1) What the fuck is going on?
Generally, many things are much worse than we imagined, and some things are far better than we can hope, but in the end, it’s all about the same as we think it is. For example, the federal budget just came out and suddenly the whole country has become conservative, or the conservative have become liberal, but the meaning of “a liberal” in our understanding, has changed from social-welfarist to leave-me-and-my-latte-alone-ist. At least people are resting. And minimum wage is going up, and Jacob Zimmer is wearing a white undershirt.
The other thing that is happening is… my theatre company One Reed, is opening our show, Nor the Cavaliers Who Come With Us next Wednesday and we’re all gearing up for that.
2) How do you feel about your time at the National Theatre School of Canada?
Wow, we barely know each other, and already such a personal question? With a million hours of classes a week, the school part is a bit of a blur at the moment, but, yes, I remember it quite fondly. It was hard, and I met some of the most creative, engaging and hilarious people in the world, some of whom I still have the pleasure of working with. I’ve also been back to work twice since graduating, so my time at NTS is ongoing I guess you could say.
3) Have you ever been able to put your horseback riding skills to use in a dramatic role?
I wish! Marc Tellez is the only one riding a horse in this show.
4) What part of your performance skill set has improved most in the past two years?
What is a performance skill set? Like knife tossing, fire breathing, etc? Because those are cool. Do you mean what cool stuff can I do better? I am better at stilt-walking because I didn’t do it before, same with guitar (although I’m not good at that yet either). Daniel is teaching me some sweet kung-fu and says my form is excellent. I do yoga a lot so I guess that has improved.
5) What kind of questions do you like to be asked about your work?
I like to be asked anything about my work, because I love to talk about it. It forces me to make decisions, to be concise and to articulate what it is that I do – which helps me do it better. A good question for all of us about the Cavaliers as we were making it was, “What is the play about?” Because it’s about many things, and has two separate storylines that are interwoven, we had to select a through line that was clear to the person asking. This shaped my understanding of the play for sure.
I also like to be asked easy questions like, “how did you learn those lines,” or, “do you get nervous before you go on,” because those are the things people really want to know.
6) Who’s funny?
Frank Cox-O’Connell, Marc Tellez, Daniel Mroz, even Evan Webber is funny. Jacob Zimmer, Chris Reynolds, Ame Henderson, Lee Brunton, Tara Flynn, Paddy Flynn, hell all the Flynns. Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, the people who make A League of Gentlemen, the people who make WonderShowzen, and many others.
7) Why have you chosen to pursue theatre arts?
When I was a two years old I got lost in a funeral home during my great grandmother’s wake. My father realized I was not in the room, and ran through the building, as others scoured the neighbourhood in case I had actually gotten out. Several panicked moments later I was found in one of the other visitation rooms with the corpse of an old man; I had crawled up into the coffin and was sitting on his lap. Long story short, I guess I needed the attention.
8) What’s the best way to tell a theatre artist that you hope their show goes well?
In the ass of the whale!
9) What do you like most about the Studio Theatre as a performance space?
It’s a really cool space, it has amazing acoustics and makes our songs sound beautiful. It also allows us to perform the show in the way that it is intended to be, with the audience on four sides. At SummerWorks in the Factory Mainspace, the Cavaliers was modified to fit into a proscenium.
10) What does the title of One Reed Theatre’s latest play Nor The Cavaliers Who Come With Us mean?
Nor the Cavaliers Who Come With Us is a phrase from El Requiremento – The Requirement, which was a decree created by the King of Spain, read aloud by the conquistadors to each nation or village they encountered before beginning the attack. Of course, it was read in Spanish or Latin to peoples who neither spoke nor understood Spanish or Latin, and therefore was rather useless as a tool of diplomacy or otherwise. El Requiremento basically says that the land belongs to the King and Queen of Spain, and they are sent as representatives of the church to take rightful possession of land, and that any damages or losses incurred as a result of the resistance of the people “is not our fault, nor the cavaliers who come with us.”