Monday, March 17, 2008

Interview - Chase Masterson

The Former "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" Star Talks About Her Latest Film "Yesterday Was A Lie", Her Popularity And Her Second Album

By: Ken Hulsey

KH - Playing a lounge singer in a production like this almost seems like type casting due to your present singing career and love of the songs of the 30s', 40s' and 50s'. Do you feel like this is the part you were born to play so to speak?

CM - I knew when I read the script that if I got to do this role, it would be one of my favorite roles, ever. I had, just that week, specifically prayed to be involved in a really quality project, and I truly believe this was an answer to that prayer. This role resonates with me on so many levels, the music actually is just one of them-- the type of music it is has always been my favorite, even while I was growing up, which wasn't exactly a popular choice. But more than that, the things that Singer says to Hoyle are deeply ingrained in me, they always have been. Singer has a sense of playfulness and yet a strong truth, an honesty, an integrity and vital understandings that I feel blessed to get to play. This kind of role doesn't come along very often for any actress. It's a huge treat.

KH - You were voted "The #1 Science Fiction Actress On Television" in TV Guide reader's poll. That's quite a hefty title. What do you think the fans identified with you above all the other talented actresses in the genre?

CM - That was an amazing thing, I was completely blown away when I heard that. Gosh, there are so many talented actresses, the only thing I can think of is that I do make it a point to have close, one-on-one talks with the fans. I truly don't even like the word "fan", and I always emphasize that my job is no more important or worthy of applause than any of theirs. It takes all of us to create the world we live in. I have no pride about doing what I do--I see it more like a ministry. As actors, we get to have the jobs that make the emotional space for people to relax & be entertained, or to reflect, or to resolve a difficult situation, or to laugh or to cry or to hug their kids more, or to just be quiet and thankful...and that's a huge blessing.

KH - A lot of actors stay clear of genre shows such as "Star Trek" for fear that they may hurt their careers and limit their options. You however have starred in a fair amount of sci fi productions as well as other types of films a TV shows. Do you feel that your role as Leeta on DS9 caused you to viewed as a sci fi only commodity or is this form of perceived type casting just a myth?

CM - I am absolutely fine being cast in sci fi, but no, it's not all that I do. I am grateful to be part of a genre which is so well-loved, and grateful for its loyalty to me. It's all a phenomenon, really. Being part of Trek is being part of a legacy that I wouldn't trade for anything. It's possible that any actor who is known well enough to get type cast in a particular role or genre. When you consider the huge amount of gifted actors out there, I have absolutely nothing to complain about, and a mind-boggling list of people & things to be grateful for.

KH - Did you get a chance to compose any of the pieces you perform in "Yesterday Was A lie" or did you at least hand pick some of the music?

CM - The instrumental music in "Yesterday Was A Lie" is being composed by Emmy Award winner Kristopher Carter. None of the vocal pieces in "Yesterday Was A Lie" are original, they're all classics, as it should be. I think the music will add a great deal to the film. James hand-picked the vocals, I think they're perfect. Because they truly pertain to the action of the film. You'll see.

KH - You gained a fair amount of praise for your debut album "Thrill of the Chase." I understand that you are presently working on your second album. Should we expect more classic songs or are you venturing out into more contemporary music?

CM - I sing the music I love, which are the classic songs of the Golden Era. I will be doing an album with some original songs at some point, but I'm working on the second CD now, which will be all classics. Like I said, I always loved this music, even when I was a kid, it was all I wanted to listen to. And that was pretty dorky, growing up in Texas. I was really made fun of for my sensibilities. Now, it's my turn, I'm happy to say. I talk about that in my "Thrill of the Chase" liner notes.
KH - You have spent a lot of time recently performing for our troops as part of the USO. How rewarding is it to bring a little taste of home to our service people who put their lives on the line to protect our nation's interests around the globe?

CM - It's very rewarding. Actually, I've done Army theatre since I was five, and my mom was one of the directors. All the time growing up, I did theatre for the troops, so it's a natural thing to do now. I don't support the war, but I do support the troops, and it's so important to let our men & women over there know how much we appreciate them. Again, I'm blessed to be in a position where I can do that. It's an honor.

KH - I found it interesting that you are listed as one of the films producers. Is this your first time working behind the camera? Do you have aspirations to someday take the reigns as a director yourself?

