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The Vault Exclusive: True Blood’s Tara Buck in “Ten Cent Night”

The Vault Exclusive: True Blood’s Tara Buck in “Ten Cent Night”

Written by The Vault’s special reporter Gretchen

 

10_cent_night

 

I have said this before and I will say it again (on roof tops if I have to), what makes True Blood as successful as the great HBO series before it (i.e Six Feet Under) is their potpourri of amazing talented actors. The truth can be said with their supporting cast members, and I have witnessed this first hand when I was invited to see Tara Buck’s play, “Ten Cent Night” at the Victory Theatre Center in Burbank, CA. We all know Tara to be the wild-eyed employee of Fangtasia, beholden to her master, Nordic Vampire and Sheriff Eric Northman (played by the uber talented Alexander Skarsgård).

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Tara Buck as Roby

Tara plays the lead role as Roby Finly, daughter of famous Blues Musician, Hewitt Finley. Roby has estranged herself from her family…abandoning them while they languish after their father took his own life leaving a painful permanent reminder in the form of a bullet hole engraved on the wall of their Texas home. Roby leaves her fraternal twin sister, Dee (Caitlin Muelder) to keep the family together from destitution. You will discover as the play progresses, that the surviving children were not even given the rights to their father’s royalties on his hit song, “Ten Cent Night”. The younger siblings are also fraternal twins, played wonderfully by Alison Rood as Sadie Finley and Shane Zwiner as Holt Finley.
It’s a fairy tale, the modern kind, with incredible plot twists – mistaken identity, secret incest and an altruistic aging prostitute that may hold the answer to the heart-broken family’s woes; and like any fairy tale, there is a happy ending. The Chicago Tribune hails it as “…a juicy chunk of Texas gothic that plays like a classic country and western song”. I also give praise to Marisa Wegrzyn who is the creative scribe of “Ten Cent Night”.

It’s singularly one of the funnest, touching stories I have ever seen and I bow down to Tara Buck’s acting prowess. As she slides in and out of the stage, every inch of her is Roby Finley…she puts on her persona like a second skin and with masterful skill. It’s not hard to imagine she’s played an array of roles before True Blood. She’s remembered and given critical acclaim for her role as “Rhea Reynolds” in Nip/Tuck and has guest starred in TV hits such as: The Shield, Without a Trace, The Closer, Bones and Cold Case.

I met with Tara after the play and just as Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer impressed me with their humble disposition, the ever gracious Tara did the same by giving me a hug to show her thanks. She is appreciative of the support the fans have showed her and asks we continue to do so by watching True Blood. Tara, your wish is our command.

Gretchen and Tara Buck

Gretchen and Tara Buck

We asked Tara Buck a few questions about “Ten Cent Night”.

The Vault: Tara, what makes this play special for you? What make this role interesting for you?

Tara: When I read the play I immediately connected with the role.  Marisa Wegrzyn is a wonderfully talented writer and I think it’s quite an honor to be bringing one of her characters to life.  She currently has two commissions with both Steppenwolf and Yale.  Marisa creates complex characters that are layered with contradictions.  My character Roby is tough and vulnerable.  She’s street smart one minute and has an almost childlike naïveté the next.  She’s an alcoholic, petty thief, her parents both commit suicide and she’s fighting to create a career as an artist while living in her famous musician father’s shadow.  Greek tragedy right?Oh no, this is a comedy!  It’s a dark, dark comedy of course.  My role has been a challenge but that’s the main reason for doing live theatre.

The Vault: How did you get the lead role and did you initially auditioned to play Roby?

Tara: I initially auditioned for the role of Roby.  I ended up having three different callbacks and after the first reading they asked me to prepare for both of the sister roles.  Roby and Dee are twins and there was a lot of mixing and matching.  At the final callback Caitlin Muelder was there to read for the role of Dee and when we read together it was an obvious match.  In addition to actually looking alike, we both have a very similar sense of humor.  She’s wickedly funny but I’ve been watching and shamelessly stealing!

The Vault: How do you feel about Roby’s family situation? Why do you think Roby left them?

Tara: The family dynamic is crazy in this play… but isn’t it in real life.  We leave the nest, we try to prove we can stand on our own and that we have a voice of our own.  We make mistakes more than we want to admit and then we realize we are more like our parents then we ever knew.  Then we find some humility and carry on… That’s what it feels like to me any way.  What Roby discovers in this play is she is deeply connected to her family even though she’s been trying to get as far away from them as possible.

I grew up in a small town in Idaho.  I wanted to divorce myself from my family and create a new life.  I wanted to be fancier, cooler, smarter and more worldly.  Now I play characters that remind me of my Mother or my Father or that feeling in my gut I carried around as a child.  Weird but it’s personal and it’s what I find interesting right now.

The Vault: If an opportunity presented itself would you reprise this role in the future? Would you play another character?

