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Philip Goes Forth

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Bernardo Cubria
August 10, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Actor.

What is your show about?
A young man decides to go against his father's wishes and pursue what may or may not be his dream, and along the way he learns that growing up is hard to do. (or something) COME ON OUT! ITS REALLY GOOD!

Where were you born? Where were you raised? Where did you go to school?
I was born in Mexico City. I then moved to Houston, Texas where I lived until I graduated from High School. After a year back in Mexico where I was studying Politics (long story to be heard over drinks) I moved back to Houston and started studying theatre at the University of Houston and it was there I "found" myself.

Why do you do theater (as opposed to film, or TV, or something not in the entertainment field)?
For the money, duh! No, sorry, silly joke. The honest answer is it's my favorite of all the mediums. I've never left a set thinking, wow I just did something there. Usually I leave thinking about the paycheck and whether or not I should have stayed for more free food. In theatre I always get something. Especially from the audience. It's the best feeling in the world. When you feel them laugh and even more when you feel them listening. I'm addicted to that. Plus, being in plays is like being in adult summer camp over and over again. And you get to work with some of the most interesting people you will ever meet.

How did you meet your fellow artists/collaborators on this show?
Jerry Ruiz, the director, has been one of my best friends for the last 5 years. We met at INTAR when we helped produce a night of short plays called One Night in the Valley. He is also a self-conscious Mexican, which made us instant friends. Funny thing is he didn't think I was right for this role, and I had to beg him for an audition. Something I will forever hold over him. The rest of the cast I met at our first reading. And all I could think was that I was incredibly lucky to be working with such a talented group of people. Plus, its great that this play has so many amazing female roles that are being destroyed by these kick-ass ladies. The theatre needs more of this.

Which cartoon character would you identify your show with: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse, Marge Simpson?
I wish it was Bugs Bunny, cause he's kinda my hero. I mean, seriously, whose funnier than that guy. But this show has a lot of Mickey Mouse in it. Especially in the sense that Mickey always seemed to be almost a man but not yet. Does that make sense...? Well my point is, it's a story about becoming a man, and growing up. And that reminds me of Mickey. And no one wears a shirt...just kidding

How important is diversity to you in the theater you see/make?
It is incredibly important to me. Something that impressed me with The Mint is that they didn't worry once about color-blind casting. When I auditioned for Philip (who is written as Caucasian) I was in a waiting room with men of many different races. Something they need to get a lot of credit for. And also Judy Bowman, who cast the show and always brings in people of all kinds. For example, Christine Toy Johnson (who is Asian and amazing) plays my aunt in this show. Sadly many theatres would not do that. They would claim some BS about it taking the audience out of it because "how would an Asian woman be the aunt of a Latino man." Well, that ridiculous. Theatre is about story telling, and I think it actually helps plays reach a larger audience when the mix of people on stage looks more and more like the mix of people you see in the world. Plus, if we want to start reaching people of all races and all classes, how about we allow those people to be represented in the stories we tell.