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If you’ve turned on a TV set at all within the past year, you’ve definitely caught a glimpse of Keenan Tracy. And if you haven’t, then you’re in luck, because he’s just getting started. Last season on A&E’s Bates Motel, he shook up Emma and Norman’s dynamic and come season three, I’m hoping he does it all over again. The 23-year-old actor is gearing up for an even busier year.  For starters, he takes up a new role on the much anticipated series The Returned, where he plays Ben Lowry, a boy caught in between a love triangle involving two twin sisters (yikes!). Both relationships, he assures me, include some very haunting moments throughout the season, and that isn’t all. “Working on the series was a great chance for me to sharpen a few skills,” he confesses. “It’s a great feeling looking across the camera to a set of eyes you know are going to do something genuine and real, and make you really feel like the scene is actually happening to you,” he explains so eloquently of his craft.  “They say to surround yourself with people who know more or very different things than you if you want to learn and get better at something, and I feel like this show was that opportunity.” Meanwhile, at the homey motel in White Pine Bay, things aren’t so positive. Tracey carefully chooses his words before answering my next question about the bloody popular prequel. What can we expect?  Will there be more death?  “Things are taking somewhat of a different route with the character this season pretty much right off the bat,” he admits. “Without saying too much, [Gunnar’s] endeavoring prior discussed aspirations with a familiar set of faces. I hope that was cryptic enough to not get me fired.” Get you fired? No. Get fans excited for the forthcoming season? Yes.

Knowing what’s appropriate in press, set, or any aspect of the entertainment industry is not something he’s especially unfamiliar with. Tracey’s dad, Ian Tracey, has been acting since the 70s, and his working actor status may have played a part in Tracey’s understanding and appreciation of the art form. He says that when he was a kid, he’d always go to set with his father, particularly during the period in which his father was filming the series DaVinci’s Inquest. “The show shot over the summer into fall, so I wouldn’t be in school and would get to come, hang out and watch what was going on,” he recalls.  “It was sort of an awesome thing that will probably not happen again, being on set without the distraction of the job you’re there to do, because there was none. Having no stakes on the table, lines to memorize or blocking to think about, it was easy to find somewhere quiet and out of the way to just watch.”

The similarities within his family don’t stop there; Tracey is the owner of a Triumph Thruxton bike, a pastime he also shares with his father. “I think it was something that brought my pop and I closer. Riding is my knitting,” he says. “I started riding when no one could legally tell me I couldn’t. I love my mom and she hates it of course, but I think I took the test the day after my 18th birthday. It’s something I think deep down she always saw coming, considering the common interest amongst the guys in my family.” Tracey has now been riding for a little over five years, and both his bike and his famous dad make regular appearances on the actor’s instagram account. “When you get out of the city and onto a road that you know you don’t have to stop on until you want to, it’s quite an exhilarating feeling. It gives me goose bumps to think of during the off-season, when you want to but can’t. It’s definitely made me more solitary though and showed me that I’m happy alone, so I spend a lot more time on my own since.”

That’s if you count spending time with your dog being “alone.” “It gets hard not seeing my dog’s face when I’m out of town,” he tells me. “He sleeps at the foot of my bed, but takes up more space than I know how to…so his face or tail is usually what I wake up to. Dogs are a nice way to start the day.” Besides not being able to live without his dog, his guitar is a close second. That’s right, he loves dogs, rides a bike and plays the guitar. Tracey was given his first guitar thirteen years ago, so long ago that it’s crazy for him to think of. In the years since, the guitar has become his favorite instrument, and certainly the easiest for him to begin a song with. Tracey admits that as a teenager he gave songwriting a try, but it wasn’t until meeting a group of guys in a band looking for a singer that he was really able to put things into motion, and find his own stride. Ultimately writing for the five-piece band, Tracey found a rhythm and style for the music he wanted to write.

“I set up a little studio at my place about a year ago, which really pushed me to make it worth it, so when I couldn’t sleep (which is mostly the case) I’d put the space to use and work on sounds.” Hours of work resulted in his current work-in-progress, Still Eye. “I guess it would be most simply categorized as indie rock. But I wanted to give it a classical element and formula with a 50’s sound, done with modern hardware and instruments. Playing music you love and believe in on stage is one of the most gratifying feelings I’ve felt and I can’t wait to get to do it again.” On paper, Keenan Tracy reads like the creation of two teenage girls…Kelly Lebrock’s Weird Science-male equal.  That’s because he is.


Keenan’s 2014.

Favorite book read: The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Favorite album heard: First Impressions of Earth by The Strokes, very closely followed by Beach House’s latest record Myth, because it sounds like the rain.

Trend: “If trends looked the way they did 50 years ago, perhaps…but unfortunately I guess that would technically mean it’s not a trend. Trying to keep up with trends is like trying to find the edge of a circle: you’ll keep chasing it, only to realize that there isn’t an end and the thing that is cool next year is the one people called “weird” last year. Fashion has a strange ebb and flow, I find. I try not to get caught up in it because you’ll just end up buying new clothes every season, because you all of a sudden hate your wardrobe. That being said, I think how you dress is an important and good way to represent yourself without having to say or do anything. So, why not use that. Wear what YOU think looks good or fits you well; who knows, it could actually be “in” next season anyhow.”


photography ALEKSANDAR TOMOVIC www.alekandsteph.com

styling WARREN ALFIE BAKER www.warrenalfiebaker.com


special thanks to YVETTE POOLE and L’CHERIYVE STUDIO www.lcheriyve.com