Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Spamalot - Meet cast member Patrick Graham


What do you find appealing about your character and this show?
I've been a huge fan of Monty Python since I was very young thanks to my older brother and jumped at the opportunity to portray some of the silliest characters I've ever seen. I really wanted to try my hand at the challenge of creating all these different characters, as the Pythons seemed to do effortlessly. What I love about the musical is that these characters give such a nostalgic feel to the movie, yet expand on each character, surprising the audience in new ways! The anticipation for when people who know the movie, see a familiar character and react, is such a thrill.

What have you learned about yourself in playing all of these characters?
I've learned a lot about creating characters and how important it is to establish certain physicality’s and other traits for scenes. Some of my characters only appear for a short scene and I don’t have a lot time to establish anything, so I have to figure out shortcuts so that the audience knows exactly who I am, even if they haven’t seen the movie. I find myself saying “Who am I now?” many times backstage. I should see a doctor about this.

Being a long time Monty Python Fan, do you have any favorite skits or scenes?
I have a soft spot in my heart for the “Dead Parrot Skit”; it’s just so iconic and hilarious 50 years later. I've gone back and realized that throughout the course of the show, there are an uncountable amount of callbacks and references to the Flying circus in addition to the movie. We may have added a few in ourselves; I can’t wait for diehard fans to catch all the references!!

How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on?
My last production was “Les Miserables” in Reston, which was an extremely easy transition; they have pretty much the same tone. Yet coming from such shows and “Avenue Q” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”, I’m right at home in my comedic style. I've also done many ensemble shows and it’s quite similar to those. The ensembles in most shows play multiple roles and have to create different feels for each scene. Having done this a lot prepped me for playing all these roles.

How long have you been acting and what made you get involved in theatre? How did you get involved with LTA?
I've been acting since I was in elementary school, playing the Emperor in the Emperor’s New Clothes and have done theatre ever since. When I started doing community theatre, I saw a few productions at LTA and couldn't wait to get a chance to work with them. I live/work about an hour away from them, so I wanted to find the right show to commute for and I've certainly found it with Spamalot! 
Monty Python's Spamalot will be on the LTA stage from August 8 - August 23.  Get tickets at www.thelittletheatre.com

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