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The Artistry of Marc Eliuk is featuring:

Actress Geri Hall

The talented, beautiful, and sexy actress
from "This Hour Has 22 Minutes"
has agreed to be featured through an artist's perspective with paints.

Geri has also agreed to an exclusive interview

Geri Hall

What started you in acting and what were your primary influences?
I wanted to act ever since I was 10 years old...after watching The Carol Burnett Show with my Mom, I would run up to our play room and dress up as one of her many characters, and then recreate the sketches for anybody and everybody in our house. I remember that it was such an amazing, magical feeling to be able to make an adult laugh - it gave my child-brain a tiny sense of delightful power! Later, as a high school student, our drama class went to see a show at The Second City in Toronto, and I remember being overwhelmed by the idea that the actors there heard the amazing roar of laughter every night-and they got paid for it, too! I auditioned for the Second City Touring Company during my final year of high school, but flubbed my call-back...I was young, and terrified, and overwhelmed that I'd even gotten a call-back in the first place. I didn't pursue acting professionally until almost ten years later...but when I did, I went to Second City, and this time, I signed up for classes. Within a few months, I got into the Tour Co., got my first agent, and eventually, became a member of the mainstage cast.

Anxiety with Geri as the model

List some of the productions you've been involved with to date.
The Mercer Report, The Jane Show, The Gavin Crawford Show, At The Hotel, Death of a Salesgirl, The Blobheads.

Surprise interviews with Canadian leaders, in the name of comedy for "This Hour has 22 Minutes, must truly be a unique experience." Describe what must go through your mind and what you are feeling as you are about to spring/ambush an interview on "high profile" politicians?
It's such a rush to do the "road-trips"....they are terrifying and exciting all at once. When you are acting in a studio or onstage, there is a sense that you are in the correct environment for what you are doing...but when you're out in the real world, playing a character like "Single Female Voter", for instance-the strangeness of that is very powerful sometimes. The ensuing adrenaline rush helps me remember the jokes I've got to do, and helps sharpen my improvising...but it comes at the price of some amazing heart palpitations!

Tribute to Geri Hall and Harper Vision

Beautiful Geri Hall

Being detained and handcuffed when approaching the Prime-Minister for an interview must have been a terrifying experience. Can you describe what went through your mind? What was Mr Harper like, once he "knew" you were with 22 minutes?
Stephen Harper was my first political "ambush" for 22, and my first time playing Single Female Voter. Our show has had almost no access to Stephen Harper, so we thought this was the only way to get a few moments with him.

I remember sitting in the press conference that morning, heart pounding, waiting for the right moment to stand up and ask him a question. I wanted to be as respectful as possible, and let the reporters there ask some questions before I began, but I became very conscious of the fact that Mr. Harper's team was aware of (and not thrilled by!) my presence. One of them sat beside me and whispered 'this (is) a room for REAL reporters!"...so as the minutes passed, I got a powerful sense of ' It's Now or Never', and finally stood up. It felt like I'd been there for an eternity, but as soon as I did, security swooped in and within moments, I was handcuffed!

It was a surreal experience...because of the fact that I was playing a character, (and because I have never been handcuffed!) it barely felt real. And I stayed in character the whole time-that further increased the disassociation to what was actually happening. It was like an improv sketch had just taken a very strange turn. They got me out of that room so quickly that I had to yell out SFV's first few phrases as they were pushing me out the door! When I think of the things Mary Walsh got to do on 22, with a plastic sword in hand, I never could have guessed that they would react that way.

In the hall, cuffed, they had me "turn and face the wall'", and were saying they were going to going to take me down to the police station. It was nerve-wracking under those conditions to be temporarily separated from the 22 camera man, Peter Sutherland, and the field producer, Mark Mullane, but knowing they were so close made me feel a sense of safety-they are such great guys, and I knew they would be looking out for me. While the men in uniforms were taking my personal info, I could hear Harper's people talking about me being on 22, and I really think at that point I got the interview as a sort of damage control. So many cameras had recorded the take-down!

As for my impressions of Mr. Harper...they told me I was only allowed to ask him one question...and we aired most of my chat with him on the show.

It was an overwhelming cascade of events-I think he must have felt that way, too. But what continues to resonate with me is my sense that it was a very aggressive reaction to somebody speaking out of turn at a press conference.

Weeks later, on another press conference adventure with Gilles Duceppe, a "real" reporter approached me, and asked if the handcuffing incident was even real! I told him all about that morning, and he expressed great frustration himself with the issue of the press's limited access to Stephen Harper. If nothing else, the handcuff incident got people talking about some very interesting issues!

A message from Geri Hall

A Moment in Canadian Television History

Links for more Geri Hall

Official Geri Hall Website
Geri Hall Official Website
Geri Hall at Diamondfield Entertainment
Geri Hall on Diamondfield
Geri Hall IMDb Website
Geri Hall IMDb
Geri Hall Wikipedia
Geri Hall on Wikipedia

Thank you Geri!

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Dayna 2007

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 Copyright 2007-2009 Artistry of Marc Eliuk - Personalized Oil Portraiture