Saturday, June 7, 2014

Spotlight On...Alex Parrish

Name: Alex Parrish

Hometown: Lexington, MA (though I have moved sixteen times!)

Education: BFA in Drama from NYU (studios: Lee Strasberg Institute, Stonestreet Studios)

Select Credits: Pipe Dream Theatre: Columbia: the life and death of Rospo D. Oro, Nutcracker and the Mouse King, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged. Strasberg Institute: Kiss Me Kate and Into the Woods.

Why theater?: Because an actor is never more vulnerable than when he or she is onstage, hashing out their soul twenty feet away from an audience, and that’s when true connection and empathy can happen.

Who do you play in The Zombies: A Musical?: Little Pete, the good-natured little brother who loves his iPad and gets beat up by his dad a few times a day. But once the apocalypse arrives, he finds the strength to stand up to his fears, his father, and the future. And he secretly loves to dance :)

Tell us about The Zombies: A Musical: It’s an over-the-top musical comedy set in the zombie apocalypse, with two groups of survivors trying to escape a pack of zombies that dance tap, jazz, ballet, and the ‘zombie shuffle.’ Because why not?!

What is it like being a part of The Zombies: A Musical?: Well, I have severe kinemortophobia… meaning an irrational fear of zombies… in real life… So during the fight/chase scenes, it’s 10% acting and 90% genuine fear. Wohoo! But seriously, it’s a ton of fun; the cast is great, and the creative team has a spectacular vision.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Musical theatre that explores the highs, lows, complications, and contradictions of humanity, i.e. Sondheim’s shows. Particularly because he uses a variety of tools (as in form) to make his content engaging and exciting, like dark humor, satire, parable, soliloquies, fantasy/reality sequences, unflinching emotion, and meta-commentary about narrative tropes.

Any roles you’re dying to play?: Frankie in Parade, Homer in Floyd Collins, and Tobias in Sweeney Todd.

What’s your favorite showtune?: “Put On Your Sunday Clothes” from Hello Dolly, cause it’s a real get-up-stop-complaining-and-go-live-an-exciting-life kind of song.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I’d love to work alongside Michael Cerveris. His creativity, work ethic, masterful craft, bravery onstage, and ability to make challenging and unconventional character choices is inspirational. A friend of mine once introduced me to him after a show, and he was so kind and down-to-earth; it was a great privilege.

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Probably a Back to the Future aged Michael J. Fox with an extra dose of grit and sarcasm, and the film would be called "Alexander and the Terrible, Humble, Very-Good, Not-So-Bad Life."

What show have you recommended to your friends?: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. It’s probably the most inventive, zany, and funny show I’ve seen in New York; Jefferson Mays is unreal and the supporting cast is kickass, so go see it if you haven’t already!

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: “The Highwayman” by Loreena McKennitt and “Who Are You” by The Who. An odd combo I know, but I love Celtic music and classic rock.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Chocolate-covered sunflower seeds from Trader Joe’s.

What’s up next?:
 In July, I will be performing at Town Hall as part of the “Broadway’s Rising Stars” concert, an opportunity for which I’m incredibly excited and grateful. I am also nearly finished writing the book, music, and lyrics for an original full-length musical, so I’ll be putting together a full demo CD and a staged reading in August. As for the next acting job, do any of us really ever know? Onward and outward.