And like the ecstasy and everything that comes with that is what we’re exploring with it. So I love that. Yeah. And even and that’s why it’s half dancers have not because half the people are really amazing. I guess like technical movers. And then the other half of us are more just, I’ll just kind of do my body will do its thing. Yeah. Which is I’ve learned a lot though.

Phil Rickaby
Did you see yourself as a dancer before this? Circus aside, but like if somebody had said, this is a role for a dancer.

Annie Tuma
No. I’m like a mover. I guess I categorise myself. Like if that makes sense. Yeah. When you have to put a name to it. Yeah, I say because I don’t know like technique, but I definitely. I love movement. I love movement based theatre and all of that

Phil Rickaby
funny because when I was when we formed Keystone theatre back in the day. And Richard Bowen said it’s going to be physical theatre. I was like, I don’t fit. I don’t know. I don’t do physical theatre. Who’s I think you do. I think you can. I was like, I don’t know. I don’t give Try like four years in when I was like, okay, I can do see it physic physical theatre, but I think I can only do that kind. But it was like just this revelation. Okay, I kind of had, uh huh. I have a body. Yeah, I could do physical theatre, which is Yeah. Because when I was in theatre school, I was like one of those people who like I had dance forced upon me. And it was not did not come naturally at all. Every dance class was a struggle for me. I know. Yeah, yeah. I remember we had we had somebody came in to do tap dance teacher we didn’t do that. dance teacher was was sick. And so they brought in somebody taught tap and like, I think a very classical like drill sergeant kind of way and didn’t take to it. Yeah, if you didn’t catch it right away. She’s like, Oh, I don’t know. I can’t take the shoes off

dying inside. Yeah. Are you are you on the on the internet’s website? Do

Annie Tuma
you have Twitter? Internet? Fourth quarter theatre? Yes. Fourth gorgon.com. And

Phil Rickaby
it’s just one of those names that you come up with when you have to come up with it

Annie Tuma
is a fringe. Yeah, that’s the one. It is. But we I love it. We do love it now.

Phil Rickaby
It’s good. Over years ago, there was a company that I was at the fringe lottery and their name was we spent the rent. Like just all these names are

Annie Tuma
exactly that was definitely yeah. Twitter, Twitter, no. Instagram. Yes. To my to my. To my to the number ma every go. Yeah, that’s good. That’s awesome. And then the poker face, obviously.

Phil Rickaby
Of course. Yes. Um, in terms of what’s the what the stuff that’s coming up for you got this this damn show. You’ve got Pippi Longstocking? Are you able to look ahead further than that? Are there things that you’re looking at for further?

Annie Tuma
No, nothing. Right now for further it’s really just getting my permanent residency papers. That’s what’s very concerning time consuming right now, but yeah, no, that’s just looking to, I guess to September 4.

Phil Rickaby
Oh, cool. Yeah. And then, who knows? You know, yeah, I do. Yeah. Let’s get a lot of fun. Thank you so much for talking to me tonight. And thank you