TIM TURNELL . UPTOWN SAINT JOHN COTW . APRIL 12-16

Tim is an award-winning actor involved with theatre, radio, television, and film across Canada. Based in Saint John since 2003, he continues to illustrate comics in his spare time, as well as writes, edits, and directs short films. His acting workshops have been welcomed into grade schools, high schools, universities, theatre companies, and even correctional facilities.

Some questions for Tim…

Where were you born?

Fort Nelson, British Columbia. I have no memories of the town. My fathers work transferred the family a number of times during my childhood. Ive lived all over that province.

What was your breakthrough moment/favourite performance?
A rather back-handed breakthrough moment. Auditioning for a true-crime series a few years ago, I thought I was a shoe-in for the police officer. We were the same age, build, same facial features and hair. I did the read and the casting director asked to take a photo before I left. That was a little bizarre. I had known these people for some time and they had plenty of photos of me already. A long Ewww came from viewing the shot on the digital display. She asked me to come back in an hour and read for the murder. I returned and booked the role of serial killer Angelo Colalillo.

My favourite recent performance would be McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. Everyone on that stage, and behind it, hit that show hard with all we had and we all came away with some personal success during that run. It is wonderful to be in that type of environment.

Where do you work?…and for how long?

I work all over the Maritimes mostly in a performance capacity. When that opportunity isnt available to me on a project, I move into production. For the last four years, it has been my primary income. Its been a tough hustle but it keeps juice boxes in the lunch kits and the power connected.

Im currently involved with developing a number of entertainment projects including a sketch comedy show that will hopefully end all sketch comedy shows. My goal is to showcase as much local talent as possible while using nothing but Saint John resources.

What do you like best about uptown Saint John?

I love that I can do about 86% of my weekly business within the uptown core. All the while walking along these buildings that never let me forget that I am nowhere else in the world but Saint John.

Who is your favourite musician/actor/actress?

I still miss Freddie Mercury and can listen to Randy Newman for days. Right now I am thrilled for Dan Mangans success. I enjoy the performances of Lucas Black and Parker Posey. Locally, I appreciate the work that Scott Thomas does in this city and I cant wait to see Elizabeth Johnsons next project.

What place on earth inspires you?

Any place that is new to me. I love getting work in a new city for that very reason. While studying in Quebec, I had two great friends from Newfoundland. Since then, I have always wanted to see the Maritimes. I got as far as Saint John. I create more here.

Secret indulgence?

More of a denial than a secret. I am coming to terms with the idea that I eat way too much chocolate. It was said once that Tim knows chocolate more than a depressed lesbian. I am not trying to be crass. That is an actual quote from a real-life depressed lesbian. I found out the hard way that if one eats nothing but chocolate for three days, they will get stoned.

Do you have any pets?

Kids and sea monkeys aside, no. I travel too much. I pine for the day when I will be able to have a pet again. Its all planned once I settle into the new house – a dog, a few cats, and a turtle named Stanley.

What do you like to eat for breakfast?

Three coffees and five cigarettes. I adore breakfast foods but usually end up eating them in the evening. No matter when or where, its not complete without sausage.

What is your favourite drink?

Depending on the time of day, a Buck Rogers or a Caramel Macchiato.

Spring? Summer? Winter? Fall?

For a while now, a friend has been trying to convince me to move to Mexico. Every year, I pass on the idea. I just cant see myself functioning in that type of climate. I do somewhat better in the extreme cold but I am most comfortable in the autumn.

Do you have a nickname?

None of them stuck. I think I am above the nickname. As much as I have coveted them, I believe I would be unsatisfied with one in the end.

Favourite quote?

The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. ~ Oscar Wilde

What is your favourite hangout uptown?

If I had time to hangout, my favourite place would be Market Square.

What book are you reading right now?

I recently bought a very rare edition of The Hobbit. I now own more copies of this book than The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. I try to have one classic, one comic, and a how-to going at the same time. Alan Moore and Kevin ONeils The Dark Dossier and Bound by Law by Aoki, Boyle, and Jenkins. A book about copyright and fair use law as it pertains to documentary film making.

What is your favourite thing to wear?

I can do anything in a pair of leather hard-soles.

Describe yourself in three words.

I keep returning to Safe, Reliable, and Courteous. I saw it on a bus once and figured that its all one needs to aim for. The rest will follow.

Watch for Tim in the film Dog Pound which opens across North America this June; check out the trailer: www.dogpound-lefilm.com

Visit www.myspace.com/timturnell for more information.

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