Dorothy’s famous line from The Wizard of Oz seems especially apt for the journey of native Winnipeg actress Tamara Gorski, who has found her way home after a career of larger than life experiences with many prominent Hollywood actors.
She initially returned to be with her ailing father and reunite with family, and now, for the foreseeable future, has decided to take root in St. Boniface to care for her first child, Maya, with partner Mike, and to connect with Winnipeg’s vibrant film and theatre community.
Tamara and I recently sat down for a short chat. She cautions me that her three-month old baby may require immediate attention at any moment, but for now, all is serene.
She has spent much of her adult life in theatre and film hotbeds such as Toronto, Vancouver, New York and Los Angeles and has worked on location in exotic locales such as Luxembourg, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Paris.
She is reluctant to name-drop, but after some prodding, she notes that she has worked opposite an impressive A-list of actors which includes Wesley Snipes in Murder at 1600, Michael Douglas in The In-Laws, Bruce Campbell in Man with the Screaming Brain and Russell Crowe in The Next Three Days.
That’s not all. She confesses to having worked with Eric McCormack, Kate Hudson, David Boreanaz, John Cleese, Albert Brooks, Stacy Keach, Angela Lansbury and The Kids in the Hall crew in film and television projects. She has appeared in television shows such as Flashpoint, Bones, Angel, Murdoch Mysteries, Without a Trace and Hercules. Wow.
She recalls fondly her portrayal of real life Holocaust survivor Manya Hatrmeyer Breuer in Haven, a four-hour miniseries for CBS with oscar-winner Anne Bancroft, Henry Czerny and Natasha Richardson. "I felt a huge responsibility," she says. "It was an honour to tell the true story of a very complex and resilient character."
One of her current gigs is as lawyer Tavia Booth in the Frantic Films-produced interactive web series Verdict, in which she and another lawyer take opposing positions during a courtroom drama. Viewers vote for the most compelling argument at www.theverdict.com. The website drama has been renewed for another season.
Tamara caught the acting bug in Winnipeg, when, as a high school student at St. Boniface Diocesan High School, she helped to choreograph and direct drama productions for the school.
"These experiences set me up for the future, they started my creative life adventure, and I was so appreciative for them."
During her formative years, she also honed her artistic skills with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Royal Conservatory of Music, Junior Rusalka and Rainbow Stage. She recommends that aspiring performers "log the rehearsal hours, develop a powerful work ethic, and find supportive mentors who offer honest feedback."
This fall, Tamara will offer classes and private coaching/mentorship in film, theatre and media production for youth and adults. Topics will include voice and movement study for character development, scene study and audition technique.
"I can help both novice and experienced performers work on their skills and potential. "
What about settling down in one place after a lifetime of travel? "It’s nice to know that I’ll be home for a while. I even have a garden for the first time ever, in a bathtub no less!"
For now, home will be St. Boniface, with its own special appeal. Her father worked as a physician for several decades at St. Boniface Hospital where she and now her baby girl were both born.
"There’s something about St. B.’s majestic tree-lined streets and those 100-year old homes."
Tamara is excited about plying her craft in her hometown, but she confesses her most rewarding role, at the moment, is as a mother to Maya.
Contact Tamara at email@example.com to sign up for one of her classes or to chat one-on-one about making a go of it in the film and theatre industries.
Adriano Magnifico is a community correspondent for St. Boniface. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.