From Beauty Queen to the Big Screen- Meagan Tandy
interview by: iman n. milner
EDGE: Who is Meagan Tandy?
Meagan: Born and raised in California. I’ve always had a passion to be an entertainer and an actress. I started taking acting classes at the age of 10 and I kinda let it go for a while when I went to high school. I started doing pageants. I used to be Miss California Teen and then I won Miss California and I went on to Miss USA where I got 3rd runner up. From there I started doing commercials and booking small roles on TV and eventually I cast in a film and the rest has been history since then.
EDGE: What’s been the highlight so far?
Meagan: There’s really two. Booking “Unstoppable” was really a dream come true. Like I said before, I’ve been really passionate about being an actress for a really long time. I used to take our home video camera and tape myself doing scenes so when I got that job I just felt like I finally made it to the big screen and this is what I’ve always wanted. Although it wasn’t a big role just the fact that I was able to see myself up there was life changing. The second major moment would have to be booking Jane By Design. I hear it’s hard to book a spot on TV shows right now so being able to hop onto a TV show was a highlight as well.
EDGE: Tell me about your family life. Any siblings? Both parents?
Meagan: I have an older brother, Chris, who I love so much. I love him to death. We’re 6 years apart so we always had a significant difference in what we were doing in our lives but we managed to be close. My parents are still together; they’ve been married over 35 years. They raised my brother and I so well. We grew up in pretty good neighborhoods, we were very much involved in activities—they made sure we stayed busy.
EDGE: What do you think defines an artist?
Meagan: What defines you is who you are and what you bring to what you do. No one can be you.
EDGE: What do you think is the toughest thing about being in this industry?
Meagan: Honestly, I think just being in it is the tough part. You hear no way more than you hear yes out here. As soon as you head into the audition room there’s 50-80 girls who look just like you. You’re forced to stand out by just being you. Everyone is pretty. Most people are talented. Holding on to your confidence has to be the hardest part, it’s so easy to get down on yourself.
EDGE: What do you think is your responsibility as a woman and as a woman of color in this industry?
Meagan: I think I have a really strong responsibility to teenagers out there in general. I work with a program called “Choose Your Hero”, it’s a mentoring program that focuses mainly on teenage girls and some girls from the ages of 9-12. I think for them there are so many interesting examples in this industry so it’s important to me to really be a positive role model. As far as being a woman of color, it’s important for me to let other people know that we’re just like them, it’s not just about color. My color should not matter if I’m capable of doing a job that someone else is doing.
EDGE: What’s your favorite thing about your role on Jane By Design?
Meagan: Lulu is just crazy. She’s stuck up, she’s mean, she’s popular. She’s literally everything that I am not. It’s fun to be my opposite.
EDGE: What’s your dream role?
Meagan: My dream role would be a vixen. Kinda like Zoe Saldana in Columbiana or Angelina Jolie in Salt. I would love to be that bad chick running around as the secret agent or trying to save the world or wrecking havoc.
EDGE: If you weren’t acting, what would you be doing?
Meagan: I would definitely be doing something with business. When I was going to school, I was focusing on business marketing. I’d start my own business or do something with film production.
EDGE: What do you want your legacy to be?
Meagan: I don’t just want people to remember me as the actress. If I’m not giving back in some way and not being a good role model then I am not doing my job as a person. I don’t want to be remembered as just another artist, I want to be someone of service.
EDGE: What does living a life on the EDGE mean to you?
Meagan: Taking risks and being open to other options and being willing to think outside the box. You have to step out of your comfort zone and just live your life.
Photos by Robert Vasquez
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