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If you are looking for fame, you are doing the wrong thing

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Tom Anniko is a local stage actor performing in the PTE production of Harvest which will be running from April 3rd to the 20th.

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Tom Anniko is a local stage actor performing in the PTE production of Harvest which will be running from April 3rd to the 20th.

My task was to shoot and edit a quick video during a media call for the Prairie Theatre Exchanges' latest show, Harvest.

No stills were required, as the section was going to press early and the paper was going to use photos provided by PTE. I tend to shoot stills anyway, but this time I found myself thinking about shooting a portrait after the other media were done. I was taken with the lead actor, Tom Anniko, who was portraying a retired farmer. He kind of resembled my grandfather.

I thought the stage props would make for an interest and quick portrait. I also got a chance to ask Tom about what it is like to be a stage actor.

What led you to take on acting as a profession?

"I love the challenge, I love the fun of it. The process of rehearsal is one of my favorite times. My favorite place to be is in a rehearsal hall. Trying to do things and figure out things and play."

What have you found is the hardest part about being a stage actor?

"The hardest part is getting work. Getting enough work! I've been fortunate this year in that I have had two shows, there are years when it's much dryer than that."

What is your greatest fear?

"My greatest fear, and I probably share this with a lot of actors, is just blanking on stage."

What was the worst instance of that happening to you?

"It happened to me actually last year in The Dishwashers. I was doing the blocking and I turned the corner to carry on with a line, it was a kind of rant and... there was just nothing there when I turned the corner."

What do you do?

"You rely on your fellow actors to help you out, which they did of course. It was all fine, but humbling."

Is it hard to recover from?

"Well, when you come up to that part in the play the next time you do it, you are very aware of it. It's not hard to recover, it's hard to make sure it doesn't become a thing, a stigma, a thing in your head where... a wall that you hit every time. So, you have to find a way through it."

Any advice to aspiring actors?

"If you are looking for fame, you are doing the wrong thing. Do it for the work, not for some perceived status, or glory, or potential stardom. Do it for the work, do it for the love of it."

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About Mike Deal

After freelancing for the Winnipeg Free Press for three years, starting in 1997, Mike Deal landed a part-time job as a night photodesk editor.

His first day in the new position was supposed to be September 12, 2001. But when he woke to the news of the two towers on September 11, he automatically headed into the newsroom.

For the next few years, he split his hours at the Winnipeg Free Press between photo editing and photography. In 2008, Mike was hired full-time as a photojournalist.

Mike’s training includes a journalism diploma from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary. He also spent time at the University of Manitoba, working at the Manitoban and the U of M photo club and taking fine art courses.

Having also just finished shooting a personal project that involved taking 2,013 portraits using just his iPhone in the year 2013, he looks forward to taking the portrait project concept to another level. He will NOT be shooting 2,014 in 2014! Don't be surprised if he stops you in the street and demands a moment of your time. You have been warned!

Another personal passion of his is street photography, capturing the people of Winnipeg amongst the beautiful architecture of its downtown.

In his off-hours Mike enjoys taking photos with his iPhone, walks in Assiniboine Forest, and spending his free time with his partner Ariel and daughter Anna.

 

"I go to the street for the education of my eye and for the sustenance that the eye needs - the hungry eye, and my eye is hungry."    -Walker Evans

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