Tara: I would reprise the role in a second AND I would play Roby again… unless of course it was some how possible to play both roles (you know like Anne Heche did in Another World!) The hair pulling sister fight might be tough to pull off believably.  Both parts are fantastic and each has their challenges but at this moment of my life I’m more fascinated by who Roby is.  The courage it takes for this character to move from the beginning of her journey to where she ends up.  Human courage is a beautiful thing and from my observation it seems to takes an enormous amount for all of us to get through the day let alone a lifetime.  I’m drawn to characters who are underdogs.  I see Roby as this iconic Janis Joplin-esc character in so many ways.  She’s ridiculously self destructive but it’s because she has a fire burning in her gut.  Roby is a true artist and a lost soul.

Tara Buck as Robey

Tara Buck as Roby

“Ten Cent Night” Critic Choices

“Ten Cent Night” is worth every penny!” – Burbank Leader  Critic’s Choice

“Ten Cent Night  is very humorous, amusing and holds more plot loops than an east Texas twister skipping through the lone prairie on a springtime afternoon. Yee-hey!” – Rich Borowy LCP critic’s choice

A well-written play, with all of its passionate feuding familial frenzy, is a barrel of Southern-fried fun! Do see it!” – Toulcan Times Critic’s choice

“Ten Cent Night” is definitely our critics pick, don’t miss it!” – Amer Radio Netwk

“This versatile ensemble hits every emotional note pitch – perfectly” Backstage West.

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Tara and Martin Papazian

THE VICTORY THEATRE CENTER PRESENTS:
TEN CENT NIGHT BY MARISA WEGRZYN

June 19 thru August 2, 2009

Directed by
Maria Gobetti

Featuring
(in order of appearance)
Tara Buck, Martin Papazian , Alison Rood, Caitlin Muelder, Shane Zwiner , Gareth Williams, Kathleen Bailey

For theatre information and ticket reservations call: (818)841-5421

For more information, please visit www.thevictorytheatrecenter.org

Victory Theatre Center
3326 West Victory Blvd
Burbank, CA 91505

photo credit: Billy Hamilton Photographer
www.billyhamilton.com

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Written by Shadaliza

Shadaliza loves the Internet, film and TV shows, writing, running websites and charity fundraising; she has found the perfect combo in the fansites to express her creativity and passion. Shadaliza is Dutch, but has lived in Italy for many years and works as Marketing Executive for an Internet hosting company.

30 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    July 04, 2009

    Gretchen…so wonderful that you were commissioned to see Ten Cent Night and write about it for The Vault. It gives all of us the opportunity to learn more about this, as you say, “potpouri of amazing talented actors”. Tara Buck is gaining more fans because of True Blood, and hopefully her opportunities will multiply because of the show’s success. The play sounds so interesting, and your inteview with her showed her to be gracious and a mulitfaceted talent. Thanks for reviewing the play, Gretchen, and for posting it, Shad.

    Reply

  2. Avatar
    July 04, 2009

    Thank you thank you Dorothea! Tara is an absolute doll. It’s so easy to fall in love with her <3

    Reply

  3. Avatar
    July 04, 2009

    This is a great article. Wonderful that you got to go and mingle with her, Gretchen. It’s wonderful that you live so close and are able to represent The Vault. Tara Buck is just great, and she looks lovely with long hair. I wish I could go and see the play. Thanks again, good job!

    Reply

  4. Avatar
    July 04, 2009

    BBB what a wonderful report! Thank you so much for going to see the play for us adn report on it!

    I wish I were in LA to see this play. I love Tara – she seems like such a sweet young lady. Everytime I see Tara Buck , she looks completely different. It’s amazing how she morphs into these characters and gives them life. She is such a great actress !

    I cannot wait to see what S2 of True Blood has instore for her character of Ginger – she is so hysterical!

    Reply

  5. Avatar
    July 04, 2009

    Thanks, Gretchen! I’m glad the play was great, and Tara sounds like such a sweetheart. I’ve only seen her in True Blood, so it’s cool to see her outside of the “Ginger” role. I wish her all the best and hope this play is very successful!

    As far as True Blood goes, does anyone else want Tara and Jason to have a scene together? That level of combined dumb might set a record. LOL

    Reply

    • Avatar
      July 04, 2009

      I wonder what they would talk about….

      Reply

      • Avatar
        July 04, 2009

        They’d probably just keep introducing themselves over and over because they keep forgetting the other’s name. I wouldn’t be surprised. Oh, and chocolate/peanut butter sandwiches! I’ll bet Jason likes those.

  6. Avatar
    July 04, 2009

    Our own babe BBB showing her great journalastic skills once again!! “Brava!!!” Tara looks so different here then as Ginger – who happens to be the character I quote the most – “Reealai”. Love that about these theatre actors. They are able to morph (shift?) it seems. Would love to have heard her play that guitar.

    Reply

  7. Avatar
    July 04, 2009

    Thank you thank you guys. Thanks to Shad and Sterling for sending me out to see the play…it took me 2 hours to get there (that’s LA traffic for you) but I had so much fun. I just saw the Bones episode that Tara was in and let me tell ya, I had to pick up my jaw from the floor. I had no clue it was her! She’ll certainly go places guys. She is. that. good.
    The caption on my picture with her should read: Prematurely Middle-aged Gretchen and Tara Buck. LOL.

    Reply

  8. Avatar
    July 04, 2009

    i plan on seeing the play just to see Tara!! She is so talanted and she really needs to be watched, that girl is going somewhere for sure!

