Since I have come aboard on Frank Report, this blog has taken the trouble to provide readers with deeper insights into Smallville and my personal favorite, Allison Mack.
Today’s post will provide readers with some transcripts of a discussion between two of Mack’s supporting actors, Erica Durance and Michael Rosenbaum. The discussion was had on Rosenbaum’s podcast, “Inside of You.” A provocative name for a podcast and something Durance must have considered more than once if in fact she actually did not indulge in it.
As all intelligent adults know, Smallville was a TV show starring Allison Mack and co-starring Tom Welling and Kristin Kreuk. It premiered on October 16, 2001.
The opening theme: “Save Me” by Remy Zero. Zero clearly wrote the song with Allison’s character Chloe in mind. No doubt he wanted to be Inside of Her.
I don’t care how you do it
Just save me, save me
I’ve made this whole world shine for you
Just save, save
I’m still waiting for you
Allison waited for Clark Kent to realize she was the woman for him.
Smallville lasted 11 years and was arguably the most popular TV show in America for the first 10.
The show took a big plunge in ratings when Allison left the show to work with an Albany life coaching group. But, once she stopped appearing in every show, it was all over for Smallville. It died a boring death without the gorgeous Emmy award-winning actress. She captivated a whole continent with her endearing personality.
Without her, it was a total flat affect.
The show was an interpretation of the Superman story, featuring young Clark Kent.
It really centered around Mack, who is the one original new character in the Superman story, not even imagined by DC Comics.
Young Kent comes to grips with his emerging superpowers. He must hide his abilities from his superficial friends, including Lana Lang, a brunette who uses him, and Lex Luthor, played by Rosenbaum, who becomes his enemy later.
Clark learns to undress in a phone booth and become Superman.
Complicating matters is the presence of two dynamic powers – kryptonite, which cripples Clark, and Allison Mack, the female who builds him up.
Allison Mack dominated the show, and once she left, it was bye-bye to ratings. Readers know also that Allison left the show to be with her real-life Superman – Keith Raniere. He was known to undress in an executive library and become Vanguard.
Here is some of the discussion of Inside Of You With Michael Rosenbaum — and his guest, Erica Durance.
Michael: Today I think you’re gonna really enjoy this without further ado I love this lady. She’s beautiful inside and out and really fun to talk to. I hope she’ll come on the podcast every year. I try to get my old buddies from Smallville to come on here at least once a year so without further ado let’s get inside of Erica Durance.
Erica: I don’t walk around like this. I just put on my fancy new shirt for my interview.
Michael: First of all you look fantastic. I don’t know what it is. Is it your hair? You look really good, I’m not lying.
Erica: Lots of lighting on in here. It could be because I’ve learned that if I wear color it makes me look less dead and old; a tide of color.
Michael: Now what’s the big interview for?
Erica: It’s you!
Michael: Oh it’s me. I’m the big interview. You dressed up for me? I love it. Where are you? You’re in Canada, right?
Erica: I am in Canada. Vancouver BC. Hey, should I be matching you with intellectual glasses?
Michael: I think you look great without glasses and with, but I like without better.
Erica: One really nerdy thing about me. When I was a kid, my sister got glasses in grade three, and I was in grade one, and I’ve always wanted them. So last year, I had the slightest problem with my vision, and I was like, yes! Anybody who actually needs glasses thinks you’re such an idiot, but I technically need them for night driving.
Michael: How’s your anxiety? I know we talked about it last time. How’s all that stuff going? How have you been, how have you been dealing with it?
Erica: It depends on which time of day you catch me.
Michael: Is it that in the mornings it’s tough, and then in the afternoon it gets easier?
Erica: This isn’t a sexy story, but anybody who’s had down moments knows that you somehow at 3am you end up in a bathroom. Why are you in your bathroom? Why aren’t you still just on the couch upset?
