Saturday, July 13, 2013

Spotlight On...James David Larson

Name: James David Larson (says Actor's Equity), but you can call me James

Hometown: Portland, Oregon - The Rose City

Education: Neighborhood Playhouse, School of the Theatre

Select Credits: Gary Goldfarb: Master Escapist (Kenny Krumholtz/Harry Houdini, NYMF 2013), Julius Caesar (Cassius, Smith Street Stage), National Tour of Monty Python's Spamalot (Prince Herbert/Not Dead Fred), Malvolio's Revenge (Romeo/Richard III/Benedick, New York Classical Theatre), The Buddy Holly Story (Buddy Holly, Millbrook Playhouse)

Why theater?: Why not? ...No but really, it's an art form that grew out of a need to tell stories, publicly. It breathes, it pulses, it draws you in. A story well told, a part well played, in the same space as the audience-- there's nothing like it. As an actor, to have a stage to command is the most exhilarating experience I've found yet.

Tell us about Gary Goldfarb: Master Escapist: I'm afraid it's not possible to do this fantastic show justice in a few short sentences. It's musical theater in the best way possible… bold, based in truth, hilarious, touching... At the heart of the show is a kid with issues (guess who that is...) of weight and confidence, who is tested beyond his limits to transform into a great magician, and gain the respect and love he deserves. Our author, Omri Schein, recently said in his interview with the The Jewish Week ( that Gary wants to "escape from his life" by accomplishing a big feat and getting the world to pay attention to him. I think that's a decent appetizer...

What is it like being a part of Gary Goldfarb: Master Escapist?: I laugh so hard every day in rehearsals. It was brilliantly written by Omri Schein and James Olmstead, and our cast has had a hand in the development of the story. We have such a collaborative cast and crew that I can't wait to show this to people.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Theater that takes you to another world, even if it's still on Earth. Boldly acted theater. And I generally like shows with a bit of pathos. I think the world is strange, and I see no reason the theater should be any different. It would be an endless list of people who inspire me-- of course, every colorful person I meet in New York City gives me information that I use as an artist...but here are a couple off the top of my head: Andy Warhol, John Guare, Bill Irwin, Mike Nichols, Richard Pinter, William Shakespeare, Tina Landau...

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Elder McKinley in The Book of Mormon, Ronnie in The House of Blue Leaves, Mark in Rent, Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors.

What’s your favorite showtune?: Right now, "Cutting Things" - my number in Gary Goldfarb: Master Escapist. It's a slice of heaven to do.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?:
Bill Irwin

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I'll let the casting directors and screenwriters decide.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Gary Goldfarb: Master Escapist!

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?:

What’s up next?: I was pretty much in repertory with rehearsals for Gary Goldfarb, and performances as Cassius in Smith Street Stage's ( production of Julius Caesar which plays one more weekend July 11th-14th (come see it!). But after these productions, I'm acting in a short film I wrote with director Michael Akers. Check out for updates.

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