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TYC Cast: Pamela Reed

We’re so happy to start introducing our all-woman cast of fantastic actors! Beginning with...

Pamela Reed

Photo courtesy Pamela Reed

Ms. Reed is a veteran actor in Hollywood and network television, and is a familiar face from movies like Kindergarten Cop and The Right Stuff, and television shows like Parks & Recc, United States of Tara, Jericho, and her currently recurring role on NCIS: Las Angeles.

As I recently learned, Ms. Reed is also a Tacoma native, who went to school at the University of Washington. And, after several years living and working in New York and LA, came back home. She still travels regularly for her TV series, and this month she is starring in a new work at Seattle Repertory Theatre, LUNA GALE. Go see it while you can! It runs through March 26, 2016.

Who decides who is capable of raising a child? Veteran social worker Caroline will do whatever it takes to protect baby Luna Gale, but her well-intentioned mission is swayed by hidden motives, buried secrets and moral ambiguity. Powerful and arresting, Luna grapples with the age-old question of whether the end justifies the means.

So how were we so lucky to get her on our teensy little Indie Film set in Tacoma, Washington?

Our paths crossed at last year’s first annual Tacoma Poetry Festival, where I was leading a poetry performance workshop and she was part of a panel about a women’s poetry critique circle. Well… they almost passed. I was a little busy and a little shy to introduce myself.

Later that same night, I was working on casting for Tell Your Children, and I thought… why not ask? So I got an introduction from a mutual friend poet, and I sent her the poem and asked her to consider a part. And she said yes.

The thing about this project is that it’s been difficult to explain to each new cast and crew coming on exactly What It Is. “There are poems. And we’re pulling out a story to film. No, there’s no script. Just the poems. Here are some mood boards and here are the poems.” And every time, for me as the writer and creator of this crazy thing, every time is a new tightening in my chest as I send out the idea, hoping the person on the other end will be intrigued enough to come and play, and make something as yet undefined.

And every time someone says yes, that tightening releases, replaced by another jolt of energy for the project and a bursting love for curious, trusting, motivated artists.

Photo by Kat St. John Photography

Ms. Reed will be playing “The Mother Who Knows” in Threadbare, directed by Wonder Russell. The poem is inspired by the faery tale, The 12 Dancing Princesses, and deals with a Real Thing That Happened in my family. It was also a very emotional day filming on set for me—I should have expected it, and I did, but it still hit me, to see a story I knew intimately reimagined through my own telling, and given new dimensions from the direction and the actors, but still essentially from, of me. And Ms. Reed—all the extraordinary actors in this project—took such care with my story. I’m so thankful for their compassion and determination and willingness to lean into magic and bring a memory to new life.

I’m thankful they said yes.

I’m also thankful for what Ms. Reed said on her costume fitting day, after a lovely talk about poetry, families, and local independent film: “I honestly have no idea what I’m getting into, but I like your poem. And it’s in Tacoma. I’ll do anything for Tacoma. So I thought, what the hell?”

What more could a writer ask for?

Photo by Kat St. John Photography

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