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Radio SciFi Interview
URL: http://www.sci-fi-files.com/clips.html {note: link no longer functions}
date unknown, but sometime between September 2001 and January 2002

These are transcribed versions of the audio files. I've included direct URLs to the audio files (the title of each section) as four of the URLs listed on the source page are incorrect.  I'm sure Marjorie was actually answering an interviewer's questions, but those questions were not in the audio files themselves.

How Marjorie got into Acting

I started in high school.  I guess you could say though from the time I was a little kid, I was always making up stories and inventing games with friends of mine, you know like roleplaying, not roleplaying like gaming, but we would pretend to be people who we weren't.  Pretend we were raised by Indians and run around the whole neighborhood.  It was great.

But then in fifth grade, I started singing in groups and then I did a solo on stage in elementary school at some point. But then I started in high school.  I started building sets and I loved doing that.  It was really fun.  I was in the chorus in a musical.  In my second year of high school, I was cast as Snoopy in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.  I was a theather major in college.  Then I moved to New York.  I started doing television in New York, then I moved to California.  I was shooitng a movie in New York that was shooting bi-coastally and I was pretty much ready to move anywya, so I basically moved with the movie.

Technically, my first professional role was in an outdoor drama in Chilacoffee, Ohio.  At the time I was living in Cincinnati.  My family lived there for a long time.  I did a show called Tecumseh.  One year I understudied the female lead; the second year I played the female lead.  In New York, my first professional gig, it was wild, because I'd hooked up with these people.  I'd met an agent -- they're a highly respected agency -- she said, "We can't send you out until we've seen your work."  "Well," I said, "I totally respect that."  But they had a commercial division.  They started sending me out.  I freelanced with them commericially.  I went on a bunch of auditions, didn't get anything.

But things started coming up, like way, way off-Broadway and student films that I was physically right for.  And they sent me in for that and I guess they got good feedback because they sent me out and I read for a television series.  They'd shot the pilot like a year before and they'd added two female roles and they were casting those.  And I got it.  So my first professional gig after Tecumseh was a television series called H.E.L.P. -- it was Harlem Eastside Lifesaving Program.  It was in 1990, started the same time as Law & Order.  It was cops, firefighters, and paramedics working together in the same unit.

Why Marjorie Chose SciFi

It just happened.  You know, you get an audition, you go, you hope you get the job, you go home.  The first sort of borderline science fiction I did was Quantum Leap.  I had a small speaking role in Bonfire of the Vanities in which I moved sort of with the movie and the first role I got after moving to California was Quantum Leap.  And then I was cast in Space Rangers.  You know, you go to an audition and you hope you get it.

I think part of the reason I've done so much science fiction is that they have interesting, powerful femal roles and I have this soft of archetypal...you know...  For people you don't know, I've six feet tall and blonde.  I have Irish-Celt ancestry.  And they have these types of characters in science fiction more than you have in cop shows.  So they go, well, that's good, we'll do that.  And they have strong, independent women who can kick some ass, you know, women who might overpower different roles.  You know, I've played all kinds of things.  I've played lots of things aside of science fiction, but I think that's why I've gotten so much of it because they have these great female characters.

Marjorie's Roles and Quantum Leap (actually, I think the interviewer asked about her favorite roles)

The one that was probably flat-out the most fun was JoJo on Space Rangers because that character...  I was terribly shy.  I was a total bookworm growing up.  And JoJo was very in-your-face, very physical.  She was a pilot, had no interest in being a captain because that would be much more responsibility and more boring.  She was just a by-the-seat-of-your-pants pilot and when she wasn't there, she was partying.  It was the first time I'd ever played a character like that.  She sort of woke some things up in me, playing that character.  I got much more physical after that.

But then there's Babylon 5.  I loved the character of Number One.  I loved the mission that she was on, the profound importance to her of protecting this planet and protecting its people and making it liveable.  I loved working with the cast, they're just so great and I'm in touch with a lot of them still, just wonderful people.

And generally you get very attached to the series you do.  Rescue 77 was not science fiction, but I did that recently.  It was the second time I've played a firefighter, though in Rescue 77 I was a firefighter paramedic.  And they're remarkable people as everybody sees now more with what's been happening in New York.  I've met firefighters all across the country through various things, and they're remarkable people and the work that they do is profoundly importnat, so being able to bring that to life and to experience those stories was incredibly powerful too.  So it's really hard to say.  Plus it was a fun cast, and I love the guys.  I got to drive the ambulance.  I'm hanging off helicopters and I'm running up and down stairs, dragging hoses.  It's fun!

They're all different.  It's hard to...  You heard actors, movie stars and such, and they say, it's like they're all your children.  You can't really pick one.

Quantum Leap and Scott Bakula.  I played a model in the 60s in New York City and Scott played a photographer and we were doing an advertising campaign together, using a lion, for perfume.  Susan Anton played my manager.  My character's name was Edie and the manager had gotten me hooked on speed.  In the original history -- you know how Quantum Leap works -- Edie died of an overdose of pills and alcohol.  So he comes in and takes her through this whole weekend withdrawal thing and she gets cleaned up and goes back to the midwest.  He's amazing; he's just amazing.  I got to wear fabulous make-up and clothes.  Becuase I don't wear false eyelashes and fake nails and stuff like that.  But it was so funny because it was 60s fashion modeling.  So they put on the big funky hair and the giant eyelashes.  They were putting glitter on and stuff and it was like "Aah!"  It was really funny.

What's Next for Marjorie

What I've discovered in the process of working on this show is that right now I'm much stronger as an editor that as...  Because, you know...  We had this wondeful writer who wrote the pilot.  Everybody liked it; I liked it.  We were going on and then at one point, one of the producers said, "What do you really think?  You've been doing this for ten years.  What do you really think?"  I said, "Well, this should go, this should go; people don't really talk liek that; yadda, yadda."  Adn we went through and cut it all up and gave it back to him, and it came back so much better.  So I'm finding just through sheer experience and being able to work with good writers in the past that I'm better at that than I am at the moment with writing it.  Plus I'm not familiar with the field that we're working in.  So I don't feel qualified to write it, but I know how to edit it.  So that's what I'm doing now.  I'm really interested in editing and producing.

Marjorie's Website

I didn't set it up.  This wonderful woman who I've met since did and she's done an amazing job.  Somebody just told me about it and I went and looked at it.  It's at www.geocities.com/marjoriemonaghan or you can just go to any search engine and type in my name and it'll pop up.  I've been in touch with her and now it's the authorized website.  She does a beautiful job with it.  Her name's Becky.


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