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May 2020

Wingman Wednesday

Lisa Marie DiGiacinto

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Photo By: Charlie Nesbitt

For actress Lisa Marie DiGiacinto, who stepped into DC’s Legends of Tomorrow during its 5th season as Ali, the love interest of Mick (Dominic Purcell), sometimes waiting for the perfect part means missing out on some of those that weren’t meant to be.

“I think the most important thing I’ve taken from this is that the right role will be there waiting for you, and only you… when the time is right,” she said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace. “All the other ones that you thought were the right one’ were just someone else’s ‘right one’!”

We recently sat down with DiGiacinto to discuss her Legends-ary welcoming, tapping into such a big fan base, and what it means for Vancouver to say goodbye to Supernatural.

TrunkSpace: What has been the most legendary part of your Legends of Tomorrow journey thus far?
DiGiacinto: I love the cast and crew! Everyone is so great at their jobs, always happy and welcoming on set and extremely well organized. I felt right at home every time I walked onto the set, even though I didn’t come in until the 5th season. I’m so grateful to work with such an amazing team. I couldn’t have dreamed up a better role or team or show! Also, I absolutely love that there’s time travel involved, it makes for so much more creativity for everyone involved, from acting in different eras and genres, to wardrobe, hair and makeup, the writers, directors, editors! Pretty hard to get bored when you get to do something new very episode.

TrunkSpace: When you’re stepping onto a set for the first time that already has established tone and way of doing things, how do you find your sea legs, especially when many of the people you’re acting alongside of have already built their rapport on camera and off?
DiGiacinto: I was extremely welcomed by everyone in the cast and crew; Dominic was such a pleasure to work with and I enjoyed improving with him – he’s hilarious. Tyron Carter, one of the series writers, welcomed me immediately and assured me that I was the only actress for the role, as well as the director, Alexandra LaRoche, who was so positive on set and excited about the chemistry between Dominic and I on screen. The whole cast in my scenes were all so easy to work with, very open, friendly and down to earth. It’s much easier to be authentic and do a great job when you have such a positive and supportive team.

Also… I spent the whole weekend before I was on set re-bingeing the first four seasons for prep.

TrunkSpace: How did you celebrate your debut on Legends of Tomorrow when it aired? Are you someone who can watch – and enjoy – your own work?
DiGiacinto: I had the chance to celebrate with family and friends with bottle of champagne. My friends and family are so supportive and happy for me. I’m very lucky. This is by far my favorite role, and I enjoyed celebrating with all my favorite people!

TrunkSpace: A show like Legends of Tomorrow has a vast catalog of characters who have journeyed in and out of the narrative over the course of its five seasons. What is it like being a part of that sort of character yearbook, especially when it’s on a series with such a loyal fan base behind it?
DiGiacinto: It’s pretty surreal, actually! It still hasn’t even really hit me yet. I guess it’s a bit nerve racking and exciting at the same time.

TrunkSpace: For fans, the final product of a film or series is always the most memorable part, but for those involved in a project, we’d imagine it goes much deeper than that. For you, what is something about your time working on Legends of Tomorrow thus far that you’ll carry with you through the course of your life/career?
DiGiacinto: I think the most important thing I’ve taken from this is that the right role will be there waiting for you, and only you… when the time is right. All the other ones that you thought were the right one” were just someone else’s “right one”! It makes this competitive industry a lot less daunting and the “rejection” doesn’t really feel like that to me anymore. It just reminds me that in life, everything happens for a reason.

TrunkSpace: You also appeared in an episode of Supernatural in Season 8. That show is now coming to an end. How important has that series been to the acting community of Vancouver over the course of its 15 seasons?
DiGiacinto: Wow. I’m pretty sure it’s the landmark of all shows filmed in Vancouver. It was actually the first larger principal role that I ever booked! I was so excited and very nervous to be on set with these huge stars. It was pretty intimidating, but I held my own. They were unbelievably nice! Also, I would say that about 80 percent of my colleagues have been on the show at least once. Many twice or more. Definitely helped us all pay the rent at some point. It also gave us such a wonderful opportunity to work on a show with such a huge fan base and production quality and value.

TrunkSpace: You’ve appeared in a number of series over the course of your career. Who is a character that you wished you had got to spend more time with and why?
DiGiacinto: This is such a tough question, I wanted more of all of them. When I only get one episode for my character, I always dream of ways to be written in again.

TrunkSpace: What do you love most about being on a set?
DiGiacinto: The magic that happens once the camera rolls, as well as the teamwork with the crew in between. Also, the camaraderie with the others while we’re waiting in the green room. Oh, and of course, there’s crafty… mmmm. I guess I like everything about being on set.

