Could we be any more fortunate than to support someone like Tristan? Thanks for all of the questions you send us, tweet us, and leave here on the site. Since he will be traveling again soon for teaching commitments and Ballroom With A Twist, I only sent a few questions this time, but his answers are thoughtful, insightful, and hilarious! Enjoy this latest interview with Tristan.
In a recent interview with Nikki Lorenzo, we asked her this question: “If you could see Tristan as any particular character or type of character in a film or perhaps being involved in another aspect of the film (production, directing, choreographing, etc.) what would it be?” Nikki said that from what she’s seen she’s impressed with your acting, but based on your conversations, she could see you creating, choreographing, and hosting a dance related show. Which brings us to our question - If you had complete creative over a dance performance live show (in the style of BWAT, Burn the Floor, etc) and you had unlimited resources to create it, what type of show would you have and are there any particular dancers, choreographers, or other performers you would like to join you in this venture?
I have a lot of ideas for different shows that I would like to work on, yes, and I am currently working on a few where I have to be all of the above. I am taking this time to try out a few different things and see where I feel most comfortable. How big or small the projects I am not too sure, and I don’t have any deadlines or time frames to work under. I am just taking it all at my own pace and enjoying working with different writers and directors and producers - but not to the point where anything major is about to happen. I have kicked back a little for a few weeks to spend time with my wife which was long overdue and now teaching and travelling are back in the calendar for a few weeks. Acting is fun for me. I don’t mind doing little bits of this and that but I like doing things where I can just be myself.
Speaking of Nikki Lorenzo, tell us about the “Work That Charm” and “Be My Man” music video experiences?
Nikki is great craic and both videos have been fun to do. Marc Cleary who directs them always has great ideas, and he makes it super fun to do. I usually just rock up and hang out - throw my face on camera for a little and then go home - haha! It’s great to see the process of the 'making of'. For me I enjoy seeing people at work and hearing the ideas and decisions being made and thrown around. I never do too much in the videos which suits me but if it helps at all I’m always happy to, and I learn more from watching them being put together so I have to thank Lorenzo for that one! The main difference though was the first video I had to pretend to drink and play cards and the second one I did drink but no cards!!
You once said that you love to dance but you love even more to entertain. What qualities do you think make someone a good entertainer?
I think the answer to that is quite broad because it’s all based on opinion and everyone gets entertained in different ways but I know for me as a viewer that I need to have an interest in what’s going on and then I like to feel comfortable and included maybe to a certain degree - so that’s what I try do when I’m hosting or dancing, I think. I try to relate to people and maybe talk to them and see what they are interested in and then give an opinion on that or an observation maybe more so than an opinion. I hate being told what to think or do so if someone is entertaining me then there has to be a degree of 'what do you like' or 'what do you think?' if that makes sense. I love when people are so dead set in their ways on something and then start a conversation where I can pretend I feel the complete opposite and see how that pans out – haha. I also enjoy mocking people and laughing at angry people.
Conversely, since everyone also has different ideas as to what makes someone a good dancer, what qualities do you think makes someone a good dancer?
What makes someone a good dancer to me is completely and only based on opinion. People say Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire or Michael Jackson or Usher or anyone is the greatest dancer ever but I just don’t understand how you can say that or even start that argument - it’s ridiculous!! What makes someone a good dancer to you is if you enjoy them dancing but more importantly what make you a good dancer is if you enjoy doing it - that’s all that matters in my book! Good and bad are irrelevant.
You’ve hosted BWAT with several pros, and you do a great job at it. Our question is this: Does the dynamic ever change depending on which pro you are working with? Is there another pro that you are especially comfortable with as you interact with the audience in your Q and A segments?
I think the dynamic changes all the time, yes. even if it’s the same people. I find because certain people react differently when the crowd is different - sometimes they shout, sometimes they sit back, and sometimes they respond and sometimes they don’t. I guess there are a few 'points' or scripts you have to hit but I prefer to just see what comes out and react to that. I like when it’s just two hosting but sometimes there are more and then you end up talking over each other or what not but that’s just my opinion. When it’s quiet I just talk to whoever else is on stage or myself - whatever – haha! I like hosting with Annie. The first couple didn’t work as smoothly as it does now because we are quite different but the more we got used to each other the more it worked. Emma is funny to work with too but we are around each other every day so that’s fine for us. I need to do more with Farbs but then we would have to dance together and he isn’t a very attractive woman...
