Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 10th 2014 Contents | PROFILES |
By Roslyn Carrington
If you met Aurora Tardieu for the first time AFTER having
seen her onstage, you'd be in for a surprise. Soft, dimpled and
sweet-voiced, she's a far cry from the commanding, scene-
stealing presence you can't keep your eyes off of as you sit in
the audience. Her most recent --- and extremely powerful ---
performance was in the role of Eponine in Les Misérables at
Queen's Hall in July.
The former advertising writer left her agency job when she
became disillusioned with the limitations placed on creativity.
"The artists are capable of much more than the clients allow
them to do. They want you to think out of the box, and then
they ask you to change this and that, and they take you right
back into the box, until you're no longer pleased with what
you came up with. I can't wait for the industry to be revolu-
She's now taken the leap and become a full-time makeup-
artist, but is also exploring the many aspects of theatre and
short films. She just recently took part in a short local film
called Victim, by Ryan Figuera. "He wrote the script with me;
he gave me the opportunity to co-direct and star in it." Victim
can be viewed on YouTube.
Tardieu is also trying her hand at more screenwriting and
would like to become a director, and wants to go abroad to
pursue that dream. "Although I have a lot of friends in the
music scene, I feel there are things I can't get here."
Yet, she has every faith in our local artistic community. "The
industry is going to another level. Les Mis was proof that we
are capable of it."
Although she was a member of the Marionettes for eight
years, she left when CXC came around, and stayed away for
another eight years or so, but was asked to audition for the
part, and gladly went. Her mother, Michelle Tardieu-Attale, by
the way, was also in Les Mis, as a rather fetching Lady on the
She counts the fact that she was born and raised in Paramin
as being responsible for her love of music. "It's a very musical
community. You hear everybody singing all the time. Parang
was a big influence." Moving to Maraval did nothing to dimin-
ish that connection.
Being mentored by one of the local icons also helped. "I've had
(Marionettes Musical Director) Gretta Taylor as the voice in
my head for as long as I can remember. There was nothing I
could ask her that she didn't know. She was a great role
model... she even tutored me in French!"
Among her other credits are the juicy role of Mary Magdalene
in the 2005 production of Jesus Christ Superstar, Maureen in
Rent in 2011, and the female lead, Audrey, in Little Shop of
Horrors in 2012. For the most part, she rarely watches any
filmed productions beforehand, so as not to colour her own
Interestingly, the gentle, child-like Audrey was the most diffi-
cult character for her to get into. "I could draw on personal ex-
perience for the emotions of the other characters, but Audrey
was nothing like me. I even had to sing out of myself." She
slips into Audrey's cutesy, kewpie-doll lisp: "It wath vewy, vewy
She can't pick a favourite role, but rather prefers to look back
on each one and see how much she has changed and grown
over time. "I'm dying to play the evil villain," she says with a
mischievous grin, "but I'm saving that for when I'm older. Right
now I'm targeting the leading lady roles, but I'm looking for-
ward to when I am at the stage where I get to play the wicked
stepmother or evil witch." For this, she looks up to exemplars
like Leslie-Ann Lavine and Cecilia Salazar.
She has her hopes set on a huge, meaty role in an upcoming
production, but is keeping the cat securely in the bag as to
what it is. But she can't imagine any scenario in which she
wouldn't get it. "I don't want to call it arrogance. I'd prefer to
see it as manipulating the Universe into giving me what I
With her eyes firmly fixed on studies abroad, she has every
intention of coming back when she has earned her qualifica-
tions. "If we keep taking our talent away, it will never change.
If everyone goes away, who is going to change things here?"
MAGAZINE | 5
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