TrunkSpace: Where are you hardest on yourself as a performer and how do you overcome those self critical insecurities?
DiGiacinto: As a woman, it’s difficult not to compare yourself to all the gorgeous movie stars that you looked up to growing up. Also, I’m not a naturally skinny gal. I work out a ton and eat pretty healthy but I definitely have curves and build muscle easily. I actually wrote a short film called Bully, with the message that the biggest bully is the one in your head. I should shoot that, I actually forgot all about it as I started working on different projects.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
DiGiacinto: No way! As they say, “Life is about the journey, not the destination.” One of the best gifts this career has taught me. Also, to be present is such a gift, so how could I possibly live in the moment knowing exactly what happens in the future?!

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow airs Tuesday on The CW.

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Musical Mondaze

Glenn Thomas

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Photo By: Annelise Loughead

The pandemic that has served to lock most of us indoors is a global issue that we’re all facing, and while some of us are handling the new normal better than others, creatives like singer-songwriter Glenn Thomas have found themselves more musically-prolific than usual.

It’s funny, I’ve been more productive during this lockdown than I usually would be,” he said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace. “I guess that makes sense – you’re sort of forced to face your time without life’s usual distractions.”

For those of us who absorb the creative works of others, we’re in luck, because Thomas’ debut album, Reassure Me There’s A Window, drops this Friday.

We recently sat down with Thomas to discuss promoting an album during a worldwide health scare, breaking out from the comfort of a band, and dreaming beyond talent shows.

TrunkSpace: Your new album, Reassure Me There’s A Window, is set to drop on May 15. What kind of emotions do you juggle with when releasing new material into the world, and is the experience different this time around given that the entire world, essentially, is under some version of quarantine?
Thomas: I think regardless of the quarantine, releasing a new album is a mostly exciting but certainly terrifying venture. Here is a body of work you poured a lot of yourself into, from the personal revelation of songs and the time and money spent actually making the record. Add in the months of planning and you have a big sense of relief and accomplishment. The uncertainty comes in with regards to how people will react to it. Will they like it? Will it reach listeners or fall on deaf ears? I think as an artist you write songs for yourself, and you record songs for other people. The only difference now is people are home, and listening to more music.

TrunkSpace: Normally you would tour to support a new record release, but that is not something that is possible right now. How has – or will – promoting the album change? How do you get the word out when people can’t get out?
Thomas: I was really looking forward to the full band release show at The 5 Spot in Nashville, and the following tour, but of course those are canceled. The show goes on as they say, and I’ll be able to perform the album and talk to the virtual audiences with live streams. I enjoy doing live stream shows – they are intimate, and feel close, even though the audience isn’t visible, you have real-time comments and interaction. In terms of promoting, you aren’t going to geographically get in front of new audiences like a tour would, so the focus on selling tickets in a given region turns to, “How can I get more people to listen to this album around the country and internationally.”

TrunkSpace: As we understand it, the album sort of grew out of a batch of songs that you had written, but that didn’t necessarily fit the vibe of your band, Wild Sun. What was the process like for you, stepping out from the band and being able to take full creative destiny over the album? Was it exhilarating? Terrifying? A combination of the two?
Thomas: It was honestly exhilarating. I love playing with a band and likely always will need that outlet, but there’s something about giving more personal songs a completely different type of attention. This process was about giving each song the best possible sound for each song, rather than shaping songs around the band’s sound. Also, my biggest focus is usually writing lyrics. It’s a lot easier to get lyrics across clearly with acoustic-based music than it is where you are semi-shouting in front of an alt-rock power trio.

TrunkSpace: If someone sat down to listen to Reassure Me Theres A Window front to back, what would they learn about you both as an artist and as a person?
Thomas: The first thing they’d say is probably, “Gee, this guy is in his own head too much,” or “I need a tissue.” (Laughter) I think – and this is based on the reactions largely so far – people take away what was put into the songs, which is a careful approach to both the lyrics and the music. You hear a lot of influences throughout the songs, but you don’t hear a singular style or similarity across the board. The unifying element is the songwriting, which I think comes back to the lyrics.

TrunkSpace: We love a good lyric herethe kind that makes us curse that we didnt come up with it ourselves. Whats a favorite line or snippet from Reassure Me Theres A Window that youre particularly proud of and why?
Thomas: It’s hard to pick one line or song, because they are all so personally reflective, so here’s a few. In “All You Can Do,” I’m proud of the line, “Prayers will be said, but they work too slow when you have to fix the things that someone else broke.”

One song on the album that is entirely lyrically-driven is “There’s Not A Thing,” which imagines a phone conversation with an ex whom you haven’t spoken to in years. I really like the line: “Does that hydrangea bush still tower over you? Do you still still see that old ghost in the yard? When you called me up I did not know where to begin — I figured that was a good place to start.” To me if you are imagining that scenario and conversation, where do you even begin?

