Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Spotlight On...James Parks
Hometown: Frederick, MD
Education: MM from NYU Steinhardt; BM from Peabody Conservatory
Select Credits: Barry Bockman in Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!, Bobby in Company, Mr. Pinkerton in Pinkalicious.
Why theater?: You know that feeling when you're at the top of roller coaster's ascent about to take the plunge? Trepidation, exhilaration, and a complete lack of control? That's what places call is like every night before a performance. No other profession gets you that feeling on a regular basis. Except maybe roller coaster testing, but that never interested me.
Who do you play in Out the Window?: I play Husband. A really lovable dope who just has flawed logic and bad luck.
Tell us about Out the Window: Out the Window is first and foremost fun. You can hear Seymour Barab having fun writing both the libretto and score. Then you see this outrageous farce about jealousy and you've got to have fun watching it. And while I may look horrified/terrified/outraged, I'm having a lot of fun performing it.
What is it like being a part of Out The Window?: I had taken some time away from opera, so when I first took the part I was really nervous. Barab's music is not easy and the show moves at a good clip. But working with Lissa Moira's truly character driven direction and Jonathan Fox Power's fully realized direction of Barab's score, I couldn't have been in better hands. Once comfortable and living in Barab's world, it was really exciting to uncover hidden instructions in the score and play with all the musical toys he had left there.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: It all amazes me. Theater is a realm of possibility like no other. However, I like dark comedies the most. They make you think. They ask hard questions. And the best ones make you laugh right before the sucker punch. I'm inspired by new works. The bravery to expose their thoughts, fears, and feelings to strangers in today's world of immediate judgment should be celebrated and honored.
Any roles you’re dying to play?: Horton in Suessical the Musical. I'd also love to do any of The Reduced Shakespeare Company's shows. I'd also love to be in Reasons for Being Pretty by Neil LaBute.
What’s your favorite showtune?: I don't know that I have a favorite but recently I've been listening to “King of the World” from Songs for a New World, “Where's the Girl” from Scarlet Pimpernel, and “Origin of Love” from Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: Stephen Sondheim.
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: "Jimmy P Presents" starring a young Billy Crystal.
What show have you recommended to your friends?: Matilda
What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: "Only a River Away" by Julian Velard
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Frozen Yogurt
What’s up next?: The Last Romance at Broward Stage Door Theater in South Florida.