What characters do you play in SOME MEN?
Bernie and Martin.
Briefly tell us a little bit about yourself...
I'm an avid softball player, small business owner, craftsman, and engineer by day. I enjoy spending time with family and friends; along with traveling abroad to Rome, Venice, Florence, Prague, Brussels, Amsterdam, and domestically to Chicago, San Francisco and New York to absorb the creative energies each city provides. Other creative interests include design work, carpentry, upholstery and leather craft.
Have you worked with Theatrical Tendencies before?
This is my first appearance with Theatrical Tendencies and I've been warmly welcomed to the company. I appreciate the patience and assistance everyone involved in the production has provided as my rusty acting gears get oiled and ‘hopefully’ improve with each rehearsal and encouraging word.
Tell us about a favorite character that you play in SOME MEN.
I have to admit that the character, Bernie, who I get the privilege to play, has grown to be my favorite. I have explored his experiences and motivations; and then compared them to my own life experiences. Being an ‘older’ member of the cast, I have lived through much of the timeframe of the play. I didn’t exactly fall in love with Bernie right away, but as I explored his experiences without my own personal lens. I found Bernie to be an introspective, independent, strong, loving, authentic and steadfast man; that is very human. I don’t always agree with his approach or choices, but I appreciate his point of view. It is my greatest hope that my interpretation of Bernie is positively received and understood by those experiencing SOME MEN.
What is something that you didn't know about "gay life" in the past century that you've learned from SOME MEN.
My first memories of ‘gay life’ are rooted in the New Wave music era of Depeche Mode, Annie Lennox, Erasure, The Cure, etc. I lived through the early years of AIDS and the fear that consumed the community and participated in the grassroots volunteerism that ensued. I learned about the Stonewall riots from friends and avidly listened to stories they told and did a lot of reading to learn as much as I could. I watched “Boys in the Band” and I have to admit I probably learned most about the 1970’s from Armistad Maupin’s “Tales of the City” books. I also received first hand stories of experiences from a man I loved and lost who spent those years in Russian River just outside of San Francisco. One thing I didn’t know was the early days of gay club life in Harlem and the mingling of all classes of people in that setting. I can visualize what it must have been like from what I learned in SOME MEN.
Why should audiences come and see SOME MEN?
SOME MEN is a semi chronological telling of several generations of gay men. The interesting piece is that many of the characters are actually related – grandfather, father, uncle and son. This is something not always presented. We often see gay men ‘choosing’ their families as many are ostracized and evicted from their blood relations. Terrance McNally has added this new dimension to the story of our gay past as he also introduces legalized same-sex marriage in its early years. Along with the familial aspect, these characters span events occurring over some 90 years. SOME MEN is not a history lesson, but it presents a story of gay life’s evolution. I hope those who see the production walk away with a curiosity into our rich history and a desire to learn more.