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Last week, FYIG had the opportunity to interview the talented Thom Allison. Thom took time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions about Killjoys, Kim’s Convenience, Shut Up! It’s Christmas, and much more. Read all about it inside!
1) Let the readers know a little bit about yourself for those that may not know you.
I’m an actor/singer/writer/director/cabaret performer from Canada. I’ve done mostly stage work but am now playing Pree on the hit Space/Syfy series KILLJOYS. I’ve been on Broadway and toured the world in stage productions.
2) Tell us about your role as Pree on Killjoys?
Pree is the bar owner/bartender of the Royale, the bar where our lead characters come to drink, plan, recuperate, and generally exist. I listen to them, give them advice, and kick their a**es if they need it. I have a curious past which is getting explored more as the seasons go on.
3) What drew you to Killjoys and made you want to be a part of it?
What drew me to Killjoys was – they wanted me.. hahaha. But as I learned more about it and my role, I was fascinated by this androgynous gay character who is existing without shame or judgment, being a bad-a** in an alternate universe.
4) Did you have the opportunity to work with Tamsen McDonough who plays Lucy (who we also happened to interview a few short months ago)?
Well, unfortunately, we don’t do anything together on Killjoys as she does her voice-overs for Lucy in post-production after we have filmed. But I did get to work with her on her web-series, Miss Odette’s Modern Handbook to Manners. She is now a pal and she is hilarious. Smart, inventive, talented as hell. I adore her.
5) You play Ian on Miss Odette’s Modern Handbook to Manners with Tamsen. What was it like working on that show?
We laughed so much, I don’t know how we got anything filmed. People were making jokes and being crazy and we were so welcome to be creative. It was really fun.
6) You have done extensive work in the theatre industry. How did you get your start there?Was it always something you were hoping to do?
I started acting when I was 10 years old. I took an acting class and I loved it. I did my first stage show when I was 12 and I never stopped. I wanted to be an actor since I was four years old.
7) You’ve been in productions such as Rent, Wizard of Oz, and Evita among many others. What’s your favourite role been thus far and why?
Probably the Emcee in Cabaret for the theatricality. The songs are great, my costumes were great, the show is so devastating in what it has to say about tolerance, hatred, dictators. But for pure fun, Aldolpho in The Drowsy Chaperone. It’s an over the top role and I went full cartoon. You could see my performance from space.
8) How has your theatre experience helped you in TV roles? I imagine there’s a bit of a difference there.
TV moves very quickly and as a theatre artist, you have to make bold choices. That’s been a big help. Also, I’ve been able to play such kooky and diverse roles on stage, I seem to be landing really fun and kooky characters on film.
9) What was your experience like filming an episode of Kim’s Convenience?
I had such a great time filming Kim’s Convenience. The cast and crew were so fun and funny. The role was hilarious and touching. I love transformation so I have no trouble sitting in the makeup chair for and hour and a half. I will admit, my feet were aching from the heels after a few hours. Whew!
10) Tell me about “Shut Up, It’s Christmas! It seems like a really unique concept for a musical.
Shut Up, It’s Christmas! is a cabaret I created where I play Mrs. Claus in the first set and I tell the story of how she and Santa met, fell in love and made a life/career together. In the second set, I play myself while telling stories and singing some of my favourite Christmas songs.
11) How was the concept to this show conceived?
I’ve always loved the holiday season. Shut Up, It’s Christmas! began as a meditation on A Charlie Brown Christmas. I did a cabaret in 2006 and in one of the sections, I wanted to do something Christmas-y with a twist. I was thinking about how A Charlie Brown Christmas had a sweetness and funny-ness with a bit of satisfying melancholy. So I eventually came up with the concept of Mrs. Claus. And then I added the challenge of not being able to use any Christmas music. So it’s all musical theatre with a few standards. That part of the show was such a hit, I wanted to expand it and create a whole evening, so Mrs. Claus (Lola) became the first act. But I also wanted to give the audience some songs of the season so I change to myself for the second set and sing Christmas songs I love and tell funny stories about my life and family.
12) Do you have plans for any other shows like “Shut Up, It’s Christmas!”?
Funny you ask! Lola has been such a hit, I’m working on the idea of exploring and expanding the idea to be a trio of shows about the partners of famous mythical characters. We’ll see.
13) What is your dream role?
I don’t know if I have one. I’ve been so lucky in my career to be playing such a freakin’ fantastic array or roles. I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything. So I’m ready to be surprised by roles that I wouldn’t expect.
14) Wher can we expect to see you in the near-future?
For your Canadian readers, I will be performing Shut Up, It’s Christmas! at the Rose Theatre in Brampton on Dec. 9 and 10 at 8:00 and the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts on Dec. 15 at 7:30. And then, of course, Killjoys Season Three will begin filming this winter. I also do a lot of charity performances at this time of year. I’ll be singing as a guest artist for Voices of Hope: World Aids Day and the LOFT Christmas Concert on December 5th.
15) You already have such an expansive range of talents, are you thinking about branching off into anything else? Perhaps voice-acting?
Well I’m currently in rehearsals for my professional stage directorial debut. I’m directing a production of Seussical at Young People’s Theatre in Toronto. We open November 17th. I haven’t done voice acting but I would love to. It’s such an interesting medium to me but never had the chance.