cool beans: Curtis and Tara

Not sure where to put this.  Maybe under profiles, maybe under showcase?  Either way, today I’m introducing you to Curtis and Tara.  Apart from being two of the most genuinely (as far as I can tell) nice people I’ve met since I got my first job in animation, they also make stuff.  They’re responsible for the consistently entertaining podcast, the Curtis and Tara Show, plus a bunch of other inspired silliness.  My excuse for talking to and about them today is this:

Andy and Andrew is fun.  It’s not animation, but it’s funny and creative and I enjoyed watching it.  I got in touch with the couple behind the puppetry and asked them for some background info.  Here’s what I got from Curtis:

I used to answer the “who are you and what do you do” question with, “We make cartoons”, or ” We draw pictures and sometimes they move.” and that seemed to sum us up pretty good. We did spend 10 years working on Canadian Animated TV , and when you work on Canadian cartoons you are an animator and nothing else. Tara’s been known to refer to the studio as home, and Home as “the place” we occasionally stop by to feed the cats. Although In recent years, Tara has retired from her 20 hour animator days to teach Flash, layout Design and other animation related subjects at the New Brunswick Community College here in Miramichi, while I make money by doing freelance animation and illustration for apps and web games and what not.

Outside of “paying the bills” we’ve tried to fill our time with doing things that make us happy, such as The Curtis and Tara Show Podcast, which we’ve started to use as a platform for making short improvised puppet shows, animations, and audio plays.
As creative people it seems like a waste of time and energy to not make things. I could spend the rest of my life waiting for that “dream job” where I get paid to work on a project that is similar to what I enjoy working on. Or we could just start producing things in our spare time instead of laying on the couch and thinking about Doritos.

I used to hate Andy Warhol becuase he seemed to just make as much crazy crap as he could and that was all it was…crazy crap. Then Tara sat me down and made me watch a Doc on The ‘hol and it turns out… I am a guy who likes to make as much crazy crap in my lifetime as I can and I’m lucky I have someone like Tara to encourage me to do more, insead of trying to convince me to get a “safe” factory job. Like the new Wife of another animator I know, she wanted him to get out and work an assembly line.
That’s just one of the many reasons we work so well together, and feel the need to record our every thought and share it with the world.

I still think about Doritos alot, I just try not to make it my whole day.

I don’t want to speak too much for Tara, but we both met in animation. When she was hired by friend and Director Ron Doucet, he said that she was hand picked just for me. Which is probably not very PC. In the longrun, she might as well have been hand picked becuase as her supervisor, I was too afraid to supervise her so the only way for her to talk to me would be to take me out on a date. And she did.
So our History togehter reads more like a list of TV shows we’ve worked on, while we hung out with eachother between frames. Also I was the best and most handsome supervisor that The Collideasope Digial Animation Stiudo has ever seen. You can feel free to Get M-A Kuttner(Collideascope owner/founder) to approve that statement… I’m pretty sure he will.

Now we are The Curtis and Tara Show… and The Curtis and Tara Show is our life outside of work. It’s only recorded a few hours of the week, but each episode very much represents who we are and our stance on making art for the sake of making art.

I also have the obsessive compulsive need to fill my youtube channel with as many short animations as possible. I also may have assumed the identity of my cat, Milo, for the purposes of giving him his own video podcast, and allowing me to fulfill my dream of not just working on cartoons, but by actually being a cartoon. Which is what I think we all wanted when we watched cartoon, did we not? I didn’t just want to draw pictures of Astroboy, I wanted learn my parents were secretly scientists from the future and I was actually a flying robot boy. Now that I’m 30, I get less and less sure my Mom will send me a pair of red boots and tell my how my rocket-hands work.

I thought I’d get a quick bio out of him, but Curtis basically pre-empted any questions I might’ve had. Artists making art?  For the heck of it?  What a revolutionary concept!

I also referred to Curtis as “the balls”.

Thanks Mike… I Like being Balls… I like it less the more I think about it. But it’s great if you don’t let it sink in… or picture some old balls, just hanging there looking depressed and full of evil.

Then Tara chimed in:

But she’s got the biggest BALLS of them all! I don’t know if I can out funny Curtis though…
I can maybe add to his diatribe, we met in Halifax, NS working in children’s tv animation, working for Collideascope Animation Studios for about a decade working on various shows like Gemini Award winning ‘Olliver’s Adventures’, Delilah and Julius, and the WB’s Johnny Test. Curtis had a hand in just about every project that touched that studio from it’s beginning to end. It is true he was the handsomest! I always wanted to teach when I retired, and when a position became available at my old animation school, I though FREEDOM 35 BABY! So I applied and have been loving it ever since! Retirement is pretty sweet, and I love being able to have free time to record the podcast and do other fun skits and puppetry! When I was young my family always ‘performed’ stories with added improv like little red riding hood or Goldy L and the three bears with make shift costumes, so it’s something I find really fun to do as an adult where I can make cool sets or costumes or just improv crazy stories! We love our show and even if no one listened we would still do it because it is just icing for our lives!

So that’s Curtis and Tara!  I’ve been way behind in introducing them to you.  You can check out their podcast, the Curtis and Tara Show, here.  Plus, there’s Curtis’ YouTube channel here, full of all kinds of animation and silliness.

You can also check out their merch store here.  Money’s good.

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