An actor, writer, yoga instructor, meteorologist and scream queen Tucky Williams is a Renaissance woman with perhaps the most fascinating résuméon the planet. She’s also helping to put her home town Lexington, Ky. on the lesbian map with her original Web series Girl / Girl Scene.
While Girl / Girl Scene’s fifth episode just recently aired, the series has been on the tips of web series-savvy women’s tongues since it premiered in June of 2010. Written, shot and produced with zero budget, Tucky and her cast and crew continue to deliver a thoughtful entertaining 30 to 40 minute episode about queer life in Lexington every few months. Through anticipation and buzz Tucky’s managed to make it a mini event each time a Girl / Girl Scene episode drops.
A trained actor with a background in horror films, who looks equally hot as a super femme or a cute boi, Tucky’s best know to horror fans as the hot zombie slayer Vix in Dead Moon Rising, but she also cut her teeth in front of the camera in the indie feature Shadows Light.
SheWired caught up with the endlessly interesting Tucky to chat about the genesis of and the continued success of Girl / Girl Scene, finding love with her “awesome” girlfriend Laura of Hunter Valentine fame, coming out about having epilepsy and her totally random encounter with a porn star at The Dinah.
Let’s begin with a little bit of background. You are from Kentucky, right? Grew up there, and came out there?
Can you tell me a little bit about that? I there is this perception of Kentucky that it’s ultra conservative in every part – a place that gay people would never want to visit…Can you give me some background on growing up and coming out there?
Lexington, which is the city I live in, is actually a really great place for gay people. I have heard that there are more lesbians per capita than in San Francisco.
Wow. That’s saying something…
We have a gay mayor – he’s out. The only problem, I think, growing up was there weren’t any other gay teenagers I could hang out with. If I could have been born five years later…. When I came out, no body else was coming out. They were gay, but no body else was going to youth groups and stuff, which is what I was doing. There is a gay youth group here, and I would go to that all the time, but hardly any body was there. And now the gay youth group is huge. They have their own prom.
I know, but I am a little jealous because I didn’t get to do all that! [laughs]
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How old were you when you came out?
Oh wow, twelve.
Really? You were ahead of your time!
Yeah, I knew I was gay. I just knew it the whole time. It was exactly like on the show (Girl / Girl Scene) – I came out to my mom. She was like, “No, you’re not.”
Yeah, and when you’re twelve that kind of hit pretty hard. So, I didn’t really say it again until I was fourteen. I was like, “Ok, I’m really, really gay.” She was like, “Oh, you…” My mother is not as mean as the mother on the show, but everything she says is exactly stuff my mother said. She said I was gay because I felt sorry for gay people. She just didn’t ever actually believe it.
Does she believe it now?
Yes, now she definitely does. Oh yeah! [laughs]
That’s really funny.
Yeah. She is pretty convinced at this point.
Does she watch Girl/Girl Scene?
Oh yeah! And she is really happy that the character that she is, is hot - that the actress is hot. She’s like, “I’m so glad that the hot one is playing me!” It’s funny, I’ll watch the scenes that we actually lived and experienced, and I think for other viewers its kind of dramatic and traumatic, but she and I were just laughing the whole time because we know what happened. She is always on the mother’s side. [laughs]
How does she feel about the mom coming out?
Oh, she’s fine with that. She is actually more worried that some crazy fan is going to murder her. [laughs] She said she’s worried about it. I’m like “No one is going to murder you!” It’s because the mother on the show is so horrible, but my mother is really, really sweet. She said that – that a crazy fan was going to murder her. I just told her “They wouldn’t be able to find you, and if they did, they wouldn’t hurt you!”
They would just want to try to educate her.
Yeah, but she is fine. She loves the show.
What inspired you or what was the catalyst for you to create Girl/Girl Scene?
I felt like it was a show I needed to see, and I wanted to see. I really loved Queer As Folk because it was unapologetic; it wasn’t trying to be politically correct at all. That really hadn’t been done with lesbians. I just wanted to present the world as I saw it, and maybe make it a little bit more fun and interesting. I wanted to talk about all the bad stuff, and bring it to light.
My friend Nic Brown, who is the executive producer on the show, said to just write a pilot for a TV show. So, I wrote it, and he was like, “Lets make it! Who do you want to make it?” I said Eric Butts, a horror filmmaker, so we went to Eric and he said he wanted to do it.
And you have this great success now.
I had no idea the show would be this popular! I just wanted to make something for fun, and have it be out there. I thought maybe 5,000 people were going to watch it on YouTube.
So what are the numbers like, if you can say…
I can’t, but its way more than 5,000. I can’t believe it!
But the genesis for Girl/Girl Scene is kind of a funny answer. I wanted an awesome girlfriend, and so I thought about it. I thought, “If I want an awesome girlfriend, I probably need to get out there more.” Then I was like, “Well, are they going to know I’m gay? I have to get out there, and have everybody know I am gay in order to get an awesome girlfriend.”
