We'd like to thank all of you for participating in this fantastic event. But no exciting addition to our page could be possible without the help of the individuals who make it complete!
A million thanks to Sunny for making this interview come true and for arranging everything.
And our deepest thanks are extended to Yvonne herself...for without her this interview definitely wouldn't have been possible. We all thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sharing with us your talents, dreams, and current life adventures!
* Mercy, Magali, Lily Will you please share any amusing anecdotes from the filming of the show, any funny stories to tell your fans that people donít know?
(this is one I share with my students) once, while we were doing one of the bunkhouse supper scenes, I didnít have many lines, and they were taping my close-up, to which I just did a bunch of different Ďreactionsí. After I was done, Anthony Zerbe, who I admire the heck out of, turned to me and said, "Well, that was a 3-act play"...of course, I was humiliated at my apparent overacting in the eyes of such an accomplished film actor. Then, the 1st AD, called out for Anthony to do his close-up and he turned to me and said, "Now, watch a 5-act play!"
* Lyn What was the most difficult part of taping TYR?
Quite possibly the heat, and I was in so many layers of clothes to disguise my (hardly) feminine physique. My eyes are light-sensitive, so doing a scene in direct sunlight was very difficult. Otherwise, it was quite nice being outdoors in such beautiful surroundings.
* Marie-Pierre What particular episode or scene of TYR was the most difficult for you and why?
Pretty much the first 6 episodes. I had NO IDEA how to work in front of the camera. I was a stage actress with theatre training.
Thereís a scene when Josh/Hickok and I were talking about the Kid and I, where we used the word "dancing" as a metaphor for sex. the lines were so hokey, and embarrassing to say that I thoroughly dreaded it! which, after I saw the scene, it worked well, feeling foolish--ha!
What most fans donít know, is that the day Travis was shot--essentially, killed off the series (which was heart-wrenching)...very tough. we had been filming the part where we hear a gunshot, come running around the corner just to see him fall out the saloon doors, dead. after about the fifth take I actually fainted!
* Marie-Pierre I know the guys joked around very often on set, and I suppose it was not that easy to have been the only woman in the middle of men. . .Did they do something (a joke, surprise, etc. . . ) to you that you particularly liked, and anything you disliked?
Ah, the locker room syndrome! not easy, but definitely enlightening. during the pilot, one of the actors had to give a surprised look, and it was the end of the day, so we were all pretty tired. well, he just couldnít do it naturally, so one of the actors (who will remain nameless, but not Steve), unzipped his pants and whipped out his private frontal parts! I have to say, it was a combination of shock, eye-rolling, and hysterics. which, was pretty close to how things like jokes went on the set.
* Joyce If The Young Riders were to do a TV special/reunion would you be willing to do it?
wow. it was a very special feeling to exist back in those days. I think itíd be really sweet. Iíd love to reunite.
* Joyce What do you think about the strong following the show and stars still have?
what first attracted me to the show was itís timeless nature, so it doesnít surprise me that people can still identify with it . I think itís great. the French philosopher Beaudelaire said that within each of us there is a man, woman and a child, to which Anais Nin added that each child is an orphan. I think thatís the appeal. weíre always striving for a sense of belonging and purpose.
* Kristen What episode of TYR was the most fun shooting?
oh, geez...the most fun...Iíd have to say the episode where I get to vamp up as a saloon girl and make the Kid jealous--ha!
Storylines and characters
*Lyn, Caroline, Which episodes were your favorite and why?
easy--everything with Ty. the show was so male driven, it was such a tonic to have those romantic moments of yin. Ty is so incredible to work with; he made everything easy--the fights, the kisses, the jealousies.
*Lyn, Melanie, Amy If you got to choose how the story was laid out, would you have put Lou with Kid in the end, or would you have the writers put her with someone else or with anyone at all?
Lou and Kid forever!!!!
* Gloria What do you suppose happened to Louiseís siblings Jeremiah and Theresa? Did you have to consider that for yourself at the end of the series?
in my mind, after Lou and Kid married --they bought a ranch, they got the kids to live with them. ultimately, and this was hard to justify during the series, the kids would not be safe with Lou. they were being fed, and getting an education. so it was for the best. one of those difficult sacrifices one makes.
