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Tracey Birdsall  ('Do You Like Your Balls?') Tracey Birdsall ('Do You Like Your Balls?')

'Talking Balls with Tracey Birdsall!'

Tracey Birdsall is an American actress who has appeared in several TV series, TV movies and films. She also co-wrote, produced, and starred in the movie short 'Tick Tock', which has won many top awards at movie festivals.

Indeed, in 2011, Birdsall, at age 48, was one of 10 finalists nationwide to make it into the Wilhelmina Models "40+" contest.

Now with another pair of brand new movies under her belt, 'Dawn Of The Crescent Moon' and 'Do You Like Your Balls?,' Tracey is once again back in the media spotlight.

Chatting recently with the lovely Tracey Birdsall I wondered, as she had begun her career with roles in such TV classics as 'Family Ties,' the 80's soap 'Loving,' and even 'All My Children,' whether acting was all she had ever dreamed of doing as a little girl? "Acting is all I ever wanted to do, but it wasn’t exactly what my family had in mind for me! I would say that I was an actress since birth and I just had to explain to everyone else over the years that it was all that would make me happy."

"When you yearn to exemplify other characters, nothing else even comes close. Although I tried to do other things - I ventured into studying for a career in Robotics for a while - I was an actress. It made me happy, it made me fulfilled, it made me whole. It was who I was. It didn’t matter what anyone else thought eventually."

Funnily enough you still have a connection to the soap world as you have a guest-starring role on The Young and the Restless. Do you find the soap world a more comfortable one to act within, or do you prefer movies? "Oh, I definitely prefer movies! Soap is quick and easy - study your lines - do your best take right off the bat kind of acting. It’s a true skill all in it’s own. That said, developing deep characters that take you on a journey is what the art is all about. The more characters you get to develop (and live their lives), the more insatiable journey your life as an actress becomes. There always has to be a better part… we chase that journey."

The first of your upcoming new movies is provocatively entitled, DO YOU LIKE YOUR BALLS? Er, please do tell us more about the film! "DO YOU LIKE YOUR BALLS? is a film all about hilarity. I wish I could explain it in better terms, but it’s basically a cast of comedians - and me - and I sometimes can’t figure out what it’s about - but I can’t stop laughing!"

"Although it has a storyline of a cast of characters who accidentally kill their wealthy boss right before a dinner party - and then they try to have one of their friends impersonate the boss that they killed as nobody had met him prior - it’s really the interweaving of hilarious moments that make this a film that I couldn’t wait to be a part of. I went into this audition with the mindset of “I will get this part” as the script was one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. Is that clear in it’s ambiguity?! Think Seinfeld meets Hangover!"

And please tell us all about your character and what her role is therein. "Ah… Francesca! Francesca is a trophy wife to a character played by Gerry Bednob. She is a trophy wife with an insatiable unsatisfied appetite, who is very attracted to Marcus Zankerman - or at least who she thinks is Marcus Zankerman, played by Michael Consiglio."

And as we're not called Exclusive Magazine for nothing, can you reveal a little behind-the-scenes secret? "I would have to point out that my orgasm scene went on for hours! I couldn’t figure out why a dinner party wherein an unsatisfied trophy wife has an orgasm by the excitement of her host would take so long to film! Seems that the cast and crew were amused by the performance, and thus the filming took longer than probably necessary! We did take after take while laughing hysterically!"

"The funniest part for me was that they had already taken the shot of Marcus Zankerman - Michael - doing his action, although he was reading his lines for me. I just couldn’t get into the part as he wasn’t doing the action! Who can have a spontaneous orgasm without action?! I asked Michael to do the action with the fork and knife and they brought in plastic cutlery for him to use. The scene worked - it was very nice plastic cutlery! - and Michael and I still make plastic cutlery jokes to this day!"

The director of DO YOU LIKE YOUR BALLS?, Reza Riazi said, amongst other nice things about you, "She came ready with a well-researched and developed character." So just what homework/ research did you actually do for your character of Francesca? "I went in determined to get the part with a fully developed character, wherein I usually just go in to do the very best that I can do. Reza was genius in his script and I would have been devastated not to get the role. In the scenes that they used for the audition, Francesca was doing some “mauling” to put it lightly."

"About half way through the audition - I was totally enthralled in the work - I heard Laura Reynolds; the producer and Michael Consiglio; a fellow actor in the film just burst out laughing as I mauled the chair; which was the only prop in the room! Although it took me out of character at that point, I was sure that I had owned the room at that point! Instead of the expected callback call that night, Reza just called and offered me the part. It was all pretty awesome. I love it when a plan comes to fruition!"

Next up you have DAWN OF THE CRESCENT MOON, where you play a character named ... Tracey! So what can you tell us about her and what Tracey gets up to? "It is pretty funny actually that they left her character name Tracey! In all actuality, the Producer and Director were friends of mine and had sent me the script with the implied direction of “see if there’s a part in there you might be willing to play…” As I got into the script, I realized that there was a character in there with my exact name and I realized that the suggestion was not as subtle as I had previously assumed!"

"Her part in the story is to weave the reality of what the teens were experiencing in their quest to discover The Legend of Blood Lake - and the treasure accompanying it. Working opposite a great actor such as Barry Corbin was a true treat in that our “weaving the story” had some dimension of it’s own. Cyrus (Barry Corbin) figured out early on that our characters were not so well intentioned in our inquisition ... and that we had the Legend - and the treasure - on our minds also!"