You have performed in BWAT in many different cities over the last year or so. Is there a particular place or venue that is especially memorable for you? (the building itself, the city, the audience’s reaction to the show, etc.)
I loved Cape Cod. Everything about the place was great. The cast of BWAT really makes the experience so enjoyable so we make it great craic wherever it is. I’d love to go to New Orleans with it - unfortunately I’ve missed a few nice places but I remember things I loved seeing just not too much where they were - It’s weird!!
You’ll be teaching at Fred Astaire Willoughby, OH this week. Do you have any other studio teaching dates scheduled before you pick up with BWAT again in April or any other schedule additions you can share with us?
At the minute I will just be doing a few days in Ohio and then I go to Pensacola/Ft.Walton for a few days [details to be provided] and then it's BWAT. At the minute that’s it but I’m still looking to find more studios to go to.
By the way, your radio interview with Andy Steinhauser of LA Talk Radio was an excellent one, and the casual format suits you well. You’ve said that you love to talk, and you seemingly can talk to anyone but has there ever been a radio or television interview in which you felt at a loss for words or uncomfortable with the structure?
Yeah, Andy is great and I like his format. He asks you questions and you answer as you please which becomes more of a conversation than an interview. I have had a few times, yeah, where it’s a bit awkward on tv and radio stations. TV can be a hassle sometimes because some people have things they want you to say and then a certain way they want you to say it which does my head in. Or when you get fed directions before an interview or whatever - that’s a fist clencher. I know it’s not a major issue – don’t get me wrong - but if you ask a question let me answer it otherwise just answer it for me. That happens, and I won’t name anything but sometimes people want you to read an answer instead of giving an answer. I’m never at a loss for words though –haha!
Now on to the fun stuff:
Your costumes for “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” Jive and “Disturbia” Team Tango Halloween night of Season 13 were pretty outrageous. What’s the wildest costume you’ve ever worn? (for Halloween, an event, costume party, etc)
I’m not really a dress up person. I don’t know why I can never really get into that buzz but I dressed up as an ice cream for a costume party one time for no reason, and when I got there it turned out that it was a Disney themed party that people put a lot of time and effort into so that was awkward........for them not me. I had a great night – haha!
Let’s suppose the unthinkable happened and you had to teach a group lesson to a bunch of MacManiacs/MacLunatics. What would be the dance/song you would choose as you bravely took on this challenge?
I would have to let you all decide what you wanted to do and what you wanted to dance to- probably have to be a faster one. I’d imagine it would be like that scene from Wedding Crashers -SHOUT!!!
In the spirit of the MacManiac party we have going on for St. Patrick’s Day (yes, this is true), would you write us a short poem (rhyming or not) about Irish whiskey?
Whiskey Whiskey yum yum yum
Empty Empty done done done!
I miss you boo hoo hoo
Oh no wait bottle 2.
Now give us some of your favorites/least favorites:
Favorite song by the Beatles - George Harrison- “Here Comes The Sun” is perfect in my eyes
Favorite song by U2- “Desire”
Favorite song by the Rolling Stones -“Wild Horses”/ “Angie”/” Ruby Tuesday”
Favorite Irish musician -Luke Kelly (Raglan Road)
Favorite Movie – ever The Field/ Willow/ Labyrinth
Favorite beverage that doesn’t have Jameson, Whiskey, or Water in the name - Rob Roy
Favorite sport or sports teams other than football - Gaelic Football, Ireland Rugby team
Favorite sports memories - Italia '90 Wold Cup (Ireland penalty shoot out vs. Romania. Also, the year I moved to Boston the Celtics and Red Sox won championships- Boston went off that period - it was quality!!????
(Here is the link to the "Shout" scene from Wedding Crashers. Just imagine the possibilities...