What do you find appealing about your character and this show?
I play several parts, but the two that I connect the most with are the Collector and Strange Man. The Collector is a very young man who Blanche makes an effort to seduce at the beginning of the second act. The scene is brief, but I love every second of it. I have to work to pull an innocence and naivety out of myself to create the proper contrast to both Blanche and, frankly, most of the male characters in the show. It's challenging and satisfying because if I do it right, it helps to provide the audience with a greater understanding of Blanche's true nature and intentions. It leaves the audience pondering just how much you should sympathize with her character, given her current circumstances and how she found herself in them. The Strange Man is just the opposite. His character on the surface is kind and thoughtful. However, his intentions aren't exactly pure, and his actions are most definitely questionable.
A Streetcar Named Desire has always been one of my favorite plays by Tennessee Williams. To create such poetry in such chaos is a gift not all playwrights have. Usually at this point in a rehearsal process, you might find yourself tuning out a little when your sitting off stage waiting for your next cue. With this show, I still find myself hanging on every single one of Williams' words.
What have you learned about yourself in playing the role of Collector/Strange Man?
As an actor, Tennessee Williams is a tall order. I found myself almost overwhelmingly hyper critical of my choices in the initial part of the process. It's been preformed by so many brilliant actors over the years, one can question if you're good enough to take a crack at it. Then one rehearsal I finally said, "Screw it!" and just let it go. It has been a completely process since. This show has reminded me that all you can do is your best, and with a talented group like LTA's cast and artistic team, your best will always create something beautiful.
What do you want the audience to experience/take away from this show?
The themes of Streetcar are still so relevant because they will always be: family, love, passion, lust, and betrayal. There is something so beautifully human about all of these characters, not matter how damaged they may be. We can definitely learn how we should and shouldn't treat people. We must also examine how important it is to be honest with yourself and those around you. Life under a lantern's glow isn't always the best way to live, no matter how much more beautiful and magical it might make things seem.
How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on?
This show is definitely different then what I've done recently. I've done a lot of musicals and comedies the past few years, and you leave the process feeling entirely different. With a musical or a comedy, you leave feeling tired but energized and happy go lucky. With shows like Streetcar, you leave feeling like every possible human emotion has been pulled out of you. It's draining but in the best way possible and immensely satisfying.
How long have you been acting and what made you get involved in theatre? How did you get involved with LTA?
To be completely honest, I got involved with theatre because I sucked at sports as a kid. I tried about every outlet that didn't involve a ball. Then I made all county choir in 5th grade and my music teacher told me she needed singing boys in the upcoming school play. I auditioned and once I got on stage, I was hooked. And have been ever since. I can't imagine life without theatre.
Streetcar is the first show I've auditioned for with LTA. I heard about the auditions while I was doing The Producers and decided to give it a shot. I am definitely delighted to be part of the LTA family.
What advice would you give others who are interested in working in theatre?
Audition for everything. Everything. You might not think there's a part for you, but you can be totally wrong. Go and see as much as you can, especially the stuff that makes you uncomfortable or forces you to think. Network. And never let one rejection dictate whether or not you are good enough. Follow your heart and your passion and you will be successful.