We had the chance to chat with actor Ryan Taerk about The Communist’s Daughter streaming now on CBC Gem.

Here’s what he had to say about the series and acting.

Can you talk a bit about how you got into storytelling and acting?

I always loved telling stories and creating characters ever since I was a child. I loved playing pretend and creating worlds of fantasy and magic, and sharing that with my family. I was lucky enough to be immersed in Disney magic as a child. I loved going to Disney World and being dropped into a story, and getting to change stories depending on the area of the park I was in. Originally, acting was a fun activity, and it evolved into a tool to help me escape into another person’s life in the moments that felt really uncomfortable when I was being bullied as a kid. It has been a friend of mine that has grown up and matured with me on my life’s journey, and has always been there for me when I’ve needed it most. 

What can you tell us about The Communist’s Daughter

The Communist’s Daughter is a show about a family of communists at the height of consumer driven North America, in the 1980s, that move back to their old neighbourhood and try to acclimate back into their community. Hilarity ensues when the father of the McDougald family, Ian McDougald, announces that he is running for city council as an “independent/communist”. The show follows the McDougald kids’ struggle to manage being loyal to their family and wanting to have a “normal” North American high school experience. 

What was it like playing Boris McDougald?

It was so much fun. I truly loved playing Boris McDougald. Getting to play the younger brother in a comedy that surrounds a family was like a dream come true. I grew up watching family based comedies, and I took a lot of inspiration from those shows. He is the rogue McDougald; Boris has such capitalist views, so he always gets out-voted at his family’s “democratic” meetings. This causes for a lot of comedic moments throughout the season. 

What’s your favourite part about being an actor? 

I love getting to shine a light on humanity for how it is today. It is one of my greatest teachers, and has been a guiding light in my life since I was a child. I’m very grateful for it. 

How have you been adapting to the changing landscape of acting in the world of Covid-19? (Zoom auditions, etc)

Being from Canada, I was already used to self-taping and skype-casting. Learning how to use Zoom was a steep learning curve, but now it feels like second nature. I have enjoyed the process of getting to work on material in my home, but I do miss the in person connection and collaboration between casting directors and actors. 

What are you hoping people get out of watching The Communist’s Daughter? 

I hope people see all of the heart, soul, and laughter that went into making this show. One of my favourite parts of the show is the importance of family coming together for the greater good, despite their differences. I think our show’s brilliant creator and director, Leah Cameron, did a beautiful job at telling this story of a family and community that learns that there is more that unites us than what separates us.

Follow Ryan Taerk on social media: Instagram|Twitter

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