I had a few questions for your Q&A. Hope everything's going great with you. I saw Ping Pong Playa, and it was hilarious! Loved you and Peter in it.
First, I was wondering how you would compare the experience of working on QaF to other acting you've done in your life. How was the community different and how was your interaction with reporters and fans different or similar?
Also, I was curious - as an actor, how is it easier or more challenging to make friends in your career? Are you able to maintain friendships with people you work with or is it difficult because you're always changing projects?
I recently read about poker parties that transpired between the QaF cast during filming. Were they strip poker games? Who tended to win?
Thanks for getting out to see PPP, Michelle. Glad it gave you a few giggles. We had a lot of fun making it. Man, you ask some big questions don’t you? Well, QAF was a completely unique experience in my career for so many reasons chief among them being the fact that it was the only job I’ve had that lasted five years (MAN could I use another of those NOW!). To maintain and grow a character over that length of time is no small feat and posed endless challenges for me. Also, everyone involved in the show became a family member in a much deeper way than can happen on a project that lasts only a few months. We did indeed start playing poker while filming up in Toronto. The lovely Dame Sharon Gless would host us at her palace. The winner seemed to shift pretty regularly depending on who remained more sober but we never played strip poker. Please, our jobs on QAF were “strip poker” enough for all of us.
As far as making friends in this crazy business we call “Show” it’s actually one of the perks. Because acting is by it’s nature such an intimate thing you are forced to get to know and trust people very quickly so we tend to make friends a lot easier (unless you run into an a-hole!). Let’s see what haven’t I answered? Oh, how were the fans and reporters thing ... yeah, well that’s a pretty easy one ... I didn’t really HAVE fans before QAF and reporters certainly weren’t that interested in me so I’d say they’ve all been pretty awesome!
Hi Scott! First, thank-you for being so brave to portray the stories in QAF in such a realistic, consistently honorable manner. I truly feel that through your dedication and hard work, our generation and generations to come, now have an extremely proud, solid foundation to become the best we can possibly be. The coming-out process can be so painful and challenging for both men and women. Now, as a result of yourself, your cast members and the wonderful words written by Dan Lipman and Ron Cowen, the future looks so much brighter for a community that is way overdue its recognition. My question, (Finally, right?) Were you all able to socialize/bond/take care of one another while in Toronto, in spite of the busy filming schedule? After watching the cast reunion, it felt there was a genuine sense of caring and concern for each other.
Thanks, Scott, for making such a positive difference in my life and the lives of others.
Best regards, I wish you the very best always,
Hey, Gary. Thanks so much for the reminder of what a huge impact QAF has had on so many people’s lives. It’s a cheery thought to take into the Holidays. When the cast got up to Toronto to film the show the only people we knew in Toronto ... were us. SO we forged a very quick and sturdy bond (as I wrote to Michelle above). Then we added our extraordinary crew into the family as well. We all had to do things on the show that required A LOT of trust and we were lucky to be surrounded by the most supportive hard-working crew around. We truly enjoyed each others company and would spend A LOT of our free time with each other, playing, counseling, what have you. We cared and still care greatly for one another and always will. We are a family and like any family you have your rough spells and members who choose to go their own way but you still have a bond no matter what.
Living in Toronto for 5 years on and off, did you ever get used to our Celsius scale? Have you offically converted or did you go back to your Fahrenheit ways?
Not really. Celsius involved math for me and I hate math. I used to have to double the Celsius and add 32º to get close to the Fahrenheit equivalent so I could figure what the hell to wear when I went outside! I mean I’d hear on the radio: “It’s 16º outside today” and I’d think I’d need a parka before I did the math. NOW with my handy-dandy conversion app on my iPhone it would be a piece of cake.
I just wanted to say what has probably been said over a dozen times, you were my favourite actor (therefore Theodore was my favourite character) on QAF.
I wanted to say that the scenes where you were battling your drug addictions were absolutely fantastic. It was believable and heart wrenching to say the least. Great job!
So... since this is a forum for questions I was wondering how you were able to play those scenes so convincingly, did you speak to people with drug addictions or do you in fact have a more personal association with them, I know, really private question but (great acting aside) was there anything more that you did to evolve your character in that way? Sorry, hope you didn’t mind me asking that!
Good luck with all future projects... will do another google search soon!
All the best
From your biggest female fan (okay, maybe not the biggest, but a fan!)