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And you did land an awesome girlfriend.
Yes! It worked!
Can you tell us about her?
Her name is Laura.
Oh, you’re going to make me prod you… And she’s a musician who’s in…
Did you meet her prior to her coming on the show?
Well, she sent me an email and offered to have her music on the show, and then was like, “Can we maybe be on the show?” I was like, “Yeah!!” And then we met when she played at a show in Louisville last August.
And it’s going strong now for several months, which is a really long time in the lesbian community!
It is! [laughs] Laura is the sweetest girl in the world. She’s older than me, and more mature, and I needed that in my life. She is just the nicest person on Earth; I am really lucky.
Hunter Valentine is based out of New York, and you live in Kentucky, so how are you making that work?
We don’t get to see each other often, but when we do, it’s wonderful. And we talk on the phone way too much. We see each other probably a lot more than people realize.
Going back for a minute, you have this whole “Scream Queen” history. How did that come to pass?
I just auditioned for stuff, and it was all horror movies. The only thing people were making around here was horror movies. Now I understand why - it’s because that’s the quickest way to get attention. But it just kind of found me, and I was doing the horror shows and got sucked into this vortex. I thought ok, but I still don’t have the awesome girlfriend. [laughs] Nobody knows I’m gay…
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Well, I was looking at the photos on your website, and you really run a gamut! It’s very interesting. They are fantastic. They go from cute boi, to super hyper-feminine girl – it’s wild! I think it’s exciting. You have an incredible range even just in your photos.
Thank you!! Yeah, I am an actor, so it comes from that. The hair is totally fake. That’s the way to go. Oh my God, clip-in hair is so great. [laughs]
There is a Girl/Girl Scene where you are dealing with the clip-in hair, but really hating it, right?
Yeah, Evan would hate clip-in hair. She would complain that it was pulling on her head. But I love it because I get to be me all the time, but then if I need to look like that, its “clip, clip”and there you go! The shows are really the only time I do it.
How much of Evan is in you or vice versa? What parts of Evan are most like you?
When we first started we had nothing in common, and the more entangled I’ve become in her life, it’s become this blur and I don’t know where she ends and I begin. I definitely don’t have the voice. I don’t know, I think we both enjoy life very much, and enjoy being who we are. We are both really into philosophy, specifically Nietzsche, and sort of living life according to that.
Evan seems like a bit of a player, and I don’t get that from you.
Your most recent episode when Evan had the hangover and the hickeys was a lot of fun. I feel like it turned a corner in just sheer playfulness.
Yeah! Ha! Thank you! I take from a lot of movies, and I kind of fit as many pop culture references into an episode as I can so that fans can kind of hunt them down and be like, “Oh, she said this, and this.”
Can you give me some hints as to the pop culture references you’ve used?
A lot of times I speak song lyrics. In episode three, Maxine says to Eliot, “I like your beard.” That’s from that Ke$ha song [laughs]. There’s so many – a lot of Big Lebowski references.
I love that movie, but I haven’t picked up on those!
Well, we’re taking about Evan, and I would say of all the characters, Evan is the dude, and instead of bowling, it’s women.
I haven’t seen you with a White Russian in your hand, though!
I know, I’m a bourbon drinker!
Well, you are from Kentucky!
I know! But I was at The Dinah, and everyone was drinking girly drinks. My friend Lisa turned me on to Malibu rum and pineapple juice. It kind of ruined my image because I had this light colored drink the whole time, but God they were good!
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So, touching on The Dinah…. How was it?
It was great! Have you seen the videos? I mean….
I do know you had one specific red carpet moment….
There’s a video on Here! Network, and it’s online. We ran into each other twice, and I didn’t know who she was.
I should clarify for those who aren’t aware that you are talking about Kayden Kross.
We were messaging each other afterward, and I just had no idea who she was - I don’t think many people did. Then I got this funny feeling, and I Googled her name and was like, “ooooooohh,” [laughs] – I really didn’t know. But she is such a sweet heart, and really smart - such a nice girl.
Since we have danced around this, would you like to explain what happened?
I saw her as I was moving down the red carpet and thought, “Oh my God she isso pretty!” She is really pretty in real life – like scary pretty! So, I walked up to her and said, “You are the ugliest girl I have ever seen!” She was like, “What?” So I said, “You are the ugliest girl here, why are you on TV?” So that sort of sealed the deal. [laughs]
And then she kissed you, right?
Yeah…yeah. Then she kissed me. She was like “That’s what people have been doing to me, but a lot more than that." I said, “Yeah? You wanna show me?” Then we made out.
Aside from that sort of galvanizing red carpet experience how was it getting to meet fans of the show outside of your home area where everyone is already pretty familiar with you?
