First of all, what’s going on with Good Mourning, Mrs. Brown?! Tahyna posted a picture, and there you were in Wollongong on stage! What is your character? We were talking about that on the site – some said you looked the part of a minister, another said a Geek Squad computer repairman, another an accountant. Have you been doing the full Australian tour or only select performances?
Yeah, I have been doing the show here. We came out in January and decided we wanted to stay here for a bit and it happened that MBB was coming out too, so Brendan and Jenny asked me would I be interested in playing one of the roles while I was here - it was a no-brainer! The cast is great. I had got to know them a little over the last few years and now to be part of the show itself is an unreal experience. I love it. I play one of the Mormons from the Church of the Latter Day Saints who call to Mrs. Brown’s house. It's a comedy show obviously, and it’s been great fun working with these guys and seeing how they work together. It makes you wonder why everything else can't be so much fun and run so smoothly – haha.
Every season on DWTS and SCD has challenges, but what was the biggest challenge for you on SCD in 2015?
I think for me the biggest challenge each season and every episode is fitting into what the producers want to happen and trying to compromise your ideas and work. I understand it has to happen but it's hard when that becomes the priority. Sometimes you have to play 'the role' you don't want and it can be frustrating when everyone isn't privy to it. That's the nature of the show though and some work with it and some fight it, but I just think if you are going to be judged (more so by the audience) it should be your work and your work and ideas alone that are being judged.
Speaking of SCD 2015, Carol Kirkwood paid you some very nice compliments on Twitter a few weeks ago. Have you had the chance to dance with her or perform with her away from SCD? Did you get to know her well during the series?
No, I haven't danced with Carol since but she is such a beautiful person. I have a lot of time for her. We danced together in the group number at the very beginning of last season and we talked a lot during the season and are still in touch now like I am with a few others from last season and the previous one. Sometimes you meet people on the season and that's the last you hear of them unless you put yourself in those circles, but other times you get some messages asking how ' real life ' is – haha.
You have been asked many times what you would do if you weren’t a dancer, but this question from one of your fans in Europe touches on something different. If you were to have an alternate career in the entertainment industry, what do you think it would most likely be? Or conversely, what would you like it to be?
I don't really know. I like to talk and I'd love to do some presenting so maybe that. I have been very lucky with the opportunity I have been given now with MBB but I know not every gig is as smooth and as fun as this one. I don't know how much I would enjoy acting or certainly auditioning for acting roles – haha - maybe viewer is best option for me.
As a teacher of dance, what is the most important lesson you want your students (of all ages and occupations) to learn?
That enjoyment come first and improvement comes second. They are not equally as important but if you want to focus on one more than the other then that's up to you, and you have to decide and make sure that you realize that your opinion is most important not someone else's. If it's for fun, don't treat it like a competition, and if it's a competition don't treat it like fun. But you decide.
We all get bored at times. You travel a lot and have spent a lot of time on airplanes. Do you ever get bored on long flights? How do you pass the time?
100% - everyone gets bored on long haul flights. I just do the same as everyone else really - watch some films and think about what you are gonna do when you get to wherever you are going! I never used to move on planes. I'd plant myself down and just stay until we got ther,e but more recently I’ll go take a walk. I can't seem to sleep on planes and when I do I wake up with the bed neck and a chin full of slob - hahaha! I have been lucky enough with some companies where they flew us business class and then a few times I have corpsed it almost straight away after take off. I used to be bad with turbulence as well but I'm over that now.
In one of our recent interviews, you mentioned egos and then spoke about the cast of BWAT and how there are no real ego issues with the close cast. We’re sure you’ve come across this now and then in your career, but how do you deal with people who have inflated opinions of themselves - on SCD, DWTS, or just in everyday life?
The thing about that is that it's just my opinion. It's not to say I'm right and it frustrates me to bits, but I just leave that as it is. People are people and everyone has their reasons for whatever they do but I've stopped letting things like that get to me and just worry about my own stuff. Sure some people think I have an ego! That's the way it works. We see things the way we want to. Everyone can do whatever they want to and let's leave it at that – haha. Ego is frustrating but not as frustrating as entitlement.
Thinking back to your time in Burn the Floor, does any particular dance stand out as a favorite or is there perhaps one that you especially enjoyed performing night after night?
No, I don't think of shows that way - just the experience in general or whether it was good or bad! There are always songs we dance to and I remember them from BTF but the show changed so much so many times and at different stages. I'm sure I liked some dances more than others. I don't remember dancing through the dances just through the people and the times I had doing them. I'm not the type to think that dancing is everything and it fixes everything and it doesn't control my life like I believe it does a lot of people. I just enjoy doing it and the times I've had doing it and the people I've met and the places I've gone through and because of dancing are what make me happy.
The website forum contains a thread called “Tristan Trivia” and as you can imagine, it covers a lot of territory. One of the most recent questions involved the USO tour from several years ago when you, Chelsie Hightower, and Peta Murgatroyd visited and performed for troops in Germany. What do you remember about that experience?
Yeah, I remember the USO tour. It was a great experience and it's a shame I didn't get to do more of them. I really, really would have loved to. I remember meeting all the families that had been there and meeting the guys who has just flown in to Germany and were trying to settle. It just set me back seeing how young so many of these guys were and what they were committing themselves too. I mean you look back to the war times we learned about in school and you see kids fighting 14/15/16. It's all different times now but still surprising and sad at how young so many soldiers are! We visited a lot of the injured soldiers while there as well so it was very humbling. In saying that, we were looked after really well and had fun there doing the shows and hanging out with the soldiers. Afterwards, Chelsie came to Ireland and stayed in Bray and I showed her around Dublin. We had a great time.
We have to ask – do you have any scheduled performances coming up?
I don't have anything scheduled, no.
Since July, 2012, we have interviewed Tristan 65 times and in honor of our website forum reaching 1 million views in February, 2016, we decided to bring them all back beginning with the first one. We hope you enjoy this very special feature. All interviews are posted elsewhere on this website, including our forum.