Q: Where are you from? What was your family like? A: I was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. My parents had 3 of us: my brother Joe, me and the youngest, my sister Lorraine. My sister was studious and shy. My brother was kind of quirky - when I was not yet a teenager, my brother Joe was making movies, shooting me and making up the story as we went along. He eventually went to an Art School in Minneapolis, shot photos and developed them in the basement, and also wrote and drew cartoons with some of his friends in Art school. He's very good at it and still makes small movies, cartoons, etc.
Q: When did you begin acting and how did you get into it? What was your first role? A: I was wandering in the hallways of my Catholic school one day and the "Drama Couch" as she was called, grabbed me and took me into the auditorium to read for a play. I got the part and was immediately comfortable on stage. I enjoyed playing characters those last 2 years of high school. I then went to the University of South Dakota and was lucky enough to have a teacher who was from Hungry. Miklos was a well-known actor an director in Hungry and he moved from there to South Dakota of all places. I stayed at the school for just one year, and I asked him where I should go to learn more and he said, "all I know is the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts." I went home and told my mother that Miklos thought I should go to the Royal Academy and she said, "Well, let's try to do it!" It turned out that teachers from the Royal Academy were going to be in New York. I flew out and auditioned for them, and while it went well they didn't ask me to London. Fortunately I landed in New York at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, where I learned acting from Bill Esper and Sandy Meisner. In my second year at the Playhouse a Fellowship was started to send someone from the Neighborhood to the Royal Academy. I was chosen to be the first person to be sent there and had a great time spending a month over there, but I returned to hear that David Mamet was looking for me! To make a longer story short, I had my first play at the Theatre de Lys in New York; a two person play by David Mamet called A Life in the Theatre, opposite José Ferrer.
Q: What are your favorite roles you've had a pleasure of playing and why? A: Actually, I loved playing Reverend Morell in Candida at Yale Repertory. I'd never done any Shaw and I did have trepidation about that. I loved doing the play - it was so touching and funny and I looked forward to it every night. As a nice bonus, I received the Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play. I loved Jaques in As You Like It in D.C., that was a great experience doing the play outdoors in the evenings. Henry in The Real Thing was a great challenge at the Intiman Theatre in Seattle.
Q: When you're not performing, how do you like to spend your time? If you weren't an actor, what other profession would you have liked to explore? A: When I'm not performing, I'm sweating and wringing my hands and wondering when I'll ever get on stage again. If I weren't an actor? Wow...if I weren't an actor, I really have no idea what I would do.
Q: Share a story about "the joys of live theater". Either something ridiculous that happened during a show you were in, something you saw in another production, or any other anecdote about things that can only happen in live theater. A: Most of those stories were people going up (forgetting lines), or someone not coming on stage when they were supposed to - so you improvise and hope they show up shortly. There are always funny mistakes. If you "go up" in a comedy it is not nearly as embarrassing as going up in a tragedy; comedians in plays will often ad-lib and do it fairly well - and often the audience loves the goof ups!
Q: What's the most embarrassing thing that's happened to you personally during a performance? A: I did go up when I was playing Jaques in As You Like It. I just blanked out! Fortunately an actor near to me whispered a couple of words and I got back on track but of course it was horrible standing there and having nothing in my head! Oy!
Q: What have you been working on lately? Where can we see you now? A: Hopefully I will be seen by someone somewhere and soon!!!