Thursday, August 7, 2014
Spotlight On...Cameron Michael Burns
Hometown: Cranston, Rhode Island
Education: Marymount Manhattan College, BA in Theatre Arts
Select Credits: The Untitled Ginsberg Project (workshop), This is a Play About Being Gay (2013 Fresh Fruit Festival), Rough Approximations: A Devil Tale (Incubator Arts Project, may she rest in peace)
Why theater?: Honestly, it's the only thing I consider myself "good" at (at least I hope I am). It was the one thing that drove me through high school and college. It's exciting, it’s live, it’s happening literally at the speed of life. It’s sort of like jumping off a metaphoric cliff without ever actually leaving the ground (unless you’re, like, Elphaba or Spider-Man).
Who do you play in Magic Kingdom?: In Act 1, I play Dylan, a former student of the main character, Cory; then I play Tyler, a waiter at a politically-incorrect Mexican restaurant in the Magic Kingdom serving Cory. So basically, I'm serving two sides of the same gay sex object coin.
Tell us about Magic Kingdom: It's a full-length dramedy by (and starring) Cory Conley, directed by Craig Baldwin. A playwright named Cory (played by Cory Conley) is in the process of writing a play about traveling to Orlando to a theme park called Magic Kingdom to save his freshly-divorced sister, Claire, and niece, Emma, after Claire has decided to blackmail the park into giving her and Emma a place to live. This is my very loose synopsis and the play is about so much more that you'll just have to come see to find out.
What is it like being a part of Magic Kingdom?: Well, Cory is a brilliant writer. It's hilarious and sad and real and blunt and I love getting to hear everyone speak it. And Craig knows exactly what the show is and it's so clear in his direction. He's an actor's director, which is fantastic. So when you get those two things in place, and the cast is as talented as this one, you just enjoy yourself. It all works.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Theater that goes for the gut. (That sounds really intense.) Just really visceral, personal theater. I love all kinds of theater, but if I'm talking about what sits with me once I’ve gotten home, it's the stuff that comes at you, no holds barred. I remember reading Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? in high school and the force of the words on the page were just… whoa. It doesn’t always have to be the language like Albee’s work is, but that kind of feeling of being sucker punched is really exciting to me. If I have to name one source, it would have to be the people I work with. I fell in love with theater as an audience member long before I stepped foot on a stage, so watching the work of the whole team on a show really just does it for me.
Any roles you’re dying to play?: I've been really in love with the character Alex in Douglas Carter Beane's The Little Dog Laughed for a few years now, but I think I'd like to take a whack at any of Shakespeare's women before I die, so I've got some time.
What’s your favorite showtune?: Talk about Sophie's choice. Ummmm... I think "A Little Priest" takes it.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Meryl.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Meryl.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: Lately, I haven't been able to shut up about Heathers. Reefer Madness + Bat Boy + Legally Blonde + Heathers = musical comedy gold. But Then She Fell and Sleep No More were kind of life-changing, so...
What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: "Flying Away (Finale)” from Fun Home
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Eating whole boxes of Cheez-Its in one sitting.
What’s up next?: After Magic Kingdom wraps up its Fringe run (August 8, 11, 16, 20, 23), hopefully it's back to work on The Untitled Ginsberg Project (which will be titled) for the fall. Visit www.mkplay.weebly.com and www.GinsbergProject.org for more information on both shows!