Sunday, August 4, 2013

Spotlight On...Dave Hanson

Name: Dave Hanson

Olympia, WA.

Education: Whittier College, Theatre & English Lit

Favorite Credits: Playing Michael Regan in The Boss at the Metropolitan Playhouse. It was the first time playing the lead in a play in New York and the first time I have ever been reviewed in New York. Having spent the first part of my career in Los Angeles, and only being in New York for two years, the idea getting good reviews from the New York Times was something special to me. And to be doing theatre in NYC is just pretty damn cool, no matter how Off Broadway you are. Most notable credit though? I wrote for the Chelsea Lately show for 3 years.

Why theater?: Its what got me into all this in the first place. First time I saw a play as a kid I was intrigued. First time I saw a friend in High School get cast in a play I knew that was something I could do. Then the fist time I got cast in a play I knew this is what I wanted to be around the rest of my life.

Tell us about Waiting for Waiting for Godot: Its about two understudies back stage at a production of Waiting For Godot, trying to wrap their heads around life, art, the biz and their absurd existence. It turns out the only people who truly understand Waiting for Godot, are the understudies who are waiting… for Waiting for Godot.

What inspired you to create Waiting for Waiting for Godot?: I was cast as an understudy in WFG back in Los Angeles several years ago. It was an awful experience. But while suffering through it I noticed that the life of an understudy in this particular show (or any show for that matter) mirrored the story of Beckett's play. The understudies are the only guys doing what the play is about: waiting. So I thought that would be a funny story to tell.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?:
I don't know if there is one type or a kind of theatre that speaks to me other than 'good' theatre. But I suppose good theatre speaks to everyone. Since moving to New York I've gotten to see all kinds of great shows. Smart comedy probably tickles my fancy the most. I suppose the short answer is anything that takes me by surprise or turns me into an audience member again instead of an actor or writer sitting amongst the audience and watching. Im inspired by my friends. They're mostly artists who all do some pretty incredible stuff. I'm lucky in that regard. I'm the least talented amongst this group so everyday I get to practice with the varsity team. That's pretty cool for me. I learn a lot.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Mel Brooks. Hands down, Mel Brooks. He is so old though. I hope he doesn't die before I get a chance to do that. He's really old. In fact I hope he doesn't die before he reads this. He's one of your readers, right? What am I saying, of course he isn't! He's old! He probably doesn't even know what a website is. He probably has a nurse who reads websites to him. In that case I hope Mel Brooks' live in nurse reads this website and reads it to him before he dies! But who am I kidding? Obviously she only reads Perez Hilton or TMZ! She's a live in Nurse for crying out loud! In that case I hope Amanda Bynes tweets this website so the link goes to Perez Hilton so Mel Brooks' gossiping live in nurse will see it, click on it, and read it to Mel Brooks before he dies. What was the question? 

What show have you recommended to your friends?: I recommend seeing improv at the UCB theatre (asscat), If you can afford the super expensive tickets (I got to go for free) The Book Of Mormon is amazing. Once is one of the best musicals I've ever seen. The music and story is great and its staged in a fantastic, unique way.  And for a great night of voyeuristic mind bending theatre that will just mess with your head that also involves dressing up, jazz and classy cocktails go see Sleep No More. Totally worth the money. And for Pete's sake dress up when you go the theatre people. It's not your living room. When my girl and I went to see Book Of Mormon, some idiot was sitting in like the third row sporting a baseball cap and a basketball jersey over a white undershirt and jeans. And he was in his 60s. He had to have paid through the ass for those tickets and he couldn't even wear a tie. At least take the hat off, buddy. Some people are real jerks.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?:
No one. That project would never get off the ground. Who would be dumb enough to fund that film? And who the hell would go see that?! What an awful idea for a movie… George Clooney. 

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: First, I don't feel guilty for any pleasures. My biggest distractions from getting work done are NFL Football (go Seahawks!), video games and science fiction novels. In what order depends on what time of year.

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Writing science fiction novels, which I try to do in my spare time.

What’s up next?: We'll see where WFWFG goes after the festival. We think there is life for this play after the Fringe. I also have another one act play, entitled The Exit Interview, that's been accepted to the Collective Theatre Group's ten minute play festival. That will be in October. I will be involved with that. And then it's helping my fiance (executive producer for WFWFG Hillary Burgess) plan our wedding.

For more on Waiting for Waiting for Godot, visit