Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Rocky Horror Show - meet cast member Matt Liptak

Tell us about your character. What do you find appealing about your character and this show? 
I play Riff Raff, the eccentric and unhinged assistant to the mad scientist Dr. Frank N. Furter. In the original stage production as well as the movie he was played by the show's creator, Richard O’Brien, and is best known for singing "The Time Warp." With that in mind, I hope to both play homage to that original interpretation and also add a great deal of my own flare to it. The role of Riff Raff, like all the roles in this show, are so iconic, that our main goal has been to find that balance between the film's portrayals and our own staging and style…with an emphasis on the latter. I think with my interpretation of Riff Raff, audiences will still get to see the odd, slow-speaking, borderline-sadistic alien they know and love, but (hopefully) they will also get to enjoy the new level of crazy I'm trying to bring to him. Playing such an iconic character and adding your own spin on it is always rewarding. 

What have you learned about yourself in playing the role of Riff Raff? 
I learned a lot about my singing from this show and how far I can take it. The role is written very high and in a very heavy rock style. This scared me at first and I kept telling myself I couldn’t do it. I’ve found a comfortable and stylistic place to put the songs and it’s working out great.  The acting portion for Riff Raff has pushed me to be as odd as I can with just about every part of myself- the walk, the hand movements, the way I look at people- its been a blast.

What do you want the audience to experience and take away from this show? 
I hope the audiences laugh and have a good time, regardless of how absurd the whole thing is. The premise of the show is so ridiculous and the script is all over the place, but because of that the show is truly brilliant. Its twisted, comical, sexual and bizarre but its also "Rocky Horror" and I think if the audience comes in ready for a zany ride, they won't be let down. 

How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on? 
More make-up, more fishnets, and more high heels than any show out there.
We guarantee it. 
How long have you been acting and what made you get involved with LTA?
I’ve been acting since the middle school back home in Ohio and continued to do so throughout high school and college. After college I acted in a few productions in Rochester, NY before moving to DC. I was drawn to LTA last summer with “Avenue Q” and being a part of that show was an amazing experience. I came back for “Spamalot” this summer and then again for “Rocky Horror” because LTA offers such an inviting community and a truly professional experience. 

What advice would you give others who are interested in acting and theatre? 
Whenever you have a chance, go to the theatre. Watch good productions, watch bad productions, watch YouTube videos. Emersion is a great way to learn. Surround yourself in it and take it all in. I’d also say that no matter what role you are given, make it something special for yourself and enjoy the ride.

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