During the last couple of years, we have spoken several times with Tahyna MacManus about her work as a writer. artist, and filmmaker. We caught up with her today and she kindly answered more of our questions.
After the success of OREN and all the critical acclaim and awards, will you be taking on a similar project where you write the screenplay and proceed from there to the finish line?
I have several scripts in the pipeline that I would love to see through to the end. Obviously as I am sure everyone is well aware, money doesn’t just appear so I really need to find the right producers who are willing to go that extra mile with me in securing funding. I exhausted crowd funding with OREN so I most likely won’t go down that route again but it’s reassuring to know that so many people want to support independent film makers.
Tell us about goforthcontent.com, how it started, and any related projects that you can
Go Forth Content is a creative co-op of writers, directors and producers that focus on creating shareable content for brands. It has already expanded into a fully fledged company. They are pushing the boundaries in short form content and it’s really exciting for me as one of the founders to be part of the collective. The company itself has a range of projects in motion that I am across, none of which I can share at this stage though!
You’ve been busy filming in Australia recently. Can you share anything about that project and your involvement?
I can’t share too much information unfortunately. It is a feature film called “Boys In The Trees”……. That’s all!! I’m sorry!!! Haha.
It was an incredible experience and I’m certain you will hear plenty about it in the coming year!
One of our website members wants to know if you ever have writer's block when you create. How do you get past it?
Constantly!!! I have close to 50 half finished projects I’ve started that are taking up hard drive space - some for years! Often, if I really believe in whatever I have started it’s all about discipline and I’ll write through it anyway (It’s usually absolute rubbish). Often, I go back once completed and delete it all only to discover the “plot” or “direction” I want to go there and then! My scripts or stories usually go through 10 first drafts that I make my poor friends and mentors read over and over again. I’m pretty critical of my own work so I like when someone comes in with a fresh perspective. My mind is a confusing space! I realize how crazy I sound right now…..
Many artists enjoy other art forms as well. What about you? When you visit a new place (or even go back to a familiar spot) do you head for the museums? Is there another art form that is of particular interest to you?
I love music and dance. I always have. Watching any type of live music or dance or even listening to music really affects me. I love museums too. Whenever I travel I usually go to the local museum or historical point. I can’t sit in hotel rooms - it drives me mad. I once was filming in Miami and managed to find a museum solely exhibiting chairs throughout the ages. I think there was me and one other man in there…..still, who knew chairs have evolved so much - haha!
Do you recall the first art project you did – whether as a child, teenager or young adult? How are your other artistic abilities? Do you ever sketch or paint, work with clay and ceramics, etc? Or conversely is there an area of art that you would like to pursue if you ever have time?
Yes, I do all that stuff…I get teased about it all the time. I used to go paint ceramics all the time before I met Tristan (I was a bit more of a loner those days). I still have this ridiculous fruit bowl I painted when I first got to Los Angeles - I refuse to part ways with it. To be honest I am not a gifted painter or drawer. I still go to life drawing classes and set up canvases to paint on but the results are pretty laughable. I really enjoy it though. For me it’s like an escape and no one is judging me on my ability so I feel somewhat more relaxed to just go with it. I don’t remember my first art project?? I do remember the first story I wrote called “toothpaste toothpaste”. It was about a magical tube of toothpaste. When you squeezed the tube a magical portal would appear and
you could travel through time. Also the first song I wrote was called "The African Elephant." It was an ode to...you guessed it…the African elephant and the jungle. What an odd child I was…
From a professional standpoint, what do you see as your biggest accomplishment so far?
I’ve never really thought about it. For me I don’t feel like anything I do is a “great
accomplishment”. It’s just what I do - it’s who I am. I feel like the accomplishments are what others bestow on you. I’ll keep doing what I am doing because it fuels me and keeps me happy - not for the final peak.
Your husband is a well-known professional dancer but have you had dance training yourself either as a child or adult? What is your favorite dance form?
Yes, I used to dance when I was younger. I absolutely love to dance and I still do. I was never technically fantastic but I could have danced all day and all night if my body allowed it. Don’t misinterpret that as being good - not the case - I just loved it! I love ballet. I was woeful as a ballerina. My teacher used to make an example of me how not to do it but I kept going back despite her because I loved it anyway. The grace and the stamina - it’s just so beautiful. I also love any Latin style dancing. I love watching Tristan dance. He’s just so good!!!
Finally, you have had some extraordinary professional achievements over the last couple of years. How about describing how you feel about doing what you love?
I feel like I maybe answered that above. Life has been fantastic to me and when I stop to breathe I do sometimes think “wow, who’d have thought it?!” It is a wonderful feeling waking up and knowing you get to do something you love every day. Again I don’t recognize the success as much as I recognize the failure. I think that’s human nature though (or the type A personality trait) but still I am very lucky. For me, there is no finish line or definitive goal. It's more about pushing myself creatively to keep me alive.