Until next time,
Buy tickets HERE.
Those of you reading this are by now aware that our country's Supreme Court made some pretty fair and beautiful displays of justice yesterday on June 27, 2013! Declaring the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and in the official words of the Huffington Post, "By a 5-4 vote, the justices held in Hollingsworth v. Perry that the traditional marriage activists who put Proposition 8 on the California ballots in 2008 did not have the constitutional authority, or standing, to defend the law in federal courts after the state refused to appeal its loss at trail." In other words, same sex marriage is back on in California! I am overjoyed at the large leap forward this decision is allowing for same sex couples who by their rights as US citizens should be able to receive the same benefits of marriage that heterosexual couples receive. Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign, said in an interview, "We've taken two giant steps forward towards the American promise of equal justice under law, [we] celebrate today, and tomorrow we...fight like hell." I'm very much excited and proud to be a part of that fight.
In other non-tragic news: I have been cast at C.A.S.T. (Carolina Actors Studio Theatre) in the production of "Recent Tragic Events" written by Craig Wright. I will be playing the part of "Andrew," an airport bookstore manager who has been set up on a blind date with a beautiful girl the day after 9/11. It is a dark comedy that dives into some challenging topics and examines relationships and chance in a complex and fascinating way. I could not be more thrilled to take on my first professional production in Charlotte, NC and first production here since high school. I will be under the direction of the Artistic Director of C.A.S.T. Michael Simmons and sharing the stage with four phenomenal actors who I am already smitten with, having done a table read just last week with them. The cast include Devin Clark as "Stage Manager," Elizabeth Byland as "Waverly," Will Triplett as "Ron," and Emily Ussery as "Nancy." I will post updates about how you can see the show, including dates, ticket prices, and all that jazz in the coming months!
Until next time,
"Recent Tragic Events" opens Thursday September 12 and runs thru October 12. For now check out C.A.S.T.'s production of "Assassins" thru July 13!
Buy tickets HERE.
Once I started rehearsals for "Cabaret" it was full speed ahead! I had the fine privilege of performing with with Lisa Brescia, Taylor Mac, Julie Fishell, Jeff Cornell, Ray Dooley, the amazing second and third year grad students (including my director of "Eurydice" Nathanial Claridad), and three undergrads Max Bitar, Mason Cordell, and Katie Chelena at Playmakers Repertory Company! Every night myself and other members of the company would be on stage in our "dressing rooms" while the guests filed into the house. I got to sit with Max Bitar and smoke from an electronic cigarette while my character "Herman" casually flirted with one of the cabaret girls "Frenchy," played by Michaela Morton. Then the band would start the drum role and we would find our places for the top of the show. Ever since I was a little boy attending the theater, my favorite part was when the band warms up right before they begin. It is a very exciting feeling to be on the other side of that.
During rehearsals for Cabaret I attended a Neo-Futurism workshop with Flor De Liz Perez of the New York Neo-Futurists with some of the cast of "30 Plays in 60 Minutes." It was a really amusing two plus hours of play. I appreciate the ease in which Neo-Futurism allows you to just be yourself. The workshop allowed us to get in touch with our playful selves as well as our secrets selves at one point by asking us to write down something you have never told anyone before and then choosing a phrase or entire sentence to read allowed out of context. That was something quite powerful. I hope to get to work more closely with Flor in the future or even go see some performances in New York by the Neo-Futurists!
Additionally, during the run I participated in "Broadway Twisted," a musical benefit concert to raise money for AIDS relief. It was an incredible evening filled with some pretty amazing talents and orchestrated by the humble overachiever Nathanial Claridad.
In the last few weeks I finished my job at 411 West, graduated from college, and moved to Charlotte, NC. I'm very excited to see what my next steps are, there is nothing guaranteed which can be scary to think about but that just makes me more excited to work and to keep after what I want. My next move will be to dive into the Charlotte theater scene. I have already been on several auditions and if something comes of them their will certainly be a blog about it. My time at UNC was really quite incredible and I am so thankful for every opportunity! I want to wish all the 2013 graduates luck on their next endeavors! And always remember Go Heels! and Go to hell DOOK!
Thanks for checking out the blog!
Until next time,
The end of my junior year marked my first time working on a professional production while in college. I worked on deck crew for "Noises Off" with Playmakers Repertory Company as a course requirement for my major. It was such an unforgettable experience. John May worked as the PA for show, Melanie Johnson and Candyce Adkins were on wardrobe crew, Jessica Sorgi and Margaret Burrus were with me on deck, and the fabulous Chuck Bayang and Sarah Smiley stage managed. Working with Playmakers had always been a desire of mine and after working behind the scenes, I knew I wanted to be on that stage! I got to know some of my professors very well during "Noises Off." Scott Ripley was my Directing professor at the time and he played "Frederick," Jeff Cornell would be my Acting Shakespeare professor and I got to help make sure he was at places with the right props at the top of Act 2, and Ray Dooley, my Acting for TV and Film professor played the hilarious "Selsdon." In addition, I got to meet the fabulous Matt Schneck who played "Garry" and who I found out had performed this role once before opposite Ground Up's Kate Middleton! Lastly, I was introduced to the wonderful graduate students Kelsey Didion, Katie Paxton, and Brandon Garegnani (Two of which have graduated now and are pursuing a career in NYC! Best of wishes ladies!) It was such a fun show to be involved with and I am so thankful to have gotten a glimpse of what the professional theatre is like from behind the curtain.
Headed into senior year I wanted to utilize all of my resources and I auditioned for everything! The first show I went out for was "Eurydice" by Sarah Ruhl which was being directed by graduate student Nathanial Claridad! I had read the play over the summer and was excited at the prospect of working with a grad student. I auditioned and made the cast as "Big Stone" along side Mason Cordell and Izzy Francke! This was such a beautiful show to be a part of. The set, the sounds, the rehearsal process, Nathanial's vibrant style choices, "the Stones" learning to walk and talk and breathe as one. It was a role that did not have much background in the text and allowed for many weeks of play. If I had to choose work in college that I was genuinely proud of, "Eurydice" would be very high on the list.
At the same time, I auditioned and got cast in Broadway Abridged with Company Carolina, I would be playing Tom Winfield in "Glass Menagerie Abridged" and "Tony" in "West Side Story Abridged." It is here that I met some of the most incredible undergrads in my time here at UNC. I got to be in the same show with Melanie and Izzy even though we were not all in the same set.
I also met Joseph Townsend, the biggest go-getter, most involved, and largest dreamer I've met at UNC. If he has an idea, it is never long before it is a reality. I've been so impressed with his work on a collaborative film series called "Project Bucket" that documents events one should partake in before graduating from UNC. Bryce Edwards, Sarah Playsk, Diana Castano, Flavia Crovesi, Matt Verner, Colin Wilson, Caroline Pittman, Carol Ardiles, your friendships have made me so happy. You are all incredible.
My last show of my undergrad theatrical career was, appropriately, back where I began with Pauper Players, this time in Broadway Melodies 2013, in which I played "Robert Downey Jr" in the "Avengers Convention" musical. This little gem was directed by the talented performer, writer, and personal friend Alex Koceja. The show was a huge success and landed me the award for "Best Actor in Bway Melodies" at this years Penny Awards.
Closing out my time with undergrad productions was a special time. My dream of working as an actor with Playmakers Repertory Company become a reality in late January 2013 when I was cast in "Cabaret." All of a sudden, it was time to begin my professional career as an actor!
To be continued...