Meet Vancouver actors Markian Tarasiuk and Mike Gill, founders of SpeakEasy Theatre, one of Vancouver’s newest independent theatre companies.
Both recent graduates of Studio 58 (the photo above are of the two in the 2014 Studio 58 production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), Tarasiuk and Gill will present Nathan Cuckow and Chris Craddock’s 3…2…1 as their inaugural production in Vancouver later this year, after taking the show to the Winnipeg Fringe this summer. You can find out more about SpeakEasy Theatre online at SpeakEasy Theatre.
Meet Markian and Mike
Growing up, Markian Tarasiuk’s dad wanted him to be a professional Canadian soccer player. But he chose a more secure and practical route, acting and starting a theatre company. A small role on the Manitoba Theatre for Young People’s stage led Markian to being discovered for his first professional lead role in Over the Tavern at The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. Markian’s love for theatre led him to the acting program at Studio 58, from which he graduated in 2014. In the summer of 2013, Markian made his television debut in the Disney XD movie, Bunks and in early 2015, along with Studio 58 Graduate and classmates Mike Gill and Tom Krushkowski, formed SpeakEasy Theatre Company where he now takes on the role as Artistic Director. In his free time Markian cheers on the WInnipeg Jets, and pursues his other love of eating nachos.
Originally from Regina, Mike Gill moved to Vancouver a little over three years ago to attend acting school at Studio 58. It was here where he met his then (and now) room mate and Ukrainian dancer, Markian Tarasiuk, Despite failing Markian’s skill testing question, the two still moved in togehter. Beginning with the Canadian Improv Games in high school, Mike eventually found himself wanting to be on stage more than off, and, after a brief year enrolled in journalism, switched into acting. With a love of all the components of storytelling, Mike looks forward to SpeakEasy Theatre and the opportunity it’s created to tell more good stories.
20 Questions with Markian and Mike
1. Your first job.
Markian: Salesman at Futureshop. I think it’s why my mind is very business oriented.
Mike: Soccer referee.
2. The job you always wanted as a child.
Markian: Archeologist. I used to be obsessed with fossils, historic sites and museums.
Mike: Veterinarian .
3. Your pet peeve.
Markian: People walking slowly and getting stuck behind them.
Mike: People who don’t laugh, but just say “that’s funny”.
4. Your hero.
Markian: My parents share the “hero” title.
Mike: Shane Koyczan.
5. Your biggest indulgence.
6. One thing no one knows about you.
Markian: I think my passion for design. It’s something I’ve always done on the side, but never seriously went after. With this company I can now put my imagining skills to work.
Mike: But then they’d know …
7. Three things you would want with you on a deserted island.
Markian: WiFi, a masseuse and an espresso machine.
Mike: A small chubby boy with glasses, a dead pilot, and a conch.
8. The one word your best friend would use to describe you.
9. If you were not a performer what would you be doing right now?
Markian: I would go into advertising and marketing. It’s just like Mad Men, right?
10. Hero or villain.
Markian: Villian is always more interesting.
11. Your life’s motto/mantra.
Markian: Working hard and working smart sometimes can be two different things.
Mike: Hold on tightly, let go lightly.
12. Your favourite playwright.
Markian: Canadians – George F Walker and watch out for Jordan Tannahill right now. American – big fan of John Logan, who has written great plays and some epic screenplays. British – Jez Butterworth.
Mike: Charles Mee.
13. The last book you read.
Markian: Neil Patrick Harris’ autobiography. But I think a better question would be which play I last read. I seem to read more of those.
Mike:”And then, you act” by Anne Bogart
14. If you were a cartoon character what cartoon character would you be and why?
Markian: I would want to be TJ Detweiler from Recess. I tried channeling him as a kid.
Mike: Finn the Human from Adventure Time. Because I’m a human too, and I love rolling around.
15. What will it say on your grave marker?
Markian: Oh man. He’s dead.
Mike: Treasure below.
16. Who would you most like to have dinner with?
Markian: Bradley Cooper. Love to sit down with him – he seems like a guy I’d hit it off with. He’ll be reading this, right?
Mike: Robert Redford.
17. Your idea of happiness.
Markian: Not ever “working” as my living.
Mike: Sleeping soundly because of the work I did that day, and waking up excited to do it again.
18. If you could go back in time, what would you tell your twenty year old self?
Markian: Ha! That was last year so… things will happen the way they are meant to.
Mike: Keep doing what you’re doing.
19. The one thing in your life that makes you most proud.
Markian: Graduating from Studio 58.
Mike: The people I’ve surrounded myself with.
20. To be or not to be?
Markian: When I play Hamlet, I’ll let you know.
Mike: To be as Funke..
(Disclaimer: Vancouver Presents! is an official media sponsor of SpeakEasy Theatre)