If I’m picking a sad lyric it would be, “I used to be a dreamer that no alarm could wake, now I’m facing facts that I don’t want to face,” in “When You Are Gone.”

TrunkSpace: What are you most proud of with the new album as a whole?
Thomas: I have always wanted to make an album with live strings on them, so I’m most proud to have been able to make that happen with a live string quartet and Jordan Lehning’s string arrangements. This is an album that I would have listened to and said, “I want to make an album that sounds like that.” That’s a great feeling.

TrunkSpace: We have all been in lockdown. How much of your time spent social distancing has also been spent creating? Have you experienced a creative jolt during this period and will it lead to another album?
Thomas: It’s funny, I’ve been more productive during this lockdown than I usually would be. I guess that makes sense – you’re sort of forced to face your time without life’s usual distractions. I’ve been writing a lot of instrumental songs without lyrics, partially because it is a fun mindset to be in and a different way of thinking, but I also don’t really want to complete songs that I wind up becoming more attached to than this album before this album is even released!

TrunkSpace: Where are you hardest on yourself as an artist and how do you overcome those self-critical insecurities?
Thomas: I think I’m pretty hard on myself in the sense of always trying to write a better song than the last one. It’s a good benchmark to have, but there are also songs I’ve written that I look at and wonder how I even came up with it at the time and there’s no point trying to best it. So I think I partially overcome it by looking at songs I love to listen to by other artists. Not all of them are life-changing, amazing songs… in fact, most of them are just plain fun to listen to. If you can complete a song and it’s fun to play and sing, and some people resonate with it – hey that’s great and an honest day’s work in my book.

TrunkSpace: If you sat down with your 10-year-old self and gave him a glimpse of his future, would he be surprised by where his musical journey has taken him thus far?
Thomas: When I was 10 I was playing the drums along to songs on my boombox, imagining myself in my school’s auditorium stage during a talent show or something. I thought if I could play on the same stage we have assemblies on, in front of my friends, I would hit my dreams. So if that same kid were to see where I am at now, the stages I’ve played, the experiences I’ve had and this path I have followed… well I’d hope that kid could take a shock well or at least be wearing a diaper.

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Thomas: No, definitely not. Life and pursuits are about the journey for me. There is no singular apex of achievement that eclipses the sum of all the little things that went into it. Say I sold out a huge venue and had the best show of my life. What happens the next day? If you’re doing this or living for those momentous, massive highlights, what’s the point of the day to day and the process of it all? If I could see the future it would reframe how I approach living.

Reassure Me There’s A Window is available May 15.

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Sit and Spin

Caleb Landry Jones’ The Mother Stone

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Artist: Caleb Landry Jones

Album: The Mother Stone

Reason We’re Cranking It: It has always driven us crazy when we hear people tell actors to “stay in their lane,” as if anybody is supposed to identify – or enjoy – being just one thing on their life journey. Thankfully, Jones – known for roles in films like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Get Out – is swerving out of “his lane” and all over the creative road, giving us an album that is two parts Lennon – John and Sean – and is as fun of a ride as you could hope to have in extended quarantine.

What The Album Tells Us About Him: Jones, who has been writing and recording music since age 16, clearly has been influenced by the Beatles, but not only from a writing standpoint. The production quality on The Monster Stone is a mother of feat – a carnival of sweeping sounds, crisp in each crackle, that lifts you up and drops you down on a roller coaster ride that is both classic and unconventional, at least by today’s standards.

Track Stuck On Repeat: With 15 tracks to choose from, it’s easy to get lost in the selection shuffle, but it’s “You’re So Wonderfull” – an early arriver off of the record – that sets the tone and steals your harmonious heart.

And that means…

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Wingman Wednesday

Sherry Cola

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Photo By: Storm Santos

Although an urge to make people laugh has always been front and center for Sherry Cola, the comedian-turned-actress feels spoiled to have been able to venture into drama as one of the stars of the Freeform series Good Trouble. Not only has it been a career-changer for the multi-hyphenate, but being on set has helped to shape her future industry goals because she has been able to absorb the creative energy from the many talented actors and directors she has worked alongside of.

Before Good Trouble, I was squeezing rubber chickens and squirting water out of a flower,” she said in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace.

We recently sat down with Cola to discuss her character journey, social media synergy, and why you have to put in the hours to get better at stand-up comedy.

TrunkSpace: Chicken or the egg question. You wear a lot of hats in the entertainment industry, from actress to writer to comedian, but what was the springboard for sending you down this path? Which platform cemented your love for a creative career?
Cola: I LOVE HATS. Life’s too short for just one hat, ya know? I’d say my comedian side was the loudest from day one. In high school, I hosted talent shows and created funny videos in film club. Making people laugh has always been my #1 passion. From doing radio to doing stand-up, and everything in between, my sense of humor is old faithful.