It was awesome! I hung out with my friend Lisa the whole time. I met her in Vegas a year before, and I didn’t know anybody so I just said, “We are hanging out." You totally need a buddy there. So, we were just walking around and I remember all these drunk lesbians screaming “Are you Tucky? Are you Tucky Williams?” They would be so scared asking for a picture, but I was like, “Yes!” It was really sweet.
I’m glad it was a good experience! Have you been to other events? Any more national events since you have been doing Girl/Girl Scene and people are aware of it?
We need to find something else for you to do!
I know! That was my first big gay thing. I don’t know what else is that big of a deal. Its kind of “once you do The Dinah….”
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This topic is a far cry from discussing The Dinah but I’m wondering if you can talk about being epileptic. I’m sure there are people out there who deal with epilepsy who may not want to come out about it.
Yeah. It was October 12, 2009, I was teaching a weight lifting class and I just remember feeling really amazing. Then I hear stories about how I was just smiling and I had just had this big seizure. There was a pulmonologist standing five feet away from me who resuscitated me.
Wow. I didn’t realize it had gone that far.
Yeah, I was gone. Then a nurse was doing mouth-to-mouth. It was really awesome because he was doing CPR, but because he was a pulmonologist, he didn’t break any ribs. I am really grateful for that. But it can hit you just out of nowhere.
I actually felt really in the closet about it, like it was almost like this shameful thing at first. Then I had a seizure on the set, filming episode two [of Girl/Girl Scene]. I mean a grand mal seizure. It’s kind of hard because people freak out and call 911. I hate that. I mean, I am glad people care, but it’s like, “Just let me have my seizure.” Or people think they are supposed to stick something in my mouth, and I have told people, “If you stick something in my mouth, as soon as I wake up, it’s going up your ass!” [laughs] I told my friend Nic "I’m not joking." He was like “Tucky, I know you’re not joking!”
So what happens? Because I think that’s what we’ve all been told to do if we see somebody having a seizure – put something in their mouth so they don’t bite their tongue off.
No, no! Its impossible to bite your tongue off, it’s impossible to swallow your tongue. The only thing is you may hit your head, so you can put a pillow under someone’s head. I don’t want to say don’t call 911, but I have told all my friends not to call. Actually someone called 911 once, and I hadn’t woken up yet, and they kicked me out of the ambulance. They were like, “she just had a seizure, she’s fine.” So they kicked me out and were like, “We are not taking her to the hospital, she is fine.” Even they know.
I really don’t know a lot about epilepsy and how one manages it. Can it be managed to a degree through diet and medication?
It took forever to get it under control, and I really didn’t believe it was ever going to be under control. It took me about a year and a half. I really didn’t believe I would ever drive again. I went to a Tegan and Sara concert, and just thought, “Please, God, don’t let me have a seizure during this concert!” It was scary, because everywhere I went, I didn’t know if I was going to have a seizure.
So how did you get it under control?
Medication and diet.
You’re somebody who is really pretty healthy anyway, though. You do yoga...
Yeah, but I lost like 20 pounds. If you watch from episode two to episode three, 20 pounds came off. That’s from the medicine and the diet change. The epilepsy thing – yeah, ‘it gets better,’ just like in the video.
Well, I’m glad you were able to get a handle on it. Can you tell me that we can look forward to coming up on the show?
Well, we are doing episodes six, seven and eight, but it’s going to be a while before they come out because we want to do them perfectly. But the last three episodes are going to just blow your mind.
The show has been blowing our minds anyway, but can you elaborate?
Well, six, seven and eight really just take it up like 10 levels. I feel like episode five was almost a bridge. The first four were just establishing the characters and five was a bridge into what is coming because it just gets out of control.
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That leads me to ask about your process of working. You shoot episode by episode rather than doing an a chunk of a season and airing them weekly. When you’re writing, do you have a trajectory of the plot as though you are writing a season?
I do have a trajectory of the plot, but the amazing thing about it is that we are doing this on our own - nobody is helping us, we don’t have any money. One of the great things about this taking so long is that we can kind of make little changes as we go along. So if a character does really well, I can write her character in to the plot more.
So, the audience might in some way inform a little bit of what you are doing.
Yeah, totally. Totally.
To that end, since we know that you are doing this on your own, what can viewers and fans do to help support you besides watching. Are you looking for funding? Or is that something that you’re just not interested in trying to do?
We don’t want to ask the audience for that yet. It’s just not the way we want to go. The thing that people can do, which really helps us a lot, is watch the commercial that comes on after the show. In episode five, we even have an extra scene after the credits, and a lot of people don’t know about it. Watch it; that is the best way to support the show.
Is there anything else that you want to say about the show or any other projects you’re working on?
Nope, just the show. I love writing it, and I love that people love it. I feel really lucky that it’s been as popular as it has been. All these people who watch it, they really make me feel fulfilled. They tell me how much they like the show, and that’s amazing. And then, I did get the really awesome girlfriend.
Unless otherwise credited, photos by Rose Island.