Asta Paredes [Interview]

photo by Justin Patterson Photography


Welcome to Day 4 of Trainwreck’d Society’s Annual Month of Horror Showcase! We have a fully loaded month of all things horror for you fine folks! October is our favorite month for this very reason, and we are so excited to share 31 full days of film showcases and interviews with some of the finest folks from the world of horror, just as we have been doing for the last 5 years. What started as a simple 5 day showcase, has now blossomed into a full blown month long event. You’re going to love this! Enjoy!

Today’s guest for our Month of Horror Showcase is an absolutely delightful human being who we are so excited to have grace our digital pages. Asta Paredes is an absolutely incredible actress who has had a wonderful career and in, out, and around the world of horror. She was absolutely amazing in the the beloved Return to Nuke ‘Em High film and its sequel which was brought to you by the brilliant folks at Troma Pictures, which is a world that we have explored with intense fervor here at Trainwreck’d Society. And we will continue to do so as they are some of the best people in the world of horror to ever create anything. So, it is no wonder that these fine folks would want to align themselves with the likes of an acting genius like Asta Paredes! She was kind enough to tell us a bit about how she got into the world of performance, what she has coming up, and to tell us a bit about her time spent in the world of Troma.

So Folks, please enjoy some wonderful words from the brilliant Asta Paredes!

What inspired you to get into the world of film and television? Was it an early aspiration to do so, or did you just happen to find yourself in this world one day?

I have always been in love with movies but it wasn’t until after I graduated from college that I ever seriously considered entering the film world. I fell into it after a friend, Dave Herman, asked me what brought me to NYC and I said I was an actress. He asked me what I had been in lately and I went blank. Between survival jobs and harrowing personal experiences there was zip. He was one of those people who put me to task and back on track. Shortly after this talk, I took improv classes at Upright Citizens Brigade Improv Training Center and began to reawaken so to speak. He then wrote a sketch in which he enlisted me and another to film last minute. After a day filming this ridiculous sketch ( Battleship Pitch Meeting) I was hooked. After that I submitted for film projects left and right.

What was your very first paid gig you can remember getting in the world of performance? And did this job leave any sort of lasting impact on you that still makes its way into your work today?

I had to really think about this one and when I realized the answer a flood of memories came over me. In the summer between my Sophomore and Junior year of college, I was unable to find someone to sublet my apartment so I spent the summer in Minneapolis. I fell into a situation where I became a muse of sorts for a project and this led me to be part of running the Elysium Theatre Collective. We wanted to put on a play and I got to be part of the audition process. One of the auditionees was a classmate from my BFA program, Bob Galligan, and performed a monologue he wrote. Struck by the performance, a mission to make this into a play began. I spent that summer helping to create a play called Bob Meets Bob. A hypothetical story about Bob Galligan meeting Bob Dylan. The tale would follow both of the Bobs and see the eerie parallels in their lives and ultimately end with their meeting backstage at a concert. So, as I was in Minneapolis I poured over all things Bob Dylan. Every dive bar had visited. No stone was left unturned. I heard stories about him that only endeared me to the musician more. Besides producing this show, I was also playing Joan Baez. I met and befriended so many interesting people including music legend Spider John Koerner. All this culminated in a two performance event. One night we played our show at a nightclub called Trocadero’s for which I was paid a portion of door sales and a bucket of Coors. We marketed the event as a Bob Dylan Tribute and took an ad out in the local paper. Spider John Koerner was our opening act and I got to sing “With God on our Side” as Joan Baez to a full concert venue. It was a hell of a first paid gig. It left a huge impact on me. It taught me that only you set your limits. It also taught me that it really is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Hopefully one day, I can play Joan again in a more official capacity by going through the proper channels- of course.

We have spoken with a lot of folks who have worked in the world of Troma Films, as it is one of our all time favorite production companies and are putting out truly original films. You’ve done some amazing work with Troma over the years, so I am curious to know how you enjoyed working with Lloyd and co.? What sets it apart from other projects you have worked on?

