I was never one of those people who knew they wanted to be a performer since they were five. I often wonder what that must be like. I was actually on a whole other planet for a while. I was on a pre-med track in college before I decided to audition for the Theatre program at the University of Michigan. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. After graduating, I moved to Chicago and I’ve been working the theatre scene primarily as an actor for almost 10 years now. I’ve have had the pleasure to work with so many great companies and artists. I love this town.
2. What is your artistic perspective? What inspired your artistic perspective/aesthetic preference?
A little bit by chance. Bailiwick was looking for company members to be involved in the development process and I threw my name into the hat. I did a lot of writing in college and put up a few of the shows I wrote, which turned out to be an amazing experience. Ever since moving to Chicago I’ve only focused on acting, so when the opportunity presented itself… I pounced.
4. What is the most exciting thing about this project?
The subject matter and collaborating with 10 or so other writers. You don’t really see all the layers surrounding our borders until you peel back the skin and start digging into it. And collaborating with so many other writers only adds more layers because each writer brings a different style and perspective to the piece. The number of “a-ha” and “holy shit” moments that have come out of the development process have been amazing. It’s been a very inspiring project to work on.
5. What would you say is the most excruciating thing about this project?
The subject matter and collaborating with 10 or so other writers. There’s soooooo much material and trying to capture every voice, story, theme, topic, issue is practically impossible. Plus every day there are new reports and stories coming out to draw upon which is great but sooner or later you’ve got to just put the head down and plow forward. Sometimes that’s hard to do with a writing team this big. I’ve never collaborated on something like this so it took a while to figure out how to deal with it. Hell, I have a hard enough time making sure my hands do what my mind tells them while writing.
6. Any thoughts/nuggets/or advice to others who are considering or currently developing work in a collaborative format between companies?
Be open, respectful and flexible while staying true to your instincts. Oh, and trust each other. That’s probably the biggest one. Everyone wants the same end result – the absolute best show possible.
7. Any future projects/plugs/baby announcements?
For my next project I’ll be playing the lead role of Father in a little skit called “My Life”. My wife and I are expecting our first child in September!!! We can’t wait! Actually, I should say the supporting role of Father. My wife’s the superstar for this show. We’ve sold out the initial run already and have just announced an open ended extension.