Monday, August 5, 2013
Spotlight On...Justin Clark
Hometown: Ridgewood, NJ
Education: Fordham University rising senior, Gabelli School of Business
Why theater?: I got a lead in my 5th grade holiday show as Charlie Brown and fell in love with being on stage and performing. I also love sports (played golf for Fordham), so I've always done both in my life, but acting is really taking "center stage" in my life now.
Tell us about Cowboys Don’t Sing: Cowboys is an absolutely hilarious musical about the small western town of Tombstone Junction. Dennis, Johnny, and TJ, all good friends of mine from Fordham, wrote the show and put it up in the Black Box Theatre 2 years ago to 5 nights of sold out crowds. I regretfully didn't audition (golf season was starting), but saw it and immediately fell in love with it. They then were accepted to the West Village Musical Theatre Festival last summer. When TJ couldn't make it to New York for the show, they asked me to fill in! I was really excited to be on board with the Cowboys, and we ended up killing it in the festival. We won Best Show, Best Lyrics, Best Song, and Best Director. So now we're here at Fringe and hope to do as well this year at Theater 80.
What is it like being a part of Cowboy’s Don’t Sing?: When I was first asked to be a part of the show last summer, I was ecstatic because I knew how good this show was. I was in a show that Dennis wrote a couple years earlier and know how brilliant his humor is. When it comes down to it, I think what really makes this show amazing is the group of people involved (cast, directors, musicians, behind the scenes). We are all friends first, cast members second. The chemistry on stage is unmatched by anything I've ever been a part of. As a collective whole the group has written, directed, and acted in the show, wrote and played all the music, put together the website, and organized everything behind the scenes (thanks Chase!); creating an amazing product that everyone who likes theater or comedy should absolutely see. To put it lightly, I'm having an absolute blast being a part of this.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I like all kinds of theater from Phantom to Spamalot to Jersey Boys. I love the spectacle of Broadway but love the intimacy of a small theater as well. I am inspired mostly by my friends, especially those in Cowboys. I was inspired the first time I saw it, and continue to be inspired at every single rehearsal by every single person involved in the show. We all get better with every run. Everyone just goes after it, it's amazing. Dennis and Johnny, our directors and writers, come up with new funny things every night. The in-cast leadership from some of the older cast members inspires me. Some shows you dread going to rehearsals, and can't wait to get home at night. With Cowboys, it's the opposite.
Any roles you’re dying to play?: I'm a really bad theater kid, I don't know about as many shows and roles as I should, but being one of the Four Seasons in Jersey Boys would be a dream. I don't sing well enough to carry one of those roles on Broadway, but that has always been my favorite Broadway show.
What’s your favorite showtune?: Well, I have the "Racist Song" stuck in my head right now from Cowboys, so I can't think of anything else at the moment... "You didn't caaalllll aheeeeeaaaddddd"
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Mila Kunis. I love her. Wait, does that count? Does it have to be a theater person??
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: People have told me since middle school I look like a combination of Jim Carey and Kevin Bacon, soooo if they could somehow have a child who is really good at golf, he would be perfect. Aside from acting, golf is my other passion in life. I played golf in high school and play for Fordham, so it would be about an actor who just cleans up in celebrity pro-am golf tournaments. That's kind of my dream.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: Oh I know this one! COWBOYS DONT SING! It's really good, come see it.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I don't know if this counts as a guilty pleasure, but I love Goldfish. Let me say that again: I love Goldfish. Not the fish (although I don't have any problem with pet goldfish..), the snack. My friends say I have a problem. I tell them "no, I have it all figured out."
What’s up next?: Senior Year! One more year at Fordham having fun doing shows and sketch comedy with some of my best friends. Throw in an audition or two in Manhattan (hopefully) and I'll be done before I know it.