Friday, March 9, 2012

Spotlight On...Jimmy Davis

Name: Jimmy Davis

Select Credits: Broadway: The House of Blue Leaves. Off & Off Off Broadway: The More Loving One for FringeNYC at LaMama and Soho Rep (winner of the Best Overall Production/Play Award), Julia in Two Gentleman of Verona for the all male Shakespeare company Poortom Productions, Hamlet for The Pearl Theater, What Happened When, The Undeiable Sound of Right Now, and Best Sex Ever for Rising Phoenix Rep, Allen Ginsberg's 'America' for The New Voice Collective, and other numerous workshops and readings and retreats for Rattlestick, EST, Red Bull, MCC, NYTW, and Clubbed Thumb. Regional theater credits: Juliet in the all male production of Romeo and Juliet for The Shakespeare Theater(DC), American Buffalo for The Studio Theater (Helen Hayes nomination - Best Ensemble)(DC), Othello for New Harmony Theater(IN). Film work: "Doppelgänger". Actor Training: BFA from The Juilliard School. Jimmy is a company member of Rising Phoenix Rep.

Why theatre?: Theatre is the human art form. Humans watching humans act like humans (for the most part). It's live, it's in the moment, it's fleeting. It requires attention. There is no rewinding.

Tell us about Much Ado About Nothing?: Much Ado About Nothing is a Shakespeare play. This production of Much Ado is what I consider Communal Theater. Performed at The Secret Theater in Long Island City, it's directed by Daniel Talbott. My early years in St. Louis, Missouri were spent watching and involving myself in Community Theater productions. My memories of that time are of joy. Despite having worked all day in 9-5 type jobs, these actors would show up night after night to rehearse and perform for little to no money because they believed in the power of theater.  There is so much talent in New York City. None of us are getting paid a salary. The cast is close to twenty. So, basically, right now, we are a bunch of Communal Theatre artists working for very little, showing up after long days at work, because we have a need to be together, to tell this story, share ideas, collaborate, BE there for an audience.

What kind of theatre speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Honest theater. Smart exposition, engaging dialogue, a great pay off or surprise. Love to see an actor, director and writer working cohesively to tell the story together. Moreover, seeing a human experience on stage is the point of it all for me. I've been into watching videos of Taylor Mac, Justin Bond, and Ethel Eichenberger on Youtube. I have major respect for their lineage, homage, and gender performance politics and artistry. I have come to understand that these performers are traditionalists in the sense that Greek Theatre is traditionalist. And on the converse side that Stanislavski, naturalism, realism, and TV acting are the avant garde. I love both. I'm inspired by both. I never get tired thinking about theater/acting.

Any roles I'm dying to play?: No. I'm more interested in the collaboration of any given role together with a director with a vision, other cast members, and the writer (if still alive). I don't want to have preconceived notions on what playing a character would feel like or guess at what I would accomplish in playing a dream role, sort of speak. I'd like to be surprised and let that sort of thing happen organically.

What's your favorite showtune?: I'll go with the soundtrack of Into the Woods. I liked that musical very much when I was kid.

If you could work with anyone you've yet to work with, who would it be?: If I could work with Tilda Swinton I think my head and heart might explode.

Who would play you in a movie and what would it be called?: Tilda Swinton, Daniel Talbott, Finn Wittrock, Ben Wishaw, Michael Padden, Alison Pill, and/or James Lecesne. Someone told me Gabe Ebert does a good impression of me. It would be called "LOVE."

What show have you recommended to your friends?:
I've been recommending that people see Nick Westrate's "Process and Performance" series on the avant garde at NYTW. It's a great series of interviews. The last one was with Taylor Mac. Truly inspiring.

What's up next?:
Spring and Summer lovin'.