Thanks for the kind words, DSR. I was able to speak with some recovering addicts as well as consult with a nurse who specialized in Meth rehabilitation. I will admit to having done Ecstasy back in college once and found that the (at least initial) physical responses to the drugs were pretty similar. That gave me a way in. Also, while I don’t really have an addictive personality I understood the psychology of one from a COMPLETELY unhealthy and addictive relationship I went through years ago. So, these were the personal tools I used to portray Ted’s addictions.
Katja from Germany writes:
I was 'caught' by QAF only two months ago by a friend - and couldn't stop watching. I'm so deeply impressed and felt so much with the characters I had to cry sometimes.
'Ted' is my second favourite character and I would like to thank you for your fantastic work through all his rollercoaster-like phases. You really were amazing showing us his deepest fears and highest passion in every situation. I'm happy he ended up with Blake, through all seasons I felt there was something special between them.
As I understand, you share 'Ted's' passion for classic music. I love classic and opera myself and adore Placido Domingo. Do you like him or other Tenors, too? Or do you prefer Sopranos? What is your best loved Opera duet?
And how do you feel about your 'singing waiter'-scenes in #4? I'm sorry for not knowing, but as the German DVD-Boxes didn't include bonus material, I'm not sure if you've been singing or doing playback.
Thanks a lot for all those wonderful hours, thoughts and feelings you (and your colleagues) bestowed on me,
Katja from Germany
Guten Tag, Katja! Well I am not really as devoted an opera fan as “Ted” is, I’m afraid. I used to go as a child with my parents to the Met in NYC and enjoy listening to the greats when I can (Caruso, Pavarotti and Domingo) but my classical tastes run more towards the instrumental as I was a french horn player. I’m sorry to say that my singing did end up being dubbed in the 4th season (much to my consternation). I was not given much notice about the story-line and worked with a coach for a few weeks but just couldn’t get my technique to a place where our producers were happy, alas. It’s one of the few moments in the whole series that I am unhappy to watch.
I can't remember what brought me to your site, but when I got there and saw your Obama message AND your message of support for marriage equality, and your opposition to Prop 8....
I'm a lesbian in San Francisco, I write for AfterElton.com/AfterEllen.com, and I was a fan of Ted on Queer as Folk, but now I'm a fan of you as well... THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Thanks, Christie. Sorry my message didn’t have enough of an impact to deny the hate mongers their victory.
Dear Mr. Lowell,
Thanks for the note on your site updating fans on Gale Harold's condition. I hope everyone respects his privacy and wish him the very best in his recovery.
I hope you realize that everyone involved with QAF have a special place in the hearts of your fans. I miss that show, and appreciate all the hard work that everyone put into it.
I have a younger brother who is gay, and it was really nice to see a show that really had a story revolving around gay characters. I always saw it as a show with a great story line...and it happened to have gay characters. That was the nicest part about it, the characters were just characters.
I look forward to a time when people just see people as people and not "that gay guy" in my office or "that black guy" at my gym. My in-laws, who live in Covina, have changed their point of view since meeting my brother and my "brother-in-law". They were never anti-gay...but then again they were never pro-gay. So 8 years ago they might have voted Yes on Prop 8. Now they just see gay people the same as left-handed people, or hazel-eyed people. They realize it isn't a choice, and understand that everyone have the right to be treated the same.
My husband and I live in New York and are praying for a day when every American can really marry and have all the same rights. If America equally taxes people, then give them the same rights.
Amen to that ALL, Dorothy!! Amen!
Ann from the Netherlands writes:
A fan from the Netherlands here.
Besides being a fan of you I am also a big fan of dogs.
And in one of the photoshoots a saw pictures of you with a very sweet chihuahua is it yours.
If not do you have any dogs?
Hope to see more of you in the future.
Lots of love Ann
Welcome, Ann! Lovely to hear from you. I do have a wonderful dog named Gertie but that is not her in the photo shoot. That chihuahua is named Phoenix and belonged to the assistant of the photographer. My dog is a puggle (pug/beagle mix) that I adopted 2 years ago from a wonderful shelter in El Monte, California called “Beagles and Buddies”. She completely runs my life now and I often tell people when they ask “what are you doing now” that I am a dog walker. It’s sad but a little true.
Verena from Cologne writes:
I’m Verena from Cologne, Germany and I love watching QAF again and again, and usually in English without the German dubbing (because e.g. the German voice actor of Ted is the same one as of Sponge Bobs and that’s… strange… because I always have a yellow sponge in mind and not Ted Schmidt *lol*) and there was this one German sentence Ted said to Emmett: “Das ist very very gut” and I was wondering if Ted is of German origin and if you maybe speak some German because it sounded quite fine =)
Willkommen, Verena! I think it’s wonderful that there is a Geman “Ted” “Sponge Bob” connection. Just seems right to me. “Ted Schmidt” is indeed of German descent. That is why he is SO precise about everything. While I don’t actually speak German I have a pretty good ear for languages so I was able to fake the occasional phrase pretty well. Thanks for the compliment.