But I just end up in my bathroom, in the bathtub fully clothed. So, it’s not exciting. No water. I was just in there shaking, I was totally freaking out. I was chatting with my sister and said, why is it that I end up in the bathroom? My sister said, “I do the same thing!”
So maybe you could put it out there. When are true anxiety moments, where do you end up?
Michael: It’s your safe place. You’re getting a bathtub, it sounds like a safe place for an earthquake. Are you supposed to get in the bathtub during an earthquake or tornado? When are you? Are you ever supposed to get in the bathtub?
Erica: I don’t know. I do have anxiety, but I’m also working on ways to manage it.
Michael: Now look, I’m not a doctor, I’m not like someone who knows everything. That’s for sure. But it feels like you get anxiety, you’re uncomfortable, there’s your ups and downs, you go in the bathroom, you’re freaking out a little bit, but then you get a job, and everything starts to dissipate and you relax a little more. Is that true?
Erica: I think that is true. I don’t want to say that it’s all based around working. But it is based around, for example if somebody thinks they have a sense of purpose. They can focus all that intensity somewhere and say this is what I’m gonna do. So, depending on how you’ve validated yourself or what your kind of pattern has been your whole life, if that’s interrupted and changed, then it can create anxiety.
For me, I started working as a janitor um when I was 10. My family decided we needed to make more money, and so we cleaned a few local buildings after school. Then I really liked having money, so I was a waitress at 15 as soon as I could get my card, and then I’ve been working ever since.
So for me to go from working to then getting such a great job on Smallville, and then going onto Saving Hope. I had this rhythm; this is what I did. I wanted to go out, work, come home, and not spend 10 hours at home.
Michael: If you’re lucky enough to have a job that makes you happy, you won the jackpot. How did you get the opportunity to act?
Erica: I was working as an agent, but still auditioning for stuff and nothing was happening. I was doing the regular shows in town, like the Stargate and Chris Isaac show, just to build up um my union status, and then David Nutter saw me audition.
David Nutter contacted my manager to have me test for Tarzan as the sister, which I don’t fit that role at all, but then Warner Brothers signed me on a holding deal, but I didn’t know what that meant.
I remember sitting in the Universal Hotel, they said, “Hey, you’re not right for this, but they’re going to put you on a holding deal.” And everybody was freaking out, but I didn’t get the part. I didn’t understand. I was way behind on the significance of signing a holding deal.
Then I did a little pilot called Gramercy Park and I got the lead in that one. So they knew me so that by the time it came around to Smallville auditioning.
Michael: How many times did you read for it? Don’t say once.
Erica: Once for Koreen and once for Greg, but then I had to test.
Michael: So you had to pass casting, you had to pass Greg Beeman, the executive producer of Smallville, and then you had to test for the network and the studio, fly down LA.
Michael: You know, I don’t think we got into it really last time. But you always said Allison [Mack] was really nice to you. Right? You worked with Allison Mack.
Erica: How honest do you want me to be?
Michael: I want you to be really honest. I don’t want you to call me up though, afterwards and go, “Cut that out.”
Erica: Oh. Okay.
Michael: But feel free to talk about it. Because Allison came to me. Everybody knows that. She came up to me and [Tom] Welling and said, ‘Oh Rosebaum, you’d really excel in this. There’s this, you know self-help thing’ and blah, blah, blah.
And I said, Yeah, no. And I looked at Tom [Welling] kind of kiddingly, and jokingly I said, “Sounds like a cult, doesn’t it?” But you know, I didn’t do it. Did she ever try to get you to do it?
Michael: She did?
Michael: Because she tried to get Laura as well. She tried to recruit Laura [Vanderwoort].
Erica: I said the idea of sharing all of my personal secrets brings up a visceral reaction in me as well.
Michael: Wait a minute, so that came up right away?
Erica: No, she didn’t bring it up until the latter part of the seasons. Right?
Erica: You know, we had an interesting relationship. Me and Alison. I think she felt like she wanted to like me. I think she felt like she wanted people to see that she liked me.
