Kara Dymond and I are sort of related. We refer to each other as pseudo-cousins; because technically we’re not cousins, though we do share an aunt and uncle. We met for the first time only a few years ago and became fast friends and now collaborators.  Here are Kara’s Questions & Answers:

||Q:|Heading|font_size=20|| How did you become involved with Out With Dad?
||A:|Heading|font_size=20|| I’m sure it all happened over several pitchers of Strongbow, which is maybe why I can’t remember the exact moment.

At our local pub. Â Our final table read before the script was locked and presented to the cast. L>R Jason Leaver, Eric Taylor, Kara Dymond, Brendon Smith (March 15, 2010)

All I know is at many of our pub nights, you would fill me in on ideas you were having about what would become OWD and we talked about all the issues that would come up (and may still come up) in the storyline. From there, you shared the script with me, and then asked me to participate in a few readings, and needless to say, I was hooked.

||Q:|Heading|font_size=20|| Why did you want to become involved?
||A:|Heading|font_size=20|| I have always been drawn to stories that ring with truth. Since its first draft, OWD has touched me with its honesty. Who, straight or gay, hasn’t fallen for someone who sends mixed messages and holds your heart hostage? Who hasn’t needed to hew out their identity, on their own? Who hasn’t desperately hoped to be accepted and loved for who they are? Through the process of making OWD, it has become more and more obvious to me that OWD is needed. Unfortunately, positive coming out stories and accepting parents are not the norm when being represented on TV. I want to see parents who love all their kids, not just their straight kids, on TV. I want to see a loving, committed relationship between two females (or males) that makes people stop and realize that love is love. I feel very strongly that we as a society need to stop perpetuating stereotypes. Mostly I hope that by showing OWD, people struggling with their sexuality will realize that there are many of us who are allies, and who do support them in the process of defining who they are and how they love.

||Q:|Heading|font_size=20|| You wore many hats throughout the making of OWD. Casting, table reading, extra (many times!), camera operating, acting coach and even catering! I’m sure I’ve left something out. What’s it been like working in all these different roles? Mind commenting on each job you’ve had?
||A:|Heading|font_size=20|| First of all, I want to say that it sounds like I did way more than I did. I unfortunately work most weekends, which is when we typically shot. Whenever I could be there, I was. I wish I could be a full-time OWD team member (and if thoughts count, I am). We all sort of live, sleep and eat OWD. You brought your whole edit suite to the cottage this summer!

Casting was a blast. I got to read with supremely talented actors, and in the process, I was able to play every single character. I spent a lot of time afterwards hoping the actors we didn’t cast knew how great they were – and that because of factors completely out of their control, they just weren’t the one for this project.

Table reads were fantastic, time after time. It was a pleasure seeing the script gradually become crafted, each time into a better piece. Again, I loved playing many different characters.

Kara standing in for Rose

I also got to go with you to one of our outdoor locations and try to read the script as Rose and Kenny while walking, as you figured out your shot list. In another life, I’d love to play Kenny!

Being an extra – I’m not going to lie, is a lot of sitting around. Sometimes you get food. I like food. During the movie theatre scene, we didn’t get started until midnight when we had access to the theatre, and we didn’t wrap till after 6 am. I got home just before 8 am, and went to work at 9 am. But I look back on the experience fondly. Everyone was tired, but there was an irrepressible sense of cheer. The OWD team is truly a great group of people.

Camera operating – I really have to do more of it. What a rush! I am someone who loves to engage with the story, and it was thrilling to feel like I was telling a part of it.

Acting coach – I had a few good ideas. I tried.

Catering – I slaved over an oven on the most stifling day of summer. It was my fault – I offered.

||Q:|Heading|font_size=20|| You’re a stage actress, playwright, director, stage manager, etc. It was not long ago that you became involved in filmmaking for the first time. What’s that transition been like?
||A:|Heading|font_size=20||Well, like when I first started out in theatre, you do a bit of everything. You help where you can. You try to learn everything you can. In theatre, I found more and more that I wasn’t finding the stories that spoke the truth for me, so I became a playwright. For me, theatre has always been about pushing boundaries by making audiences feel uncomfortable about themselves and their own prejudices. With film, I’ve gone through a similar process – helping out wherever and however I can, learning as much as I can, and finding good stories. I have learned from you that film, like theatre, is a beautiful medium. What I appreciate most is that it can be used to tear down boundaries and inspire people to relate to characters. (And of course, I love film as an actor because it is so liberating and allows you to try things and not be afraid of looking dumb, because if you look dumb, hopefully it’ll end up on the cutting room floor and you get another chance. And sometimes, it makes the film – like the short horror film we made for fun, where I actually tripped and fell when running from the bad guy, our very own Eric Taylor.)

||Q:|Heading|font_size=20|| Right now you’re in school for your masters. What are you studying, and why?
||A:|Heading|font_size=20|| I am doing my Master of Teaching degree at OISE. Currently, I’m working on my thesis that looks at work I’ve done developing and teaching a drama program to students with Asperger’s Syndrome, and I’m lucky to have a group of experienced teachers using my curriculum for my research as well. I started volunteering as a drama teacher a couple of years ago and just felt like I was finally doing something worthwhile. I was hooked immediately. I feel so fortunate because as much as I hope I am helping my students, I learn so much from them and feel that they are helping me to become a better person. Every day I work with them, I am delighted, challenged, and inspired.

||Q:|Heading|font_size=20||Could you share funny anecdotes from the set of OWD?
||A:|Heading|font_size=20||At the Kenny auditions, I was reading as Rose during the coming out scene. One actor (who was quite good) nearly sent me into cardiac arrest when he practically leapt over the table at me in his “surprise”! It’s on film, and it’s hilarious. Then when we did the second take, he did it again, and I still jumped out of my skin. That’s also on film. Yeesh.


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