Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Dirty Blonde - meet cast member Chris Gillespie



What do you find appealing about your character and this show?  
Playing such a variety of characters in Dirty Blonde, I am drawn to the challenge of switching roles. I had the chance to portray different characters in two productions of Spring Awakening, so it is not a new experience for me. What is exciting about this play is that my characters are based on actual people. 

What have you learned about yourself in playing the roles of “Frank Wallace, Harry Richman, Joe Frisco, Ed Hearn” and others? 
I realized that I actually enjoy research. There is a strange thrill I was not aware of in the hunt for documentation no matter how minute the information. And then to decipher fact from opinion had its own appeal. Many of the people I have been asked to portray were involved in vaudeville and the early years of cinema. I found myself pouring through books and websites and video clips just to get a glimmer of who these people were. 

What do you think of Mae West, has anything surprised you about her? 
I am fascinated by Mae West, what she accomplished with such focus and drive from the beginning. To be honest, I am even more intrigued by where she was at the end of her journey. How did she truly feel or was she just over it? 
 
Jo and Charlie are fans of Mae West.  What would you say you are a fan of? 
I know that I have an obsessive nature. I have been a fan of Simon Baxter (our first wonderful dog who loved me so), of Ben Vereen (I wished that he had been my dad at one time…even when I got older and he was in Zoobilee Zoo). I have been a fan of Pee Wee Herman, of Karen Morrow, of rabbits, of Rene Clemente, of Raul Julia, of Victor Ponder, of The Banana Split Show, of H R Pufnstuf, of stage illusions, of World of Warcraft (the Horde), of gerbils (I raised close to 30 as a tween until Farkel got so old that he died tragically, so I quickly ended that passion), of Euro Games, of the last hippo that was at the zoo in DC, and of Dunnys (I can’t stop collecting them). Except for gerbils, I am still a fan of all my obsessions…and this just touches on my list. But most recently I have begun the journey of becoming a fan of our amazing rescue dogs: Lester and Leonard. They have taught me that to be a fan of something, you have to get through the tough part, the adjustment period, to realize that there is nothing you can do but find a space in your heart. I am pleased to know that my heart still has room. 

How does this show differ from other shows you have worked on?  
It’s the show that I am working on now. I love being at rehearsals and working with the cast and crew. I am always floored by everything Alexandra brings to the stage. I love watching Janette bring Mae to life and when I get to escort her as Joe. 

What would be your dream roles? 
I would enjoy the heck out of playing the roles of Hapgood in Anyone Can Whistle, Amiable in The Baker’s Wife, David in A Time For Singing, ensemble in King of Hearts and Sam Craig in Woman of the Year.

How long have you been acting and what made you get involved in theatre? How did you get involved with LTA? 
My best friend Tony convinced me to audition for The Hobbit when I was in 8th grade. I auditioned for Victor/Victoria at LTA. 

Tickets and info: www.thelittletheatre.com

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