Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Spotlight On...Brian Charles Rooney

Name: Brian Charles Rooney

Hometown: Ramsey, NJ

Education: Duke University; American Conservatory Theater

Favorite Credits: The Threepenny Opera (Lucy Brown, Broadway); Pop! Who Shot Andy Warhol? (Candy Darling, Yale Repertory Theater); Bayonets of Angst (General George B. McClellan/Mary Todd Lincoln, NYMF 2014)

Why theater?:  Being a singing actor is the only profession I can imagine doing while being truly, completely fulfilled...  Theater offers a new adventure with every project, and a new set of challenges. That is exciting and beautiful!  Theater offers artists the opportunity to connect with, and entertain, people they might not otherwise meet.  I am fortunate to be a storyteller. I am fortunate to be able collaborate with other artists so that people can find joy, or come to think about life in a new way, or simply laugh!   There's nothing like a profession in the theatrical arts.

Tell us about Bedbugs: This musical is very special.  It is not only a riotous pop-rock good time, but also a moving story about those who choose to overcome great insecurity, and self-doubt, in order to find happiness.  I've been with the show since it was first written, and I've come to love Paul Leschen & Fred Sauter (the show's writers).  They are great men, with exceptional talents.  I was amazed during the workshop production two years ago. Some of the most jaded New Yorkers I've known saw the show, and leapt to their feet during the curtain call.  They were smiling and happy.  The show has heart. It has great humor. The characters exist in a heightened reality, but we've created some grounded, honest people within that reality.  I think audiences will love the show and its characters!!

What kind of theater speaks to you?  What or who inspires you as an artist?: Innovative, honest theater speaks to me.  Whether a show is a multi-million dollar Broadway production, or not, if it is created without vulnerability and passion, without respect for its audience, it won't come to life and move its audience.  I have an affinity for Theater of the Ridiculous (Charles Ludlam), as well as Epic Theater (Brecht). The people I've come to know well, and love, and trust in my work are the people that inspire me... Working with the same people on numerous projects is a rare luxury, but I believe that if you are able to help build a familial community within the theater in New York City, you will reap innumerable benefits.  Risk takers also inspire me.  Nothing ventured... Nothing gained.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Tim Burton.

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Bedbugs!!! & Once (exceptional show)

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Toy collecting... Don't laugh!  I collect vintage and modern toys - mostly comic book and cartoon hero properties

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?:  That changes depending upon the season, or upon the circumstances of my life... But longstanding favorite: Vogue (Madonna) - mostly the different live versions

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?:  a Doctor (I was Pre-Med at Duke)

What’s up next?: The run of Bedbugs!!! until November, and then a few other things.  I've been seen regularly in concerts at 54 Below, and will be doing many of their Andrew Lloyd Webber nights through the end of the year, schedule permitting!!