Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Spotlight On...John Hollingsworth

Name: John Hollingsworth

Hometown: Concord, Massachusetts

Education: BFA in Drama from NYU-Tisch; Studios: CAP21 and Stonestreet Studios

Select Credits: Sweet Charity (Oscar Lindquist, NYU-Tisch); Chautauqua! (Featured Soloist, The Public Theatre); Grand Hotel (Rohna, NYU-Tisch); Interlakes Theatre 2010 Summer Season (Fiddler on the Roof, Chicago, Camelot) Elegies for Angels…Raging Queens (Doug, Triad Theatre); Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 2011 (Vocalist, Recording); Madam Fury’s Travelin’ Show (Demo Recording)

Why theater?: I fell in love with theatre in high school. I always loved seeing shows, but I didn’t really get into it until I befriended my high school classmates who did our community theatre.  My junior year of high school, one of these classmates told me about an upcoming production of Grease and she convinced me to audition.  I was cast and immediately caught the bug.  By the end of that summer, it was time to apply for colleges and I knew I wanted to pursue theatre.  I was not going to let anything get in my way.  Since then I have been an actor. I guess what I love so much about theatre is how closely it relates to our lives.  I am fascinated by human interaction in everyday life and love being able to experience that onstage, either as an audience member or as a performer.  There is always something to be learned by our relationships and theatre does that for me.

Tell us about KRiEp: KRiEp tells the story of Jeremiah Aiden Kriep.  It explores the different sides of his personality and his personality is referred to as his “box.”  This one character is broken up into 3 characters: his bad side – a character named Jak; his good side – a character called Jerry, whom I play; and the combination of Jak and Jerry, named Jake.  He is a serial killer and in the show we see the struggle between his good side and his bad side.  It explores what it means to be a serial killer and we trace the journey of this particular character.  The lyrics are quite poetic and the music ranges from rap to country to operatic tunes.

What is it like being a part of KRiEP?: KRiEp has been a great experience.  I have never played a serial killer before, so that has been a different process.  For instance, I have to ask questions like: how much feeling does a serial killer have?  What are the characteristics of a socio/psychopath? I have loved getting to work with the members of our cast, with our Director Sam Belich and Choreographer Kendra Slack.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I don’t think I would say a specific type of theatre speaks to me.  I tend to like it all – from gut-wrenching dramatic pieces, to light-hearted feel-good musicals.  That being said, I have high expectations for the theatre I do see.  I would say that I want to see something onstage that speaks to my life in some way.  It can be very poignant to experience theatre that mirrors your personal life.  Relate-ability, I guess, is the determining factor in whether or not a piece speaks to me.  But I guess that would apply to everyone, no? I am inspired by people, all sorts of people.  In my life I am often drawn to wack-a-do, nutso characters.  I like unique individuals – whether it be a close friend, or some crazy person on the street.  That is what inspires me the most – the variety of people that weave in and out of my life.  Also, the experiences I have with them.  It sounds so cliché, but it’s true that the more life experience we have, the more we can understand about the world.  Profound life experiences inspire my work.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Yes, I would love to play Elder Price in The Book of Mormon; Leaf Coneybear in Spelling Bee; Barney in The Middle Ages; and many more.

What’s your favorite showtune?: Favorite showtune? Gosh I’m not sure. Ever since theatre became my life, I don’t listen to showtunes very frequently.  I’m a sucker for “The I Love You Song” from Spelling Bee. Love anything Ragtime, “The Old Red Hills of Home” from Parade. I’m probably leaving a lot out.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Rosie O’Donnell.  I’ve loved her ever since her daytime talkshow back in the 90s.  I used to watch her show every day and love how much she supports theatre.  I would love to work with her. Also Ann Dowd – a former acting teacher of mine, and such an inspiration.  Look her up. Also Meryl (need I use her last name?) and Whoopi (same deal).

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?:
Oh gosh I don’t know. I don’t feel like I’m like anyone.  A title?  Not sure because I feel like my life is just starting.  Ask me again in 20 years – should have a better idea.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Here are a few all-time favorites: [Title of Show], The Light in the Piazza, Spelling Bee, The Book of Mormon

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I would say my addiction to reality tv is a guilty pleasure, except I don’t feel that guilty about it.  In fact, I openly love it.  I’m really into the "Real Housewives", "Kardashians", and am obsessed with a little gem called "Dance Moms", to name a few. I could talk about these shows for days (and want to).

What’s up next?: I am in the midst of figuring out what it’s like to live in the ‘real world.’ I graduated from school about three months ago and have been working on KRiEp for about a month and a half.  So after KRiEp is over, I will continue to audition and hope to work as much as possible. One day I will have a talkshow – only a matter of time.

For more on John, visit