* Christy Did you know that Lou was going to end up with Kid?
I donít think the writers even knew. I felt they should, I hoped they would...but I love all the little twists they gave us getting there.
* Amy How did the characters of the riders and the characters of Emma, Sam, Teaspoon, and Rachel most resemble and most differ from the actors who portrayed them?
ooohhh---Amy, big question! this could be a thesis paper...off the top of my head, I donít have a ton of differences, but Iíll share a few similarities: Ty/Kid--sense of internal struggle, gentle; Josh/ Hickok--intimidating presence; Steve/ Cody--prankster; Gregg/ Buck--sensitive, good listener; Melissa/ Emma--strong in spirit; Rachel/ Claire--kind; Anthony/teaspoon--omnipotently goofy; Sam/ Brett--MANLY!; Noah/Don--strong sense of integrity; Chris/Jesse--mischievous.
Travis, a testament to his brilliance as an actor, resembled Ike, not a lick! he was charmingly combative, and second only to Steve in his prankster-dom.
* Mercy What do Yvonne Suhor and Louise McCloud have in common?
weíre actually both very internal, emotionally private. we both have a sense of purpose and survival. we both need to be loved.
* Melanie Was it weird and sad not being around the others in the cast, hopefully you all were friends, every day after the show was canceled?
as much as we loved the show, it did run itís course. (but we all couldíve continued.) it might be different for the other cast members, but ending by getting married to the Kid, gave it a nice finality for my plot line. most of us went our separate ways, and tried to redefine our goals, what we wanted to do next after this epic in our lives. Being a Young Rider was a mammoth and fulfilling task in our lives.
* Sarah, Dana, Linda Have you kept in touch with any of the other actors since the show went off the air?
ha! just a few months ago, I got a hello from Josh--after YEARS! thereís the sporadic touching of base, but thereís an inherent transient nature with being an actor. you become very close, like family, very quick, and are orphans again until youíre placed in your next family. The nice thing, is that the bond is forever in oneís heart, because the castmates consist of people, who, after such a long run--ultimately define who you are.
* Dana I see all of the cast in other things except for Ty Miller. Did he just quit acting all together, or do you know?
* Magali A few days ago, Ty Miller answered questions from his French fans, do you still have friendly contact with him?
I donít know about Tyís current ambitions. a funny thing happened. a few years after TYR, I was in San Diego with my then-boyfriend (George, "Adam" from Buffy)...anyway, I was in the lobby of the hotel, and I SAW TY!! we hadnít kept in touch--I had gone off to grad school--and I looked at him, my heart bursting with joy, and shreeked, "TY!!" well, I think he thought I was a fan for a moment, because he looked at me with total UN-recognition. no clue for at least 5 seconds who I was. it was clear to me, he had evolved so far from our wild west days. it almost looked like he had forgotten he had ever been an actor. I asked him what he was up to, and he mentioned he was there with his girlfriend, who was shooting something too. we only chatted in passing. it was bitter-sweet. so, no. I donít know what heís up to...but it was really nice to see him, and relive a warmth that I had in bygone days.
* Christy What was it like to work with Ty Miller since you had your romantic scenes with his character?
I LOVED working with Ty!!! he has such a gentlemanly grace about him. I remember one scene we shot... there was a dance scene where I was dressed as a boy, and Kid saw the angst on my face, so he asked me outside to dance, which evolved into a kiss. well, we had been filming for about 10 hours, and the night shots are always last in the day... and we both knew there was a kiss in the scene, and toothbrushes nowhere in sight, and I was VERY self-conscious about my breath. anyway, I guess he was too, cause right before we shot the scene, he held out his hand, to reveal a buncha candy-- he asked, "peppermint or butterscotch?" I said, "butterscotch." so, we both gobbled down some butterscotch candy before the smooch! what a sweetheart!
* Kristin I assume that you have heard about what happened to Christopher Pettiet. Any comments? What was it like working with him on TYR?
Iím not sure, but pretty sure, that Iím still in the "denial" phase about Chris. he was a real breath of fresh air on that set, a joy, a godsend. always at my heels like a loyal puppy, asking me advice about girls, getting into mischief. I loved him. and he will stay alive forever, and with deep fondness in my heart.
