Saturday, October 8, 2011
Spotlight On...Grant MacDermott
Hometown: Teaneck, NJ
Education: Emerson college, BFA in Acting
Select Credits: Mister Roberts (Lindstrom, New Repertory Theater); A Christmas Carol (Young Scrooge, Stoneham Theater); The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Duke, SpeakEasy Stage Company)
Why theater?: Why not?! Honestly though, I see everything through a story lens. Everything to me is a story. The story of the man walking down the street, where did he come from and where is he going? Where did he buy that shirt? I am attracted to the realism of it. On the other hand I am also attracted to the fantastical elements, the stuff a little more out there. Theater is infinite. One small detail in the story changes and then everything else changes too. One actor says a line a certain way and the whole performance shifts into another world. Theater is always alive, always different; a story happening in real time in front of you in a safe way for you to experience with the broadest range of emotions you have. Pretty cool stuff.
Tell us about Matchmaker Matchmaker I'm Willing to Settle: All the stories are true. Nikki, the main character, is based on the actress playing her: Nikki. And Nikki truly did go on all these dates. She really has met all these men. Some names have been changed, but this fantastical, crazy, hilarious, sad, story is all true. It is basically an internet guide to dating by showing you what not to do. But at the end, after exhausting all the bad options, you have a pretty good clue of what to do in order to find love. And you might be surprised at the answer. :)
What is it like to be a part of Matchmaker Matchmaker I'm Willing to Settle?: In a word: Wonderful. Being a part of a new piece is electric. The room vibrates. Everyone is always thinking, improving, adding, subtracting. That is almost any new piece. But with this team, we do all that and laugh constantly. Everyone is pretty young so "no" rarely enters the room. No one on this team is scared of failure. And that is freeing. Everyone is so smart and talented. And for a piece with a title like ours, it can seem fluffy. but our book writers are incredibly smart; the music at its core is quite complex and beautiful, the director has a great eye for comedy highlighted with artful moments of profound truth. Then someone makes an inappropriate dirty joke and the room bursts out laughing.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as artists?: All theater speaks to me. This may lose me some points, but I am not a big "golden age" of musical theater guy. I'm not a big diva guy. Those just don't speak to me. I appreciate their artistry and can enjoy their performances-- I loved Funny Girl-- but I tend to gravitate towards the gritty, the underdog. In comedies, in dramas, in odd clown theater (the best show I ever saw was entitled Slava's Snow Show most moving piece of theater ever, and it didn't have a single word in it), I like the screwed up people, the broken characters, the ugly ones. I find their truths more accessible and more profound. My inspirations? Here is just a list. Edward Norton, Langston Hughes, Dorothy Parker, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Marianna Basham, Will Lyman, Scott Edmiston, Cate Blanchett, Doug Jones, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci. For all of us as artists? Hard to say, there are so many of us. But any and everything. The entire musical theater cannon. The theater references fly when we all get together.
Any roles you’re dying to play?: Edmund in Long Day's Journey Into Night; Hysterium in Forum; Henry/Hotspur in all the the History Plays, Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Tom in The Glass Menagerie, Hermoine in The Winter's Tale, The Emcee in Cabaret, Mr. Zero in The Adding Machine (both musical and play). There are many more, too many to list. But plenty of women's parts too. And creating a role is always pretty cool. So someone write me something funny, quirky, and true. I like those things.
What’s your favorite show tune?: "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered." I think one of the most beautiful songs in the history of theater.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Another huge list. But I'd love to work with Anthony Hopkins. I can dream big, right? lol
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I would hope it would be me. I dunno. It is hard to find lots of redheaded actors. There is this actor who looks like me, and is quite a stellar actor, from Rome and Grey's Anatomy: Kevin McKidd. Excellent actor. and better looking than me. So he has the job hands down.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: In life? A lot! I am a theater junkie. Anything by Stephen Adly Guirgis, Slava's Snow Show, Ruined, Hair, Blackbird (as done by SpeakEasy Stage Company here in Boston), anything with Liev Schreiber, the most recent production of Driving Miss Daisy, Frost Nixon on Broadway with Frank Langella, Sleep No More, Noises Off (with T.R. Knight, Patti LuPone, Peter Gallagher), Death Of a Salesman with Brian Dennehy, the video production of A Raisin In The Sun with Danny Glover, the list goes on and on. I have sooooo many Playbills!
What’s up next: I will be in a contemporary production of The Nutcracker at Stoneham Theater. Then I will be in Medea playing the Messenger with the Actor's Shakespeare Project. Hopefully some more stuff happening with Matchmaker!