1. How has your experience been at The Playhouse so far?
It’s been absolutely spectacular! I’ve always wanted to perform at The Pasadena Playhouse. I get to play a dream role in a timeless and classic show like The Fantasticks. It’s also a legendary theatre with an extraordinary track record of putting out top-notch theatre and talent. I think in addition to being blessed with such wonderful cast-mates, a stellar production and creative staff, I can’t ignore the beautiful individuals behind the scenes. There is a love and passion one feels the minute they step through the doors. From the company management, to The Friends of The Playhouse and the administrative staff. I’ve been made to feel right at home from the start.
2. What are the pros and cons of stage acting compared to voice acting and film/TV acting?
Well, my origins are in theatre and musical theatre. From summer stock to Broadway. So for me, it’s kind of like riding a bike in some respect. I think I’ll always have a “first love” sentiment toward theatre. It was where I found my love and passion for acting. And I’m reminded of why I adore it so much nightly with The Fantasticks. Theatre is LIVE, which makes it alive and visceral for an audience. There’s a special connection that occurs between an actor, his fellow actors and the audience with live theatre that you may not always see with TV and film projects. Actors “feed” off the energy of the audience just as much as the audience feeds off the emotion and storytelling of the actors. That’s the unique connection that makes theatre so inspiring, entertaining and heartfelt. That said, I LOVE being in front of a camera as well. That connection tends to reveal itself through the actor’s eyes. And TV and film can be extremely powerful in conveying its stories though an actor’s eyes.
3. We found out you consider yourself a cinephile. What is your favorite film?
Well, if I MUST pick ONE favorite, I’d have to say Star Wars. It’s a film I can never get tired of watching over and over again and I always manage to find something magical and unique about it. Yep, I’m a certified Star Wars nerd, haha!
4. What is your go-to cooking recipe?
Oh, I’d have to say I make a pretty mean Grilled Miso Salmon with garlic mashed potatoes. My wife and daughter tend to “light up” when I suggest it for dinner. Knowing they love and appreciate it makes my heart soar!
5. Why should people come see The Fantasticks?
Well, aside from it being a classic American musical, it is a timeless and poignant piece of theatre. It’s universal themes of love, love lost, love regained is something most of us can appreciate and relate to. One can find their own truth and experience with love within its story. Another reason I believe people should come see this particular version of The Fantasticks is because of the unique perspective of our director, Seema Sueko. From the beginning, she wanted us to explore not why we love or what love is but in fact HOW to love. One of the lines in “Try To Remember” states, “Without a hurt, the heart is hollow.” We can take that to mean that our love is tested or even stripped away from us before we can appreciate, experience and enjoy that love again. But we also live in very turbulent times, (not unlike the world of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt in the 50s and 60s) in an election year with a very divided country. We turn on the news only to see images and stories of hatred, animosity and divisiveness. I, for one, would not mind “escaping” to the theatre for a couple of hours and witness love…in all its glory.