* Rowena Were you, or any of the other cast members, able to attend Christopher Pettietís funeral?
donít know about the others. I only heard months after, so no.
Your work in general
*Melanie Do you have any other TV shows or movie projects in the works?
hahahaha...I try to limit my acting to stage now, Iím a teacher.
* Lily What other movies and shows can I see you in?
hahahaha...acting resume...must be somewhere online??
* Linda Please tell us about your studio and where it is located
the studio, in florida, is amazing. besides having a full film acting curriculum, we also have a resident ensemble of actors (we typically perform at the Orlando International Fringe Festival...or at the studio). we also have a theatre program to nurture young talent called Play De Luna--all in-house (current or former students) writers, actors, producers, directors, stage managers. itís great! some of our students teach Improv classes. occasionally, my NEW HUBBY teaches Shakespeare or stage combat. itís a real hotbed of creativity. with an amazing vein of love energy.
* Linda What have you been doing since The Young Riders was cancelled?
Wll, first some acting. then finished my MFA degree. then, I was a professor. Then, I decided to buck the system and open my own acting studio where I now teach, direct, and on occasion act with the ensemble (for the Fringe Fest).
* JaMarie Do you have a favorite project that you've worked on?
too many--TV: TYR, northern exposure. stage: Grapes of Wrath (I got to play Gary Siniseís little sister!), Desire, Desire, Desire by Christopher Durang (a satire of Streetcar Named Desire--I played Blanche), most recently Shakers, a highly demanding, funny and poignant British play.
* JaMarie If you weren't an actress, what do you think you'd be doing?
hahahaha--Iím doing it--Iím a teacher.
* Amy Would you please explain the Meisner method to acting that you teach at your studio? Could you give an illustration in context of a real, or imaginary scene of "The Young Riders"? Did you use this method when taping the show?
oh, geez...this is another thesis paper...the Meisner technique is like emotional ping-pong. youíll have to pick up his book, too much info...in general, itís learning how to work truthfully from the impulse center without apologizing or editing. I didnít study this technique until after TYR.
* Amy Since the Meisner method seems to be focused most on having the actor search out his or her own physical and emotional response to a scene and the other actors, how then does one get into character in this way? Is the actor to build the characterís response on his or her own response
yes, itís built on own responses in relationship--a very organic way of working, BUT--there is also "craft" which involves Ďspecial circumstancesí that the actor has to manifest himself (not from the partner); i.e., dialect, period awarenessí, physical demands (like being shot), another time period, where the socio-psychological perspective is different. a character is defined by many resources. I donít just teach meisner, I teach a combination of meisner, growtowski, linklater (voice), alexander (movement), stanislavski (method/ script analysis). my Advanced Intensive class works on everything from dialects to fights to Shakespeare to Brecht to Mamet. for an actor, it REALLY boils down to--whatever you need in the moment! Iíve done a couple Carol Churchill plays, where you play multiple characters, and all you have is, maybe, one 30 second costume change to Ďget into characterí, in that case, my entire craft might be based on a song--something that embodies rhythm, dynamic, attitude.
* Amy Have any of your students made a break into the film world? Actors or actresses weíd recognize, or movies weíd recognize? Do you take neophytes at your studio?
Many of my actors have worked a lot, but theyíre still at the Ďwouldnít recognize themí stage. ha! when a student of mine thanks me after a break-through, I always tell them-- " thank me in your Oscar speech!" I have great hope for a lot of my talent. and, yes, many of them never acted before. itís a gift and a calling. I like how David Mamet (in True and False) describes talent--as COURAGE.
*Rowena When is the last time you saw an episode or part of "The Young Riders"? What did it mean for you? What did you think?
haha--well, TYR is on my acting "reel" which I show to my students in my Working Actor class (as an example of how to put one together). so, I do get to see myself (selected scenes*) most semesters. quite honestly...any time I see scenes, I actually RELIVE every emotion, can say the line with the exact same inflection and feeling. I know it sounds queer, but itís permanently inked on my heart.
*The scenes on the acting reel (about 6 minutes of a broad range of work) from TYR include the scene where I see Kid in the shower, and the scene after I loose my virginity with Kid. Two of my favs!
*Caroline Did you enjoy riding?