But I don’t think she really, I don’t think having me there was something that was great for her.
Michael: So she thought that potentially, maybe she was a little threatened by this new girl that just came on the show.
Erica: Maybe it came off as her being threatened, but I found there were too many little idiosyncrasies of things that would happen, where I’d walk away. And I was like, I thought we got along today, and then I’d go home and think, but that was super mean, but nobody would see it. Right?
So there are all sorts of those little things that would go on. Perhaps it was something that she was working on, too. And that’s why some days, it would be like she’s maybe working on trying. Maybe we’re just two different people. I don’t know. But some days, it would be like, she was super happy to see me and super friendly, and other days. You know, it was not the same.
Erica: And so, yeah, we weren’t ever really close.
Michael: But she liked you enough or hated you enough to invite you into the (NXIVM).
Erica: I think that was about her. I think she liked being in that position of knowledge and wanting to recruit and bring people in. I think she obviously really believed in it. But I just didn’t trust her motivation when it came to me.
Michael: You felt like she didn’t really like you. She didn’t really connect with you.
Erica: It’s not like somebody didn’t like me in kindergarten or something. It’s just the vibe that she gave me was not something that I thought, “Oh, I feel like I can trust you with myself and my innermost thoughts.”
Michael: Right. That makes perfect sense.
Erica: So that’s kind of our main experience. And she did approach me to talk about it. I should do this thing, and it’d be really good for me.
But I didn’t trust it. And it was too reminiscent of like a very, right right wing version of my upbringing, which was confess your sins to everybody around you to keep you on the straight and narrow, but you’re talking about humans there.
So it’s never going to be this glorified idea of helping each other. It will be I know your shit. Let’s talk about it with others. So I didn’t find that somewhere I wanted to put myself. Like, I’ll get my therapist or someone else. But I’m not going to join a group of people. And then talk about my personal shit with them.
Michael: You know, the first time Allison mentioned it, I thought, ‘Oh, you know, there are a bunch of other people, they’re very supportive, you build confidence, you build all these things, you learn about yourself.’ You know, the idea sounds kind of cool.
Erica: That’s how they get you, right? Like the idea is to work through your shit and have a sense of community.
Michael: That’s how they get you. We’re all looking for a sense of community. So we’re all a little gullible, a little naive.
Erica: But as a child growing up in a conservative Christian environment, I had been a party to those experiences where you confess your deep, dark secrets, and promise to uphold each other, pray for each other, and help each other, and it’s just not a human possibility.
Not with that many people, you might have one or two confidants where you could say, okay, this is something you want to work through, and I’d like you to hold me accountable. Because I have a problem with this.
But on mass, I’ve never seen that work well. I’ve always seen that used as a tool to manipulate people. Or if not manipulate, then the larger group of people would shame some people because of that, so I’d seen things like that in my own life. And I’d seen that with my family. And so I was like, not for me.
Michael: Not for me. I understand that makes perfect sense.
Some of you probably think these two are jealous because Mack was a superior actress. However, envy is always present in the human breast, even Durance’s breast.
Mack is not only a stellar actress, but I am told she even developed with Super Vanguard, an acting school. It is called The Source, where top-notch actors and actresses improve their craft and become consummate actors like Mack. Mack and Vanguard, the most intelligent man in the world, teach the aspiring actors.
So Smallville tanked when Mack left. She settled down in Albany, New York, to teach acting and recruit beautiful women and teach them how to be empowered like herself.
I’ve meant to catch up with Mack for some time. The last time we spoke was in 2016 when she told me about a woman’s empowerment group she was developing.
I plan to follow up and see how she is doing, how the acting classes are going, and how her relationship with that handsome hunk, Vanguard, is doing. I placed a call to Mack on her cell phone, but did not get a return call by press time. So I will ring her again next week and promise you the scoop on TV’s most outstanding actress.