…Women cheering on women! I want to be an avid FIGHTER for this throughout my career. I want to help mentor young women because I had no idea what I was doing when I started. Sometimes all we need is someone to take us under their wing, to make us brave enough to change the world in whatever facet we want.
I had the pleasure to interview Carlye Tamaren. Carlye, a St. Louis native, is an actor, singer, dancer, model, director, writer, and producer. If that wasn’t enough, she is also an accomplished martial artist, specializing in Capoeira and Krav Maga. Carlye appeared in countless TV shows including How to Get Away with Murder and Criminal Minds. Her newest project is staring as Veronica, the resident tomboy in the musical movie Drama Drama, whose new music video, “Saturday Night,” is now available on YouTube.
Thank you so much for joining us Carlye. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I grew up in St. Louis, MO, the oldest of 4 kids. Our house was super creative, packed with art projects and costume boxes while we watched movie musicals over and over and over. Everyone in my family sings so we were like a little Von Trapp family running around all the time. It was so much fun.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I pretty much was born dancing. But I think it also came from the movie musicals. My mom knows every word to every single one, and I swear I could sing through the entirety of “America” from West Side Story before I could even talk. My dad has an incredible voice too, and he’s super goofy, he had us doing bits right out of the gate.
Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
I’d have to say it’s the many ways in which I’ve died on television hahaha. I tend to get killed a lot, I don’t know what this says about me, but each time is more creative than the next, and it’s so interesting to see all the apparatuses and tricks different shows use to shoot this.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I was first starting and had booked my first regional theatre job at 13, I lied and said that I was a trained ballerina when in fact I had never taken a dance class in my life. This led to them making me dance captain of the fifty other children in the show, aka I was completely screwed. I ran home crying to my mom that day, confessing my lie and how sorry I was for not telling the truth and that I’d never do it again and my mom thought it was the funniest thing in the world. It was then that she taught me “fake it ‘till you make it.” But you better believe I got in dance class right after that; have to practice what you preach!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
I recently wrapped shooting the feature film Drama Drama. It’s a really fun teen movie musical about a high school girl group with tons of original songs and incredible choreography; I can’t wait for the world to fall in love with it! We’ve been recording more music and making music videos for promo for the movie which is just the ultimate dream for me. Check out our music video “Saturday Night” by Drama Drama, and look out for the movie coming soon!
I’m very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?
It’s the most important thing to have diversity. We have to set an example for all the little kids out there watching who deserve to have tons of shows they can watch in all the different genres and be able to say “yeah, that’s how I feel!” We all just want to feel included and escape from the crazy world for a bit. Also, there are SO many talented people out there with different stories to tell. We need to hear ALL of them and see all of them and get every perspective we can to be more empathetic humans.
From your personal experience, can you recommend three things the community/society/the industry can do help address some of the diversity issues in the entertainment business?
The higher ups need to be willing to give money to projects that are not just sure things. They have to take more chances and be willing to go against what has been “normal” casting and production so far. There should be certain quotas everyone HAS to abide by. Male to female ratios on production staffs have to be a thing! Or if you are telling a story from a certain perspective, there has to be a writer that comes from that perspective. And more and more platforms for different types of diverse stories to be told.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
1. It’s going to take longer than you think- your timeline is just that, YOUR timeline, not anyone else’s.
2. Your differences are what make you interesting.
3. Know your craft like the back of your hand, whatever it is that you want to do, become the expert. If you’re an actor, GET IN CLASS. Do your homework.
4. Find your tribe- you have to have people to cheer you on and remind you how wonderful you are. You can’t do this industry alone.
5. Be nice to people. Easy idea, but seriously, some people are just not nice, and it’s always out of fear. Take the time to be kind, and you never know what connections will change your life later on.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
You have to have good friends/family around you that inspire you and keep you sane. The industry is so up and down that you have to make sure you have good people to keep you going. And have other hobbies. AND work hard. Really, really, really hard. This is the Olympics, so you have to train as such.
If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Women cheering on women!!!! I want to be an avid FIGHTER for this throughout my career. I want to help mentor young women because I had no idea what I was doing when I started. Sometimes all we need is someone to take us under their wing, to make us brave enough to change the world in whatever facet we want.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
100% my parents. They are my cheerleaders and my muses. They made me feel like I could do anything and that it’s ok to look at the world whatever way you want to.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Dreamers of the day are the dangerous ones” — it reminds me to be proactive and push for my dreams in the real world, not just inside my head where it’s safe.
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have a private lunch with, and why?
Rose Byrne, she’s my favorite actress because she can do it all — crazy comedy, intense drama, singing, dancing, producing, and she isn’t afraid to be silly. I’m obsessed!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
@carlyeraetam on Instagram and Twitter