Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Spotlight On...Jason S. Grossman
Hometown: Brooklyn and Queens
Education: BS from S.U.N.Y. Albany; JD from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
Favorite Credits: Doubles Crossed (directed by Amber Gallery) in 2012; Love Me (directed by Daryl Boling; winner of multiple awards in the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity in 2010 including Best Playwriting; published in Plays and Playwrights 2011; Indie Theater now, Publisher), co-creating and performing in It's a Wonderful One Man Show Life! (adopted and directed by Sharon Fogarty) in 2001.
Why theater?: I get to see my work living and breathing with real people. I can be present as audiences watch and listen (hopefully) to stories I've helped to create. And in theater, it's a full collaboration of actors, designers and the whole production team interpreting my writing and complimenting it with their craft.
Tell us about Doubles Crossed: The Ballad of Rodrigo: It's the neo-noir thriller sequel to my play Doubles Crossed. It's a theatrical reimagining of the film noir dramas of the 40s and 50s. Suspicion and secret alliances underscore the gritty story of criminal-turned-G-man Freddie Tower and the past he can’t escape. It's noir. There will be guns. It's an homage to not only the golden age of film noir (Killer’s Kiss, The Killers, DOA, etc.), but to the great neo-noir films made since (Memento, L.A. Confidential, True Romance, The Cooler, etc.). I think this play is a hybrid between the two, but it's a modern tale.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: All art inspires me, from paintings to modern dance to comic books. I like a broad range of theater from experimental to performance art to musical comedies and straight dramas. You can be entertained and inspired by all forms/genres. Sometimes it's freeing and more fun to watch something that isn't your bag or bailiwick.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I've been privileged to have collaborated with a number of people from playwrights to screenwriters to sketch comics, and I love it. I've always had immensely talented writers and performers in my comedy groups. It's great to have someone with whom to bounce ideas, and you get to kick each other in the ass to get the work done. And you know what they say about two heads being better than something.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: Next to Normal. I recommended to strangers, too. I saw it four times. I think it's changed the American musical. At least it should. Heartbreaking, raw, real. And the music was pretty darn good, too.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Maybe Timothy Hutton (I used to be told I look like him; along with Michael Keaton and David Caruso). It would be called "Walking at Angles." A woman recently reprimanded me for doing that while crossing the street. It seems to apply to the way I do most things. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. It still takes me about 2 ½ times longer than the average person to get something done. As far as working with people I haven’t worked with yet, I would like to work with everyone.
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Sports, Skittles, meaningless pop culture trivia, all things memorabilia.
What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: "Get Back" by the Beatles and "From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)" performed by Dave Edmunds (written by the Boss).
If you weren’t working in theater, you would be?: An astronaut?
What’s up next?: A number of projects: We are currently developing Doubles Crossed: Blood on the Pages, the final installment of our Doubles Crossed play trilogy; and For Any Inconvenience, a scathing dissertation on all forms of poor customer service. We will be work-shopping my play A$$holes & Idiots, a modern corporate fairytale. We will also be remounting my play Love Me, having only produced it once in 2010 in The Planet Connections Theatre Festivity.