Hello, I saw you in an industrial/commercial type video about job interviews last week in school. The tape was probably from the late-eighties-early-nineties, and you played the part of bad interviewee. In your first example interview you answered questions in memorized manner, which the interviewer didn't like. In the second example you acted in, you recited lines from Shakespeare, which your interviewer found very annoying and pseudo-intellectual.
This video seems to be missing from your credits, do you have any more details on this? Could you post this video?
That is hilarious, Robbie. Wow. The scary part of doing things on film is that they can come back to haunt you at ANY time. I hadn’t thought about those industrials I did back in Chicago for a very long time. I kind of remember this one and I know I did one for METRA rail service as well but I don’t think I have copies of any of them. They very rarely gave them to you after you did them. Because of all the corporate headquarters in Chicago these industrial training films were a good way for actors (especially theatre actors) to make a nice chunk o’ change to offset the limited amount of money that theatre work often pays ... but when they resurface ... oy.
Katrin from Germany writes:
i won't write how much i love you for being an actor because everybody else on your beautiful website is already raving about you. but be sure i could type a lot of flattering words ;-)
even this is kind of embarrassing i need to tell you about a dream i had just a couple of days ago (maybe i had this dreams because i just finished watching the final qaf season on dvd?)
ok, in this dream i was visiting l.a. (in real life i've never been to the usa) and i was just walking through the city at night when i finally had to go where every lady has to go sometime. so i went into a hotel across the street. and when i came out of the ladie's room again the opening door did just slam into someone's face. and this someone was you....sorry for hurting you. i was apologizing and you just said it was your fault because you are lingering here. we had a great giggle about the situation and finally ended up in the hotel bar with a bottle of red wine. it was a wonderful evening and i made a new friend for a lifetime.
i know it's weird and i do not know what the hell made me writing this email.
but maybe you can tell me what you think such a dream could mean or even better just buy a bottle of wine and give me call. would be a pleasure to bring this hotel bar to life ;-)
a big warm hug out of the cold german fall i send to you.
Well, first off that doesn’t really sound like a dream at all. I DO tend to linger outside the ladies room at strange hotels and my nose has been broken many times in just this fashion. So you probably were just lucky enough to read an advanced copy of my forthcoming autobiography, “My Lingering Malingering: The Scott Lowell Story” before you went to bed and it influenced your sleep. Secondly, feel free to type flattering words whenever you want!
I absolutely love the fact that you post a link to the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute on your website. It is such an incredible organization. Adam Pertman is a wonderful speaker and supporter of adoption rights. He and the institute are doing fabulous work. More people should know about the work and become educated about the entirety of the adoption lifelong experience for all members of the triad! Great job for helping get the word out about the Institute and their work! Many thanks as I am an adoptee who searched 11 years in a closed record society to finally be reunited with my birthparents and know the truth.
Thanks, Elise. I’m actually going to be doing some work on behalf of the Institute in changing California’s closed record laws in the new year. Thanks for your support and congratulations on your reunion!
You're a very talented actor, your work has inspired millions! On an off note- what advice do you have for a young guy in Chicago? I'm a freshman at Columbia College Chicago, pursuing an interdisciplinary major between Interactive Arts & Media and Journalism with a minor in Management. What's a good piece of advice you have, at random. I don't care if it's something your nana told you many moons ago or something you've learned along the way. You seem like a seasoned guy. I wanna hear what you have to say.
-Blair from Wisconsin (Currently in Chicago)
Eat as much food as you can. FAST. Winter is here and you are going to need as much fat on your body as you can to insulate you from that brutal, BRUTAL cold. No amount of clothing layers can save you now, Blair. I mean you think you know ‘cause you’re from Wisconsin but trust me YOU DON’T KNOW THIS KIND OF COLD!! Only stuffed Chicago-style pizzas, Chicago-style hot dogs, Chili cheese fries, Lawry’s Prime Ribs and pitcher upon pitcher of Old Style beer will do. Good luck.
Finally, to the (what seems like) hundreds of you who have written in with questions or messages of support for Gale please know that he continues to thrive and heal. The rapidity and amazing degree of his recovery has been truly miraculous and I have no doubt that your good wishes and energy sent his way have aided in this. So thank YOU ALL. I wish you the very best of Holiday cheer.