Story Time with Mr. Buttermen: Fables for Adults Living in a Modern World
nytheatre.com q&a preview by Anthony M. Lopez
July 18, 2012
What is your job on this show?
I play Mr. Buttermen..
When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
My mom says that I started begging her to let me audition for Sesame Street at four years old. I wanted that chorus of lady-cows to let me into their band. I don't know that this was the one moment that I knew I wanted to perform professionally - I just think it's fascinating when little, little kids show a passion for the arts. It's such a natural thing. I spent a lot of my childhood acting along with the people on TV and adapting movies into live shows that I'd force my friends to perform with me in my basement. Acting out stories was always just the way that I played. Then as I got older, storytelling and performance started to mean so much more to me. Tim Fite, an incredible artist I've had the huge pleasure to work with, wrote a song called "We Are All Teenagers" that talks about the weird intensity that we'd all like to relegate to our adolescence. But it never really goes away. Or, it shouldn't. For me, performing is the best way - maybe the only way - for me to be that wild, weird, gross, emotional kid. Some people get to it in other ways, but pretending is how I get to it.
Why did you want to be part of FringeNYC?
I read about "Story Time with Mr. Buttermen" and felt like I needed to be a part of telling this story. The fact that it's going up at FringeNYC is so exciting - and it complements the show's premise. A community of people coming together to tell their stories. Couldn't be more up my alley. I hope everyone comes out to see it. Barack & Michelle, Lady Gaga, Nicole Richie - everyone.
In your own words, what do you think this show is about? What will audiences take away with them after seeing it?
I would love for people to leave our show feeling lighter inside than when they came into the theatre. Our play is hilarious and musical and a little crude and moving, hopefully. When I see really wonderful theatre I leave feeling more free than I did before. A little more raw to the world, and cleaned out. I hope we give that feeling to people.
Which famous New Jerseyite would like your show the best: Snooki, Bruce Springsteen, Thomas Edison?
Thomas Edison. Because our show is ELECTRIFYING (I hate myself). No but seriously, I mean, if Thomas Edison came to the show, there would literally be a DEAD person in the audience, which is like, only in New York, right?
How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
Diversity is everything. Theatre couldn't be made without diversity. One of the most incredible things about putting on a play is the process of combining everyone's impressions and impulses. You take those - which are totally individual and undefinable - and you cultivate them to create this one thing, this one piece of art that exists and has its own unique life. Diversity makes that happen. It's incredible to be in rehearsal and watch that process in motion.