Time in Greater OC: 50+ Years
Neighborhood: Laguna Niguel
Hometown: Louisville, KY
What are you currently working on?
I’m putting the finishing touches on a new musical I created entitled “BLUE”. It actually uses the history of Orange County in the story. I wrote the book and composed and produced the score. I’m ready to take it to the next step to production
What's been inspiring you recently?
I’m playing a character in “Bright Star” by Steve Martin that’s opening soon. I’ve always thought of Steve as a great wit and writer but was floored when he created “Bright Star” with Edie Brickell. I figured if can stretch his creativity, so can I.
Tell us a story from your childhood that illuminates who you are as an artist.
When I was a Freshman in high school, the English teacher I had was directing a production of “Inherit The Wind” for the seniors. He was impressed with my writing ability and determination, so he cast me as one of the principles. My interest and appreciation for the theater was greatly enhanced.
Who are or were your theatrical heroes?
I saw “Jesus Christ Superstar” early on and saw how a non-traditional music score could succeed. Using Rock music in a Musical became a goal of mine and I think I’ve achieved it with “BLUE”. I always loved The Who and Pete Townsend is another hero of mine.
Outside of a theatre, what's your favorite hot spot in Orange County?
I like various places that host live music. One is the Main Street Restaurant in Yorba Linda, where I play every month with my band “The Nocturnes”. We’ve been there for eight years and love it.
What surprises you the most about your role in the theatre community?
That I could finally realize my dream of creating a Musical that was inspired by Orange County, my experiences as a musician/singer and as a professional writer. Also that I have been fortunate enough playing characters in plays and musicals.
What kind of theatre excites you?
I like the kind of theater that can take you on an emotional ride as well as leaving you with ideas and concepts to ponder. To be surprised, shocked, tearful and happy are all possible in a good production. Plus having a song or two that you can’t get out of your head is the mark of good theater.
What's the craziest thing you have ever needed to do for theatre?
I starred in a production of Uncle Eddie’s Lasagna” in which I not only grew a beard but had to convincingly transform into an older Italian guy from Brooklyn with ties to crime. A large group of “The Sons Of Italy”, real Italians, wanted to know what Brooklyn neighborhood I grew up in! They spoke to me in Italian and were disappointed when I could recite a few lines from the play. That was crazy!
What advice do you have for theatre artists just starting out in Orange County?
Get a good solid background in theater arts, take voice lessons, try out for everything and never, never give up. Orange County has a thriving theater community and Los Angeles is right up the road when you feel you’re ready.
Go ahead, promote your things...
OK, I’ve mentioned a couple of times about my new musical “BLUE’. It’s set in the early ’60’s and Rock ‘n Roll is dead. The music scene is dominated by pompadoured pretty boy singers named Bobby. The Beatles won’t arrive for a couple of years. But in Southern California, the beach culture has a new form of music that will rejuvenate everything. Young people are becoming aware of the damage from pollution to the air and water. They find a new voice to take on Big Oil’s nefarious plans. Polluters will soon learn the power of people uniting for a just cause. And of course great songs, tearful love affairs, exciting dancing and the funnest time one can have in a theater. I add modestly.