There’s an energy about working with Troma that in many ways can never be duplicated. It is an insistent energy.  You are put on the spot constantly and asked to commit. I loved my time working on Return to Nuke ‘Em High because it forced me to explore myself as an unabashed performer. With Lloyd at the helm and a devoted cast and crew, it was an easy task to explore that part of me. I’ve learned that it’s truly set apart from some other projects that seem to wish to tame and refine which was quite the culture shock for me post Troma. The challenge I’ve learned is trying to balance this freeing experience with the expectations of the industry. However most days I’m reminded to continue to pave my own way which I don’t think I would have had the guts to do before Tromaville.

 

 

While the world of horror is not the only one you work in, you have a legendary status in this world already.  And it is our Month of Horror Showcase after all, so I am inclined to ask you how you enjoy working in this genre? What sets it apart from other genres?

Legendary. Nice. I honestly love the genre community. More importantly I love being part of good storytelling and if I suit a role in a stylistically heightened tale— all the better. I think what sets it apart is its ability to elicit visceral responses. Heart pounding, stomach churning, jump scares—genre fare wants you engaged and to experience it you have to suspend your disbelief. Then you need to go home and say “it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie”. At the end of the day, horror asks you to hold onto to your life more dearly and that’s pretty fricking cool. 

What is your favorite scary movie? 

Oh that’s a tough one. I honestly change my answer depending on the mood I’m in. However, my heart always comes back to Poltergeist. Great effects. Fantastic performances. Brilliant storytelling. Also, I’m drawn to tales about seeking truth and the power of love.


What are you plans for the upcoming Halloween? Any kind of traditions you try to uphold each year?

I have a Halloween party with some good friends in the city that I’ve been lucky to look forward to for the past few years. My husband and I have a long standing tradition of couple’s costumes. Typically Tragic couples.

We’ve dressed as:

Scream –  Sidney & Billy

The Terminator – Sara Connor & Kyle Reese

Edgar Allan Poe & Annabel Lee

It Follows – Jay & Hugh

Speed – Annie & Jack

Psycho –  Marion & Norman

The Shining –  Wendy & Jack

Habit –  Anna & Sam

Looking forward to this years…

What does the future hold for you? Anything you would like to plug to our readers? 

Many good things I hope! Been working on a lot of neato shorts and developing some exciting feature length fare. I recently finished my writer/director debut on the short film THE SLIGHTEST TOUCH which I hope to release soon for public consumption. I acted as well as worked as producer in dramatic short EROS POINT which was written & directed by McKegg Collins and co-stars my husband Clay von Carlowitz. Speaking of Clay, he wrote and directed a short called THE SHADOW SCARF that we also acted in together that will be making its World Premiere at the Great Western Catskills International Film Festival this October. I was also fortunate to star in a comedic horror short called THE CREEPER’S CURSE directed by Blake Rice and written by Hunter Hoffman who also stars along with Evan Williams, Emeka Nwafor, and Ricky Ryan.

I’ve been working with my production company, Abandoned House Productions, towards developing a couple features which we hope to share big news about very soon. I’ve also been revisiting my other passions, including writing songs and dancing, which I will begin to share more of in an official manner later this year.  It’s been a year of creation and it’s been very renewing to be part of so many stellar projects. I’m so grateful for all the support I’ve received over the years-it really holds me accountable to be part of such a loving community of artists and fans alike. Feel free to follow my accounts for all the latest developments-to many more stories and adventures!

IG: @astaparedes

Twitter: @astaparedes

Facebook: https://facebook.com/astaparedes

Official Website: www.astaparedes.com

IMDB: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5168039/

Production Company site: www.abandonedhousepresents.com

What was the last thing that made you smile?

I’ll just say this: It is an absolute joy to watch my pet rabbit eat a blackberry. The simple things, ya know.

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About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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