Thursday, April 26, 2018

Tristan Risk Utilizes Her "Parlour Tricks" in Hollywood North: An Interview

Tristan Risk is a burlesque dancer, fire-eater, actress, writer and now director. For twelve years, she toured North America and Europe as a dancer. More recently, she has appeared in the Soska sister's American Mary (2012) as Beatress Johnson. In 2014, she was again cast by the Soska sisters to perform in "T is for Torture Porn," in the ABCs of Death 2. Born in Vancouver, B.C., she has continued her acting career in other horror titles, including Scott Schirmer's Harvest Lake (2016) and Elias' Ayla (2017), which was just released. In this interview, Risk talks about starring in some of these roles and some of her upcoming roles. She also opens up about directing her first short feature, "Parlour Tricks." Find out the latest on Tristan Risk and her upcoming projects in this one-of-a-kind interview.

(Michael Allen) So, let us just jump into the first question, here. How hard was it to sit in a make-up chair, for two hours, on American Mary (2012)?

(Tristan Risk) It was not really that hard because it was early in the morning. I had to be there first, before any of the other actors, to get the make-up done. And, that meant that the make-up artist had to be there before I got there. So, they were there way earlier. But, it also meant that I got to fall asleep in the chair as they stuck things to my face.

(MA) That sounds a bit tough.

(TR) It was okay, a bit meditative.

(MA) In ABCs of Death 2, you played Yumi, in "T is for Torture Porn." This was your second time working with Jen and Sylvia Soska. Do you hope to one day turn the camera around and film the Soska sisters in something?

(TR) I would be delighted to film the Soska sisters in something. I think they are extremely talented actors as well as directors and they actually started out in acting, when they were first getting into the industry. They always got cast as sexy twins, all the time. It was not fulfilling for them. I think if they were given challenging enough roles, then they would rise to that challenge as we have seen in Dead Hooker in a Trunk (2009). They were also guest stars in ABCs of Death 2, in "W is for Wish." You can actually see them torturing somebody as the elevator is going down.

(MA) They were the central stars in Dead Hooker in a Trunk, I think.

(TR) They wrote it, directed it, starred in it. They did the catering. They did the stunts. It was so DIY. They were just like: "we will do all the jobs," so we don't have to pay anybody. Because, they were really broke.

(MA) *laughs*

(TR) Well, it was the student life, right? They were like: "oh cool, we just finished film school, so we have a lot of debt and nobody to make this film. But damnit, we are going to make this film anyway!"

(MA) Now, in Harvest Lake (2016), you played Cat. There is a strange, sexual and supernatural entity in the film. Can you talk a little bit about the film and your role?

(TR) I played Cat. She is a bit of a party girl. Her whole thing is she is going up there with her boyfriend, that weekend. She is like, "I am going to give him the same thing I give him every year. I just wrap it up a bit different." Then, she is trying to get her friend to have a threesome with them, because that is the present. Then, her friend is like: "are you kidding me?" And, she is like "ewww!"

I thought it was pretty funny. Because, I think a lot of people perceive me to be something like that. But, I am actually the opposite of that. I am usually the one who has the worst experiences with the creepy polyamorous people and the creepy swingers, fixating on me. They are often like: "we really like you." And, I am like: "I really like me too." Then, they say: "we really want to take you home." I am like: "I am out of here weirdos."

(MA) I saw a couple of your interviews and you mentioned boundaries a few times. It is good that you have those personal boundaries.

(TR) And, I have lots of friends who are polyamorous and they are respectful. It is a certain kind of people, who are like: "hey, we want to try something new with you." I always respond: "I will let you know."

(MA) Ayla just had its Canadian Premiere at the Vancouver Badass Film Festival, this past February. You play the title character Ayla. What was it like to transition from smaller roles into a central role, for this film?

(TR) I liked playing Ayla a lot. First of all, I had no dialogue. So, I had to act entirely with my body and my face, which was something very unusual for me. Because, I am used to being under a lot of prosthetic makeup. And, there were lines to help emote with. I was really having to go back to some of my dance and theatre training and speak with my eyes. The upside to that I did not have any lines to learn, so I could be completely obnoxious on set when poor Nicholas Wilder was trying to remember dialogue. I would say: "oh yeah, what was my line again?"

They were like: "oh Tristan, you be quiet now." But, it was great. I loved playing that character. It was so weird and dark. Elias was such a great director to work with. It was a positive experience, for me.

(MA) One of your latest projects is the short, horror film "Parlour Tricks." There is a bit of burlesque in it. What is your role in the film? Can you talk about the story a little bit?

(TR) I can. I will just correct you on it. I don't actually play any characters in that film. I wrote and directed it. It is my first time as a director, but not my first time as a writer. I co-wrote a script with a director named Kate Kroll. She directed the film. It was called the "Happily Ever Evil" (2014). This was my first time dipping my toe in the directorial waters. I was really spoiled. I wrote this script with this cast in mind and I was able to convince all of these fantastic people to take part in the film. I was also able to entice Topher Graham and Jordan Barnes-Crouse, from Bad Cookie Pictures, to help me with the production of it. And, it really came together very smoothly. And, I am so, so excited. I have Chris Woods, from Blackberry Woods, doing the scoring on it. It is in post now. It just needs to have a few more things added in, sound-wise. It should be ready for film festival submissions in two weeks.

(MA) Are you going to the Calgary Horror Convention in June?

(TR) Sadly, I have no plans to go to the Calgary Horror Con'. We do have a gaming event called Game Over. I do like the Calgary Horror Con'. It has a very nice family vibe. I don't go to conventions anymore. They are not my scene. I am stepping back from the convention circuit. But, I can advocate for the Calgary Horror Con'. It is worth seeing.

(MA) Last question, is there anything else coming up, for you, that you would like to mention before we sign out?

(TR) We are going back to Game Over. This is Game Over's second year. It will be at the fabulous Waldorf Hotel, in Vancouver. It features panels, walk-ons, live sideshows, circus performers and a video game cosplay theme and cosplay contests. There will also be retro gaming arcade there. So, it is going to be pretty fun.

(MA) Will it be similar to the Vancouver Fan Expo?

(TR) Oh no, that is massive and huge. I would have so many anxiety attacks, if it was that big. This one is much smaller. There will be 400 people and under, potentially. It depends on how many people show up. It is not quite as big as the Fan Expo, but it might get there some day. We would just need a bit more investment.

I do have three or four projects coming down the pipe, in various states of pre-production. And now, it is just a game to see which one is getting made first, when it is getting made and where it is getting made.

(MA) I think I saw a Frankenstein film, on your IMDB page.

(TR) Frankenstein Created Bikers (2016)?

(MA) Yes, that is the one.

(TR) That one has been released as far as I know. It can be viewed. It is on the film festival circuit. And, James Bickert is releasing Amazon Hot Box (2018), which I was also a part of. That one will be coming out in June, I believe.

(MA) Okay, I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to do this interview. I really appreciate it.

(TR) No problem. Thanks for giving me the time.


More on Tristan Risk can be found at her website, below. Here, she sells prints, magazines and signed photos: Little Miss Risk's Official Website

Risk is also on Twitter: Little Miss Risk on Twitter

And Instagram: Little Miss Risk on Instagram

The Game Over Convention takes place on April 28th. More details: The Game Over Social Site

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