Saturday, August 11, 2012

Spotlight On...Sam Gedymin

Name: Sam Gedymin

Hometown: Oconomowoc, WI

Education: BFA Acting - University of WI - Stevens Point

Select Credits: The Nightingale (Young Emperor, Workshop, Moises Kaufman dir.); Virtually Me! (Jasper, Matt Murphy Prod); Rudy (Billy, Stages on the Sound NYC); Brave New World (Bernard, workshop); Antony and Cleopatra (Eros, The Kraine); The Tempest (Ariel, Plimoth Players); Twelfth Night (Viola, Plimoth Players); Commercial: Sony Clutter (Supporting, Sony Int'l Spot)

Why theater?: Film and television are wonderful, but nothing will ever replace the feeling of leaving the house and seeing a live show. It fills your veins with fire, and inspires you to change your life for the better.

Tell us about Sweet Tooth: Nora and Vail, two recent high school graduates, are about to become step-siblings.  Exiled from the house, they steal some beer, break into an abandoned train station, and attempt an experiment to determine if true love is possible. While Nora wants their parents' marriage to work, Vail is utterly opposed to it. Both characters' stakes are incredibly high, due to past trauma. As they debate the point, Nora comes to see the human side of who she thought Vail was: the psycho kid from juvenile hall, and Vail comes to see that Nora isn't as cookie-cutter goody-goody as he thought.  Words fly, beer disappears, and the experimenters become the test subjects themselves.

What is it like being a part of Sweet Tooth?: It is a great privileged, because there is not a weak link in this artistic team, not one. That is rare. For me, artistically, this play is absolutely insane. I've played a wide range of characters, from children, to women, to Shakespeare's imagined creatures. This role has challenged me the most, or at least in a completely different way. Playing Vail is like playing the embodiment of dynamite. Once I click into his life, it affects me profoundly. People on the subway think I'm insane, and my friends wonder if they'll need to get me psychiatric help. Vail's hurt runs so deep, there is almost no hope for joy in his life. For Vail, this play is his discovery of that sliver of hope.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?:
The kind of theater that speaks to me is theater that dares to challenge me in more than one way. I love when a play is hitting me so hard that the tears I experience come as a surprise. This happens in any good piece of theater, whether tragic, comic, or mixed.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Alan Strang in Equus, Mickey in Blood Brothers, Hamlet.

What’s your favorite showtune?:
Oh man, the entire Book of Mormon soundtrack.  If I ever get to see that show, I may have to wear an adult diaper on the night.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?:
Ron Cephas Jones.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?:
I always thought I would, HA!  Christian Bale could play older me. The movie would be called, "A Brief Revolution" and it would deal mostly with my experimentally wild teenhood, which I narrowly escaped alive.

What show have you recommended to your friends?:
I loved the production the Old Vic brought over of Moon for the Misbegotten a few years ago, starring Eve Best, Colm Meany, and Kevin Spacey.  That show got my blood hot.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?:
Skipping a few less appropriate responses...I like to eat an entire pint of ice cream while I watch something melodramatic like "The Tudors".

What’s up next?: The passion that balances me out is sketch comedy. It's been a while now, and I've been deep into some seriously heavy material, like this play. I plan to film some more sketch with my group Team Us Comedy in the fall.  I'm also working on developing a play for the Cape Playhouse about the sinking of the whale ship Essex--a dark tale of horrific extremes.  I also just finished writing the music for Stages on the Sound's newest children's show on my guitar.  I guess I like to keep things polarized that way. Everybody has ups and downs, I think I just like mine big.

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