DAWN OF THE CRESCENT MOON tells the story of a group of college students who travel to a small Texas town to research the Legend of Blood Lake. Did you actually film this in Texas though and at what time of year? "We filmed this on location in a town of approximately 275 people. The town was called Fayetteville, Texas, and I - quite frankly - had never seen a town this small! We filmed it in October; however, it wouldn’t have mattered as we literally were across the street from the location! There was one little Bed and Breakfast in town which the shooting cast stayed in. We all got to be quite close with each other, the owner of the location - Joe’s Bar’s own Joe Simpson - and many of the locals who were quite eager to participate in the production."

The group are there to investigate an obscure folktale forged by events surrounding the horrible massacre of a Comanche village. So how did things pan out for you on set? Were there any shots that couldn't be done, for one reason or another? Or did it all go smoothly? "On our shoot days, it went super smoothly. We shot into the night and the shoot was basically flawless as we were working with consummate professionals. We actually finished up early, much to the productions delight, and Joe Simpson of Joe’s Bar left his place open to us and cooked into the night. It was a case of true hospitality! My only problem was that I didn’t realize what a huge meat state Texas was! I ate mostly cheese sticks, which upset my stomach for weeks - although they were very yummy and appreciated! It wasn’t California dining!"

As we're not called Exclusive Magazine for nothing, can you reveal a little behind-the-scenes secret? Something that when we come to watch the film we can look out for? "There are some nuances in the film that lead to the “unveiling” at the end of who the characters truly are. There are some surprising moments where a couple of characters are other characters in disguise - in a mystical way. I think that if you watch it aware of that, it might be more obvious! Thank heavens you aren’t asking for behind-the-scenes secrets of during the shoot," she laughs.

No, I shall leave that one well alone! Indeed, stepping away from films, in your spare time are you still an avid boater? "I love the sea like none other. My father was a sailor, I have owned several power boats, and I love nothing more than the ocean. My other passion is for building houses, as many people know, and that hobby stays in tact as well."

And I know you have a fanatical passion for working out and staying fit, so do you have a daily routine you try to stick to, perhaps? "I would say that fanatical passion for working out and staying fit is an understatement! As a child, I had scoliosis, and the only way I was going to get out of therapy at Children’s Hospital was if I basically became a gym rat to strengthen my back muscles. All of these years later, the gym has served as a place to maintain balance emotionally and physically, and to challenge myself - which is what actors do anyways. I work out with a trainer a couple of days a week to push myself beyond my boundaries, and the other three days a week I work on equivalent body weight exercises and boxing (an interest I also developed from my father as a child.) I’m also an avid vegetarian."

OK, it has to be said that even though you are the age you are you look, in every single photo I've come across AMAZING! What's your secret? "First of all, I have to say humbly ... thank you! I believe the secret to looking young is to stay fit, is to constantly challenge yourself physically and mentally, eat well, and stay on top of it all! Every year that goes by just changes the geography of what you attend to. After 30, that eye serum goes to the neck and chest! After 30, any expired face and neck products get applied to the body! Live every day like you are ageless and look the way that you feel… although it helps that I basically looked 12 until I was 25," she smiles. "I also believe - here I’m going to get a bit philosophical - that honesty and integrity will keep you young."

You've done over 65 TV commercials, but which one to this day is your go-to favorite for mentioning to people - and why? "Sunkist Soda was my first, and you know what they say about firsts! Diet Coke, Maxwell House Coffee, and Maxim Hotel - in Vegas - are close seconds. Stamps.com is my current favorite as it’s long running and currently airing! I also do their print work (for USPS) and… who doesn’t use the postal service? Are there any conflicts? Probably not! Long live Stamps.com!"

It looks like you had a LOT of fun at this years Comic Con in San Diego! Love that Falling Skies "Human Cocoon" photo! "I had too much fun at this years Comic Con, but not everyone knows why! Ask Clint Morris! It was one of my favorite years to attend the convention as my perspective has changed as to how to present myself. I’m just so free now. My kids are grown up this year, my opportunities abound to where I have to decide between projects, and my mind is open and free. My “brave actress” mentality has expanded into my life, and I believe Comic Con in San Diego is evidence of that!"

You are also the Great-Grand-Daughter of composer Bert Lewis ('Steamboat Willie'). Do you ever listen to his work? Do you actually have any of his recordings at home? "I am. We have a lot of his work and of the accompanying Disney propaganda at my parents house. I get emails and phone calls sometimes from authors doing pieces on his work. My life is filled of stories of how my relatives moved to California with Walt Disney. My mother remembers sitting on the lap of the original Donald Duck."

"Actually, if it wasn’t for my great-grand-father, my mother’s family wouldn’t be in California, my mother probably wouldn’t have married my father - at 16, I might mention! - and my career; or me might have never been! Yes, Bert Lewis is the generation that made my life possible."

Finally, we here at Exclusive Magazine LOVE Penguins, so we were wondering if you did also - or had any funny stories involving them? "My oldest daughter, Nicky Birdsall, was once engaged to a Greek Sea Captain that she met during a cruise through the Panama Canal - a family trip over the holidays. She continued on with him to the Falkland Islands and beyond - which involved thousands of photos of penguins being emailed to me. The relationship didn’t last long, but the penguin pictures abound!"

Interviewed by: Russell A. Trunk

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