Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Exclusive! Interview With the Agentress: All About Lake Placid!

Agentress Extraordinaire Tara Modlin
takes good care of Johnny,
even when that means getting on a plane
in Salt Lake City at the crack of o'dark thirty ...

In the midst of doing absolutely everything there is to do while checking her list of additional stuff to do and keeping tabs on the list of stuff to do later in between checking her e-mail for stuff that needs to be done right now because somewhere in the world, the future is yesterday, Agentress Extraordinaire Tara Modlin was kind enough to take time out (and how she managed that I have no idea, although I think it has something to do with an amazing ability to bend the time-space continuum while managing briskly on the last good sleep she had which I believe was sometime in 2005) to answer our five most pressing questions about Lake Placid: The myth. The legend. The mini-golf.

While Tara is a native Long Islander (you may have heard Johnny make terrible fun of her for that kindly mention that fact on BGJW), she moved to Lake Placid when she was in ninth grade to train as a competitive skater with a world-famous Russian coach. Her mother moved to Lake Placid with her, while her father remained on Long Island and drove six hours one way every weekend to be with his wife and daughter ("Yes, I have the best parents in the world!" Tara says). Tara's brother, Troy--six years her senior and the "epitome of an older brother," she says--visited often to encourage his sister to "wipe out," by which of course he meant, "Good luck!" (Obviously this was excellent preparation for dealing with a certain impossibly charming and sometimes simply impossible male skater who would enter her life some years later ...)

Tara's teen years in Lake Placid are among her happiest, and thus the annual skating show there is one of her favorite events of the year. All the more reason to join her and what's-his-name--you know, that guy who's always torturing her by snuffling her and snarking about her pedicure and generally making her life a hilarious living hell, much to his own great amusement--this weekend to enjoy the show and get a glimpse of some of what makes Lake Placid very dear to Tara's heart.

Q. What are some of your favorite memories of your years in Lake Placid?
A. It's hard to pick a favorite! I would have to say my favorites include skating with world champions Maya Usova and Alexander Zhulin; going to school with future Olympians at the National Sports Academy; my grandmas staying with me over the summers in a beautiful condo behind the mountain; and the school trying to make me do dish duty because I was late to class (for the tenth time that week, I’m sure), and I couldn’t figure out why people were washing pots and pans by hand. First of all, I don’t know what a pot or a pan is for, and secondly, I would never think to not just throw one--whatever it is--into a dishwasher. [Note to Tara: I so totally get you, BB.] Anyway, this turned out to be a dangerous experience, as it involved a water fight with the cutest boy in school during which I hit my head on the sink and had to get stiches next to my eye. Oh, and another memory is being forced to run laps around the 1980 Olympic arena, and up and down the steps endlessly, to train--wait, that's not a favorite memory! That was torture! (I guess I loved torture even then ... ?)

Q. You. Johnny. Mini-golf. Discuss.
A. I have no idea!!! [We understand. There's really no explaining Johnny, is there?] When we were there last summer, we had some free time on Saturday, and so we all went mini-golfing. Maybe the fact that they encourage you to dress like pirates attracted us. Clearly the things that happen on a whim often turn out to be the best experiences!

Q. What’s the best place to eat in Lake Placid and why?
A. Oh, there's so much to choose from! Milano North's chocolate martinis are a must-try! Also Chair 6 breakfast/brunch (but be prepared for a wait ...). Jimmy’s 21 on Main Street is romantically fabulous--must eat at a table by the window. And Lisa G's is perfect for every Saturday night after an ice show! Oh, and don't forget T. Hoffman Auto Shop--OK, OK, you can't eat there, but it's Taylor Hoffman's shop, who is married to my wonderful friend Kari, and I love Kari and Taylor! And if anyone needs help with their car while they're in town, that's the place to go. The Hoffmans are amazing!

Q. What programs will Johnny be skating in Lake Placid? And does he need any help getting in and out of his costumes? We have 2,500 people eager to volunteer …
A. He'll definitely be performing Heartbroken. He's still deciding between Poker Face and Bad Romance ... Yes, he needs help, and right now, I’m it! So please, call the box office today at 518-523-3330! They put tickets on sale early just for Johnny!

[Cue sudden stampede to every available telephone. Chaos ensues as fans turn to wrestling one another for cell phones. Anything to just, you know, help Tara out with Johnny's costume changes. Really, she does so much already--let's give her a break, shall we? Because we are all really selfless and caring like that ... ]

Q. What’s the one thing fans should be sure to do while they’re in Lake Placid (other than squee over Johnny, you, and Patti, of course)?
A. Water ski on the lake, if they have time! Check out Captain Marney’s boat rentals! Also, please enjoy a stroll up and down Main Street--there's so much fun stuff there. And check out the ski jumps at the Olympic Jumping Center! Stand on the fake podium at the ski jumps and pretend that you're at the Olympics--it's an amazing feeling!  (For more info, please check out the calendar of activities available this weekend at the Olympic Center.)

Thank you, Tara, for your kindness and patience with this interview and a thousand other questions; for taking such good care of Johnny; and for all the unsung things you do that no one ever knows about, but that I'm sure Johnny does not ever take for granted ...

See you all in Lake Placid!

Yes, you CAN pre-order tickets for Lake Placid!
Call the box office at 518-523-3330!
More info here!

Hey! You can purchase a T-shirt to wear
in Sun Valley or Lake Placid
in honor of our Ride for Life project!
We exceeded our $7,500 donation goal,
so now we're aiming for $10,000!
We're less than $2,000 away,
and we have until July 31 to get there!
Shirts are $20 each including shipping,
and $10 of that goes directly toward AIDS/LifeCycle!
Everything you need to know about ordering is here!

