“It’s a show about a man and a clown.”
Lots of people are getting stressed out this time of year. Some people meditate to relax, some people go running, and some people just read a book. I relax by acting. I find comfort in taking on another character, another persona, and letting everything out in that moment.
For the Fringe Fest Erie 2015, I play “Man” in A Little Nonsense, directed by Paula Barrett and Lauren Loop. This particular role has not been relaxing, mostly because of the dark and disturbing nature of some of the dialogue. Yet, there is comfort in airing stress on the stage instead of letting it build up inside.
In A Little Nonsense, a “man” (me) is trying to “make some arrangements” but is constantly disrupted by a clown (played by Zak Westfall, Edge’s photographer). The show has high moments of comedy, and very dark moments of existential depression. It’s a funny show, don’t get me wrong, but it also makes you feel. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (maybe), you’ll get annoyed by antics, and ultimately, you’ll walk away changed – at least I hope.
The description of the show:
“A Little Nonsense is an original dark comedy that explores the clown inside every man. Frustrated and angered by his Clown’s freedom to play and inability to take life seriously, a Man decides to teach his Clown a lesson and beat some sense into him. Mixing powerful drama with genuine hilarity, “A Little Nonsense” plays with the shifting light and dark in all of us and leaves us valuing yet questioning our balance.”
It’s nice, as an actor, to be able to use the stress of life to empower a character – specifically one with such clear emotional and psychological problems. When I’m comparing my problems to that of “man,” “Lorenzo the Unfeeling,” or any of the other characters I’ve played at Gannon’s Schuster Theatre, it’s clear that art is both an emotional output as well as a tool for creation.
Obviously, I would like a ton of people at the show, so I’m going to plug it briefly: it’s February 3rd and 5th at 8pm in the Green Room of the Schuster Theatre. Come see it – if for no other reason than getting to see me aggressively smash a whipped cream pie into Zak Westfall’s face.