*Lily I like your horse, Lightning, How many horses played him?
Only one horse played Lightening! which was great, because we knew each otherís personalities. he listened to me well, I had a light touch, and I think he appreciated that!
In one episode, the Kid was hurt, and I had to ride Katy back to the way station. the wrangler told me, kick him hard, heís stubborn. so, I get on the horse, and I give him a firm kick, and he bolts, and my hat comes flying off. .. and, you have to remember, when weíre riding, we may ride up for a half block, and have to stop on a stick for a close-up which is very difficult. so, Iím riding from pretty far back, and I think Katy was used to Tyís weight and not mine, so weíre flying and Iím trying to get my hat back on, and all of a sudden I notice the 5-inch twig where Iím supposed to stop, but in the meantime, the entire camera crew is yelling and diving out of the way, cause Iím headed right towards the camera! bottom line: okay, although I did stop on my mark, I was going a bit too fast to stop with grace and Katy slammed on the hoofs on her mark, which sent my girlie part right smack into the saddle horn. about the most painful thing Iíve experienced! afterwards, the wrangler (Monty, played the deputy) came up to me and said in his slow, humble drawl, "well, Yvonne, you maybe didnít need to kick her THAT hard." and here I was, so proud I had hit my mark, AND got my hat back on!
*Lily Did you have to learn to ride a horse for the show, or did you already know how? Iím learning now, it is fun, but bumpy.
We went to Ďcowboy campí...riding a horse for TV is different from just riding. thereís a bit more precision involved when the cameraís trying to follow you on a dolly, or you have to ride up full force and stop on a twig 5 feet from the lens (see above story)!
Miscellaneous questions about the show
* Melanie Are you surprised by the effect that The Young Ridersí program has on so many people even ten years after it first aired?
yes and no. I think itís a good show.
* Dana Have you ever thought of doing a reunion show?
I ran into the original producers a few years after the show was cancelled, and they mentioned it. but, I will tell you, I lived with that character so long, I did Ďcomplete the storyí in my head after it was over.
* Sarah What was it like working with all those cute guys?
hahahaha! Think --being in a menís locker room for 3 years, 6 days a week, 12 hours a day. the first 10 minutes is ecstasy--the rest of the time, youíre wondering where your girlfriends are?! okay, I may be exaggerating. but, the testosterone levels were overwhelming at times! most of the crew were male. the wranglers are 99% male. Iíd be dishonest if I didnít say I missed talking about girly things on a daily basis! (I have 6 sisters!)
* Caroline Who was your favorite actor on the show?
I was closest to Gregg. I really wished we wouldíve had more scenes together. we were constant buddies on and off the set. But, I liked them all in different ways. Joshís work was very intimate to play off--I learned a lot by watching him; Ty and I just got lost in our scenes, he had a great commitment; Claire was soooo understanding; don had a knowingness that was calming; Steve kept things light and fun when the set got tense, very playful. they were all great.
* Christy Did you keep any memorabilia for yourself from the show?
You wonít believe this, but I actually have kept 2 things which are very dear to me: the funeral coat from Ikeís burial (with permission from the costumer). and the nightgown from the scene where Kid and Lou consummated their relationship (I picked it out and bought it myself). yes, I do have an envelope of press clippings and whatnots from all my work--acting, directing, etc....
* Gloria Would you please tell us the "story" of how you got the role as Lou.
oh, lordy--this is a long one! readerís digest version, okay? well, I was a stage actor in Chicago, when ABC decided to put me on their Ďdevelopment programí (they fly you out, and pay you to only audition for their network.) I was having a meeting with them, and they mentioned the girl who dresses like a boy in a Western. Lonesome Dove was big at the time, and I was quite envious to see that only men got to ride horses and whatnot...and, I had just shot a TV show in Chicago where I was a street urchin disguised as a boy--so I mentioned it to the head of casting. they really wanted me on this Newsroom Drama project, but, I just really fell for TYR, so I auditioned for both, but put TYR in "first position". anyway, after about 5 auditions, I finally make it to the last 2 (between me and someone else--itís called "going to network")...and Steve, Josh, Gregg...everyone was there, (except Ty) and you audition in front of the studio and network execs--about 20 of them in a screening room. well, they keep you there for hours, and all the actors were waiting, no one was reading, apparently there was some big argument going on inside. one of the assistants ran out of the room, and returned seconds later with something in her hands--MY HEADSHOT--apparently, one of the execs thought I looked too much like a boy! and wanted to see what I looked like girly. well, I didnít get the role that day, but did get a call to do a screen test with 2 of the guys up for the role of Kid. they wrote a scene where we go into a shop and I dress up like a girl, to see if I could look feminine--haha! (one of the producers gave me the tape, itís great!) anyway...after the screen test, I got the role, but neither of the other two guys did. so, you can imagine my surprise when I got on the set and saw this Ty Miller guy! (PLEASANTLY surprised!!)
