Local girl to be remembered
By Diana Sevanian
As a little girl, Tatiana Marie Weiss knew exactly what she wanted to do when she grew up. Fueled by her passion for theater arts, she eventually realized her dreams on many stages, most recently, as a professional actress and stage production manager for Universal Studios’ theme park in Orlando, Florida.
Tragically, that glory was short-lived, for on Oct. 1, Weiss died suddenly from a pulmonary embolism, apparently associated with a foot injury suffered one month ago.
Born Oct. 13, 1979 in Tarzana and raised in the Santa Clarita Valley, Weiss was the daughter of Jim and Stephanie Weiss, longtime Santa Clarita Valley residents and community volunteers.
Upon graduation from Valencia High School in 1997, Tatiana Weiss enjoyed acclaim for her acting and production talents. It was at Oklahoma City University that she studied theater arts, gaining expertise in costuming and numerous other aspects of the theater, while earning several awards for those achievements. Following her 2001 college graduation, Weiss spent a year at DePaul University, but then returned to Oklahoma, to be near her boyfriend and “love of her life,” Mark Richman. In 2003, the couple moved to Florida where Weiss worked for the Orlando Historical Society, staging historical vignettes; was master of ceremonies of Arabian Nights Dinner Theatre; worked on the “Titanic: Ship of Dreams” tourist attraction, and Universal Studios theme park.
With a cast of more than 60 actors to supervise, Weiss was overseeing Universal’s “Haunted Halloween” production when she died.
In the aftermath of losing her beloved daughter, Stephanie Weiss, a public relations executive and co-host of KHTS’ “Families in Action program, was quoted saying, “It was an honor to have had her in my life.”
Clearly, many people who knew the young woman also felt privileged for their relationships with her. Known for her kindness, enthusiasm, and engaging personality, Tatiana Weiss is being eulogized on numerous blogging sites by people who knew and worked with her through the years.
Among their poignant entries:
“Tatiana was the inspiration that drove the Valencia High School Drama Club to soar to success at the inception of the school.”
“She was a kind and classy woman who always seemed to have a smile on her face.”
“She was always around making sure people had what they needed, even if they were not in her cast.”
“We have lost the best Mrs. Claus, ever.” (Also among her list of acclaimed performances, Tatiana Weiss worked as Mrs. Claus in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.)
“She was one of the happiest people I knew. I'm deeply saddened at the loss of such a bright soul.”
Tatiana Weiss is survived by her parents, Jim and Stephanie; brother, Justin; grandmother, Billie Jean Meinhard; companion, Mark Richman; an aunt and uncle, Carolyn and Robert Weiss; cousins, Jennifer and Brenda Weiss, and Godmother, Reta Thomas.
A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13 (on what would have been Tatiana’s 28th birthday) at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 27265 Luther Drive, Canyon Country.
In lieu of flowers, her family requests that donations be made to the following organizations: The Canyon Theatre Guild, 24242 San Fernando Road, Old Town Newhall, Calif., 91321. (Online: www.canyonthetare.org ) Phone: (661) 799-2702; The American lung Association, 61 Broadway, New York, N.Y., 10006. (Online: www.lungusa.org ) Phone: (212) 315-8700.