Sunday, August 14, 2011

Spotlight On...Preston Martin

Name: Preston Martin

Hometown: Dublin, Virginia

Education: NYU Tisch Undergraduate Drama (Playwrights Horizons, Experimental Theater Wing)

Select Credits: Kyle Jarrow's Hypochondria (Marqilyn Monroe, Columbia); Fun Design With Svelte! (Svelte, DR2); Liz Swados' Kaspar Hauser: a foundling's opera (Kaspar, The Flea)

Why theater?: Vulnerability. Human vulnerability is a gift that we constantly try to hide, and the theater is the place we go to watch that vulnerability unveil itself. Theater teaches us through reflection that emotion, both positive and negative, is what makes day to day life mean more than waking up, having a day, and going back to sleep. I love being on both sides of it, audience and artist.

Tell us about The More Loving One: The More Loving One is a stellar four person comic drama exploring societal and personal definitions of love, lust, and marriage. We witness a gay couple walking in from the most important moment of their relationship and into the deepest and most dynamic argument their straight couple roommates have ever come up against. Cory Conley's language is so human and raw and hilarious and poignant (I've been calling it gay Woody Allen with a splash of Edward Albee), and the tensions he has built will have you on the verge of laughing and/or crying at any given moment.

What is it like to be a part of The More Loving One?:
We are having such a whirlwind of a time. Each of us have a little something that these character's situations are sparking inside each of us, so there's this generous outpouring of truth, but then we will turn around and make each other laugh at some of the most tense moments because Cory has written that fascinating balance between revealing self with protecting sore spots by throwing a zinger at somebody's face. Craig Baldwin's direction has been truly inspired. He is capturing some really poignant moments by reminding everyone that though we're in the pits of conflict, each couple deeply loves each other, so we have to keep fighting to protect that love.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?:
I get really turned on by theater that is truly theater. Things you can't see in a movie, that you really can only experience live. I think that mostly speaks to watching surprises. Sometimes that means spectacle (which doesn't have to be EXPENSIVE, just innovative and surprising), sometimes it's just a powerful performance from an actor that you can't believe is happening in the same room as yourself. It's not really a certain style that speaks to me, it's just the element of surprise and the appreciation that you're breathing the same air as people who are living as other people that have a transformative message for you to hear. When artists take that into consideration when making theater, I am spoken to. My biggest inspiration is watching all of my friends who relentlessly create and put on show after show because they're born to do it.

What are your favorite audition pieces?: Song: The Origin of Love from Hedwig. Spoken: A hilarious monologue from Little Dog Laughed and a heartbreaking confessional I stole from the film Heartbeats

Any role you’re dying to play?: Jack Skellington duh. Or a gay male Vivian Ward from Pretty Woman. Also, duh.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: I was spreading CSC's Unnatural Acts like wildfire while it was running.

What’s up next?: I'm collaborating with Elizabeth Swados on a theatrical tribute to the life of the revolutionary Ellen Stewart, founder of La Mama ETC.

For more information on The More Loving one, visit