Tina Cesa Ward

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What do you do?

I am a writer and director that works in film and my most recent work has been in Web TV.  I’ve also directed for the stage.

Why do you do it?

It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.  And most hours of the day, it’s all I want to be doing.

What accomplishment in your career to date are you most proud of?

My work choices up to this point.  Certainly I was very proud to win the very first Writers Guild Award for Original New Media but at the end of the day I’m proud of the overall body of work I have had produced. 

As many know, this is not an easy industry to work in and often it’s feast or famine and during those lean times you start to think you should just give in and start making decent dollars.  But due to perhaps my artistic optimism I’ve never been good at settling for whatever offers comes my way.  I believe you should always be passionate about your work.  It’s just too hard to be otherwise.

Who has made the biggest impact on you in life so far, and why?

I’m not sure I can pin that down to one individual.  I think throughout your life if you allow yourself to be open to it you can come across people that can teach you amazing things and totally change your perspective. 

I can say as a director, Spike Lee had a huge impact on me when I was a kid.  When I saw “Do The Right Thing” I was blown away.  And realized the power film had to tell stories that can touch you profoundly and wake you up to the world and people around you.  

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Optimistic.  Determined.  Thoughtful.

What is something that not a lot of people know about you, but you wish more people could know?

I think because I work in drama and I’m very earnest in my approach to nearly everything that I believe my sense of humor gets lost a bit.  But I will say there are only a few that really get it. 

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be?

Siddhartha.  Part of me would like to leave everything behind, go sit under a tree and figure all this out.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?

The director in me is having a very tough time with this question.   Honestly, I would rather be asked to direct a movie with Meryl Streep in it.  I have this fantasy of riding a tandem bike with her down the streets of New York City.

Where would you go if you had a time machine?

The seventies. Because I know my work would have been very much appreciated in that era.

Anything else you would you like to tell our readers?

After working on three seasons of perhaps the most successful indie drama on the web, I’m throwing myself right back in with my new series, “Guards of Dagmar.” It’s right in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign and I need everyone’s support.

This story is very close to my heart. There are many things that have changed over the four years of producing Anyone But Me, but one thing has not and that is media outlets that are willing to produce stories that are told by or about gay & lesbian characters.  And with LOGO pulling out of the market essentially I’ve been feeling a little less than encouraged.

And that’s why it’s now so essential for the LGBT community to produce their own content and the community to support quality content.   I can only hope that Guards of Dagmar gets the support that Anyone But Me did during its run, because I know it has just as big of an opportunity to really touch, connect and entertain people.

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