Saturday, February 15, 2014

Spotlight On...Taylor Riccio

Name: Taylor Riccio

Hometown: Yorktown, VA

Education: BA in American Studies from Fordham University

Select Credits: Reid Farrington's Tyson v Ali, Object Collection's No Hotel, Hybrid Stage Projects' Red Book

Why theater?: Theater is one of the oldest human traditions. People have been performing theater for each other in one form or another since people lived together in groups and we will be doing it until the end. If the internet and electrical grid went down tomorrow and stayed out we could still get together a play and after we spend a little bit of time freaking out that's probably one of the first things we'd do, it's one of the best ways humans have of remembering our history and discussing issues which are important to us, I'm happy to be playing some part in that history, however small.

Tell us about LBJ Greatest Hits?: LBJ Greatest Hits is a show that came from my obsession with our 36th president, Lyndon Johnson. He's enjoying quite a resurgence right now in the popular mind. I figured that if I was ever going to do my show about him it ought to be now. The show explores my relationship with my Lyndon Johnson as both a real person and a figure of my obsession as well as some of the conspiracies about the JFK assassination.

What inspired you to create LBJ Greatest Hits?: I spent about two years of my life in which I only read books about Lyndon Johnson so as a person he's someone I know a bit about. I had been playing with the idea of making a show about him for a while and when I saw the two off-Broadway LBJ shows last year, The Great Society, and All The Way, I realized that while both great pieces of historical drama they both dealt with basically the same material and timeframe of LBJ's life, and both gave him a very straight forward treatment. I wanted to make a show that would deal with LBJ in a different context and one that didn't play by the rules of a history play

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I like all sorts of different stuff. I think that you can tell if someone really is trying to make something that's honest to them and that they worked very seriously on, and I think that that'll make something compelling. People who are making theater right now that I think are doing something great include Animals Performance Group, Grandma,

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I would love to work with Radiohole.

What show have you recommended to your friends?
: Last year Animals did a show called Backstage at the Horror Drag at the Incubator Arts Project and it's probably the best thing I've ever seen

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: I guess the obvious choice would be David Cross since we already have the same haircut.

What's your biggest guilty pleasure?: A dip that I make with a whole bar of cream cheese, salsa, and mozzarella cheese melted on top. I eat it with Triscuits.

What's the most played song on your iPod?: I looked it up and the most played song is the Untitled final track of Palace Music's (Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's) album, Lost Blues and Other Songs

If you weren't working in theater you would be _____?: A history professor

What's up next?: As a freelancer there's always a million things around the corner. I'm hoping to get a Great Dane soon.