Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Who Is Better? (Nobody)

There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.
-Oscar Wilde

Actor cage match?

The reviews are in, and they are... decidedly mixed. CVNC... didn't like me. Byron at the Indy liked David, ..  and also didn't like me.  I have it on good authority that at least some of the folks at Triangle A&E did like me (Kurt posted a review on my facebook page, though as of noon Wednesday they have not managed to publish a linkable review [EDIT - it's up! Read it here.]).

So why link to "bad" reviews? Why even acknowledge them? Well, a few reasons, but first I should note I've written about reviews before here. As an actor you can't let them in (good or bad). But as a producer, I don't have the luxury of not reading them. Normally, I'd be linking to good reviews (previously we have had exactly one negative review of a South Stream Production) but I'm ok with linking to bad reviews too, in context. Let me explain.

First of all, I would rather have people say bad things about me than say nothing at all. Partly it's the "any publicity is good publicity" but more importantly, I feel what I do is worth artistic consideration. I would rather spark an argument or discussion, even personal criticism, than not have any reaction at all.

And part of this process was about creating something interesting to talk about. David and I made a very conscious effort to develop our own truth with each character. We didn't try to avoid taking ideas from each other, but we also did not try to create a unified interpretation. Even as we agree about most points of the character, we found different expressions of that journey. That's what's been so exciting about this process. I feel that we achieved something really special. Two very different interpretations of the same character, each effective and honest, but each different. Is there a "better" performance? I honestly don't think so.

Of course, people being what they are, tastes vary, and comparison is, I suppose, inevitable. And I'm fine with that. They are very different shows, and of course, people will like or dislike them as they wish. Am I disappointed that people (and despite what some actors will tell you, reviewers are people) came to the show and did not enjoy my performance? Sure. But would I change that performance? Hell no. I absolutely gave the performance I intended.

So is my show any good? I think so. I can only present what I feel is the truth of the character. And David will be out there doing the same. This weekend we run five shows:

Thursday 7:30 (me)
Friday 7:30 (David)
Saturday 7:30 (me) and 9:30 (David)
Sunday 3:00 (me)

Come see the shows, and decide for yourself.


  1. You're both amazing and took such different approaches to the material. It's a treat to see them in rep the same night. It's not often you get to see that. It's a true actor presentation. It was thrilling to see your work.

  2. I couldn't have given the performance I had without Brook...for several reasons. Obviously, he is one of the show's producers and I wouldn't have the role if he hadn't so graciously allowed me to share the role with him. But (as Brook said) much of my Erie is informed by his Erie, and vice-versa. There wasn't a night of rehearsal or performance when I didn't observe him bringing some nuance to the role that I hadn't seen previously. And since we are friends, and really respect each other's work, there was never any sense of competition between us, and we felt free to "borrow" ideas from each other, supported and encouraged by our intrepid director Andy Hayworth. I know that if the reviews cited had been leaning towards Brook's interpretation as "better" he would have written the exact same thing. That's the kind of "right guy" he is!

    I am less troubled by the mixed reviews than by the light turnout we had in our first week, but that was most likely due to the holiday weekend. I hope those of you who are "on the fence" come out this Thursday-Sunday to see Brook and I bring a thoughtful, sad, funny, essentially HUMAN play to life.


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