Face Time: Entertainer, arborist, engineer and proud father David Tardy

Posted Sept. 16, 2012, at 5:13 p.m.

LEWISTON, Maine — David Tardy plays guitar in a band, spends sunny days as an arborist on Chebeague Island and helped design a famous rocket car.

It’s a mix that might qualify him as Maine’s Buckaroo Banzai.

Yet, his resume is broadening still.

On the set of Buckfield native Michael Miclon’s “Richard³,” a comedic retelling of Shakespeare’s “Richard III,” Tardy is behind the camera as a set builder and in front of it as an assistant blacksmith.

The Sun Journal wanted to learn more.

Name: David Louis Tardy

Age: 55

Hometown: South Portland

Single, Relationship or Married? Divorced

Children? Gary, Jason and Matthew

You first met Michael Miclon, the founder of the Oddfellow Theater, through your sons (Matt and Jason Tardy of The Tardy Brothers and Audiobody). But how did you get involved in Miclon’s work? The fact that I am also an entertainer and musician lent itself to it. The first thing I did with Mike was perform onstage with my music. Then I played along with the band that was the Early Evening Show band. In some of Mike’s later shows, I actually got to do skits and stuff.

Do you like being onstage? I love it. People like us are always onstage. Sometimes there’s an actual stage beneath us, but we can’t help that. You see the moment and you see the joke and you have to say it, whatever it is. That’s constant.

What do you do for work? For 26 years, I’ve been an arborist with my own company, Eagle Tree Service. I work almost exclusively on Chebeague Island, taking care of their views, their dead trees and maintain their properties.

What kind of person works as both an arborist and a performer?I have two halves of my brain and I use them both at the same time, all of the time. That’s really what it is. I see music as sounds but also as numbers, as patterns.

You play with your son, Gary, in a band called the Stanford Street Rejects. And your other sons, now in their 30s, have been performing together since they were known as the Tardy Boys. What’s it like to watch your sons perform? When I go to Jason and Matt’s shows, I sit as far back as I possibly can, so I can see the whole show and the audience. That’s what I enjoy, seeing the full effect they bring to the people. With Gary, when we’re playing and I’m watching him play bass, you can’t be much prouder.

When Matt does his onstage contortions (including a squeeze through an unstrung tennis racket) what are you thinking? It’s disturbing, but it’s still funny because I know what he’s going to do. Some lady in the audience is always hiding her eyes a little and thinks it’s strange. So she’s the one to watch.

Alone or with others, you’ve built several pieces for “Richard³” including a bed and the king’s throne. Do you like working on the movie? I’ve been working since before the beginning of August so that Mike can get what he wants. It’s the most fun I’ve ever had busting my ass.

You also have a small role in the movie as the assistant blacksmith. What do you do? I run the bellows. I don’t say a word.

You helped design and build Eepybird’s Diet-Coke-and-Mentos-powered rocket car. You were there when David Letterman rode the car on the show and was pictured beside the talk show host in People magazine. What was that like? I was in the right place at the right time, and I got free food in two different places because of that. It was pretty cool.

What makes you most proud about your sons? I think they’re really exceptional parents. They are really, really good with other people.

 

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