Today is the day I bring you a new feature, one that focuses on those who have little, if anything at all, to do with the world of fashion. They may have great personal style, but you won’t find the subjects of this new line of profiles within the pages of Elle, Vogue or Refinery 29.
In short, I’m thinking Outside the Box.
Remember when I said I was working on a very special interview? This first edition of Outside the Box is that very interview, a quest for which began with an email asking for an interview with a certain unicorn who designs fabulous clothing and accessories. After all, it would only make sense that I as a fashion blogger would interview a fashion designer, even if said designer only exists thanks to Flash animation and a famed voice actress.
While the above scenario will have to play out another time, I am pleased to have the opportunity to interview the aforementioned voice actress behind not only Rarity from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic — who is also the unofficial mascot of this blog for obvious reasons — but also Danielle Moonstar from X-Men: Evolution, Martha the Dog from Martha Speaks, and Nazz from Ed, Edd n Eddy among others. Make the jump to read my profile on Tabitha St. Germain, as she talks about her nomadic childhood, how she made the transition from the stage to the studio, and how she describes her personal style.
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia.
A Brief Description of You and Your Work: I keep talking and think about it later.
In your bio, you describe your early life as that of a nomad of sorts, living and traveling in Europe, southern Africa and Canada. Were your family in the military, or did they have jobs that required lots of moving around?
St. Germain: I did move about a lot as a kid.
No, my parental units were not military. Just itchy-footed. And it’s difficult when you’re oh, say, nine-years-old to go, “Look, why don’t you two go to Vladivostok, and I’ll stay here. It’ll be cheaper!”
You started off as a stage actress in Canada, but have been known recently more for your voice. What brought you to the stage originally, and how did you make the jump from the stage to the studio?
St. Germain: I was interested in drama from the time I saw an unconscious gestalt erupt to the surface in gym class. It was a game that turned into a ritual hunt or something with the last runner falling in surrender to the mob of already tagged kids. It was weirdly powerful.
Cartoons were not on my radar. But I got sent out on a lot of odd jobs back when. I had on my ressie that I could do a Zulu accent. I dunno why. The likelihood of my playing Zulu was fairly slender. But I was sent out on a cartoon because of it. You never know what will be handy.
Years ago, someone infiltrated the ressies at my agency, and added to mine that I do “balloon animals,” which I do not. Still, I think now that I shouldn’t have erased it. It could come in handy. If cartoons implode and I have to go door to door — “Hallo, do you have any acting that needs doing?” — it could be quite useful.
Aside from acting, what other talents do you possess?
St. Germain: Very, very few.
I write passably well. I can usually find something to like about anyone. I’m a good gardener. I can slip out of a room without anyone knowing. When verbally threatened, I have the skill of suddenly developing an inability to speak whatever language I am being threatened in. That’s very useful.
I’m a kind of low-grade psychic. I usually know who’s phoning (but I never answer the phone on principle anyway), and I can tell which Set For Life Lotto thingy has a few bucks in it if they are all laid out flat on a counter and not stacked. I get semi-prophetic dreams of a non-world shattering nature. For example, I’ll see someone pick gum off their shoe in a dream, and then, don’t they go and do it in front of me in waking life. Conversely, I can rarely see that I’m being an idiot until the following day.
How would you describe your personal style?
St. Germain: Well, hm. I’m a multidimensional flotilla of space dust, so I tend to change a lot. I used to favour a “Deposed Royal” look, like something that had narrowly survived the guillotine. I go on colour binges, and stew up huge pots of dylon dye on my stove, my favorites being green and cherry red with the odd purple seizure. I like to carve up old prom dresses. I like a mix of old and new.
What I’m very unfond of is other peoples names and/or initials on my clothes. The mania of designers to plop their names everywhere is just atavism, a thing they do in lieu of peeing everywhere to mark territory. Why not stamp everyone on the forehead, too. COSTCO! Arrrrggg. And camouflage as fashion. Awful. Yes, yes, you’re such a killer.
Oh my, we are having opinions. Did I write that out loud?
If I have to wear something conservative but chic, my most useful piece of clothing is a skirt by Barbara Bui Paris. It’s beautifully, beautifully tailored. And plum-coloured, so I don’t go into a coma.
My current favorite shoes: These high red leather platform cork wedges with an ankle strap. So awesome!
Most useful accessory: My rainproof leather Aussie cowboy hat. Good for walking the dog. And apparently appealing to some pretty unusual folks.
Do you read any fashion blogs? If so, which ones?
St. Germain: Sorry, I’m a cartoon. I have to save the world.
Be it stage, screen or voice, what has been your favourite moment as an actress?
St. Germain: My favorite moment onstage was when I got my frock caught in my chair during a historical drama. Two girls in a bristlingly polite catfight. I tried to speak and move into position once, twice, but the chair was having none of it. I don’t know why, but the audience just rolled. Waves and waves of laughter. Not a dry seat in the house. Then I went back, took the fabric out properly and curtseyed to the audience. And off they went again. I hadn’t cracked a smile. I was very proud of that. Plus, they were funny. They were whooping. I enjoy people whooping.
Why do you do what you do for a living?
St. Germain: The company is exceedingly fine. The work can scarcely be called work. And all the burbling voices seem to find homes.
If you had to pick one role from your résumé that says “This is what my career is all about,” which one would it be?
St. Germain: Martha in Martha Speaks. I just love the character. She’s very accepting of everyone, and I can get all the way behind helping kids with vocabulary skills while goofing around. That said, I love story. And I love sci-fi and fantasy, and my dream job that marries my chords and magic/fantasy, etc. is still to come.
What advice do you have for my readers regarding:
Style: It’s part of living in your own mythology, and it’s just play. Even if you get all angular and crisp and decked out for Wall Street, a costume is a costume is a costume. No article of clothing is not a costume. For me, it works not to get too invested in just one. I saw a thing about a guy in New York City who lives day in and day out in a Star Trek uniform. He even says “Tea, Hot” to his kettle before he makes his tea. Don’t imagine that anything you wear is more tasteful than his Star Trek uniform. He’s just a committed little ‘ista dancing to his own eigenharp.
Acting (stage, screen, voice et al): S’not rocket science.
On life: As it’s shorter than you tend to think when you are in line at the bank, it helps to take very good care of your teeth, your knees and your spine, so get a water pick, and don’t be too idiotic about shoes. Also eat your raw greens, love the earth, the animals and your fellow hooman bean, even if they seem to be leaking from the integrity. That’s when the numpties need you most.
Any final words?
St. Germain: Lovesplats.
Tabitha St. Germain can be currently heard (if not seen) on Martha Speaks, Iron Man: Armored Adventures and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Her website can be found at www.tabithastgermain.com.
Photo credits: Cameron Miquelon (title card) + Tabitha St. Germain.