Monday, November 10, 2014

Spotlight On...Peter Michael Marino

Name: Peter Michael Marino

Hometown: Queens, NY

Education: Buffalo State College

Select Credits: STOMP, writer of the Blondie musical Desperately Seeking Susan (West End, Tokyo), writer/performer of the solo comedy Desperately Seeking the Exit, host & creator of COJONES and SWAP.

Why theater?: Theater is one of the only mediums I truly embrace that expresses my own and others' stories in a multitude of creative ways. There seems to be an unlimited amount of methods to share stories through words, movement, and audio/visuals. The audience is alive in the room with the performer. There's nothing like it. What more can an artist/storyteller/performer ask for?

Tell us about SOLOCOM: SOLOCOM is a solo comedy festival at The PIT that debuted last November and presented 60 world-premiere solo comedies. This year, SOLOCOM will present 90 brand-new solo comedies in two spaces at The PIT over three days. It's exciting, diverse and non-stop. And, every show is only $5. We like to keep the shows affordable so we can reach all kinds of audiences from traditional comedy and theater-goers, to students on a budget, to other artists who want to be entertained and inspired without breaking the bank.

What inspired you to create SOLOCOM?: I created SOLOCOM to provide a platform for solo artists to generate new material. As I tend to create mostly comedy, variety and solo shows, I wanted to create a festival that had only three simple rules: The show must be new. The show must be solo. The show must be a comedy. Of course, the last "rule" is the toughest one to determine from a submission. But when you have 175 submissions from all over the world and across the country, the truly funny ideas and performers float to the top.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: Truthfully, all kinds of theater speaks to me. And when I say theater, I don't only mean traditional Broadway shows, but stuff that's off the beaten path. I enjoy improv, sketch, multimedia, standup, experimental, immersive,  storytelling, musical acts. I guess I just think of theater as any kind of performance where there's a live audience. I like shows that make me think, but I also like shows that make me not think. As long as it's entertaining and not boring, I'm usually pretty happy! I get inspired by everything I see. We are all so unique in the way we see the world - and when that vision is translated into a performance, it inspires me to think differently as well as embrace my own unique way of thinking and creating.

What’s your favorite showtune?: That's like picking a favorite child, which I fortunately don't have. Children that is. I really don't have any favorites ... but I can listen to the original Broadway recording of "Nine" every day if I had to.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: So many of the people I would want to work with are no longer with us...Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, John Ritter, Michael Bennett. To be in a room with any of them would be a dream come true. They all influenced me so much as I was finding myself as an artist. I even wish I could have worked with David Merrick. I know he had a "reputation" but I really admired the way he sold his shows. I'm not helping you out too much here, am I?

Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Jim Parsons in "All Over the Freakin' Place - In 3D"

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Fuerza Bruta. That show is CRAZY good fun and not at all traditional; yet so exciting and unique.

What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: Of course my iTunes library JUST crashed after a tech rehearsal today, but off the top of my head, I have to go back to the overture of "Nine". It's truly the only musical I can listen to all the time.

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Margaritas and chili nachos at Cowgirl's Happy Hour. And any "Housewives" show. (And there goes all credibility out the window)

What’s up next?: I'm debuting a new show at SOLOCOM called Late with Lance which is a talk show spoof that's hosted by a failed cruise ship entertainer and Broadway musical fanatic. It's got music, dance, improv...everything. I hope to bring it to the Edinburgh Fringe in August. So the next project is really raising money to get to Scotland. Know anyone who might be interested? I make great nachos!