When did you first get involved in Theatre Terrific?
Oh gosh, uh, I think my first fringe was The Errors of Eros’ Arrows which would place it like 2001 or 2002 maybe, somewhere in there.
What character did you play in that?
I was Cupid – the title character. It was good times.
Tell us a little bit about your background.
Born and raised in Vancouver, always been a huge, huge supporter of the arts, I enjoy arts – both my parents are artists – and it just kind of comes natural. I sing, I dance, I tell jokes, I practice martial arts, I do all sorts of stuff. I still write occasionally, but I’ve never stood up and performed slam poetry.
What do you do to fill your days?
When I’m not here (at Theatre Terrific), I’m either practicing the martial arts, playing role playing games or catching the latest episode of NCIS.
What are the previous shows that you have been involved with at Theatre Terrific?
This is going to be a really long list, it might be easier to list shows I wasn’t involved with (laughs).
There was Error of Eros Arrows, Ugly, Slow Running (I remember that one because I had more lines than everyone put together and was the only one who got to read from a script), The Bread Project, Water, Stuffed (in both Vancouver & Powell River), and now Being Animal.
What did you like about doing this?
All these people that show up are like a second family. We’re gone most of the year but when we come back it’s like nothing changed. And I think I have to chalk up the reason I keep coming back to my amazing directors. It’s like no other theatre company I’ve ever seen or experience in any way.
How is it different?
Your methods. I don’t know any other theatre company hat issues scripts so late, that works mostly without a script – most theatre companies, they know what they’re doing before they call a cast together. We generally don’t know until maybe half a week.
Why do you think that is?
I would chalk it up to your [Susanna] style – your directing style. In the sense that you prefer to work scriptless, as it were.
What is your involvement with BEING Animal?
Can I claim co-creator credit? [Susanna nods] Co-creator, cast member, roadie [Susanna laughs] Hey! I lug amps up and down the stairs pretty much every day – I get to call myself a roadie. And, of the cast members, I’m arguably the one with the most flexibility physically, so I’m probably going to be the stunt person as well.
What do you think of your fellow cast members?
They’re all wonderful. They’re all amazing to work with. They’re all beautiful, amazing people. I could not ask for a better group of co-workers. Some of them are still learning how to be professional about it, but that doesn’t detract from the work: we have some new faces and we have some old faces and I think the blend really, really helps. But I think altogether we have an astounding cast and there are all wonderful people and I would work with any of them again [snaps] drop of a hat.
What do you hope people take away from BEING Animal?
I hope they realize that it’s not just us. There’s more to the world than what we give it credit for – like, not to go all deep but, we need to learn to listen because everything will speak if you know the language. And I hope that people come away with maybe the bare bones of a vocabulary.
I really hope that everyone who comes to the show has a good time and enjoys the show and hopefully puts lots of money in the donation box because we need to be able to keep doing things like this.
Why do we need to keep being able to do this?
Because this is an opportunity for people who don’t have one – who don’t normally have a voice – to get out there and show the world that YES we are confident actors too – that we can do this too. You do not have to be Angelina Jolie to act. If you can talk, you can sing. If you can walk – or roll – you can dance. And I would love to see the people who have, maybe, decided that inclusive theatre is not for them to get up the gumption and come to a class because frankly – just jump in with both feet. We promise that we will catch you.