J: Good evening, Miss. Thank you for taking the time and humoring fans of the show for this interview.
Hey J, first off I want to thank you for taking the time to come up with such insightful questions and for your interest.
Well, I think I shall get started.
J: I would like to start off by asking you what projects you are currently working
AMANDA: Currently I am working on research for a script that has been storming about in my brain for quite some
time now. I have finally figured out how it will come to be, now it is simply a matter of historical research. The story is
an amalgam of my two favorite genres: historic epic and horror. Hmmm... "whatever could she be thinking?" ;)
did you get involved with the show?
AMANDA: Simply put, I auditioned. John Papsidera (the casting director) is someone
I had read for several times and he had told me he was looking for that perfect role for me. Well, he finally did and I was
pretty much offered the role on the spot!
J: Did you have any previous training in dance or were you taught by an
instructor specifically for this role?
AMANDA: I have had dance training since the wee age of 8! Mostly musical theatre
styles...aka jazz, modern, and a little bit of ballroom. However, I have also studied hip-hop, lyrical, and swing. I would
certainly say I am an amateur, but I do love it. We did have a few choreographers come in and plan out the routines however.
J: What type of research did you do for this role?
AMANDA: Developing the characteristics of Dora Mae herself
came from within... there wasn't a great deal of research done there. But in order to truly understand the era and the lifestyle
I did a great deal of reading. I am not sure if that makes sense, but I am not sure how to elaborate on the subject. My absolute
favorite book on the subject is "The American Circus: Wild, Weird and Wondeful:1901~1927" Photographs by E.W. Glasier, Author
Mark Sloan. For anyone who is interested in the subject I highly recommend it. I also read; "Soiled Doves: Prostitution in
the Early West", "The Readers companion to U.S. Women's History", "The Lusty Lady" (which is a very raw and fascinating look
into the lives of the women who run and work at the Lust Lady in Seattle), and several others whose tittles escape me at the
moment. P.S. I am a fairly avid reader! LOL!
J: When you were cast for the part did they reveal your characters demise
to you from the beginning?
AMANDA: Ha! No. It's actually an interesting story. When the contract came into my manager
I was only being contracted for 7 episodes, when we knew the rest of the cast was contracted for all 13. My manager doing
his job, thinking they were trying to swindle me kept fighting with them to give me all 13. All the producers kept saying
was ..."we can't tell you why, but we can only offer her 7!". We pretty much figured it out at that point so I signed up,
hoping to change their minds. Then the dreaded phone call came, but the rest of the cast had no idea. I had to keep my mouth
shut while they tried to figure out who was going to die. LOL! When the "Babylon" table read came everyone was shocked, it
was pretty amusing, but very sad at the same time.
J: What was the worst thing about working on the set?
The weather. Hands down. Working in the California high desert any time of year is brutal. Fierce winds, freezing (literally)
nights and sweltering days. The first time you see me on the Bally the winds were up to about 40 mph and I think it was about
40 degrees. On the night that Jonesy brought Dora back to the carny grounds the winds had reached about 80 mph and we nearly
lost half our set and our PA wound up in the hospital when Lodz's roof fell on him... it makes for beautiful cinema! On any
other set, I would have to say the waiting.
J: What was the best thing about working on the set?
everything! The camaraderie, the creative atmosphere, stepping into costume, on Carny even the down time was a blast!
Who do you feel got most into their part on the show?
AMANDA: Oh geez, we all got "into it" but I think that Patrick
(Lodz), Tim (Jonesy), and Diane (Apallonia) had done more work then the rest of us, simply because of the physicality of their
J: Did the director have a specific vision he was trying to convey or was it business as usual?
Well, the funny thing with episodics is that there is a new director almost every episode. Rodrigo Garcia is the head director
for most of HBO's shows. He has worked extensively on Six Feet Under, Big Love, Sopranos, & Carny. With Carny (and most
other episodics) it is the creator, in our case Dan Knauf, who has a specific vision. With Dan, he certainly had a main vision
and theme that carried through the show. It is very hard for me to explain, considering I don't live in Dan's head. But, a
large part of that vision certainly centered around the dark & gritty imagery of the 1930's mixed with the vivid and intoxicating
imagery that focused on the "magic" and biblical references is. Actually to further elaborate on the question, I think that
any and every director I've seen in action or worked with has a specific vision, that is a large part of being a director.
So, business as usual means a specific vision, wether that visions lies in the text or the imagery or both.
the cast believe the show was going to be a huge success on TV?
AMANDA: I think that we knew and felt as though we
were creating something important, at least it was important to us. We felt as if we were truly creating something magical.
However, I don't think any of us expected the response we have received. That has been pretty overwhelming actually.
Who did you like working with the most on the set or whom did you get along with the best?
AMANDA: Truly and honestly,
everyone. I left that show having a memory of everyone that I worked with daily. Clea and I used to do crossword puzzles;
Cynthia, Toby, Carla, and myself got on as close as any family (Toby wanted approve of my now boyfriend LOL), Tim, Brian,
and I played catch during down time, and Diane and I laughed feverishly every time we were in a room together! I could go
on and on. Such an amazing and brilliant group of people, I couldn't have asked for a better group of actors to work with
J: Do you keep in contact with anyone from the show?
AMANDA: Sadly, no.
J: Are there any interesting
behind the scenes stories you can share with us?
AMANDA: Hmm. Well I guess my personal favorite is this: Like I said
above, Tim, a few others and myself would play catch around set during breaks in the shoot. Well, if you pay attention you'll
see that during Dora's funeral Jonesy tosses an autographed baseball into her grave. On my last day the cast and crew threw
me a small going away party, Tim presented me with that very same ball, it had been signed by the entire cast. Now it is one
of my most cherished possessions.
J: In closing, I would like to ask if you have heard any news about the show making
a come back?
AMANDA: Sorry to say that I haven't. I know that all of us would just love to return to the work and finish
what we started, in particular Dan. Sadly however, there is a great deal of red tape surrounding the process.
Thank for giving us a better idea of what happened in the making of one of the greatest shows ever to grace television. I
would like to add that your scene at the end of the second Babylon episode is one of the creepiest parts in the series. Bravo!!!
AMANDA: Again J, thank you for taking the time to ask those questions. I had a wonderful time answering them, and
I hope that you enjoy my responses. Oh, and thank you for finding me creepy at the end of "Pick a Number"... that was certainly