    Reply

  9. Avatar
    July 04, 2009

    Can’t wait to see Tara Buck again. Every time I see her work I’m just blown away and totally inspired. Congrats on the great reviews!

    Reply

  10. Avatar
    July 04, 2009

    Way to go BBB! You are becoming quite an expert in doing these interviews. Tara Buck looks so different in this. I totally would not have recognized her. I wish her all kinds of luck and hope to see more of her on TB. She is so good as Ginger.

    Reply

  11. Avatar
    July 05, 2009

    i love her as ginger. she looks so lovely with the long hair and not being in a biker hoochie outfit haha. she is very talented. thanks for the interview.

    Reply

  12. Avatar
    July 05, 2009

    ” THESE ARE ALL DIRTY!” … LOL! That might be one of my favorite scenes of all time and that crazy hair! I can’t get enough. Who on earth would know from these photos that it’s the same girl. I can’t wait to see what Ginger will be doing next.

    Reply

  13. Avatar
    July 05, 2009

    Tara Buck is as courageous an actress as they come. She will dive into and express the most gut wrenching insecurities in her parts. Her performances are both comforting and deliciously uncomfortable to watch.
    She is one of the most primal and dynamic actresses on television. I can’t wait to see more from her.

    Reply

  14. Avatar
    July 06, 2009

    Tara Buck is a complete STAR and I cannot wait to watch the world realize this. The play is phenominal and the show is the Best.

    Of course I am totally in love with Tara so this may not be an applicable recommendation.

    Go See The Show!

    Reply

  15. Avatar
    July 07, 2009

    I was lucky enough to be in LA opening weekend of ‘Ten Cent Night’ and absolutely loved it… I was alternating between tears and laughter (my favorite kind of play). Tara Buck is so talented and versatile, I had just watching S1 of True Blood and couldn’t believe the range of characters she can pull off….

    Reply

  16. Avatar
    July 08, 2009

    “Ginger” as played by Tara Buck is brilliant on True Blood. Honestly, I was waiting for the new season to give me something to make me laugh and then to my surprise, Ginger came along and put me in stitches. It’s no surprise that Tara is getting leading roles in theatre and I can’t wait to see this chameleon actress spread her creative acting wings in a leading role on a HBO or a network series. I am confident that I’m one of several that were throughly entertained by Buck’s performance in True Blood and are waiting for the right “casting agent” to come along and realize her full potential. I’m very much looking forward to seeing and hearing more from this versatile and brilliant young actress.

    Reply

  17. Avatar
    July 08, 2009

    Great interview! I was so fortunate to be able to see Ten Cent Night on it’s opening weekend. It was funny and heart-warming and Tara was wonderful. I just finished watching S1 of True Blood and I’m hooked. I can’t wait to see more of Ginger and her screaming in S2. It’s fun seeing Tara in so many different roles with with all those different looks. She is so talented!

    Reply

  18. Avatar
    July 09, 2009

    Tara is a phenomenal actress. I love episodes that she is on True Blood!

    Reply

  19. Avatar
    July 15, 2009

    Tara Buck is fantastic in everything she does. I can’t wait to see her in this. I remember her from Nip Tuck and she just always a lot of stuff going on when she acts. And then to see her in True Blood – it’s like she’s a chamelion. Thanks for the story cause now I’ll go see the play.

    Reply

  20. Avatar
    July 17, 2009

    First: In the previous 2 episodes where Ginger has “taken control” of the scene, the entire room was rolling in laughter. Who knew? In a part that could have just passed by, there was a performance that made a impact on the whole room. In fact, during the preview reel for the 4th episode when the scenes of Ginger flashed by there was laughter again.
    Second: The review of Ten Cent Night is making me jealous. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed that the producers take this show on the road.
    Ok. I admit that probably won’t happen but seriously, I hope we see more of Ginger in the upcoming series.

    Reply

  21. Avatar
    July 17, 2009

    Tara truly is Amazing! She keeps bringing a depth and unforgettable flavour to her roles. Can’t wait to see more of Tara and again thanks for this article. K~

    Reply

  22. Avatar
    July 17, 2009

    Reading this article makes me want to hop on a plane and fly to Cali to see the play! Tara has played some great roles and will continue to amaze all of her family and friends. Tara has a great link to her website on her Facebook page. We miss you Tara!

    Reply

  23. Avatar
    October 02, 2009

    El regalo original que, en esta ocasi

    Reply

  24. Avatar
    February 16, 2010

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    Reply

  25. Avatar
    February 17, 2010

    I’m a struggling female DJ who’s trying to make it in the music/DJ industry. But it seems that the industry is taking for granted when it comes to gender. Opinons, help, guides & etc pls…

    Reply

  26. Avatar
    June 13, 2010

    dand i just found out she is my blood related cussin haha (:
    i didnt no that until my dad told me. how weird

    Reply

  27. Avatar
    June 22, 2012

    She’s awesome on true blood even though we rarely see her, but every time i do i always laugh. I hope she stays on true blood, and i get a glimpse of her atleast 3 times in a season :).

    Reply

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