* Joyce Do you ever visit any of the Young Riders websites?
on occasion, some of my students will say, "oh, Yvonne, I read this on your website"--and Iíll go look. a few times, when the studioís gotten write ups Iíll do a search, and find one, and browse for a few minutes. when Chris died, I spent about 5 hours looking up information, looking at pictures of him, reminiscing. a few times a year, I might look up one to see what my former co-stars are doing.
* JaMarie If you could meet anyone, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Anais Nin. what she had to say about creative vision later in life.
* Marie-Pierre Do you like to travel, and if so, what country impressed you the most and why?
well, Iíve been chasing (ha!) my new hubby around the globe this past year...letís see, I loved Vancouver; I met with him up there for the fringe festival. we stayed on the harbor, very romantic! I was in Paris with my first husband, who wasnít the biggest romantic in the world, but I loved the feeling of France and itís people, (French is my heritage--grew up in New Orleans). Bondi Beach in Australia, and Sydneyís people were relaxing and inviting! I went on a pre-honeymoon (with a guy I eventually didnít marry) to Oahu!!! very tropical, lush, the rain was very sensual. although I only drove through it on an LA Chicago trip, Coloradoís mountains left me with a sense of awe and wonderment and thankfulness to be alive.
* Gloria What is your spiritual view of the world and life?
hahaha! I know this is a serious question, but Iíve learned not to take things so seriously! my spiritual views (Iím not religious) break down to how I deal with relationships. give to self; share with others. play a part in humanity. heal your inner child and help to heal others. you canít fix anyone, but you can be a role-model. all the adversity that one goes through was Godís gift, and there for a reason; so embrace it. donít hurry to figure it out; the path, the mistakes, the experiences, the joys the griefs are what take you there. be truthful--we spend too much time in toxic relationships, when itís really time to let go and evaluate why that person was on our path. realize that we donít get to pick our family. trust your instincts. have courage. if you donít take that step, it wonít lead to the next--which might be quite different. I think my ex, George, put it best when he said, "ITíS ALL ABOUT THE LOVE."
* Rowena Do you foresee yourself with a family and children?
I do have a new husband, Simon Needham, a fab Shakespearean actor from London--I met him at last yearís fringe festival. as far as children--there are so many broken hearts to mend, so much need for reassurance, that I can really only have the energy for my students; many damaged by their childhoods-- in desperate need of a creative voice that I nurture and encourage. no biological Kids for me....I do have a very nice cat, though--Anya! and, am working on perfecting my aunting/ godmothering skills. the key reason I moved to Orlando--my godsons Justin and Shane (both budding young actors)!!
* Kyung-Im Please tell us, what are your favorite TV shows, movies, books, and ice cream.
fav shows--The Sopranos!! Will & Grace, Survivor!! Judge Judy (I wanna be her when i grow up--too honest!)...I really donít have a lot of watch TV time; I work most evenings.
movies: Life Is Beautiful, most romantic comedies, Gladiator, Shakespeare In Love, Crouching Tiger/ Hidden Dragon.
ice cream...hmmmm...my fav dessert is German Chocolate cake or Carrot cake. as far as ice cream goes...probably anything from Ben & Gerryís.
* Kristin If you could play any character from any novel or play, which one would it be, and why?
oh, geez--too many to name! if I were older, Iíd probably have to say (donít laugh) any of the female characters from the Harry Potter books--which I LOVE!! actually, Iíve always wanted to play Pygmalion (Eliza Doolittle, non-musical version), and Simon wants me to play Lady McBeth, which I will certainly do one day!
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