Importance: She was the voice of Mtv's
smartest High School girl to ever have her own TV show. Tracy can
also give you the inside scoop of what it's like to work at Mtv.
The Plug: She's not plugging anything
for herself right now, so she chose to promote the career of New York
rising comic Darry Logan.
| "Will the real
Daria Morgendorffer please stand up?"
Editors Note: This interview is excerpted from a phone conversation
I had with Tracy. I've tried to stay as true to the original conversation
as I could, and still have it make sense and make it easy to follow.
Interviewers Note: Just when you think I've asked a guest the dumbest
questions imaginable, I somehow seem to top myself. I'd like to thank
Tracy for being a great sport and not hanging up immediately after
the 5th time I ask her to do the Daria voice.
1. Working at Mtv
2. Daria and You
4. Favorite Daria Lines
5. I'm on it
Tell us about your life working at Mtv.
I started working for Mtv in 1989, in the Off-Air Creative Department,
as a copywriter, and ended up making more copies than writing copy.
I hated my job and I thought I would be writing and I found myself
doing more remedial filing and stuff.
Mtv is notorious, for when they're looking to cast something, because
there are so many interns and young production assistant types working
at the company, they have a habit of posting what they're looking
for, in terms of shows, and pooling out of whatever in house talent
there is, or lack of talent, depending on the nature of the show.
So, they had fliers up in all the kitchens for auditions for a new
show. And basically, the whole premise is if you want to be on camera
and live in a great apartment for a weekend, and let our cameras film
you, please be at this place at this time. A friend of mine talked
me into going for it, and the next thing I knew I was cast in the
Real World pilot. After the weekend happened, and I kinda came out
the other side of it, completely paranoid and, you know, thinking
what a freaky experiment that is, and I would never want to be a part
of the show, I ended up hitting it off with the developer/producer,
Lauren Corrao, and ended up being her assistant. So, it had a means
to an end, but it was a very strange. Odd thing to put yourself through.
And now that you say that you sort of do and
sort of don't still work for Mtv was does that mean?
I spent 10 years in the on air promo department and wrote, did voice
overs for Beavis and Butt Head, and obviously did the Daria gig. My
primary job for them, was functioning as a writer. I have been writing
for the video music awards, different specials, and more spring breaks
than I can count. As much you try to get away, they always try to
drag you back into it. I worked on staff as a writer until 1997, and
then broke free to work on other projects with other companies, but
they still tend to hire you back. I worked for the Tom Green show,
worked and wrote for last years video music awards, worked for VH1,
Nickelodeon and the whole Viacom family. Once you get into their little
pool they sort of keep pulling you back into it. Currently we wrapped
Daria with the latest movie, but there are still fringe shows that
keep you busy.
If someone has a scary burning passion to work
at Mtv, is there anything more than going through the internship program
and hopefully they'll hire you, or is there something more you can
Does everybody say go through the internship program? Is that becoming
like the staple answer? Cuz it kinda is the staple answer. Human resources
will get you nowhere. Honestly going through the internship program
is the way to go.
You talk about this internal pool of people
that they pick from, is that because they are so unbelievably cheap,
or they figure we gotta good talent pool, what the heck.
Seriously, it's both. They are notoriously cheap, that's no secret,
and they're getting a lot of flack for it. The interns are so pre
screened, they're coming from different backgrounds, they're young,
they're ambitious, they want to be in front of the camera. I'd say
a good 80% of the people working at Mtv want to be in front of the
camera. So it's a very easy place to throw a rock in any direction
and come up with someone who's actually kinda talented. A lot of people
who work at Mtv, it's their day job, but they also have bands. It's
very user friendly. It's very easy. It's certainly not the only place
they go, and having been in promos for so long, I know what it's like
to go through casting sessions, but they're not using SAG actors and
actresses so, why not just go internally. It's like they've been pre
screened in a way.
Right. Fewer psychos.
I'm not saying that. I couldn't go there.
Oooh. Maybe they need a better screening process.
For their interns.
I think that enhances network.
Do you have a lot
in common with Daria?
I think most people have a lot in common with Daria because she's
got the ultimate bullshit detector. It's not that she is as cynical
as she is a realist, I had that in common with her from Junior High
on. Not just the tomboy fashions, but sarcasm towards the greater
world at large and literally always trying to find the escape route.
I'd say I have more in common with her than not.
One of the things about Daria, is that she is
a very monotone speaker. How does that work out when they come to
you and say, "We're going to do a singing episode?"
To clarify that I'm not a singer?
Does that freak you out?
It wasn't the happiest moment. It was a challenge. The fact that Daria
has maybe a 3 note range made it easier to take on. Just the fact
that they didn't expect me to sing well, made life that much easier.
It wasn't that intimidating, it sounded nice. Because Daria is such
a one note, aside from a couple of emotions that were expressed in
5 years, it literally wasn't that hard to go there. It wasn't that
hard to take it on. It was embarrassing, because I am friends with
producers who were watching me make a fool out of myself. But luckily
it's not a live action show it's 2D and they can take the best of
the worst takes. I'm not as humiliated as if I was standing on the
set of the Today show singing the National Anthem.
Now that you're not doing voices right now,
is there any interest in doing voices in the future?
I would have gone that route and at one point I probably would have
pursued it. Initially when Daria came out, and I almost had the energy,
I would go out on auditions and there were 20 other girls who all
sound the same, and I would get into the booth and they would say,
"Can you do it a little more like Daria," and that would be the direction.
