By Steve Peterson
How did you first get involved in theatre and acting?
I first got involved with a small part in a community theatre in Medford, Oregon as a child and had the usual school plays and debate teams. I was fairly shy as a kid and my voice would rise when I was nervous, so I took a college course in the theatre department at the University of Washington to “modulate” my voice and learn “vocal placement;” one thing led to another till I was firmly ensconced as a drama major and began getting cast in great character roles.
Did you have a teacher, mentor or particular experience that encouraged you along the way in your acting career?
I had a teacher at the UW, Vanick Galstaun, who maintained some faith in my abilities of which I had been unaware. He said some confidence-inspiring words at the right moments, allowing me to sail on stage to glowing critical praise. At that time, we played six nights a week for six-week runs. This allowed one to apply the classroom acting techniques to genuine performances before paying audiences.
In the past you performed in a few Sam Shepard plays. Which plays were you in and where? Also please share with us a little about each experience.
After college, while on tour with the LaMama Troupe under the direction of Tom O’Horgan, I played Myra in Sam Shepard’s “Chicago” and we subsequently won an Obie Award, for the shows we had toured in Europe, when we performed them Off-Broadway in “Six from LaMama” at the Martinique Theatre.
My next Sam Shepard play was in Los Angeles at the Pilot Theatre. We did a double bill of “Cowboy Mouth” and the second play, “Action” for which I won a DramaLogue Award for my acting. Our cast included super Sam Shepard actors, such as Darrell Larson and Ed Harris. A great experience.
Is there anything about working on this production of BURIED CHILD or this particular character that has affected you in some way?
This production has cast some outstanding actors (in my opinion) who are able to articulate their ideas in rehearsal. We are very open with one another; this, in combination with my character "Halie's" direct and outspoken behavior feels like it has influenced (a little) how I currently express my own opinions.
What has been the greatest joy of your career?
My greatest joy is not an isolated moment in time, but a kind of continuum in my life and career. I am lucky to keep finding important and challenging projects and people, on an ongoing basis, that enrich my life as a whole. Great Joy!
Do you have a future project you are currently working on?
I have done some independent and student films that haven't been widely released, but are lurking around the festival circuits now. Nothing as timely as my current theatrical projects.
Buried Child opens: September 6 with reception to follow
Runs: September 6 – October 11, 2014
Plays: Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM
Where: The Whitefire Theatre 13500 Ventura Blvd.(at Sunnyslope) Sherman Oaks 91423
Parking: Metered parking until 8pm on Ventura Blvd; some side-street parking
Please carefully read all parking signage.
Please allow at least 15 minutes to park
Buy Tickets: www.brownpapertickets.com or 818-990-2324