Written by Ashley Castillo
Markian Tarasiuk started taking acting classes when he was six years old and performed in his first play at the age of fourteen in his hometown of Winnipeg, Canada as the lead in the Manitoba Theatre Centre’s production of “Over the Tavern.” It was then he knew he wanted to be an actor. Markian’s love for theatre and his drive for expanding his skill set led him to the acting program at Studio 58 Theatre School in Vancouver. The prestigious conservatory program’s curriculum included training in voice and text work, as well as movement, dance, classic text, physical theatre, puppetry, singing, playwrighting and film acting. Since then he has appeared in projects such as Surface on AppleTV+, Virgin River on Netflix and the Netflix feature There’s Someone Inside Your House. His recent project Why Can’t My Life Be A Rom-Com? premiered on E! Network in February 2023.
Markian’s love for acting blossomed at a young age. “As a kid I loved make believe. I looked up to my grandfather, who was a priest in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. At the age of 5, I wanted to dress up like him in his robes (vestments) and my grandmother sewed me my own pair. Everyone in my family thought I was going to be a priest! But I never did. I just liked ‘acting’ like one in full costume and the theatre behind it all. This habit seemed to continue throughout my childhood until I got my first job at 14. Nothing brings me more joy than pretending to be other people I suppose?” Markian has been blessed with an incredible career and credits his parents as his biggest supporters, “My mom and dad are my #1 fans. My dad visited me in Vancouver when I was in theatre school and saw the play I was in three times. I told him he didn’t have to see it more than once, but he insisted.”
Why Can’t My Life be a Rom-Com? is the story of Eliza Sloane who follows the rules of dating from a 50-year-old self-help book, and ends up in the center of a love triangle. Markian plays Rich Hawthorne, one of the suitors vying for Eliza’s love. “Doing a movie like this becomes a test in charm for me and it’s a fun challenge to win over the girl and hopefully the audience. Acting for me is about always going for goals and when the goal of the character is clear, I get to play around more within the script. That’s the best case scenario for an actor.” When asked if he’s ever been in a love triangle he laughs, “I have been! But I was the side of the triangle that got rejected. So it was an isosceles triangle and I was the shorter line.”
Having played many different characters, the ones Markian remembers the most are the bad guys as he loves the challenge to find common ground. “You can always find connection within characters no matter how ‘bad’ they may be. My most fond roles have been playing villains! Because even within those roles, I have to find the human traits that I can identify with and usually the fears that drive the character. If I dislike the character on paper, it becomes my job to find the aspects I like. “
Although acting is his first love, Markian also has a passion for film editing which started as a hobby in High School. “Film editing brings me a lot of joy because it’s like putting a puzzle together. And puzzles are very satisfying to solve. It also really helps my acting because I have a knowledge of how scenes are cut and the mechanics of post production – which I find very helpful from an acting technical standpoint. “ As a film editor, he takes great pleasure in editing for documentaries. “There’s usually an outline of the story of a documentary, but no traditional script. So, as an editor, you become the screenwriter. I feel like the impact of the editor on a documentary is much larger because of the lack of script. I just mentioned puzzles, and I’d say that documentaries are much more complex to solve.”
Markian, a proud Ukrainian Canadian, is also heavily involved with Winnipeg’s Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble. He toured with the group in Ukraine in 2014; performing in multiple cities and villages across the country. In 2019, he was involved with the design of their historical book,The Legend and The Legacy, and is currently curating an exhibit on Ukrainian Dance at the Oseredok Ukrainian Museum in Winnipeg that will premiere this summer. Follow Markian’s journey on Instagram at @marktaras.
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Actor Markian Tarasiuk Discusses His New Film, “Why Can’t My Life Be a Rom-Com?,” His Passion for Film Editing, and His Involvement with the Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble. Photo Credit: Grady Mitchell.