In a life that could have been scripted by Paul Thomas Anderson, Blair was raised in the San Fernando Valley by her dental hygienist mother and broke into showbiz at five playing a “giant girl” trapped in a mineshaft on the Sci-fi romp Land of the Giants. She was given the stage name Blair Aames so she'd be the first entry in the Players Directory and wore curlers in her hair to school on audition days.
Eventually Blair lost the curls and changed her name back to Tefkin. She studied drama at The American Conservatory Theatre, performed comedy with L.A.’s Groundlings and did master class with grande dame Stella Adler who, depending on the day, called Blair “Brilliant” or “The Queen-of-Lack-of-Energy.”
Things came strangely full-circle when Blair got her breakout role as Robin Maxwell, the teen mom of the alien baby in the Sci-fi hit “V.” It was gratifying, but not truly satisfying. And though she played the Pat Benatar wannabe in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Blair didn’t discover her own talent for music until, going through a very low ebb in her life, she picked up the bass and found her voice writing wry, bittersweet songs.
The reaction to Blair’s music was positive and swift: a chance meeting with a music exec at a coffee shop led to a deal with Universal-PolyGram Publishing, a cassette sent to a friend in Ireland led to a call from Marianne Faithful’s manager to say that Marianne wanted to cover Blair’s song Good Advice. Alanis’ producer Glen Ballard wanted Good Advice for the soundtrack of his movie Clubland and so it went.
Blair and her band played major dates on the Lilith Fair tour.
A solo album, Shocked and Devastated, followed. She wrote and performed an original tune in the film, The Anniversary Party and her song Troubles was featured on the soundtrack sitting fittingly between Petulia Clark and Eels.
Critics wrote approvingly: “Witty and pretty, fractured, poignant and often hilarious” - L.A. Times. “Artful pop suffused with a darkly comic outlook” - Puncture. “Spitefully Pleasurable” -The Village Voice. Her irreverent musical comedy In The Land of the Giants also garnered praise with the L.A. Weekly calling it "A painfully funny, remarkably enjoyable evening of tuneful self-deprecation."
With her sharp writing and low-drama, high-impact voice, Blair is back in top form with the deliciously subversive 2021 release I Like It When You're Down.
A new show Death Is Always On The Way is forthcoming in 2022. Blair is an occasional musical guest at L.A.’s alt-comedy institution UnCabaret and is otherwise busy writing songs for film TV and Broadway.
Photo by Solomon Emquis