The concept is simple: 12 questions sent to Montreal-based female artists. They answer, you read, you find out some random but facinating things about them, and you get a sneak peak into their upcoming projects. Sounds pretty good, eh?

Follow the links within the post to learn more about…

Julie Tamiko Manning

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1) What is your song of the moment?

For some reason “Close to You” by the Carpenters is consistently in my head.

2) What is your favorite place to grab coffee in Montreal?

Brooklyn Café on St-Viateur east of St-Laurent.  ​Nice espresso and toast with homemade fig jam, pistachios and labneh.  I’m here right now!

3) What is the image that comes to mind when you think of the Harper government?

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4) Which artists, dead or alive, would you wait in line to meet?

I don’t like to wait in lines.  Besides, if I waited in line to tell someone how much they had impacted my life, I’d probably end up saying something stupid.  I get star-struck by people I don’t even care about.

5) What is your number one travel or escape destination?

Where ever my family is.

6) What has been your favorite performance over the past 10 years anywhere in the world?

I don’t think I work in extremes like “favourite” or “best” but some performances in the recent past that have touched me deeply have been Tristan D. Lalla in Urban Ink’s Sal Capone​, Arashi Daiko’s “WA” concert, Leni Parker in Tableau d’Hôte’s Elizabeth Rex.

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7) What first turned you onto theatre?

I was very naïve, quiet and shy in high-school, and drama class gave me permission to lie on the floor and fry like bacon like it was a normal thing to do.

8) If a friend is visiting Montreal, where is the first place you take them?

For a walk up boulevard St-Laurent.

9) What is your upcoming project?

Top Girls at the Segal. April-May 2014.

But I am currently working on my own project, a verbatim play called ‘The Tashme Project- The Living Archives” with my creative partner Matt Miwa from Ottawa.  It traces the history and experience of the Nisei (2nd generation Japanese-Canadian) from their childhood pre-WW2 to present day.  We’ve been working on it for the last 4 years, traveling across Canada interviewing family, friends and strangers who are now elders in our community, gathering about 60 hours of interviews. We’ve edited it down to 60 minutes of memories. It’s like a crash course in JC history.  We did 5 ‘unplugged’ in-progress performances in the undercurrents festival (GCTC) last month and are planning a full production in Montreal next year.
To learn more about The Tashme Project-The Living Archives click HERE

10) What excites/scares/inspires you most about the project?

The entire process has been really healing, empowering and FUN for us as well as the community, which is the greatest return we could ever ask for, but we’ve also taken on a huge responsibility. There is a lot of fear within the JC community that we are disappearing.  There are many factors: the intermarriage rate is higher than any other immigrant population in Canada (90+%) and so the community ‘looks’ less and less Japanese (largely due to post-war dispersal) and the internment created a strong desire among JCs to assimilate into white Canadian society- so much of our culture: tradition, faith and language, became lost to the Nisei and the generations afterward.  We have been taught by example to keep our heads down and not make waves, so it is scary to fight against that and offer these stories to the public.  Matt and I want to re-invigorate the pride that was lost and remind the younger generations of where we have come from, so we can survive as a community.

11) What image or piece of music comes to mind when you think of the piece? 

Arashi Daiko (Montreal taiko group). They are leaders in the community and their spirit and dedication to their craft is an inspiration to me.