Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Spotlight On...Hunter Canning
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Education: BFA from the SUNY Purchase Acting Conservatory
Select Credits: War Horse (Joey as a foal, Lincoln Center); The Late Christopher Bean (Warren Creamer, TACT); Doctor Faustus (Robin, The Brick, directed by John Kurzynowski)
Why theater?: It's collaborative, demanding, energizing, thrilling, down-right terrifying at times, painful, full of hope and there's nothing else like it in my life.
Tell us about Salesmen: Salesmen is a dreamlike exploration into questions about masculinity and the genre of American Realism. As an audience member you may not always know exactly what's going on but it'll feel oddly familiar. It's like a splatter painting, shapes take form and stories present themselves. As creators, we know what's going on under each moment but it'll be up to the audience to decide what the piece is about.
What is it like being a part of Salesmen?: It's pretty trippy. A lot of the process was about trying to remember a faded, distant memory and then recreate the memory of remembering... the memory. As heady as it sounds, it often materialized in movement sequences which later became meticulous blocking we filled with story and subtext. The process of Salesmen reminds me of what I'm told about Williams S. Burroughs when he was writing Naked Lunch. He would cut up his pages into stripes and rearrange the text to create a lucid, liquid experience. The effect feels a bit like déjà vu.
Working on Salesmen is also just a ton of fun. The cast is a blast, each of the guys bring a completely different perspective to the room.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: At the risk of sounding cheesy, artists that put their heart on the line. People want to look cool all the time and you know what? Cool is boring. I also draw a lot of inspiration from photography, Robert Frank being one of my favorites.
Any roles you’re dying to play?: George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf. When I was in high school that play changed my entire outlook on theater. I have a while though before I'll get a stab at it.
What’s your favorite showtune?: "Unworthy Of Your Love" from Assassins
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: William H. Macy, it's on my bucket list to play his son.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Kurzynowski and I have joked that my movie would be called "From The Brick to Broadway and back to The Brick". My friends have said that Shawn Ashmore is my Hollywood doppelganger.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: I just saw Natural Affection starring the wonderful Kathryn Erbe. John Pankow as the troubled neighbor is doing heartbreakingly beautiful work.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: I love the TV show "Castle" starring Nathan Fillion & Stana Katic. Apparently the main demographic for that show is middle aged women but I think it's fantastic. The entire cast is stellar, it's sweet, funny and gives you everything you'd want in under an hour.
What’s up next?: I'm filming a web series called Whatever this is. from the creative team who made The Outs. Our next public screening will be hosted by The Paley Center as apart of PaleyFest: Made in New York on October 5th. There will be a cast/crew panel moderated by the wonderful John Cameron Mitchell. Episode 4 premiers October 28th at Sanos down on White Street.