CM - While it's true that I'm the producer on "Yesterday Was A Lie", I didn't go into this project intending to be. I was cast in November, but our line producers dropped out, and the film was pushed. While we were trying to figure out what to do, I basically just said, "Hey, I can do this." I had produced before, although not on this thorough a level. It's not brain surgery, but it is lots of hard work; so far, it's working very well. But, as far as directing, I have way too much respect for fine directors to ever feel like I'd want to tackle that. I do love producing, even as high as the pressure can be sometimes, it's worth it. I want to find directors, and James Kerwin is the finest example, who deserve their work to be known, and I'll help make sure it happens.

2 comments:

  1. Well it was a tough job, but I guess someone
    had to do it, eh Ken;0)?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I noticed that this interview has been getting a lot of traffic due to a posting at TrekWeb (http://trekweb.com/articles/2008/04/11/Chase-Masterson-Grateful-to-be-Part-of-the-Star-Trek-Legacy.shtml). I want to thank Gustavo Leao for posting that.

    I thought fans may enjoy another interview I did with Chase back in 2005. It is short but, I think you may like it:

    KH: You have new CD out called "Thrill of the Chase" that features music from the 30s, 40s and 50s. What inspired you to sing songs from those eras?

    CM: This is the music I've always loved ever since I was a little girl. I guess I was about thirteen when I got interested in music of the golden era. It's just really romantic. It's remenisent of a lovely period of time. I love the lyrics. I love the melodies and they have always been my favorite. It wasn't really very hip to like this kind of music when you're thirteen years old and living in El Paso, Texas. Everyone else was into Donna Summer and the Bee Gees. I'm in love with this music and it's gone over really well. The name of the album again is "Thrill of the Chase" and I really can't say too much about it right now, but there will be a record deal happening with it.

    KH: I was just going to ask you about that. Hopefully soon the fans will be able to walk into Tower or Virgin and pick up a copy.

    CM: Absolutely, but right now we are raising a lot of money for a great charity called The Foundation For Hospices in Sub-Saharan Africa and they are a great charity that takes care of people with AIDS in Africa where the epidemic is just horrible. We've been able to raise money for them through sales on the website at chaseclub.com/cd. So far we've gotten some great reviews. Those reviews are up and you can listen to the songs there. Please go ceck it out.

    KH: Since you got the role as Leeta on DS9 you have been very involved with other projects on the SciFi Channel and other Horror films. Have you always been a Sci-fi fan?

    CM: I didn't grow up being a sci-fi fan, but I really do appreciate the genre for speaking as it does to people and to situations. I think that a lot of people's hearts are really touched by seeing the allegorical messages in science fiction and fantasy. I love the fans. They are incredibly loyal and faithful people and it's become a wonderful thing to be a part of. I feel very blessed.

    KH: I've noticed how personable you've been with everyone that comes by. Some celebrities aren't like that. The fans really appreciate it when you interact with them.

    CM: I just feel so blessed. I thank God every day that I was on a show like DS9 and that it has lead to so many
    other things.

    KH: Are you comfortable with the direction your career is going? Do you ever worry about being type-cast as just a sci-fi actress?

    CM: No, I don't worry about that because I do other things as well.

    KH: You started off your career as a dancer before you became an actress, is that correct?

    CM: I was a dancer and a singer in musicals while I was growing up and did a lot of theater. In my early twenties I studied Shakespeare professionally. I am thankful to have a diverse background. I think it helps.

    KH: Deep Space Nine was kind of the show a lot of Star Trek fans didn't watch. I don't want to say it was unpopular, but maybe
    overlooked?

    CM: It wasn't as mainstream. Actually a lot of people say DS9 is their favorite Star Trek and one of their favorite show of all-time. I think it didn't achieve the mainstream popularity The Next Generation did for various reasons. I am really glad it was a show I was on. I feel really thankful for that.

    KH: It has always been one of my favorites because of the strong character driven stories.

    CM: Thank You

    KH: Can we expect another CD in the future?

    CM: I working on another one and hopefully it will be out at in time for the Las Vegas convention. I'm really excited. I feel it will making its debut there. I'm feeling really good about where music is going right now.

    KH: Will it be music from the same era?

    CM: Yes.

    KH: Do you enjoy doing these conventions?

    CM: I sure do. It's a real blessing to meet everyone. I am very thankful God has blessed me greatly and its nice to be able to say thank you in this way.

    KH: Chase, I want to thank you for taking the time to talk with me .

    CM: Your welcome Ken. Thank you. God bless you guys.

    I just wanted to add that Chase Masterson is one of the sweetest people you will ever want to meet. She is truly down-to-earth, and a woman of strong faith. If you ever see her at a convention take the time to talk to her, you will be surprised at how nice she is.

    ReplyDelete