Helene Udy is an actress director performer and clown. Best known for her series regular role as Myra on Dr. Quinn medicine woman. She also owns a children’s entertainment company and runs a monthly variety show set in Berlin 1924.
What is the best thing that I love about my work? The creativity. Creating a world from scratch that others can participate in. Especially true with clowning vs. Acting. Because in clowning the world can be completely imaginary.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? Feeling satisfied that I am making a difference and contributing to the worlds happiness even just one person at a time. That Great instant where we ALL “get it” (whatever it is) at the exact same time. This happens a lot in movies or performance. Why I love being in dark cosy rooms with lots of people!
What is my greatest fear? That we are all alone and DO NOT get each other. This feeling has grown since Trump took office and revealed the many ways in which we really don’t get each other. Frightening how the divide is growing.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?
Anxiety. Sometimes and only since my father died. (he is the old man hugging me in the photo) I have trouble walking out the door. My inability to be social.without a purpose is debilitating. I am best when I have a greater reason to be there or just might not go.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire? My bff Vince is a person that never gives up. That persists quietly in his dreams and goals and visioning. I get inspiration from his drive and clarity. It makes it easier for me to keep it up as well.
What is my greatest extravagance? Shoes. And garage sales. I prefer second hand things. I love a bargain. And I really love treasure hunting.
On what occasion would I lie? I really try not to. Maybe if someone hurt my feelings unintentionally I would lie about it. And heal the wound myself. I am sometimes painfully honest. Its better not to have secrets or distortions following you around like a bag of stones. So heavy. I’d rather be free.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Working with folks that take advantage of their position to be sadistic. Its an unfortunate truth about being in the arts. Egos can make people needlessly cruel. No job is worth it to me. And again..I’m painfully honest so it makes it impossible.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work? My work is often emotionally painful and gruelling in process. But like running a great marathon I am always exhilarated by its accomplishment. ( the exception being working with children or stiltwalking wich is always amazing!!!! And fun!!!)
If I could, what would I change about myself? My wrinkles. But I will change them. Gotta make a little more money first. I know. I said I was painfully honest. We all get old. Just wish it was prettier.
What is my greatest achievement in work? My role as Myra in the CBS tv series “Dr. Quinn medicine woman”. This was an incredibly courageous and lovely character. I was so very lucky to play this person. She demanded my best self of me. And I think it touched people. But me most of all. She is a reminder of all that I can be. Should demand of myself. And why its worth bothering.
Where would I most like to live? I don’t know! I have not travelled enough to be certain. I love my home. I love Montreal. Prague was amazingly creative but I don’t know the language. I need to be creatively stimulated. I have not travelled enough yet. So much to see. I hope I make it.
What is my most treasured possession? My fathers art work. Anything belonging to my father really. My father though dead is still my muse. And I do much to amuse him or entertain him or impress him even now. He is my reason for everything.
What is my most marked characteristic? I don’t know. That’s a scary question. My friends used to call me “tiny might”. I think I am a bit stubborn and can be a force to be reckoned with. Im impulsive and not always with great results. I hope I am getting better.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? Any rehearsal space anywhere. I love creating stuff. Ill do it in your backyard if you let me.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? Nope. Can’t decide. But I am definitely an east side downtown hole in the wall type of person. I like surprises. Ill try any place once.
What books influenced my life and how? Sadly Romeo and Juliet had a profoundly negative effect on me. I read it in my temperamental teens and I have still not gotten over the devastation. The world is a cruel place and sad and unspeakably heartbreaking things happen. But then the taoh of pooh is an absolute favorite. And that’s where I try to keep my mind mostly. That’s such a lovely book. I read it again often.
Who are my favorite writers? Shakespeare and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. But I am not at all well read.
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? Something emotional and classical and likely piano based. Probably Chopin. He is sad. It would fit the mood.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Some bad sass female kung fu triple flipping sword wielding sure shot peace keeping female Amazon husky voiced beauty. Not sure if they have written her yet. But the girl with the dragon tattoo comes close. Except no chip on her shoulder. Makes her so bitter! No thanks!
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? Anyone trying to make a difference. Or efforting at bringing light to the world. News reporters in war torn countries are at the top of my list. Folks that run into burning buildings when everyone else is running out. People that hold their ground under pressure. Sometimes you have to have the courage to be a majority of one. Those folks.
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? Hmmm… Ahhh.. The last one I saw was bohemian raphsody. It falls into my running time of follow your muse and stand your ground… In a lifetime though? Holy poop. Hah. I don’t know.
What role plays art in my life and work? Art is everything to me. Art that opens up a space for communicating. Where words alone are not enough. Performance art music dance theater film . sometimes It takes all of it to get the unspeakable across to you and close the gap between us perfectly.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My friend Vince. Without him in my life I would lack the courage to get up in the morning and believe anything is possible. I would likely do it. But it would be horrible. We made a pact as young artists and we have kept it. And because of that I know that life has goodness and love in it. To have one person in your life who has never let you down is a gift.
Whom would I like to work with in 2019? Martin Scorcese. I hope he is reading this.
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2019? I want to meet people in my profession that are pouring themselves into projects that up lift or illuminate or bring us together. How can I help bring us together? How can I help make us happy? How can I help? Please contact me! I will do what I can.
What project, in 2019, am I looking forward to work on? I Being a constant in the lives of directors like… David de Cocteau Jackson Ward and Jake Zelch makes me especially happy. all brilliant in their own way. And then there is George Mihalka. The first! I do love the independent film world. It requires trust and team work. Its where brilliance occurs. Money can’t buy that kind of thrill.
Where can you see me or my work? Reruns of Dr. Quinn just about anywhere. Then check imdb for the release of my next Indy film. Or come to my monthly variety show http://www.wasistdasshow.com or just hire me for a birthday party! www. Createakidsparty.com
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? Yes. Exactly. My father painted his last painting 2 weeks before he died. He never stopped exploring. He was not ready to go. I hope he is happy now. But like him I want to believe there is still so much to do. I hope I always feel that way. But it’s hardest after binge watching Netflix. Let’s be honest.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? Hmmm. Amrita dhaliwahl puts in a fabulous show called “Indian wedding” in los Angeles and she is also an acting coach and a clown. I love her. Very distinctive voice. Strong point of view
Let me think about other gals I know and love.
My sister Claudia udy has her own children’s school in Topanga. She is very passionate about.
My friend pam severns has a career as an amazing puppeteer.