I'm just not the auditioning type and there are too many people who
really want it. I just can't see myself pursuing it.
always like to ask women about dating. No matter who they are. I figure
at some point someone will offer up something that will make it all
In terms of dating...because you have these
sort of pseudo ties to the 16 year olds of the world...do you have
any advice for them and meeting people, and is it any different with
the 30 year olds you associate yourself with.
Well there's a lot of similarities between dating now and dating in
high school. There are certain similarities that will always rise
to the surface. It's different for guys as it is for girls. Most girls
should know that they're always in control. Ahhh...It's a tough question.
I'm certainly not an expert on good relationships and dating. I've
made a lot of mistakes, and my twenties are a blur, but it wasn't
for a lack of sobriety, I was almost startlingly sober through the
whole experience. It wasn't as if I went from good relationship to
good relationship or even bad relationship to bad relationship, I
wasn't focused on relationships. I'm probably like the last person
that should be talking about dating. I didn't even date in college.
I was completely intimidated by men and the whole notion of sexuality.
I'm probably the biggest freak to get advice about dating from. It's
a wondrous world and I'd love someone to clue me in to it.
I get the impression that the first impression
is almost a deal breaker. Is there anything a guy can say to keep
him from getting completely shut down.
Speaking from personal experience in general. Shy always works with
me. Self referential, not to the point of being a real downer. A guy
with a good sense of humor, and humor is certainly up for interpretation.
But lines? I don't think there are ever good lines. The best lines
always come from homeless people. But in a bar, lines, not so great.
I think the more real a person is, and just looking at me like a person
to have a conversation with, versus just a potential score will endear
me that much quicker. I think for most women that's true.
Do you have any favorite Daria lines?
There are so many. "I don't have low self esteem, I have low esteem
for everyone else." Just the way she says, "Beep. Beep. It's the Soul
Train get on board," I always think is funny. I wish I had scripts
in front of me.
There's none [quotes] you pull out daily?
No. Not really. You think I should?
If it was me, I think it would be hard not to.
I think there's so much about separating the two worlds. I think that
if they started to overlap, it would just get... weird. To me it's
interesting when people come up and know the lines and can quote them,
more than me quoting them. Because quite honestly, in my world, with
my comedic writer friends, I think they would think I was the biggest
dork- freak if I started quoting my 2D character. The two worlds are
so different. It would just seem weird. It sounds like I don't honor
the Daria side of my world, my life, it just sort of feels as if they
are so different, they are just so separate. I love who she is, but
I don't know. Does that make sense? I'm probably not explaining it
right because no one has ever asked me that before.
I love when you say, "my 2D world."
Yeah that's what it is. It's exactly what it is. There's a part of
me that wishes I could be more consistently like Daria, but I'd never
work in this business if I was like Daria all the time. It's something
you've really got to commit to, which is something I really honor
about who that character is.
At this point, I asked Tracy to send me a picture
of herself for the interview. And she said, "I'm on it."
Which made me want her to say it like Daria. And then the wackiness
Could you say "I'm on it," like Daria?
I'm on it. I'm on it. [Laughs]
[Laughs] I don't know why, but that, "I'm
on it," maybe I just had a vision of Daria as street cop or something.
Book'em Dano. You know what I'd wish Mtv would do with her is take
pop songs and have Daria re re-record them. So it would be like Daria
as Christina Aguilera going, "I'm a genie in a bottle, baby. Oh, rub
me the right way," in her flat way. "Ooops I did it again." And
just have her completely bastardize every pop song ever put out.
Oh, I love it. You're so lucky we don't hang
out, because it would be just a non stop barrage of me going, "OK,
can you do it like Daria?" It would be like you saying, "Here's
directions to my house, here's a party," and I'd be like, "No
no no. Wuh wuh. I don't want to here it."
"Hi this is Daria Morgendorffer, Alan's not here. He's out. Leave
a message." There you go. Way too easy.
[Laughs] And that would be the problem. I would
try to stuff you into your 2D character every minute.
You would never let me out.
You would be like, "I want a Martini."
No Daria doesn't do Martini's.
You're under-aged, you can't drink a Martini.
You don't even like soda, you go back and have some soda and pizza
with your friend Jane where you belong, and wait until your boyfriend
Tom comes along.
Or I would do the opposite and go, "Listen,
didn't you learn anything from Quinn's friend who had that drinking
problem? What's the matter with you?"
"Don't you understand how wrong your behavior will be if you
have that beer. One sip that leads to hell." You would wouldn't
I just realized it would get worse if we sat
on a couch or something...
Oh for god's sake.
And you were like, "Could you pass me the remote."
"Well I will if you ask for it like Daria would."
It would be so, "All right listen, had me the remote..." and then
I'd have to come up with something funny. And by then the show would
I don't think you would even try, because it
would just be, "Please pass me the remote," Because by that point
it would be so annoying that you would just be, "I give up...I want
the remote I'm not going to fight you on this."
It would be five months into the relationship...and what, you want
me to order Chinese food? [Like Daria] "Hi, we'd like one egg roll,"
and you would be setting me up on every turn.
It would be great.
Yeah, it would be great. [Laughs, realizing that my definition and
her definition of, "great" are completely different.]
Well Tracy, you've been a great guest, now it's
time for the lightning round.
Favorite Piece of Clothing? Wedgie Boot
- Knee High
Food? "Zen Palette", Curry Soup with Tofu
Boxers or Briefs? Neither
Fly or be invisible? Fly