Special thanks to Facebook fan Nicole Davis
for the three-photo series of Johnny and Tara!
Check out more of Nicole's own private Idaho
on YouTube, where she has posted additional
Sun Valley footage here and here!

copyright 2010 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved


WheresMyKoppy said...

I love your dapper 'labels', lol!

impossibly charming and sometimes simply impossible male skater

Who? Who? Who could you possibly be referring to, MM? Thanks Tara, for doing this interview! And thanks MM, for posting it in your wonderful blog!

bsontwit said...

Great interview MM- much thanks to you and tara for all the LP info -totally love Tara!!

Jessica Never-Dapper Lane said...

Thank you, Tara for all the lovely tid-bits, hard work, and devistating snuffles you must endure on behalf of Johnny's fans. Lake Placid sounds beautiful. It's no wonder you're excited to return.

Mama, thanks for yet another amazing blog! Let's all gather round and wish you great success on your own trip to Lake Placid to worship at the alter of Weirsus. Just be careful. You don't want to be caught unaware and dapper. (Why does that give me mental images of unlaced sneakers, plaid polos that don't fit, slouchy jeans, and the sent of spray tan in the air...)

Wendy S said...

Thanks Tara, thanks MM -- very fun! Lord, I certainly HOPE I don't need car help while I'm in Lake Placid!! (But good to know, I'll take the tip!)

"See you all in Lake Placid!" = The icing on my already best-ever cake!

And I love it when every sentence is so wonderful, it must end in an exclamation point! (or maybe I'm just! that! excited!)


Anonymous said...

Any details yet on the Meet N Greet or are we still waiting for that fabulous info? :) Thanks for keeping us updated! See you in LP!

Maggie St. said...


(because the new Poker Face makeup scares me. But not as much as Heterosexual Orange Bro's dapperness scares me)

Maggie St. said...

Although, actually, I would totally LOVE LOVE LOVE to see "I Love You I Hate You". And if Johnny has to do a private performance for me in the hotel room's bathtub (hey, I'll get that water to freeze somehow!), so be it.

Li Mann said...

Great interview Binky! Thanks Tara! I vote Poker Face with the old costume and makeup, and Fallen Angel, ILYIHY, or The Swan. A lot of us going to Lake Placid have seen Heartbroken twice, and Bad Romance twice. All Johnny's programs are wonderful...but wouldn't it be great for those of us who couldn't go to any of the Olympics to see an Olympic program performed in an Olympic venue? It's OK if it's adjusted to have fewer jumps for the off-season, do exhibition versions...but we all would go CRAZY to see Johnny skate one of those programs. To US, he won GOLD!

Lauren / Ren said...

Thank you Tara! ♥

Hmm O'Dark Thirty? I wondered when I was going to see that phrase pop up in your blog Misfit :D

Awesome ^^

aaaack said...

Tara can let Johnny be Johnny because Tara is true to Tara. It's an interesting dynamic with Tara having had a decade of Johnny experience guiding us newbies somewhat. He's utterly original. She and us are rendered at times "Speechless." We really don't know what to expect next, which is what makes following Johnny so fascinating and surprising.

Thank you, Tara, for being in Johnny's corner and sketching the outlines of another fascinating partnership. The reality of Johnny surpasses what appears in fiction/movies and is miles ahead of anything in the tabloids/gossip blogs (staid and boring! eye rolls!).

Johnny will rock the waves at Lake Placid. If Johnny does Bad Romance, I will hope for the amazing makeup that was done for Ice Theatre of NY. That was otherworldly wonderful. (Is Johnny's PF makeup inspiration Prince Poppycock or Queen Amidala or someone else? Think the fans need a little guidance to digest this better.)

Anonymous said...

Thank You Tara!

And Misfit...one day it will be a personal interview you conduct with Johnny, Yeah!


Nico said...


Another amazing blog! We're all going to have to start calling you "Scoop." (c; Thank you! And huge hugs to Tara, of course, for being so generous with her time and photos. If there's one thing we all share, it's the sense of not being able to quit! I know I can't quit! It's like he's holding us all down by our arms and snuffling us mercilessly. Please (don't) STOP, Johnny!

Contractually obligated,

p.s. Tara is even more stunning in person and has a really darling way of giggling. She's very sparkly. xoxo

WheresMyKoppy said...

I know a lot of people want to see 'ILYIHY' or 'Fallen Angel' again, but I disagree. I realize I'm not going to LP barring a miracle, and some of you have already seen his current programs more than once; however, when you skate your Olympic programs as beautifully as Johnny skated his in Vancouver, IMO you should leave it right there. Skating them again to me somehow diminishes what they were the last time we saw them. I have seen a skater or two do that in the past, and it didn't work for them the way it did at the Olympics.

As much as I liked those beautiful skates in Vancouver, I personally want them to stand the way they are, I want to remember them the way they were, and I want no other performance of those programs to interfere with those memories.

Does that make sense?

akiko said...

Thank you, Tara!! Thank you, Binky!! Great interview!!

"See you all in Lake Placid!"--Then you have bravely dicided to drive for 17 hours! Take much care, have a safe, easy drive, and enjoy a gorgeous time in Lake Placid. And if possible, will you interview with Patti--or perhpas Johnny himself--there? I would love to read it/them!

Anonymous said...

yay! a Tara interview! thank you, Tara, for taking the time for us - and thank you to Mama Monster for such a great interview.

Tara, love you for taking such good care of Johnny! you're doing an awesome job!

Robin aka Princess Johnny-Love