TrunkSpace: You’ve spent nearly 30 episodes playing Alice on Good Trouble in the life of the series thus far. What is it like spending that much time with one character? At what point in the process do you start to feel like you know her as well as yourself?
Cola: It’s been such a fun journey, portraying the adorable and apologetic Alice Kwan. I love discovering things about her, as if she’s a real person. In the beginning, I thought Sherry and Alice were practically synonymous – but the deeper I dug and the more I explored, I found new qualities in Alice that actually set us apart. It’s super cool being on a TV show and getting to spend so much time with a character. She’s a major part of me now. I can just turn Sherry off and turn Alice on. It comes so organically, to the point where I can actually improvise as Alice, in her sweet little nervous nature. It’s a treat.

TrunkSpace: In a day and age when viewers can not only react in real time, but interact in real time as well, what is it like being on a series that has such a big social media following? Is it odd to see how a particular storyline is perceived WHILE a show is airing for the first time?
Cola: Social media is a blessing and a curse, but I can’t get enough. I do enjoy tweeting with our dedicated viewers. It’s nice to be accessible and do an “ask me anything” online just to keep it spicy. A little goes a long way. It’s honestly exhilarating to see fans react to our show. Goosebumps, I tell ya!

TrunkSpace: Where has Good Trouble impacted your life the most? How has it altered your path?
Cola: I love that our show reflects on important social issues. We’re not afraid to speak up. Being on Good Trouble has opened my eyes more and more to Black Lives Matter, gentrification, trans rights, etc. On top of that, I’ve felt really empowered to represent my queer Asian community. It’s all about opening minds and starting conversations on how important it is to feel seen, and how a character like Alice has been invisible for years. I hope to continue making an impact in all of my work. These cheekbones won’t be ignored any longer!

TrunkSpace: For fans, the final product of a film or series is always the most memorable part, but for those involved in a project, we’d imagine it goes much deeper than that. For you, what is something about your time working on Good Trouble thus far that you’ll carry with you through the course of your life/career?
Cola: It’s dope that I got to dip my toe into drama. Before Good Trouble, I was squeezing rubber chickens and squirting water out of a flower. Another perk is constantly observing directors, studying our scripts and absorbing creative energy from my fellow castmates. Things like that stick with you and ultimately benefit your career. Being on this show has taught me many lessons and tricks, and I’m grateful for that. I’m spoiled.

TrunkSpace: As far as your stand-up career is concerned, was comedy always in the cards? Were you a “funny” kid, even at an early age?
Cola: I was voted “funniest” in marching band, “most spirited” in pep squad, and “most outgoing” in my senior yearbook. At a young age, you could count on me to say the darnest things. I’m not sure if I was born an extrovert, but I sort of found my voice in high school and I ran with it. I did “bits” in class and those class clown moments were such a thrill. I knew that this was my calling!

Photo By: Storm Santos

TrunkSpace: When did you decide to pursue stand-up comedy and did you make a plan for how you would attack things?
Cola: There’s no plan, exactly. Even now, I’m kinda going with the flow with a bunch of short-term goals. Stand-up isn’t overnight. With acting, you might book your first role ever and that immediately changes your life. With stand-up, you gotta put in those hours. There’s no faking it. I finally did stand-up officially (not counting the dabbles in high school) when a co-worker of mine at the radio station put on a comedy show. Everyone knew it was at least a bucket list sitch for me, so my boss convinced me to do it. The rest was history. That was March of 2016. Now I’m still doin’ the damn thing, grinding and getting better at my craft every day!

TrunkSpace: What is your most memorable stand-up performance experience (good or bad!) that will stick with you and why?
Cola: I recently opened for Ronny Chieng’s Netflix special taping and that was one for the books. It was a legit theater, so it was my biggest audience to date. All the Asians seriously showed up and came to support. I felt so proud to perform in front of my community and see their faces light up. People I’m inspired by, like Randall Park, were giving me compliments backstage. What a dream.

TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career as a whole thus far?
Cola: There’s been lots of epic moments. I’ll say that working with Jon M. Chu is up there. He directed the pilot of Good Trouble and it was a huge deal for me. This was before Crazy Rich Asians even hit theaters, but it was so highly anticipated. My mom still brags to her friends and shows them photos I took with Jon. I can’t wait to hopefully work with him again!

TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Cola: Tough one! I often say “ignorance is bliss” so let’s just stay in the present and find out what happens when I get there in 10 years. (Laughter)

Good Trouble airs on Freeform.

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